The Alternative English Dictionary

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


noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US Navy, slang) Auxiliary division onboard a ship or submarine. Responsible for sanitary, heating/AC, emergency diesels, hydraulics, high pressure air, low pressure air, oxygen generating equipment, potable water, hatch maintenance, and assorted systems.
  • Ganga
AGA saga
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, sometimes derogatory) alternative case form of Aga saga
Aga saga {{wikipedia}} etymology Rhyming phrase, named for the AGA cooker, a type of stored-heat oven popular in British country houses in the early 20th century.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British, sometimes, derogatory) a genre of popular novel set in a suburban or rural location and featuring domestic and emotional theme of middle-class character.
    • 2007, Saying that, if Judy does retire and write a rollicking Aga-saga about, say, a middle-aged woman with a loving, ambitious yet utterly frustrating husband, I'd certainly buy it in the three-for-two. — Grace Dent, The Guardian, 22 Jun 2007, G2, p. 3
etymology 1 From Middle French agathe, from Latin achatēs, from Ancient Greek ἀχάτης 〈achátēs〉. pronunciation
  • (US) /ˈæɡ.et/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (countable, uncountable, mineral) A semi-pellucid, uncrystallized variety of quartz, presenting various tints in the same specimen, with colors delicately arranged in stripes or bands, or blended in clouds.
  2. (uncountable, US printing, dated) The size of type between pearl and nonpareil, standardize as 5½-point.
  3. (countable, obsolete) A diminutive person; so called in allusion to the small figures cut in agate for rings and seals.
  4. (countable) A tool used by gold-wire drawers, bookbinders, etc.;—so called from the agate fixed in it for burnishing.
  5. (slang, usually in plural) A testicle.
Synonyms: (type size) (UK) ruby
  • (mineralogy) fortification agate, Scotch pebble; moss agate, clouded agate
related terms:
  • aggie
etymology 2 a + gate pronunciation
  • (US) /ʌˈɡat/
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (obsolete) On the way; agoing. to be agate; to set the bells agate {{rfquotek}}
A-gay etymology Short for A-list gay.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (LGBT, slang) An A-list gay; an affluent, well-connected, upwardly mobile gay man or woman.
    • 1998, Armistead Maupin, More Tales of the City The A-Gays could talk about whoever was tooting coke in the bathroom. The B-Gays, being largely decorative, were not expected to talk.
    • 2003, Justin McGuinness, Footprint Morocco The latter is long past its heyday of the 1950s and 1960s, while Marrakech continues to attract wealthy A-gays.
    • 2003, Michael S Piazza, Queeries We who suffered the pain of playground exclusion now practice an enforced segregation with an effectiveness that designates certain members of our community as A-gays and marks the rest as inferior.
ageable etymology age + able
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Capable of being age; suitable for ageing.
    • 2009, Wine Enthusiast (volume 23, issues 1-7, page 91) An ageable wine with great character and poise.
  2. (dialect, informal, dated) Getting on in years; fairly old.
    • 1842, Great Britain. Parliament, House of Commons Papers (volume 12, page 456) I received your letter by the bearer, and in reply to it I have to state that my father is an ageable man now, and not able to attend to the time appointed by your Honour.
    • 1932, Julia Mood Peterkin, Bright Skin (page 39) She looked like an ageable woman but Wes was young and supple as a boy.
    • 2009, Sara F. Munday, Becoming Myself: A Passage of Grace (page 77) They had no children, and they were getting to be up in years—“ageable” as Took described it.
Age of Aquarius {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: Aquarian Age
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (astrology) A historical period corresponding to the astrological sign of Aquarius, concerning the timing of which (past, present, or future) there is a wide range of views.
    • 1954 April 5, Robert Wallace, "Stargazer for Stars: Astrologer Richter does Hollywood's forecasts," Life, vol. 36, no. 14, p. 155 (retrieved 24 Oct 2013): In 1904 we entered the Age of Aquarius, which will last another 2,000 years and will be an age of joy, of science and accomplishment, focused on the life of Christ.
    • 1963, Natalie N. Banks, The Golden Thread: The Continuity of Esoteric Teaching, ISBN 9780853301271 (1999 reprint), p. 39 (Google preview): The unprecedented close grouping of seven planets in the sign of Aquarius at the time of the new moon of February 1962; an astronomical formation considered by some astrologers to mark the beginning of earth's entry into the Age of Aquarius.
  2. (informal) The period, roughly from the mid-1960s to the early-1970s, when New Age culture and the hippie movement were at their peaks, associated with belief in enhanced spiritual enlightenment, universal love, and personal liberation.
    • 2002 Nov. 24, Mitchell Owens, "Style: Still Groovy After All These Years," New York Times (retrieved 24 Oct 2013): From his funnel-shaped Cone Chair to a round television that dangled from the ceiling like a giant white eyeball, the Danish architect and designer's work was consciously directed at the free-love set, transporting the politics, passions and polymorphous sexuality of the Age of Aquarius into innocent living rooms across the globe.
agflation etymology {{blend}}; compare stagflation.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) An increase in the price of food crops, especially due to increased demand, and to diversification into the production of biomass
aggro Alternative forms: agro pronunciation
  • (GenAm) /ˈæɡ.ɹoʊ/
  • (RP) /ˈæɡ.ɹəʊ/
  • {{hyphenation}}
etymology From aggravation + o, influenced by aggressive.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Aggravation; bother.
    • 2011, Helen DeWitt, Lightning Rods, page 25, But the thing to remember was that some women were prepared to provide an outlet, in spite of all the aggro, if the money was right. And lots of guys were prepared to pay, in spite of the aggro. And what the aggro boiled down to, if you thought about it, was the shame of being known to be the person who had been involved.
  2. (chiefly, UK, Australia) Aggressive behaviour; loud, intimidating behaviour that convincingly threatens violence without necessarily actually becoming violent. Move along, lads; we don't want any aggro.
    • 1999, Eric Dunning, Sport Matters : Sociological Studies of Sport, Violence and Civilisation, page 162, That is the case because, according to Marsh, soccer hooliganism is one of Britain's principal forms of aggro. If it is true that there is an absence of aggro traditions in the USA — and there is a wealth of evidence which suggests that Marsh is wrong on this score — then it is reasoble to deduce from Marsh′s arguments that it is unlikely that phenomena such as soccer hooliganism could or ever will develop there.
    • 2011, Jake Arnott, The Long Firm, unnumbered page, ‘We ain′t got a name yet. We′re into aggro.’ ‘Aggro?’ ‘Yeah, you know, aggression, aggravation. Aggro’.
  3. (online gaming) A measure of how belligerent a player is – a high value may inspire either avoidance or preemptive hostile action from enemies.
    • 2007, Bendik Stang, Morten A. Osterholt, Erik Hoftun, The Book of Games Volume 2: The Ultimate Reference on PC & Video Games, page 98, To reduce one player's aggro level, the other must build up his own.
    • 2008 April, GameAxis Unwired, page 54, What isn't so gimmicky is the Aggro System, where you draw fire onto yourself by acting aggressive, while your partner sneaks off blindsiding distracted enemies. Aggro depends on how big your current weapon is and how often you act aggressive.
    • 2010, Luke Cuddy, John Nordlinger (editors), World of Warcraft and Philosophy: Wrath of the Philosopher King, page 187, We asked for an ability to trasnfer{{sic}} our aggro to another player—were told that could cause some abuse.
  4. (online gaming, MMORPG slang) Hostile attention from an enemy that should target players with better defenses. You just pulled aggro off the tank and wiped the raid.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (Australia, NZ, slang) Angry.
    • 2011, Bill Noel. The Marsh: A Folly Beach Mystery, page 70, “The Chuckster say you two be finding aggro idiot who kilt Long,” said Dude. I thought I understood but looked at Charles for help. “Aggro means pissed off.” translated Charles. He still hadn't cracked a smile. Tardiness made Charles aggro.
