The Alternative English Dictionary

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


verb: {{head}}
  1. present participle of chuff
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (British, slang) Used as a mild intensifier, especially as a substitute for fucking.
chuffing hell
interjection: {{en-interj}} {{tcx}}
  1. An expression of dismay, disgust, anger, surprise etc. Chuffin' hell! What were that?!
  2. placed before a verb to add emphasis to a sentence. What the chuffin' hell are yer doin' 'ere?
Synonyms: fucking hell, bloody hell, gorblimey, blimey, crikey, oh my God, bollocks Less vulgar than fucking hell, or even bloody hell.
chug pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /tʃʌɡ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 Onomatopoeia
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A dull, fairly quick explosive or percussive sound, as if made by a labouring engine.
  2. A large gulp of drink. He drank his beer in three chugs.
  3. A homemade Cuban boat, built to carry emigrants to the USA, and often abandoned upon arrival.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To make dull explosive sounds.
  2. (intransitive) To move or travel whilst making such sounds. We were chugging along a back road when the engine cut out.
  3. (transitive, slang) to drink a large amount (especially of beer) in a single action; to chugalug. I can't believe he chugged three beers.
Synonyms: (drink) See also
etymology 2 blend of chihuahua and pug
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A dog; a cross between a pug and a chihuahua.
etymology 3 blend of charity and mug
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive, UK slang, derogatory) To solicit charitable donations on the street, particularly in a persistent manner. I got chugged in the town centre today.
etymology 4 {{rfe}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative, racial slur) A person of Native American descent.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive, intransitive) To swallow (a container of beer etc.) without pausing.
Synonyms: (drink) See also
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. In continuous gulp
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A glugging sound, especially one made by a person drinking in large gulp
chugger etymology {{blend}}. pronunciation
  • (UK) /tʃʌɡə(ɹ)/ {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, derogatory) A street fundraiser, especially a private contractor, working on behalf of a charity, who is aggressive or invasive.
chum pronunciation
  • (RP) /tʃʌm/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 1675–85; of uncertain origin, possibly from cham, shortening of chambermate, or from comrade.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A friend; a pal. I ran into an old chum from school the other day.
  2. (dated) A roommate, especially in a college or university.
    • 1856 in The Knickerbocker: Or, New-York Monthly Magazine Field had a 'chum,' or room-mate, whose visage was suggestive to the 'Sophs;' it invited experiment; it held out opportunity for their peculiar deviltry.
Synonyms: See also
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To share rooms with; to live together.
    • 1899 Clyde Bowman Furst, A Group of Old Authors Henry Wotton and John Donne began to be friends when, as boys, they chummed together at Oxford, where Donne had gone at the age of twelve years.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln , [ Mr. Pratt's Patients], 1 , “A chap named Eleazir Kendrick and I had chummed in together the summer afore and built a fish-weir and shanty at Setuckit Point, down Orham way. For a spell we done pretty well.”
  2. To make friends with; to socialize.
    • 1902 Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness "I was not surprised to see somebody sitting aft, on the deck, with his legs dangling over the mud. You see I rather chummed with the few mechanics there were in that station, whom the other pilgrims naturally despised -- on account of their imperfect manners, I suppose. This was the foreman -- a boiler-maker by trade -- a good worker...
    • 1902 Ernest William Hornung, The Amateur Cracksman "You'll make yourself disliked on board!" "By von Heumann merely." "But is that wise when he's the man we've got to diddle?" "The wisest thing I ever did. To have chummed up with him would have been fatal -- the common dodge."
  3. (Scotland, informal) To accompany. exampleI'll chum you down to the shops.
etymology 2 Perhaps from pim.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (fishing) A mixture of (frequently rancid) fish parts and blood, dumped into the water to attract predator fish, such as sharks.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (fishing) To cast chum into the water to attract fish.
    • 1996 Frank Sargeant, The Reef Fishing Book: A Complete Anglers Guide Small live baitfish are effective, and they will take bits of fresh cut fish when chummed strongly.
  • much
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (nautical, slang) a bucket filled with fishing bait at sea
chump {{rfc}} pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology Compare Icelandic kumbr a chopping, English chop.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial, pejorative) An incompetent person, a blockhead; a loser. That chump wouldn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.
  2. A gullible person; a sucker; someone easily taken advantage of; someone lacking common sense. It shouldn't be hard to put one over on that chump.
    • {{quote-news }}
  3. The thick end, especially of a piece of wood or of a joint of meat.
    • Dickens Shaped as if they had been unskilfully cut off the chump-end of something.