  2. (online gaming, MMORPG slang) Liable to attack without being attacked first (said of monsters).
  3. (British, US, slang) Hardcore, aggressive.
    • 2005, Peta Tait, Circus Bodies: cultural identity in aerial performance, page 131, At the beginning of the twenty-first century the physically adept aggro femme had become a recurring motif in new circus and physical theatre.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (online gaming, MMORPG slang, intransitive) To become aggressive towards the player's character. Do they aggro on sight or sound?
agin etymology From Scots agin, variant form of again. pronunciation
  • /ə.ˈɡɪn/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{hyphenation}}
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (colloquial or now often, humorous) alternative form of again
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities", in All the Year Round, vol. 1, p. 98:
      • At which juncture, he exclaimed, in a voice of dire exasperation : “Bust me, if she ain't at it agin !”
preposition: {{en-prep}}
  1. (colloquial or now often, humorous) alternative form of against
    • 1859, Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 19, p. 278:
      • [The Court] said: "Young man, this ere Court is satisfied that there ain't nothin' in the laws of Vermont agin tippin' over a churn full of sap. [...] But I want ye should remember one thing—that this ere Court has made up his mind that it's a very naughty trick, and it's a shame that there's so many maple-trees in the State, and no law agin tippin' over sap."
  • Agni
  • gain
  • gina, Gina
agony box
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A piano.
  2. (slang) A phonograph.
  3. (slang) A radio.
a good voice to beg bacon
noun: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, vulgar) said in ridicule of a bad voice.
agreeable {{Webster 1913}} etymology From Middle English, from Old French agreable; displaced native Old English queem. Equivalent to agree + able. pronunciation
  • (US) /əˈɡriːəbl/
  • {{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Pleasing, either to the mind or senses; pleasant; grateful. agreeable manners agreeable remarks an agreeable person fruit agreeable to the taste
    • {{rfdate}} Oliver Goldsmith: A train of agreeable reveries.
  2. (colloquial) Willing; ready to agree or consent.
    • {{rfdate}} Hugh Latimer: These Frenchmen give unto the said captain of Calais a great sum of money, so that he will be but content and agreeable that they may enter into the said town.
  3. Agreeing or suitable; conformable; correspondent; concordant; adapted; followed by to, or rarely by with.
    • {{rfdate}} Roger L'Estrange: That which is agreeable to the nature of one thing, is many times contrary to the nature of another.
  4. In pursuance, conformity, or accordance; used adverbially Agreeable to the order of the day, the House took up the report.
Synonyms: (pleasing, pleasant) acceptable, amiable, charming, pleasant, pleasing, welcome
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Something pleasing; anything that is agreeable.
    • 1855, Blackwood's magazine (volume 77, page 331) The disagreeables of travelling are necessary evils, to be encountered for the sake of the agreeables of resting and looking round you.
agreeingness etymology From agreeing + ness.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (rare, colloquial, possibly nonstandard) The state or quality of agreeing.
    • 1998 December 18, "northern lad" (username), "Re: ARGH", in, Usenet: *pure agreeingness* that was scarily poetic.
    • 1999 October 5, "Joxer" (username), "Re: Important message to prospective DR WHO producers", in rec.arts.drwho, Usenet: (snip lots of lovely fluffy agreeingness)
    • 2005 January 16, "DC" (username), "Re: It's only words...", in talk.religion.buddhism, Usenet: Such harmony and agreeingness!
agro Alternative forms: aggro etymology From aggro, by shortening
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (AU, NZ, British, slang) angry
  • Argo
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) agrotechnology
    • 2007, James Burke, American connections: the founding fathers, networked Pusey was an agrotech nerd and one of the first to use the new drainpipes to channel runoff water.
a hair past a freckle
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (humorous) Said when asked the time, humorously indicating that one does not know or does not care to check.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative) asshole
  • haole
a hundred and ten percent Alternative forms: 110% etymology Based on the metaphor of operating a machine at higher than its rated capacity or exceeding the normal maximum of some rated parameter such as speed or temperature.
noun: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, US, sports, informal) A level of effort exceeding one's sustained capacity, possibly risking injury. "We busted our tails and won, we gave 110%".
  2. (idiomatic, colloquial) The exertion of more than seems possible, hence 110%, not 100%, the usual maximum amount possible.
aibohphobia etymology Deliberately constructed to be a palindrome, combining the suffix -phobia with its reversed spelling.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (humorous) An irrational fear of palindrome.
    • 1983. Author unknown. Science Digest, page 103 The article was a disservice to those of us who are unfortunate enough to be afflicted with aibohphobia.
    • 1997. Richard Lederer. The Word Circus: A Letter-perfect Book, page 60 We trust that we've relieved any Aibohphobia, any fear of palindromes that you might have harbored.
    • 2004. Peter Seddon. Football Talk: The Language and Folklore of the World's Greatest Game, page 267 If you suffer from aibohphobia (fear of palindromes) you should skip a few pages while the rest of us go in search of…
  • ailihphilia
AICMFP etymology After newspaper competitions, such as , where readers were offered money for spotting a certain figure in public and accosting him with a passphrase. For example, "You are Lobby Lud, and I claim my five pounds."
phrase: {{head}}
  1. (Internet, humorous) initialism of and I claim my five pounds
  • Used humorously on the Internet to compare one person's behaviour or attitudes with somebody else's, as though the writer had genuinely confused them.
AI-complete etymology By analogy with terms like NP-complete.
adjective: {{wikipedia}} {{en-adj}}
  1. (computing, informal) Of a problem: such that a solution presuppose or entail solving the problem of constructing a general artificial intelligence ("strong AI").
    • 2006, M.Gori, M.Ernandes, G.Angelini, "Cracking Crosswords: The Computer Challenge", Reasoning, Action and Interaction in AI Theories and Systems: Essays Dedicated to Luigia Carlucci Aiello, edited by Oliviero Stock, Marco Schaerf, Springer Science & Business Media (ISBN 9783540379010), page 266 Problems like solving crosswords from clues are reputed as AI-complete [7]. This enormous complexity is due to its semantics and the large amount of encyclopaedic knowledge required.
    • 2007, Ben Goertzel, Cassio Pennachin, Artificial General Intelligence, Springer Science & Business Media (ISBN 9783540686774), page 452 Just as concept kernels are not AI-complete, sequiturs and resonances are not AI-complete. Sequiturs and resonances also may not need to be human- equivalent to minimally support deliberation; it is acceptable for an early AI to miss out on many humanly obvious thoughts, so long as those thoughts which are successfully generated sum to fully general deliberation.
    • 2014, Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, Oxford University Press (ISBN 9780199678112), page 71 ... Now imagine a remote descendant of such a system that has acquired the ability to read with as much understanding as a human ten-year-old but with a reading speed similar to that of TextRunner. (This is probably an AI-complete problem.)
AIDS baby
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory) A person born diseased especially with HIV and starvation
aight Alternative forms: a'ight etymology Contraction of all right. pronunciation
  • /ˈaˌɐɪt/, /ˈɑˌaɪt/
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (AAVE, slang) All right. Aight, let's get started.
ail pronunciation
  • (UK) /eɪl/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English eyle, eile, from Old English eġle, from Proto-Germanic *agluz, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂egʰlo- 〈*h₂egʰlo-〉, *h₂egʰ- 〈*h₂egʰ-〉. Cognate with Gothic 𐌰𐌲𐌻𐌿𐍃 〈𐌰𐌲𐌻𐌿𐍃〉.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (obsolete) Painful; troublesome.
etymology 2 From Old English eġlan, eġlian, cognate with Gothic 𐌰𐌲𐌻𐌾𐌰𐌽 〈𐌰𐌲𐌻𐌾𐌰𐌽〉.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To cause to suffer; to trouble, afflict. (Now chiefly in interrogative or indefinite constructions.) Have some chicken soup. It's good for what ails you.
    • Bible, Genesis xxi. 17 What aileth thee, Hagar?
    • 2011, "Connubial bliss in America", The Economist: Not content with having in 1996 put a Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) on the statue book, Congress has now begun to hold hearings on a Respect for Marriage Act. Defended, respected: what could possibly ail marriage in America?
  2. (intransitive) To be ill; to suffer; to be troubled.
    • Richardson When he ails ever so little … he is so peevish.
  • {{seeCites}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An ailment; trouble; illness.
etymology 3 From Old English eġl.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The awn of barley or other types of corn.
  • Ali
  • lai, Lai
ailihphilia etymology Deliberately constructed to be a palindrome, combining the suffix -philia with its reversed spelling.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (humorous) A love of palindrome.
  • aibohphobia
ain't {{wikipedia}} etymology According to Etymology Online, the term was first attested in 1706 as a contraction of am not, and it was used with that sense until the early 19th century, when it began to be used as a generic contraction for are not, is not, etc. in the Cockney dialect of London. It was then "popularized by representations of this in Dickens, etc., which led to the word being banished from correct English."{{R:Etymonline}} The shift from /ænt/ to /eɪnt/ parallels a similar change some dialects made to can't. In other dialects, the pronunciation shifted to /ɑːnt/, and the spelling aren't, when used to mean “am not”, is due to the fact that both words are pronounced /ɑːnt/ in some non-rhotic dialects. Historically, ain't was present in many dialects of the English language, but not in the southeastern England dialect that became the standard, where it is only found in the construction ain't I. As a contraction of have not and has not, ain't derives from the earlier form han't, which shifted from /hænt/ to /heɪnt/, and underwent h-dropping in most dialects. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • /eɪnt/
  • {{rhymes}}
contraction: {{en-cont}}
  1. (dialectal or informal) Am not.
  2. (dialectal or informal) Are not, aren’t; is not, isn’t; am not.
    • 1885, , : We figure in lively paint: Our attitude’s queer and quaint — You’re wrong if you think it ain’t, oh!
    • 1953, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, : You ain't nothin' but a hound dog.
    • 1964, Bob Dylan, : It ain't me you're looking for.
  3. (dialectal, informal) Have not, haven’t; has not, hasn’t, when used as an auxiliary.
    • 2006, Bob Bylan, : Got a pile of sins to pay for and I ain't got time to hide / I'd walk through a blazing fire, baby, if I knew you was on the other side.
  • anti
  • NAIT
  • tian
  • tina, Tina, TINA
ain'tcha Alternative forms: aintcha pronunciation
  • (US) /ˈeɪntʃə/
etymology ain't + cha
contraction: {{en-cont}}
  1. (eye dialect, informal) aren't you
  2. (eye dialect, informal) haven't you
aincha etymology ain't + cha
contraction: {{en-cont}}
  1. (eye dialect, informal) Ain't you.
air {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English air, from xno aeir, eyer, Old French aire, eir, from Latin āēr, from Ancient Greek ἀήρ 〈aḗr〉. Displaced native Middle English luft (from Old English lyft), Middle English loft (from Old Norse lopt). More at lift, loft. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ɛə(ɹ)/, /ɛː(ɹ)/
  • {{audio}}
  • (US) {{enPR}}, /ɛəɹ/, /ɛːɹ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}; Eire (one pronunciation); err (one pronunciation)
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncountable, historical, astrology, alchemy, science) The atmospheric substance above the surface of the earth which animals breathe, formerly considered to be a single substance, one of the four basic element of ancient philosophy and one of the five basic elements of several Eastern traditions.
  2. (uncountable, physics, meteorology) That substance, now understood as the mixture of gas comprising the earth's atmosphere. exampleThe karate instructor said "air is the one thing you can't go five minutes without; when you spar, you have to remember to breathe."
  3. (usually, with the) The apparently open space above the ground; the mass of this substance around the earth. exampleThe flock of birds took to the air. exampleThere was a tension in the air which made me suspect an approaching storm.
  4. A breeze; a gentle wind.
  5. A feeling or sense. exampleto give it an air of artistry and sophistication
    • November 2 2014, Daniel Taylor, "Sergio Agüero strike wins derby for Manchester City against 10-man United," Smalling’s quick one-two of yellow cards towards the end of the first half had left an air of inevitability about what would follow and, if anything, it was probably a surprise that City restricted themselves to Sergio Agüero’s goal bearing in mind another of United’s defenders, Marcos Rojo, was taken off on a stretcher early in the second half with a dislocated shoulder.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars, Chapter I, The girl stooped to pluck a rose, and as she bent over it, her profile was clearly outlined. She held the flower to her face with a long-drawn inhalation, then went up the steps, crossed the piazza, opened the door without knocking, and entered the house with the air of one thoroughly at home.
  6. A sense of poise, graciousness, or quality.
    • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma, : "He is very plain, undoubtedly--remarkably plain:--but that is nothing compared with his entire want of gentility. I had no right to expect much, and I did not expect much; but I had no idea that he could be so very clownish, so totally without air. I had imagined him, I confess, a degree or two nearer gentility."
  7. (usually plural) Pretension; snobbishness; pretence that one is better than others. exampleputting on airs
  8. (music) A song, especially a solo; an aria.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, : "If I," said Mr. Collins, "were so fortunate as to be able to sing, I should have great pleasure, I am sure, in obliging the company with an air; for I consider music as a very innocent diversion, and perfectly compatible with the profession of a clergyman…"
  9. (informal) Nothing; absence of anything.
  10. An air conditioner or the processed air it produces. Can be a mass noun or a count noun depending on context; similar to hair. exampleCould you turn on the air? exampleHey, did you mean to leave the airs on all week while you were on vacation?
  11. (obsolete, chemistry) Any specific gas.
  12. (snowboarding, skateboarding, motor sports) A jump in which one becomes airborne.
Synonyms: atmosphere, aura, lift, nimbus
related terms:
  • aerate
  • aero-
  • aria
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To bring (something) into contact with the air, so as to freshen or dry it.
  2. To let fresh air into a room or a building, to ventilate. It's getting quite stuffy in this room: let's open the windows and air it.
  3. To discuss varying viewpoints on a given topic.
    • 1917, National Geographic, : Thus, in spite of all opposition, the rural and urban assemblies retained the germ of local government, and in spite of the dual control, as the result of which much of their influence was nullified, they did have a certain value in airing abuses and suggesting improvements.
  4. To broadcast, as with a television show.
  • {{rank}}
  • IRA, Ira, rai, raï, ria
airbag {{wikipedia}} etymology From air + bag.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A protective system in automobile in which when a crash occurs, a bag containing nitrogen, formed by the explosive decomposition of sodium azide, quickly inflate in front of the driver or passenger, preventing injury to the head. Side air bags, including the back seat passengers, also prevent injury.
  2. A similar inflated bag used in performing stunt, etc.
    • 2005, Alan Tussy, ‎R. Gustafson, Developmental Mathematics for College Students (page 1030) As part of a scene in a movie, a stuntman falls from the top of a 95-foot-tall building into a large airbag directly below him on the ground, as shown in Figure 15-3.
  3. (slang) A person who talks too much; a windbag or gossip.
airbox etymology air + box
noun: {{en-noun}} {{wikipedia}}
  1. (informal) The chamber in a car or motorcycle engine that draws in air and distribute it to the carburettor.
Air Cav etymology Shortening.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, military) Air cavalry
aircraft {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /ɛəkɹɑː̩ft/, /ɛ:kɹɑː̩ft/
  • (US) /ɛəɹkɹæft/, /ɛ:ɹkɹæft/
  • {{audio}}
etymology From air + craft.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A vehicle capable of atmospheric flight due to interaction with the air, such as buoyancy or lift.
  • The nonstandard plural form aircrafts is in use among non-native speakers of English.