Synonyms: (an unintelligent person) blockhead, idiot, dope, dolt, dunce, dummy, (a gullible person) gull, sucker, dupe, sap, dummy; pushover, patsy, stooge; mark, pigeon, sucker; fool, dummy, See also
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (US, idiomatic, slang) Of or pertaining to something of little monetary value. We don't have much money, but we can at least pay some of these chump-change bills.
    • 2002, Barbara Quint, "The Digital Library of the Future." Information Today, vol 19 iss 7, July/Aug 2002. Retrieved 19 May 2007. For a chump-change price of $2,000, any library could gain both the tools to create its own 24/7 digital reference service and access to a Global Reference Network of colleagues.
    • 2004, Leigh Thompson and Geoffrey J. Leonardelli, "Why negotiation is the most popular business school course," Ivey Business Journal, Jul/Aug 2004, p. 3. These key principles apply nicely to nearly any negotiation, whether it is an international high-finance deal or a chump-change haggle.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. See chump change.
chumpion etymology {{blend}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial, neologism, slang) a gullible champion
chumpy etymology chump + y pronunciation
  • (RP) {{enPR}}, /ˈtʃʌmpi/
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Short and fat, particularly in comparison with something of more favourable dimension.
    • Practical Compass Adjustment, William James Smith, “The Navigating compass should stand about five feet above the deck, …. This is a convenient height for the officer of the deck, unless perchance he may be chumpy, in which case he may be permitted to use a step.”
    • James Watson, “A chumpy neck is especially bad; for while a little dog may get along on a foot scent with a short neck, a comparatively large and unwieldy dog tires himself terribly by the necessity for crouching in his fast pace.”
    • Michael James, That'll Teach You!, “Susan Bennett sat rigid, smoothing her skirt round her chumpy thighs and fixing her gaze on the wall above Marissa Caldwell.”
  2. (slang, of a person) Blockheaded; dim-witted.
  3. (slang, mildly insulting) Like a chump; annoying.
Synonyms: (short and fat) dumpy, dubby
chum up
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (idiomatic, informal) To be friendly toward (with) someone, especially in an ingratiating way. I chummed up with a few of my new work colleagues.
chunder pronunciation
  • (Australia) /ˈtʃandə/
  • (New Zealand) /ˈtʃɐndə/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 Recorded from 1950. Probably from the cartoon character Chunder Loo of Akim Foo, drawn by for a series of boot-polish advertisements in the early 1900s. Some sources hold that Chunder Loo was rhyming slang for spew, but the usage is not recorded.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Australia, New Zealand, slang) Vomit.
    • {{quote-newsgroup }}
  2. (Australia, New Zealand, slang) An act of vomiting.
    • {{quote-newsgroup }}
Synonyms: See
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (Australia, New Zealand, slang) To vomit.
    • 2008, Isabelle Young, Tony Gherardin, Central and South America, , [http//|%22chundering%22|%22chundered%22+-intitle:%22chunder|chunders%22+-inauthor:%22chunder%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-TUmT8fSIoueiAfQ56m7AQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22chunders%22|%22chundering%22|%22chundered%22%20-intitle%3A%22chunder|chunders%22%20-inauthor%3A%22chunder%22&f=false page 70], There are plenty of winding roads, diesel fumes, crowded public transport and various less than sweet odours to get you chundering when you′re on the move in this part of the world, so take a good supply of motion sickness remedies if you know you′re susceptible to this.
    • 2009, William Efford, Picaroon, [http//|%22chundering%22|%22chundered%22+-intitle:%22chunder|chunders%22+-inauthor:%22chunder%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=j1EmT_VRroKZBfrorK4M&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22chunders%22|%22chundering%22|%22chundered%22%20-intitle%3A%22chunder|chunders%22%20-inauthor%3A%22chunder%22&f=false page 313], “You might have chundered,” said Kate, laughing, “but at least you didn′t get any on yourself—sign of a true lady.”
    • 2010, Norman Jorgensen, Jack′s Island, [http//|%22chundering%22|%22chundered%22+-intitle:%22chunder|chunders%22+-inauthor:%22chunder%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0kQmT8mzE-HemAWXqqyuDA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22chunders%22|%22chundering%22|%22chundered%22%20-intitle%3A%22chunder|chunders%22%20-inauthor%3A%22chunder%22&f=false page 3], Pretty soon just about everyone onboard was leaning over the rail chundering like sick dogs.
Synonyms: See
etymology 2 Perhaps by confusion with chunter
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (of a vehicle) To rumble loudly, to roar.
    • 2005, Robert Newman, The Fountain at the Centre of the World, [http//|%22chundering%22|%22chundered%22+-intitle:%22chunder|chunders%22+-inauthor:%22chunder%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-TUmT8fSIoueiAfQ56m7AQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22chunders%22|%22chundering%22|%22chundered%22%20-intitle%3A%22chunder|chunders%22%20-inauthor%3A%22chunder%22&f=false page 114], The truck chundered and rattled.