  • See also
related terms:
  • spacecraft
  • watercraft
airhead pronunciation
  • /ˈeəː.hɛd/
etymology 1 air + head; having one's head filled with air instead of grey matter.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative) A silly, foolish or unintelligent person.
Synonyms: (silly person) bimbo, bubblehead, valley girl, dumb blonde,
etymology 2 air + head, by analogy with beachhead, bridgehead, railhead.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A landing area for aircraft for supplying an operation, military or other, usually temporary.
  2. (military) An area of hostile territory that has been seized by paratrooper or helicopter-based troop to ensure the further landing of troops and/or materiel.
related terms:
  • beachhead
  • bridgehead
  • railhead
air hostess
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A female flight attendant.
Synonyms: stewardess, cart tart (pejorative), hostie (Australian slang), sky girl (slang), trolley dolly
  • flight attendant
  • rheostasis
airliner {{wikipedia}} etymology air + liner
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A passenger-carrying aircraft, especially one of a fleet operated by an airline.
related terms:
  • cruise liner
  • air
  • airspace, air space
  • air force
  • jetliner, jet-liner, jet liner
  • liner
  • passenger liner
airplane Alternative forms: aeroplane (Australian, New Zealand, South Africa, UK), æroplane (hypercorrect), aëroplane etymology air + plane, alteration of aeroplane pronunciation
  • (US) /ˈɛɹˌpleɪ̯n/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US) A powered heavier-than-air aircraft with fixed wing.
  • perianal
airpocalypse etymology {{blend}}
noun: {{hot word}} {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) The presence of dense smog in many parts of China
airport etymology air + port pronunciation
  • (RP) /ˈɛəpɔːt/
  • (GenAm) /ˈɛɹpɔɹt/, /ˈɛɹpoɹt/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. An airfield (a place where airplanes can take off and land), including one or more runway and one or more passenger terminal.
related terms:
  • aerodrome
  • airfield
  • airbase
airship {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A lighter-than-air aircraft that can be propel forward through the air as well as steer. Airships are posited to be cheaper to operate over time than fixed-wing aircraft, but as there are no large fleets, this is hard to prove in practice.
  2. (informal) Any aircraft. On weekends, I liked to spend my time at the airport watching the various airships take off and land.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An aircraft landing field, usually with one runway and only basic facilities. The outfitter deposited us at a small airstrip out in the bush, promising to pick us up again in a week's time.
akamai etymology Borrowing from Hawaiian akamai.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (Hawaii, slang) smart, clever
etymology 1 Originated 1730–40 from Latin āla.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (zoology) A wing or winglike structure.
  2. (anatomy) A winglike anatomical process or part, especially of bone.
  3. (botany) The flattened border of some stems, fruits, and seeds, or one of the two side petal of certain flowers in the pea family.
  4. (architecture) In ancient Rome, a small room opening into a larger room or courtyard.
etymology 2 From French à la, by way of its English derivation a la.
preposition: {{en-prep}}
  1. (colloquial) alternative form of a la
    • 2006,, Film review: The film is told in reverse ala Memento.
    • 2008, Film Threat, Film review: [...] interactive plasma screens with flashing digits and what not, ala “Minority Report,” [...]
    • 2011, The Washington Post’s blog The Fix, Politics article: [...] we might be getting to the point where Palin is a bona fide liability - ala Pelosi - for the GOP.
    • 2011, The Huffington Post, Business article: [...] the NYSE didn't implode ala Merrill [...]
  • aal , AAL
a la Alternative forms: à la (less common), ala (colloquial) etymology From French à la. pronunciation
  • (UK) /æ læ/
  • (US) /ɑ lɑ/
preposition: {{en-prep}}
  1. In the style or manner of.
    • 1971, The New York Times, Book review of Burning: [...] the flaming purification of Diane Johnson's Los Angeles a la Sodom and Gomorrah [...]
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (British, slang) pretentious.
  • aal , AAL
Alabama wind chime
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (rare, offensive) a hanged black person
Synonyms: Mississippi wind chime
Alania {{wikipedia}} etymology See Alan.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (historical) The medieval kingdom of Alan (proto-Ossetian) that flourished in Northern Caucasus, roughly in the location of latter-day Circassia and modern North Ossetia-Alania, from the 8th or 9th century until 1238-39. Its capital was Maghas, and it controlled a vital trade route through the Darial Pass.
  2. (colloquial) North Ossetia-Alania, federal subject of Russia.
related terms:
  • Alan
  • Alaina
Albanisation {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: Albanization, Albanianisation, Albanianization
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative) A cultural change in which something ethnically non-Albanian is made to become Albanian.
Albertopolis {{wikipedia}} etymology From Albert + polis, after , husband of , who proposed the purchase and redevelopment of the area, funded by profits from the , which he had also championed. Initially used somewhat satirically, the term fell into disuse after the Prince's death, but usage was revived in the 1960s.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (informal) An area of , London, that contains a large number of educational and cultural sites.
    • 1861 April 15, Photography and the Exhibition of 1862, The Photographic Journal, Volume 7, page 149, Of course there will be a collection of unprecedented merit in the temple about to be raised in Albertopolis.
    • 2002, Hermione Hobhouse, The Crystal Palace and the Great Exhibition: Science, Art and Productive Industry: A History of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, page 243, As the nineteenth century and the Queen's reign ended, new players and new attitudes were to sweep away a lot of the characteristics of Albertopolis, including some of its small-town qualities, the nepotism, its interwoven employment and its interests — what we might call its 'cronyism'.
    • 2005, Leo Hollis, Historic London Walks, page 208, One of the first public spaces to be developed in Albertopolis was the garden of the RHS,[Royal Horticultural Society] yet it did not last long at this location.
albo {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (American, offensive, ethnic slur) An Albanian-American.
alchemy {{wikipedia}} etymology From Old French alkimie, arquemie (French alchimie), from Malayalam alkimia, from Arabic كيمياء 〈kymyạʾ〉, ال 〈ạl〉 + from Ancient Greek χημεία 〈chēmeía〉 or χυμεία 〈chymeía〉 originally “a mingling, infusion, juice, liquid, as extracted from gold” and later “alchemy”, perhaps from Χημία 〈Chēmía〉 and/or χυμός 〈chymós〉. (Compare Spanish alquimia and Italian alchimia). pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • (US) /ˈæːlkeˌmiː/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncountable) The ancient search for a universal panacea, and of the philosopher's stone, that eventually developed into chemistry.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
  2. (countable) The causing of any sort of mysterious sudden transmutation.
  3. (computing, slang, countable) Any elaborate transformation process or algorithm.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) An alcoholic.
etymology 1
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A small South America dog, domesticate by the native.
{{Webster 1913}}
etymology 2
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, UK, Australia) An alcoholic
alcoholic etymology First attested , from alcohol + -ic pronunciation
  • (RP) /ˌæl.kəˈhɒl.ɪk/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A person addict to alcohol.
    • - Alcoholic Don't you know you've got your daddy's eyes Daddy was an alcoholic
    • {{quote-magazine}}
  2. One who abuse alcohol.
Synonyms: dipsomaniac, drunkard
  • teetotaler, on the wagon
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Of or pertain to alcohol.
  2. Having more than a trace amount of alcohol in its contents. He ordered an alcoholic beverage. The oysters were sour, and excessively alcoholic.
  3. Of, pertaining to, or affected by alcoholism
  • nonalcoholic
related terms:
  • alcohol
alderman etymology From Old English aldormann or ealdormann. See ealdorman. pronunciation
  • {{hyphenation}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A member of several municipal legislative bodies in a city or town.
  2. (UK, historical, obsolete slang) A half-crown coin; its value, 30 pence.
    • 1859, J.C. Hotten, A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words Half-a-crown is known as an {{smallcaps}}, {{smallcaps}}, {{smallcaps}}, and a {{smallcaps}}; whilst a crown piece, or five shilling, may be called either a {{smallcaps}}, or a {{smallcaps}}, or a {{smallcaps}}, or a {{smallcaps}}, or a {{smallcaps}}, or a {{smallcaps}}.
  3. (1811) A roasted turkey. {{only used in}} and alderman hung in chains.
Synonyms: baillie (Scotland)
a leopard cannot change its spots etymology Ultimately from Jeremiah 13:23 of the King James Bible (see Quotations)
proverb: {{head}}
  1. One cannot change one's own nature.
    • 1597, , Act i, Scene 1 (First Folio): King. Lyons make Leopards tame.Mowbray. Yea but not change his spots.
    • 1611, , 13:23: Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?
    • 1820, , Chapter 32: End now all unkindness. Let us put the Jew to ransom, since the leopard will not change his spots, and a Jew he will continue to be.
    • 1918, , : The leopard cannot change his spots, old boy.
alert five
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (military, slang) On an aircraft carrier, fighters and crew are on guard, standing by in the aircraft, strapped in and ready to be launched in five minutes or less.
Ali Baba {{wikipedia}} etymology From Arabic علي بابا 〈ʿly bạbạ〉.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. The fictional protagonist of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, famous for his encounter with forty thieves and their treasure trove cave that opens on the command "open sesame".
  2. (slang) An extremely lucky person, especially one who acquires a large fortune by luck or by chance.
  3. (slang, ethnic slur, US, military) An Iraqi.
Alibi Ike etymology From the principal character in "Alibi Ike" (1915), a short story by , and a subsequent film (1935) of the same name.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) One who is always ready to provide excuse for shortcoming, error, or other difficulties.
    • 1992, Hanoch Teller, Give Peace a Chance, ISBN 9781881939009, p. 83 (Google preview): But Rafi poured ice water on my enthusiasm: the staff wouldn't agree, the labor union would give us trouble, Harris would back down and we'd be stuck with a huge inventory. He had more excuses than Alibi Ike.
    • 2002, Jerome Alexander, 160 Degrees of Deviation: The Case for the Corporate Cynic, ISBN 9781932047080, p. 28 (Google preview): Many times I have heard the "alibi Ike's" and apologists brush off complaints and ignore behaviors because the deviator in question is too critical, too important, too tenured, or too something!
    • 2010, , Bliss, Remembered: A Novel, ISBN 9781590205341, (Google preview): Now, I'm no Alibi Ike, Teddy, but I think that was my downfall.
    • 2014 June 6, HarryRPitts, comment on "Benghazi, Bowe Bergdahl, and manufactured brouhaha" by Andrew Bacevich, Boston Globe (retrieved 10 July 2014): There's no foulup so lame that keepers of the flame like Andrew Bacevich, the modern Alibi Ike, can't excuse, spin and downplay.
Synonyms: apologist
Alice etymology From Old French Alice, from Old High German Adalheidis, from adal + heit. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈæl.ɪs/
  • {{audio}}
proper noun: {{slim-wikipedia}} {{slim-wikipedia}} {{slim-wikipedia}} {{slim-wikipedia}} {{slim-wikipedia}} {{en-proper noun}}
  1. A given name popular in England since the Middle Ages.
    • 1380s-1390s, Geoffrey Chaucer, : That Iankin clerk, and my gossib dame Alis, / And I my-self, in-to the feldes wente.
    • 1871 , : "My name is Alice, but - " "It's a stupid name enough!" Humpty Dumpty interrupted impatiently. "What does it mean?" "Must a name mean something?" Alice asked doubtfully. "Of course it must," Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh, "my name means the shape I am - and a good handsome shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost."
    • 1968 Kurt Vonnegut, Welcome to the Monkey House, Delacorte Press, page xiv: She was heavenly to look at, and graceful, both in and out of water. She was a sculptress. She was christened 'Alice', but she used to deny that she was really an Alice. I agreed. Everybody agreed. Sometime in a dream maybe I will find out what her real name was.
  2. (cryptography, physics) a placeholder name for the person or system that sends a message to another person or system conventionally known as Bob.
  3. (AU, slang, often with "the") Alice Springs, Australia.
    • 2002, Sylvia Lawson, Budgerigars, and Positions of Ignorance, in How Simone de Beauvoir died in Australia: stories and essays, page 17, At that point in my second visit to the Alice, I'd been there only a day.… they're doing Australia in two weeks, with a few days each for Sydney, the Alice and the Rock, Kakadu and Cairns.
    • 2003, Janet Judy McIntyre-Mills, quoting Olive Veverbrants, Critical systemic praxis for social and environmental justice (page 27), In 1892 my Chinese grandfather lived in Alice.
    • 2004, Larry Habegger, Travelers' Tales Australia: True Stories (page 7), "Don't waste yer time in The Alice, get out and see the country — that's what yer 'ere for."
  4. A city in North Dakota.
  5. A city in Texas.
Synonyms: Party A (placeholder), Alice Springs (city)
related terms:
  • given names: Adelaide, Alicia, Alison, Allison, Alyssa, Heidi
  • Celia
  • ileac
  • ecila
  • lacie
alien {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: alyaunte (15th-16th centuries) etymology Old French alien, aliene, from Latin aliēnus, from alius, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂élyos 〈*h₂élyos〉. pronunciation
  • /ˈeɪ.li.ən/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A person, animal, plant, or other thing which is from outside the family, group, organization, or territory under consideration.
  2. A foreigner residing in a country.
    • 1773, William Blackstone, Commentaries on the laws of England: in four books, Volume 1 (Fifth Edition), page 372 An alien born may purchase lands, or other estates: but not for his own use; for the king is thereupon entitled to them.
    • 1831, John Marshall, Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, U.S. Government The counsel have shown conclusively that they are not a state of the union, and have insisted that individually they are aliens, not owing allegiance to the United States.
    • 2004, Wesley Campbell, Stephen Court, Be a hero: the battle for mercy and social justice, Destiny Image Publishers, page 74 Aliens are aliens because of persecution or war or hardship or famine.
  3. Any life form of extraterrestrial origin.
  4. One excluded from certain privileges; one alienated or estranged.
    • Bible, Ephes. ii. 12 Aliens from the common wealth of Israel.
Synonyms: fremd, See also
related terms:
  • alienage
  • space alien
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Pertaining to an alien.
  2. Not belonging to the same country, land, or government, or to the citizens or subjects thereof; foreign. alien subjects, enemies, property, or shores
  3. Very unfamiliar, strange, or removed. principles alien to our religion
    • Wordsworth An alien sound of melancholy.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To estrange; to alienate.
  2. (legal) To transfer the ownership of something.
Alternative forms: aliene
  • aline, Aline, A-line, anile, laine, linea
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of aligner
  • engrails, inlarges, lasering, realigns, resignal, sanglier, seal ring, signaler, slangier
alimony {{wikipedia}} etymology Known since 1655, from Latin alimonia (English aliment, as in alimentary), itself from alere + -monia. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (legal) A court-enforce allowance made to a former spouse by a divorce or legally separated person.
  2. The means to support life.
related terms:
  • aliment
  • alimentary
aliquot etymology From French aliquote, from Latin aliquot. pronunciation
  • /ˈælɪkwɒt/
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Contained in the whole an integral number of times;
    • 1794, George Adams (Jr), Lectures on Natural and Experimental Philosophy, Considered in its Present State of Improvement. Describing, in a Familiar and Easy Manner, The Principal Phenomena of Nature, and Shewing, That They All Co-operate in Displaying the Goodness, Wisdom, and Power of God, If, therefore, every aliquot diviſion produced a ſenſible effect by it's{{sic}} vibration, we ſhould hear in every muſical ſtring an infinite variety of chords, diſſonant and conſonant, in ſharp and flat keys at the ſame time.
    • 1853, Joseph Whitworth, New York Industrial Exhibition: Official Report, page 166, “The United States standard yard … has a thin strip of silver, {{frac}} inch broad, let into it through its entire length. It is divided into small divisions, each being an aliquot part of an inch.”