    • 2007, George Melnyk, Great Canadian Film Directors, [http//|%22chundering%22|%22chundered%22+-intitle:%22chunder|chunders%22+-inauthor:%22chunder%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=j1EmT_VRroKZBfrorK4M&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22chunders%22|%22chundering%22|%22chundered%22%20-intitle%3A%22chunder|chunders%22%20-inauthor%3A%22chunder%22&f=false page 215], As their rented van chunders along the highway, John′s voiceover is heard, contemplating the compulsion that drives men to continue using juvenile punk monikers into their mid-thirties.
    • 2008, Jill Dickin Schinas, A Family Outing in the Atlantic, [http//|%22chundering%22|%22chundered%22+-intitle:%22chunder|chunders%22+-inauthor:%22chunder%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7GgmT7XWEozFmQXIjbGuDA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22chunders%22|%22chundering%22|%22chundered%22%20-intitle%3A%22chunder|chunders%22%20-inauthor%3A%22chunder%22&f=false page 156], He taxied his plane carefully to the end of the strip and then went further on, into the rough grass. Then, with full flap and maximum throttle, he came chundering along towards us.
  • churned
chunk {{wikipedia}} etymology Variant of chuck. pronunciation
  • /t͡ʃʌŋk/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A part of something that has been separate. The statue broke into chunks.
    • “Daylight, between mouthfuls, fed chunks of ice into the tin pot, where it thawed into water. ... Daylight cut up generous chunks of bacon and dropped them in the pot of bubbling beans.”, Jack London, Burning Daylight, 1910
  2. A representative of a substance at large, often large and irregular. A chunk of granite.
  3. (computing) A discrete segment of a file, stream, etc. (especially one that represents audiovisual media); a block.
    • 1994, Paul J Perry, Multimedia developer's guide The first DWORD of a chunk data in the RIFF chunk is a four character code value identifying the form type of the file.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To break into large pieces or chunks.
    • 2005, Yong Zhao, Research in Technology and Second Language Education These results offer tentative evidence that suggests that certain components of computer-mediated instruction (in this case, access to and control over syntactically chunked, captioned video) are not necessarily beneficial for certain learners …
  2. (slang, chiefly, Southern US) To throw.
chunky monkey
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A mildly obese person.
    • 2007, Moira Anne Gunn, Welcome to BioTech Nation (page 142) Can we see skinny on genes? How about obese? How about a little chunky? Can we spot who's gonna be a chunky monkey from day one?
    • 2010, Brian Tome, Free Book When he was in seventh grade, he was a chunky monkey. Even though he played football, he still was called a “fat ass” on more than one occasion by a small group of jocks who were shaving at age twelve.
Chunnel etymology {{blend}} pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (informal) The Channel Tunnel.
Synonyms: Channel Tunnel, Eurotunnel
church Alternative forms: churche (obsolete) etymology From Middle English chirche, from Old English ċiriċe, from Proto-Germanic *kirikǭ, an early borrowing of Ancient Greek κυριακόν 〈kyriakón〉, neuter form of κυριακός 〈kyriakós〉, from κύριος 〈kýrios〉, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱēw- 〈*ḱēw-〉, *ḱwā- 〈*ḱwā-〉.{{rel-top}} For vowel evolution, see bury. Greek κυριακόν 〈kyriakón〉 was used of houses of Christian worship since circa 300 AD, especially in the East, though it was less common in this sense than ἐκκλησία 〈ekklēsía〉 or βασιλική 〈basilikḗ〉. An example of the direct Greek-to-Germanic progress of many Christian words, via the ; it was probably used by West Germanic people in their pre-Christian period. Cognate with Scots kirk, West Frisian tsjerke, Saterland Frisian Säärke, Dutch kerk, German Kirche, Danish kirke, Swedish kyrka, Norwegian kirke, kyrkje, and Icelandic kirkja. Also picked up by Slavic, via Old High German chirihha (compare Old Church Slavonic црькꙑ 〈crʹkꙑ〉, Bulgarian църква 〈cʺrkva〉, Russian церковь 〈cerkovʹ〉). and languages use variants of Latin ecclesia. {{rel-bottom}} pronunciation
  • (RP) /t͡ʃɜːt͡ʃ/
  • {{audio}}
  • (GenAm) /t͡ʃɝt͡ʃ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (countable) A Christian house of worship; a building where religious service take place. {{defdate}} There is a lovely little church in the valley. This building used to be a church before being converted into a library.