    • :, 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses, modernist novel, “''…the meal should be divided in aliquot parts among the members of the sick and indigent roomkeeper’s association as a token of his regard and esteem.''”
  • aliquant
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (chemistry, biotechnology) a portion of a total amount of a solution or suspension.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (slang, chemistry, biotechnology, transitive) to separate a volume of solution or suspension into aliquots.
The verb form of aliquot is very commonly used in informal scientific jargon, but has not been fully accepted in formal usage.
a little
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. To a small extent or degree. exampleThe door was opened a little.
    • {{RQ:RJfrs AmtrPqr}} Orion hit a rabbit once; but though sore wounded it got to the bury, and, struggling in, the arrow caught the side of the hole and was drawn out. Indeed, a nail filed sharp is not of much avail as an arrowhead; you must have it barbed, and that was a little beyond our skill.
    • {{RQ:Vance Nobody}} Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
Synonyms: a bit, a little bit, skosh
  • a lot
determiner: {{en-det}}
  1. a small amount A little water has spilled.
a little from column A, a little from column B etymology Typical (stereotypical) "American Chinese" restaurant menus of the mid-twentieth century presented food selections for combination entrees in a table with columns labeled "A" and "B". The customer was then advised, for example, to "Choose one from Column A and one from Column B."
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic, informal) A combination of two factor or reason.
    • 1999, George Stephanopoulos, All Too Human: A Political Education Clinton would take a little from column A, a little from column B, depending on the day, his mood, and whom he had talked to last.
    • 2005, Lou Harry, Eric Pfeffinger, The High-Impact Infidelity Diet Which is how I thought I knew it was going to be either really boring, or about my family, or a little from column A, a little from column B.
Synonyms: a little from column A and a little from column B, one from column A, one from column B
alive etymology From Old English on live, on līfe; līfe, dative of līf pronunciation
  • (US) /əˈlaɪv/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Having life, in opposition to dead; living; being in a state in which the organs perform their functions; as, an animal or a plant which is alive.
  2. In a state of action; in force or operation; unextinguished; unexpired; existent to keep the fire alive; to keep the affections alive.
  3. Exhibiting the activity and motion of many living beings; swarming; thronged. The Boyne, for a quarter of a mile, was alive with muskets and green boughs. -- .
  4. Sprightly; lively; brisk.
  5. Having susceptibility; easily impressed; having lively feeling, as opposed to apathy; sensitive. Tremblingly alive to nature's laws. -- .
  6. As intensifier, of all living. Northumberland was the proudest man alive. --.
  • As intensifier, used colloquially "man alive!", "sakes alive!".
  • Alive always follows the noun which it qualifies.
  • dead
  • avile
alkie pronunciation
  • /ˈælki/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) An alcoholic.
    • 1966, Edward Albee, A Delicate Balance You want to know what it's like to be an alkie, don't you, boy?
    • 1994, Faye Morgan, Riding the Gold Curve Also, she fed patients who were unable to feed themselves and, occasionally, dealt with an alkie who treated a patient badly.
  • alike, Kalie
all {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /ɔːl/
  • (US) /ɔl/
  • (cot-caught) [ɑɫ]
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
etymology From Middle English, from Old English eall, from Proto-Germanic *allaz, from Proto-Indo-European *al-. Cognate with Western Frisian al, Dutch al, German all, Swedish all, Icelandic allur, Welsh oll, Irish uile, Lithuanian aliái, Albanian lloj.
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (degree) intensifier. You’ve got it all wrong. She was all, “Whatever.”
  2. Apiece; each. The score was 30 all when the rain delay started.
    • 1878, Gerard Manley Hopkins, His locks like all a ravel-rope’s-end, With hempen strands in spray
  3. (degree) So much. Don't want to go? All the better since I lost the tickets.
  4. (dialect, Pennsylvania) All gone; dead. The butter is all.
  5. (obsolete, poetic) even; just
    • Spenser All as his straying flock he fed.
    • Gay A damsel lay deploring / All on a rock reclined.
Synonyms: completely
determiner: {{en-det}}
  1. Every individual or anything of the given class, with no exceptions (the noun or noun phrase denoting the class must be plural or uncountable). exampleAll contestants must register at the scorer’s table.  All flesh is originally grass.  All my friends like classical music. All contestants must register at the scorer’s table.  All flesh is originally grass.  All my friends like classical music.〉
    • {{RQ:WBsnt IvryGt}} In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass. In this way all respectable burgesses, down to fifty years ago, spent their evenings.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, 1 , [ Mr. Pratt's Patients], 1 , “Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path{{nb...}}. It twisted and turned,…and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn. And, back of the lawn, was a big, old-fashioned house, with piazzas stretching in front of it, and all blazing with lights.”
  2. Throughout the whole of (a stated period of time; generally used with units of a day or longer). exampleThe store is open all day and all night. (= through the whole of the day and the whole of the night.) exampleI’ve been working on this all year. 〈I’ve been working on this all year.〉 (= from the beginning of the year until now.)
  3. Everyone. exampleA good time was had by all.
  4. Everything. examplesome gave all they had;  she knows all and sees all;  Those who think they know it all are annoying to those of us who do.
    • 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.”
  5. (obsolete) Any.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616) without all remedy
  6. Only; alone; nothing but. exampleHe's all talk; he never puts his ideas into practice.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616) I was born to speak all mirth and no matter.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (with a possessive pronoun) Everything possible. She gave her all, and collapsed at the finish line.
  2. (countable) The totality of one's possessions.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, pp. 37-8: she therefore ordered Jenny to pack up her alls and begone, for that she was determined she should not sleep that night within her walls.
related terms: {{rel-top}}
  • albeit
  • almighty
  • almost
  • already
  • alright
  • also
  • although
  • altogether
  • always
conjunction: {{en-con}}
  1. (obsolete) although
    • {{rfdate}} Spenser All they were wondrous loth.
  • {{rank}}
all's pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
contraction: {{head}}
  1. contraction of all is Everything will be fine when all's said and done.
  2. (now, colloquial) contraction of all as all that, all of what. All's I know is that there are still many expressions missing.
all correct
phrase: {{en-phrase}}
  1. (colloquial, obsolete) true; agreed, yes indeed
  2. (colloquial, obsolete) in order; properly arranged; as expected; above reproach; shipshape in particular:
    1. (of accounts, amounts, or calculations) accurate, tallied correctly
    2. (of documents, especially legal documents) accurate and appropriate
  • {{seeCites}}
allergy {{wikipedia}} etymology From German Allergie. Coined by Austrian pediatrician in 1906 from Ancient Greek ἄλλος 〈állos〉 + ἔργον 〈érgon〉, on the model of Energie. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈælərdʒi/
    • (UK) [ˈæl.ə.dʒi]
    • (US) [ˈæl.ɚ.dʒi]
  • {{hyphenation}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pathology, immunology) A disorder of the immune system causing adverse reactions to substances (allergen) not harmful to most and marked by the body's production of histamine and associated with atopy, anaphylaxis, and asthma.
  2. (pathology) Any condition of hypersensitivity to a substance.
  3. Altered susceptibility to a first treatment as exhibited in reaction to a subsequent one.
  4. (informal) An antipathy, as toward a person or activity. He has an allergy to reality TV.
Synonyms: (disorder of the immune system) type 1 hypersensitivity, (hypersensitivity) intolerance
  • (disorder of the immune system) hypersensitivity
  • gallery, largely, regally
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Extreme or intense in degree (used to express mild disapproval or reproof) If you were not in such an all-fire hurry to get out of there, you would not have forgotten your purse.
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (informal) To an intense degree (used to express mild disapproval or reproof) If she's so all-fire lonely, why doesn't she ever leave her dorm room and actually meet people?
all-fired etymology Probably a euphemistic form of hell-fired.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (chiefly, US, informal) Extreme, excessive.