    • Bucky and Friends, page 117, John R. Dodd, 2007, “He got the message and was in church the next Sunday. We need to stay in church with the fellowship of others in order to keep the fire of faith burning brightly.”
  2. Christian collectively seen as a single spiritual community; Christianity. {{defdate}} These worshippers make up the Church of Christ.
    • Acts 20:28, New International Version: Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
  3. (countable) A local group of people who follow the same Christian religious beliefs, local or general. {{defdate}}
    • The Ultimate Church Sound Operator's Handbook, page 78, Bill Gibson, 2007, “Many young people find their only role models of family life in church.”
    • Bucky and Friends, page 117, John R. Dodd, 2007, “He got the message and was in church the next Sunday. We need to stay in church with the fellowship of others in order to keep the fire of faith burning brightly.”
    • Enhancing understanding the church through preaching on ..., page 61, Yil Gyoung Kang, 2008, “As they actively get involved in ministry, lay ministry becomes vigorous, and new believers will settle in church with more ease.”
    • Souls in Transition, page 194, Christian Smith, Patricia Snell, 2009, “she had very many adults in church with whom she could talk about issues in life.”
  4. (countable) A particular denomination of Christianity. {{defdate}} The Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534.
  5. (uncountable, countable, as bare noun) Christian worship held at a church; service. {{defdate}}
    • Redeeming the South: Religious Cultures and Racial Identities ..., page 119, Paul Harvey, 1997, “Pastors complained that they were not allowed enough authority in church, with women exercising too much informal control.”
    • Disturbing Questions...: Solid Answers, page 174, Lee Roberson, 2000, “Some people are always saying, "Oh, you have too much church." You never get too much church. I go to church every day.”
    • On a Journey with God: You Come Too, page 53, George Shillington, 2003, “the learned women will be qualified to lead in church with equal grace and equal insight and equal gifts.”
  6. A (non-Christian) religion; a religious group. {{defdate}}
    • 2007, Scott A. Merriman, Religion and the Law in America, page 313 Among these, the church must investigate fundemental questions, …
    She goes to a Wiccan church down the road.
  • Several senses of church are routinely used in prepositional phrases as a bare noun, without a determiner or article. This is like home and unlike house.
Synonyms: (building) chapel (small church), kirk (Scotland), (group of worshipers) congregation
  • (religious group) religion
coordinate terms:
  • mosque, synagogue, temple, gurdwara, hof, fire temple, circle, mandir, jinja, House of Worship, monastery, heiau
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive, now historical) To conduct a religious service for (a woman) after childbirth. {{defdate}}
    • {{RQ:Mlry MrtDrthr}}: Thenne after this lady was delyuerd and chirched / there came a knyghte vnto her / his name was sire Bromel la pleche / the whiche was a grete lord and he hadde loued that lady longe / and he euermore desyred her to wedde her / and soo by no meane she coude putte hym of
    • 1971, Keith Thomas (historian), Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, page 36: Nor did it [the Church] accept that the woman should stay indoors until she had been churched.
  2. (transitive) To educate someone religiously, as in in a church.
  • {{rank}}
church crawler
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A person who is strongly interested, in an amateur capacity, in ecclesiology, church architecture, history and church art, and visits churches in order to view the buildings for themselves, as opposed to visiting them for religious reasons.
Churchianity etymology {{blend}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative) Any practices of Christianity that are viewed as placing a larger emphasis on the habits of church life or the institutional traditions of the church than on theology and spiritual teachings; The quality of being too church-focused.
churchling etymology From church + ling.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A church-goer.
    • 1956, David Wesley Soper, Epistle to the skeptics: Neither worldling nor churchling privately possesses his love. The churchling, in prayer and praise, is or ought to be alert to the divine summons as the worldling is not; in race relations and common justice it is sometimes the other way around.
  2. (sometimes diminutive) A mere churchman.
    • 1903, The Independent: " [...] And," he added, "it transforms a churchling into a Christian to come into contact with the Pope."
    • 1904, Charles Lamb, Alfred Ainger, The letters of Charles Lamb: You do not tell me of those romantic land bays that be as thou goest to Lover's Seat: neither of that little churchling in the midst of a wood (in the opposite direction, nine furlongs from the town), that seems dropped by the Angel [...]
  3. (pejorative) A bigot churchman.
    • 2012, Elspeth Cooper, Songs of the Earth: 'I thought you were going to show us some swordcraft, churchling, not dance steps.' Arlin's tone was mocking. 'Sorry, I mistook you for a girl.'
related terms:
  • worldling
churchwarden {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British) A lay officer of the Church of England who handles the secular affair of the parish.
  2. (US) A similar functionary of the Episcopal church.
  3. (UK, slang) A churchwarden pipe. There was a small wooden table placed in front of the smoldering fire, with decanters, a jar of tobacco, and two long churchwardens. — W. Black.
churchy etymology From church + y. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈtʃəːtʃi/
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (colloquial, mildly pejorative) Piously Christian.
    • 2000, JG Ballard, Super-Cannes, Fourth Estate 2011, p. 90: I was staying with my mother's sister, a retired character actress with a churchy streak.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (mildly pejorative) one who is pious Christian
churnalism etymology
  • compound formed from churn (out) + journalism
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory) The use of ready-made press release material copied wholesale into a newspaper article as if it were the journalist's own copy.
related terms:
  • churnalist
churnalist etymology {{blend}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory) A lazy journalist who produces articles based on press release.
related terms:
  • churnalism
churnalize Alternative forms: churnalise etymology From churn + journalize
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (informal) To copy / paste a news story from one source into another, especially into a blog
churn out
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive, informal) To produce a large quantity of (something) rapidly and easily.
    • {{quote-news}}
    • {{quote-magazine}}
    exampleBarbara Cartland was renowned for her ability to churn out romantic novels.
  • This term can imply an emphasis of quantity over quality, and as such can be disparaging.
chutney ferret
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, derogatory) A homosexual man.
    • 1997, Minette Walters, The Echo, Pan Books (2008), ISBN 9780330346801, page 163: 'They warned me off you and Lawrence because they reckoned you were a couple of chutney ferrets after my arse. {{…}}
    • 2000, Patrick Gale, Rough Music, Ballantine Book (2002), ISBN 0345442377, page 138: "A chutney ferret. No one likes one of those and you shouldn't either. You ever find yourself with an arse-bandit like that you get your back to the wall and if he gives you any trouble you break his nose."
    • 2010, Joseph Alexander, Faded Acts of Love, iUniverse (2010), ISBN 9781450272544, page 140: “Jeremy? Hardly my friend. As you said yourself, an overbearing lackey, not to mention a flaming chutney ferret.”
Synonyms: See also .
chutzpah {{was wotd}} Alternative forms: khutzpah, khutspah, chutspah, khutspe etymology Originated 1890–95 from Yiddish חוצפּה 〈ẖwẕṗh〉, from Mishnaic Hebrew חֻצְפָּה 〈ẖuẕĕpá̇h〉, from חָצַף 〈ẖáẕap〉. Ultimately from Aramaic חוצפא 〈ẖwẕpʼ〉, חֲצַף 〈ẖàẕap〉. pronunciation
  • (RP) {{enPR}}, /ˈxʊts.pɑ/
  • (US) {{enPR}}, /ˈxʊts.pə/
  • {{audio}}
  • (RP) {{enPR}}, /ˈhʊts.pɑ/
  • (US) {{enPR}}, /ˈhʊts.pə/
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) Nearly arrogant courage; utter audacity, effrontery or impudence; supreme self-confidence; exaggerated self-opinion;
    • 22/01/2007, The Times, Modern Manners If the service is rotten and the meal a disaster, we should withhold a tip and explain why we are doing so. Few of us have the chutzpah to do this.
    • 12/11/2007, John Scalzi, Whatever, Your Creation Museum Report But seriously, the ability to just come out and put on a placard that the Jurassic era is temporally contiguous with the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt — well, there’s a word for that, and that word is chutzpah.
related terms:
  • chutzpadik
cidre etymology From French cidre.
noun: {{head}}
  1. (informal, humorous, nonstandard) alternative spelling of cider
cigar {{projectlink}} etymology From Spanish cigarro, of uncertain origin; perhaps from cigarra or from a myn language, see siyar. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Tobacco, rolled and wrapped with an outer covering of tobacco leaves, intended to be smoke.
    • {{RQ:Chmbrs YngrSt}} Long after his cigar burnt bitter, he sat with eyes fixed on the blaze. When the flames at last began to flicker and subside, his lids fluttered, then drooped ; but he had lost all reckoning of time when he opened them again to find Miss Erroll in furs and ball-gown kneeling on the hearth{{nb...}}.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham , 5, [ The China Governess] , “A waiter brought his aperitif, which was a small scotch and soda, and as he sipped it gratefully he sighed. ¶ ‘Civilized,’ he said to Mr. Campion. ‘Humanizing.’ […] ‘Cigars and summer days and women in big hats with swansdown face-powder, that's what it reminds me of.’”
Synonyms: stogie
  • Craig
cinch pronunciation
  • (UK) /sɪntʃ/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{audio}}
etymology 1 From Occitan cencha or Spanish cincha, from Latin cingula.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A simple saddle girth used in Mexico.