    • 1851, , Moby Dick, ch. 16: It's an all-fired outrage to tell any human creature that he's bound to hell.
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (chiefly, US, intensifier, informal) Extremely, inordinately, very.
    • 1909, , Anne of Avonlea, ch. 14: Of course, I was only stringing Jerry . . . he thinks he's so all-fired cute and smart.
Synonyms: all-firedly
all fur coat and no knickers
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (idiomatic, derogatory) Having a superficially positive appearance that is belied by the reality, e.g., superficially elegant and beautiful but actually common.
    • 1999, David Brock, Michael J. Powell and Christopher Robin Hinings, Restructuring the professional organization: Accounting, Health Care and Law‎, A nurse spoke for a number of her colleagues when she said that she felt that these developments were a waste of time and 'all fur coat and no knickers' (personal interview, 1994).
    • 2003, Cliff Moughtin, Urban Design: Street and Square‎, From this viewpoint some forms of Post-Modernism mean new façades for old concepts, dressing the skyscraper, or the vast supermarket in the garb of the tart - 'all fur coat and no knickers'.
    • 2005, Michael Robotham, Suspect‎, "What about the wife?" "Bridget. She was all fur coat and no knickers. A real social climber." "But you liked her?" "Yes."
Synonyms: all fur and no knickers
alliance {{rfc}} {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: alliaunce etymology From Old French aliance (French: alliance). pronunciation
  • (US) /əˈlaɪ.əns/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncountable) The state of being allied. matrimonial alliances; an alliance between church and state, or between two countries
  2. (countable) The act of allying or uniting.
  3. (countable) A union or connection of interests between families, states, parties, etc., especially between families by marriage and states by compact, treaty, or league.
  4. (countable) Any union resembling that of families or states; union by relationship in qualities; affinity.
    • C. J. Smith the alliance of the principles of the world with those of the gospel
    • Mansel the alliance … between logic and metaphysics
  5. (with the definite article) The persons or parties allied. {{rfquotek}}
Synonyms: (union by relationship in qualities) connection, affinity, union, (act of allying) union, (persons or parties allied) coalition, league, confederation, team (informal)
related terms:
  • ally
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (obsolete) To connect or unite by alliance; to ally.
  • ancillae
  • canaille
alligator {{wikipedia}}
etymology 1 From early Modern English alligater, alligarta, aligarto, alegarto, alagarto, from Spanish el lagarto ("the lizard"), from Latin lacertus, modern spelling possibly influenced by the unrelated Latin alligator pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈælɪɡeɪtə/
  • (US) {{enPR}}, /ˈælɪɡeɪtɚ/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Either of two species of large amphibious reptile, {{taxlink}} or {{taxlink}}, in the genus Alligator within order Crocodilia, which have sharp teeth and very strong jaws and are native to the Americas and China. All you could see of the alligator were its two eyes above the water, and suddenly it snatched up and caught the poor bird with its strong jaws full of sharp teeth.
    • 2002, Maurice Burton, Robert Burton, International Wildlife Encyclopedia, page 38, Alligators and crocodiles look extremely alike. The main distinguishing feature is the teeth. In a crocodile the teeth in its upper and lower jaws are in line, but in an alligator, when its mouth is shut, the upper teeth lie outside the lower ones.
    • 2007, Bernie McGovern (editor), Florida Almanac: 2007-2008, 17th Edition, page 243, In 1967, the federal government declared alligators to be an Endangered Species and prohibited gator hunting and the sale of hides. The alligator responded and by the mid-1970s, the reptile numbers soared to an estimated half-million.
    • 2012, Thomas N. Tozer, Pierre's Journey to Florida: Diary of a Young Huguenot in the Sixteenth Century, unnumbered page, They ran to the village screaming at the top of their lungs that an alligator was coming after them. Several of the men in Alimacani retrieved from a storehouse the tool they used to catch alligators.
  2. Any of various machine with strong jaw, one of which opens like the movable jaw of an alligator.
    1. (metalworking) A form of squeezer for the puddle ball.
    2. (mining) A rock breaker.
    3. (printing) A kind of job press.
  3. Any of various vehicles that have relatively long, low noses in front of a cab or other, usually windowed, structure.
Synonyms: (reptile within Crocodilia) gator (informal)
coordinate terms:
  • (reptile within Crocodilia) caiman, cayman; croc, crocodile; gavial, gharial
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (of paint or other coatings) To crack in a pattern resembling an alligator's skin.
    • 2003, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Essentials of Home Inspection: Roofing, page 24, Alligatoring is a result of the sun making the top surface of the asphalt brittle.
    • 2004, James E. Piper, Handbook of Facility Assessment, page 39, Sealing an area that is alligatoring is a temporary solution that may delay having to replace the asphalt for several years. A more permanent repair would be to replace the alligatored section.
    • 2009, Kären M. Hess, Christine M. H. Orthmann, Criminal Investigation, page 483, Common burn indicators include alligatoring, crazing, the depth of char, lines of demarcation, sagged furniture springs and spalling.
etymology 2 Borrowing from Latin alligātor.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (obsolete) One who binds or ties.
all kinds of
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (informal) Extremely.
    • 2008, Sean Chercover, Trigger City, ISBN 9780061128707, chapter 1 : After shooting Joan to death, he'd gone home and killed himself, leaving behind a wife and young daughter. And a written confession that sounded all kinds of crazy.
all-nighter etymology all-night + -er.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Something that lasts throughout the whole night. That party was an all-nighter.
  2. (UK, crime, slang) A session with a prostitute covering the entire night.
  3. (UK, crime, slang) A client of a prostitute who has paid for the entire night.
  4. (US, crime, slang) A criminal or other person kept in jail over night.
Synonyms: (prostitute's client) see
all of a sudden
  • /ɔləvəˈsʌdən/
Alternative forms: all of the sudden, all on a sudden (Scottish), of a sudden
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (set phrase, colloquial) Suddenly, quickly. All of a sudden I felt very hot and tired.
allotmenteer pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, informal) a person who grows crops in an allotment
related terms:
  • allotmenteering
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, informal) the growing of crops in an allotment
related terms:
  • allotmenteer
all-overish etymology From all over + ish.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (colloquial, dated) Vaguely uncomfortable; having a general feeling of illness.
    • 1982, Lawrence Durrell, Constance, Faber & Faber 2004 (Avignon Quintet), p. 694: The drink was beginning to tell on them; she felt quite unsteady and all-overish.
alloy wheel
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (automotive) a wheel rim made from an aluminium alloy
  2. (slang) mag wheel
all right Alternative forms: alright pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˌɔːlˈraɪt/
  • {{audio}},{{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Good; in acceptable, if not excellent condition. exampleThe car is all right. It gets me there, anyway.
  2. In good health, unharmed. exampleI had a headache earlier, but now I'm all right.
The comparative form "more all right" is used, but rarely. An example would be where another speaker had used the phrase "all right" and repeating it and extending it enhanced the continuity of the conversation. I didn't feel all right earlier today, so I took a power-nap. Now I feel even more all right than I normally do.
adverb: all right
  1. fairly well That went all right, I suppose.
  2. (informal) Most certainly; for sure. You taught them a lesson all right! They won't be back.
interjection: all right!
  1. Used to affirm, indicate agreement, or consent. All right, let's go then.
  2. Used to indicate support, favor or encouragement. All right! They scored!
  3. Used to fill space or pauses. All right, so what you suggest we do next?
  4. Used as a general lead-in or beginning. All right, let's get started.
  5. Used to express exasperation or frustration, often with already. All right, already! Let me finish what I was doing first, and then we can talk.
  6. (UK, informal) Term of greeting, equivalent to how are you or hello. All right, mate, how are things with you and the missus?
  • All right can also be used in the literal sense of "everything correct": He answered the questions quickly, and he got them all right.
  • The inflection and emphasis may vary depending upon what meaning is intended (compare the two US audio pronunciations).