    • He found Andy morosely replacing some broken strands in his cinch, and he went straight at the mooted question. — B. M. Bower, The Flying U's Last Stand
  2. (informal) Something that is very easy to do. No problem ... it's a cinch.
    • Major Archibald Lee Fletcher, Boy Scouts in the Coal Caverns We thought we had a cinch on getting out by way of this cord and so we followed that.
  3. (informal) A firm hold.
    • You've got the cinch on him. You could send him to quod, and I'd send him there as quick as lightning. I'd hang him, if I could, for what he done to Lil Sarnia. — Gilbert Parker, The World For Sale,
Synonyms: (something that is very easy to do) See also , breeze, cakewalk, doddle, piece of cake, walk in the park, walkover
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To bring to certain conclusion.
  2. To tighten down.
  • 1911, "I intend to cinch that government business." — Margaret Burnham, The Girl Aviators' Sky Cruise
etymology 2 Compare senses at etymology 1 (a girth, a tight grip), perhaps suggesting the tactics used in the game; or perhaps from Spanish cinco, the five spots of the colour of the trump being important cards.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (card games) A variety of auction pitch in which a draw to improve the hand is added, and the five of trump (called "right Pedro") and the five of the same colour (called "left Pedro", and ranking between the five and the four of trumps) are each worth five. Fifty-one points make a game.
Synonyms: double Pedro, high five
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (card games) In the game of cinch, to protect (a trick) by playing a higher trump than the five.
Cincinnati {{wikipedia}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. The third-largest city in the state of Ohio.
Synonyms: (informal) Cincy, (informal) Cinti
Cincy {{wikipedia}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (informal) A common abbreviation of Cincinnati in both writing and conversation.
  • cynic, Cynic
cinder dick
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, slang, derogatory) A member of the railroad police.
cinema {{wikipedia}} etymology Borrowing from French cinéma, shortening of cinématographe (term coined by the Lumière brothers in the 1890s), from Ancient Greek κίνημα 〈kínēma〉 pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈsɪn.ɪ.mə/, /ˈsɪn.ə.mə/
  • (UK) /ˈsɪn.ə.mɑː/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (countable) A film.
  2. (countable) A movie theatre, a movie house exampleThe cinema is right across the street from the restaurant.
  3. (film, uncountable) Film or movies as a group. exampleDespite the critics, he produced excellent cinema.
  4. (film, uncountable) The film and movie industry.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
    exampleIn the long history of Spanish cinema….
  5. (film, uncountable) The art of making films and movies. exampleThroughout the history of cinema, filmmakers….
Synonyms: film, movie (chiefly US), movie theatre (rare), movie theater (chiefly US), movie house (chiefly US), pictures (regional, dated), seventh art (the art of making films and movies)
related terms:
  • cinematic
  • cinematographic
  • cinematography
  • kinema
  • anemic
  • came in
  • iceman
cinematic etymology From French cinématique.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Of or relating to the cinema.
  2. (dated) Relating to kinematics; kinematic.
cinemuck etymology {{blend}}.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A sticky coating on the floor of a movie theatre caused by spilled beverages and dropped snack items.
    • 2003, "Where have all the Fort Wayne movie theaters gone?", Fort Wayne News Sentinel, 10 March 2003: It only makes me wonder if there's any market at all for people who require only a clean theater - not too much cinemuck on the floors - that's not too far from home and doesn't make you wait in the cold too long to buy a ticket.
  2. (informal, pejorative) Cinematic material considered to be of low quality.
    • 2001, Denise A. Raymon, "An inch too far to go see '3,000 Miles to Graceland'", Press Republican, 1 March 2001: Crawling on your knees to the real Graceland over shards of broken glass would be less painful than sitting through this cinemuck.
  • {{seemoreCites}}
cinnamon ring
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, vulgar) The anus.
Synonyms: See also .
Cinti {{wikipedia}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (informal) An abbreviation of Cincinnati in addresses and signage.
etymology 1 See circus.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (obsolete) An amphitheatrical circle for sport; a circus. {{rfquotek}}
etymology 2 From circumcision/circumcise by shortening.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Circumcision.
    • 2001, Richard Gordon, Great Medical Mysteries, House of Stratus (2001), ISBN 1842325183, page 65: During the pre-NHS 1930s, circumcision was as fashionable among the British middle class as confirmation. Breech deliveries were said to be popular with both obstetrician and anaesthetist, a boy assuring them early in the birth of 'a couple of guineas next week for the circ.'
    • 2011, Michelle Au, This Won't Hurt a Bit (and Other White Lies): My Education in Medicine and Motherhood, Grand Central Publishing (2011), ISBN 9780446574419, unnumbered pages: The circ is progressing apace when, without warning, one of the nurses bursts in from outside, and I mean bursts in, as opposed to entering soundlessly and unobtrusively as we all try to (with the exception of the attending surgeons, who always burst in), and tells us, "Someone just crashed a plane into one of the Twin Towers."
    • 2011, Maggie Kozel, The Color of Atmosphere: One Doctor's Journey In and Out of Medicine, Chelsea Green Publishing (2011), ISBN 9781603582971, page 50: Ironically, our Japanese-born colleague Seiji, who came from a culture that did not circumcise, had no problem with it. In fact, he was amazing to behold. Seiji could finish a "slice and dice," as we called it, before I could even get my gloves on. Bob and I would change every poopy, slimy diaper in that nursery just to stall until Seiji finished the circs.
    • {{seemoreCites}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (informal) To circumcise.
{{Webster 1913}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Circumcised.
Synonyms: See also .
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-past of circ
circle {{wikipedia}} etymology From Latin circulus. Replaced Middle English cercle, from Old French cercle, from the same Latin source. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈsɜɹkəl/
    • (UK) [ˈsɜː.kəɫ]
    • (US) [ˈsɝ.kəɫ]
    • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{hyphenation}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (geometry) A two-dimensional geometric figure, a line, consisting of the set of all those point in a plane that are equally distant from another point. The set of all points (x, y) such that (x-1)2 + y2 = r2 is a circle of radius r around {{nowrap}}
  2. A two-dimensional geometric figure, a disk, consisting of the set of all those points of a plane at a distance less than or equal to a fixed distance from another point.
  3. Any thin three-dimensional equivalent of the geometric figures. examplePut on your dunce-cap and sit down on that circle.
  4. A curve that more or less forms part or all of a circle. examplemove in a circle
  5. Orbit.
  6. A specific group of persons. exampleinner circle;  circle of friends
    • Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay (1800-1859) As his name gradually became known, the circle of his acquaintance widened.
    • {{RQ:WBsnt IvryGt}} At half-past nine on this Saturday evening, the parlour of the Salutation Inn, High Holborn, contained most of its customary visitors.…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.
    • {{RQ:Chmbrs YngrSt}} “I don't mean all of your friends—only a small proportion—which, however, connects your circle with that deadly, idle, brainless bunch—the insolent chatterers at the opera, the gorged dowagers,{{nb...}}, the jewelled animals whose moral code is the code of the barnyard—!"
    • 1922, Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit The Rabbit could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn’t know that real rabbits existed; he thought they were all stuffed with sawdust like himself, and he understood that sawdust was quite out-of-date and should never be mentioned in modern circles.
  7. (cricket) A line comprising two semicircle of 30 yards radius centred on the wicket joined by straight lines parallel to the pitch used to enforce field restrictions in a one-day match.
  8. (Wicca) A ritual circle that is cast three times deosil and closes three times widdershins either in the air with a wand or literally with stones or other items used for worship.
  9. (South Africa) A traffic circle or roundabout.
    • 2011, Charles E. Webb, Downfall and Freedom, p.120: He arrived at the lakefront and drove around the circle where the amusement park and beach used to be when he was a kid{{nb...}}
  10. (obsolete) Compass; circuit; enclosure.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616) in the circle of this forest
  11. (astronomy) An instrument of observation, whose graduated limb consists of an entire circle. When fixed to a wall in an observatory, it is called a mural circle; when mounted with a telescope on an axis and in Y's, in the plane of the meridian, a meridian or transit circle; when involving the principle of reflection, like the sextant, a reflecting circle; and when that of repeating an angle several times continuously along the graduated limb, a repeating circle.
  12. A series ending where it begins, and repeating itself.
    • John Dryden (1631-1700) Thus in a circle runs the peasant's pain.
  13. (logic) A form of argument in which two or more unproved statements are used to prove each other; inconclusive reasoning.
    • Joseph Glanvill (1636-1680) That heavy bodies descend by gravity; and, again, that gravity is a quality whereby a heavy body descends, is an impertinent circle and teaches nothing.
  14. Indirect form of words; circumlocution.
    • John Fletcher (playwright) (1579-1625) Has he given the lie, / In circle, or oblique, or semicircle.
  15. A territorial division or district. exampleThe ten Circles of the Holy Roman Empire were those principalities or provinces which had seats in the German Diet.
Synonyms: (two-dimensional outline geometric figure) coil (not in mathematical use), ring (not in mathematical use), loop (not in mathematical use), (two-dimensional solid geometric figure) disc/disk (in mathematical and general use), round (not in mathematical use; UK & Commonwealth only), (curve) arc, curve, (orbit) orbit, (a specific group of persons) bunch, gang, group
related terms:
  • circular
  • circularity
  • circulate
  • circus
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To travel around along a curved path.