  • The spelling alright (by analogy with "already", "altogether", etc) is nonstandard but in widespread use (as of 29 May 2012, having 209,000,000 hits on Google in comparison to 320,000,000 for "all right", although some of the hits for "all right" will be in the sense of "all correct" described in the note above).
all Sir Garnet etymology From , a popular and successful general in the British Army during the second half of the 19th century.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (UK, slang, dated) in order; perfect.
    • 1905, Longman's Magazine, Volume 46, page 152 "Righto ; that's all Sir Garnet. I like to see you civvies act up to your name."
    • 1907, The Lone Hand, Volume 2, page 554 Yes, Harry was all Sir Garnet on handles : butt-end loaded with lead, inlaid in all sorts of fancy-work — hearts, shamrocks, monograms and that sort of thing.
    • 1913, Sir Compton Mackenzie, Youth's Encounter, Bell & Cockburn "That's all Sir Garnet, and don't you make no mistake. Don't you — make no mistake." Here Mrs. Frith gave a very loud hiccup and waved her arms and did not even say "beg pardon" for the offensive noise.
Synonyms: A-okay, shipshape and Bristol fashion
all systems go
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (aerospace, slang) "Everything is ready"; originally used in the aerospace industry to indicate preparedness to launch.
all that
noun: {{head}}
  1. That, and everything similar; all of that kind of thing; and so on, et cetera. {{defdate}}
    • Alexander Pope Snuff, or fan, supply each pause of chat, / With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that.
    • 1809, Lord Byron, letter (to Henry Drury), 25 Jun 1809: He has been all among the worshippers of Fire in Persia and has seen Persepolis and all that.
adjective: {{head}}
  1. (US, slang) Of especially good quality; particularly excellent. {{defdate}}
adverb: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic) Very. We do not have all that much time to finish.
all that and a bag of chips
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang) very special She's all that and a bag of chips!
Synonyms: great, awesome, wonderful
all the more
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. even more; notably, but even more notably due to additional information, either preceding or following the statement. exampleLytle’s progress as a boxer is all the more remarkable when taking into account his unique circumstances. 〈Lytle’s progress as a boxer is all the more remarkable when taking into account his unique circumstances.〉
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde London was startled by a crime of singular ferocity and rendered all the more notable by the high position of the victim.
Synonyms: all the more so
related terms:
  • nonetheless
  • all the less
"All the more" can also be used to highlight contrast from the given or assumed, as in "You might think that my boss' rudeness to me would make me respect her/him more; actually, it just makes me hate her/him all the more.
all there
adjective: all there
  1. (colloquial) mentally competent; not absentminded Is he all there? I don't think he's all there... I think he's not all there...
In the negative, "not all there", it means "mentally incompetent; of low intelligence; absentminded".
all thumbs etymology From the proverb "When he should get aught, each finger is a thumb." from John Heywood's Collection of 1546.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (idiomatic) Clumsy; awkward; not dextrous. I am all thumbs when it comes to shuffling cards.
related terms:
  • thumb
  • mostly thumbs
all y'all {{wikipedia}} etymology Contraction of all of you all. Follows from y'all.
pronoun: {{en-pron}}
  1. (idiomatic, chiefly, US, regional, dialect, US South, colloquial) Plural form of you.
    • {{quote-book }}
  • All y'all is used in the Southern United States when a speaker wishes to include everyone being addressed. Y'all may refer to an indefinite set of members of a group, but all y'all definitively includes everyone in the group.
Synonyms: see the list of other second-person pronouns in you
related terms:
  • all y'all's (possessive)
all y'all's
pronoun: {{en-pron}}
  1. (idiomatic, chiefly, Southern US, colloquial) Possessive of all y'all (standing in for all your).
    • {{quote-book }}
    • {{quote-book }}
Ally Pally etymology Diminutive with -y.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (UK, informal) Alexandra Palace
almighty etymology From Middle English, from Old English ealmihtig, ælmihtig, equivalent to al + mighty. pronunciation
  • /ɔːlˈmaɪti/
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Unlimited in might; omnipotent; all-powerful; irresistible. I am the Almighty God. --Gen. xvii. 1.
  2. (slang) Great; extreme; terrible.
    • {{quote-news}}
  3. Having very great power, influence, etc. The almighty press condemned him without trial
  • 2007, Richard Laymon, Savage, page 203: I stepped into the clear, rushing water. It was almighty cold!
Synonyms: omnipotent, all-powerful
related terms:
  • might
  • mighty
almost {{slim-wikipedia}} Alternative forms: aulmos (Jamaican English) etymology From Middle English, from Old English eallmǣst, equivalent to al + most. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ɔːl.ˈməʊst/, /ˈɔːl.məʊst/
  • (US) /ˈɔl.moʊst/, /ˈɑl.moʊst/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{hyphenation}}
  • {{rhymes}}
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. Very close to, but not quite. Almost all people went there. - Not all but very close to it. We almost missed the train. - Not missed but very close to it.
Synonyms: (very close to, but not quite) nearly, nigh, well-nigh, near, close to, next to, practically, virtually
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Something or someone that doesn't quite make it. In all the submissions, they found four papers that were clearly worth publishing and another dozen almosts.
  • {{rank}}
  • stomal
along about
adverb: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, informal) Approximately; at around some time. If you ask for it back Sunday he might return it along about Wednesday.
a lot Alternative forms: alot (nonstandard or misspelling) pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{homophones}}
noun: {{head}}
  1. A large amount.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
    exampleI have a lot of things to say.
  2. Many things, much. exampleA lot depends on whether your parents agree.
adverb: {{rft}} {{en-adv}}
  1. (idiomatic) very much; a great deal; to a large extent. Thanks a lot for listening to me. It's a lot harder than it looks.
  2. (idiomatic) often; frequently I go swimming a lot.
Synonyms: loads, tons
related terms:
  • alot
  • lots
  • alto, ATOL, lota, tola
alpha {{letter_disp2}} etymology From the Ancient Greek ἄλφα 〈álpha〉, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, from the Phoenician aleph. pronunciation
  • /ˈæɫfə/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The name of the first letter of the Greek alphabet (Α,  α), followed by beta. In the Latin alphabet it is the predecessor to A.
  2. Latin alpha
  3. (science) The name of the symbols Α and α used in science and mathematics, often interchangeable with the symbols when used as a prefix. I will attempt to make an alpha particle ("α-particle") with the large hadron collider.
  4. (finance) The return of a given asset or portfolio adjusted for systematic risk.
  5. An alpha male.
    • 2008, Faye Flam, The Score: How the Quest for Sex Has Shaped the Modern Man, Avery (2008), ISBN 9781436225786, unnumbered page: Being a beta male in a species with alphas doesn't mean you have to sit out the mating game.
    • 2008, The New Black Lace Book of Women's Sexual Fantasies (ed. Mitzi Szereto), Black Lace (2008), ISBN 9780352341723, page 38: I'm still turned on by alpha males. I think there are only a couple of other men that turn me on . . . ones that are clearly not alphas.
    • 2009, Martin G. Groder & Pat Webster, Winning at Love: The Alpha Male's Guide to Relationship Success, Bascom Hill Books (2009), ISBN 9781935456049, page ix: This book is primarily for alpha males, or “top dogs.” We'll talk more about that later; but let's just say that if you are a man and successful in the world of trade, business, or profession, most likely you are an alpha, or you have been trained to act like an alpha.
  6. (informal, abbreviation) Alphabet.
  7. (computer graphics) The level of translucency of a color, as determined by the alpha channel.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Designates the first in an order of precedence. I am the alpha male.
  2. (person, object or action) associated with the alpha male/female archetype.
  3. (star) Designates the brightest star in a constellation. When space travel becomes feasible, I plan to visit Alpha Centauri.
related terms:
  • alphabet
  • alphabet soup
  • alphabetical
  • alphabetical order
  • alphanumeric

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