    • Alexander Pope Other planets circle other suns.
  2. (transitive) To surround.
    • Dampier Their heads are circled with a short turban.
    • Coleridge So he lies, circled with evil.
  3. (transitive) To place or mark a circle around. Circle the jobs that you are interested in applying for.
  4. (intransitive) To travel in circles. Vultures circled overhead.
  • cleric
circle jerk Alternative forms: circlejerk, circle-jerk
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (vulgar, slang) A group of males masturbating ("jerking off") together (with or without interpersonal contact).
  2. (vulgar, slang) A metaphor for any group activity performed for personal gratification.
  3. (drug user slang) A person who shares syringes when injecting drugs.
  4. (Internet slang) An online community where a group of people form an , either intentionally (as satire), or unintentionally.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (vulgar, slang) to participate in a circle jerk
circs pronunciation
  • /sɜːks/
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of circ
  2. (plurale tantum, informal) Circumstances.
    • 2009, Christopher Breen, "Subscriptions, Sonos, and the Second Coming", Macworld, 21 May 2009: I'm covered as far as iPod and automobile go as I have a solid library of music I've ripped from CD and purchased. But music throughout the house is trickier. And, under normal circs, subscription is no answer.
    • 2010, Julie Burchill, "Spare us these pampered protesters who riot in defence of their privilege", The Independent, 16 December 2010: Charlie Gilmour's father is an old Etonian poet; his stepfather a superannuated rock star worth around £78m whose most famous ditty insisted, somewhat amusingly under the circs, that "We don't need no education."
    • 2011, Joanna Trollope, "Royal wedding: is this a fairytale? No, it is the real thing", The Telegraph, 1 May 2011: All this royal pomp and circs and magnificence and significance and sacred music and you are, quite rightly, your unaffected modern English selves.
    • 2011, Jennifer Peltz, "Defense: Fatal NYC tower fire a 'bad circumstance'", BusinessWeek, 14 June 2011: "They were trapped in circs that they didn't know anything about, that they could not have foreseen {{…}}
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-third-person singular of circ
circular argument Alternative forms: circular logic etymology {{rfe}} pronunciation {{rfp}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) {{non-gloss}}
  2. (philosophy, logic) An argument which commits the logical fallacy of assuming what it is attempting to prove.
In informal usage, circular argument is synonymous with begging the question; in formal usage, these are distinct. Synonyms: (informal) beg the question, petitio principii
circular file
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic, humorous) The trash container; the wastebasket. He was completely underqualified for the job, so I put his resume directly into the circular file.
Synonyms: round file
circumbendibus etymology
  • From Latin circum (compare English circum-) + English bend + Latin -ibus
  • /sɝkm̩ˈbɛndɨbəs/
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (often, humorous) indirect or roundabout
    • 1918 Sidney Watson, In the Twinkling of an Eye, Bible institute of Los Angeles, p66 “We’re all circumbendibus, / Wherever we may be, / We’re all circumbendibus, / On land or on sea. / Rich or poor or middling, / Wherever we are found, / We’re all circumbendibus, / We’re all going round.”
    • 1987 Syed Tassadque Hussain, Reflections on Kashmir politics,Rima Pub. House, p59 The only irresistible inference that can be deduced from a bare perusal of this judgment is that it is circumbendibus in its tenor vague and conjectural in its logic and in fine it is a remarkable piece of a political document.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (often, humorous) A roundabout route or process
    • 1899 Herbert Spencer, Social Statics; Or, the Conditions Essential to Human Happiness Specified, and the First of Them Developed, D. Appleton and company, p383 If, as Coleridge says, “a knave is a fool with a circumbendibus,” then by instructing the knave you do but make the circumbendibus a wider one.
    • 1907 Albert Temple Swing, James Harris Fairchild; Or Sixty-Eight Years with a Christian College, F. H. Revell company, p155 After he had moved into the house and repaired it Mrs. Mary L. Bacon remembers standing with him one day and looking over the winding flag stones leading up to his front door. “And what is this,” he said, “a circumbendibus?”
    • 1968 George William Erskine Russell, Afterthoughts, Ayer Publishing, p152 Before tea-time my circumbendibus brought me to the hospitable residence of Tommy’s chief supporter, whom we will call Mr Goodhart.
  2. (often, humorous) A roundabout, indirect, or confusing manner of speech or writing
circumcise Alternative forms: circumcize etymology From Old French circoncisier, from Latin circumcīdō, from circum + caedō.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To amputate the prepuce from a penis.
  2. To amputate the clitoris, prepuce, or labia.
Synonyms: circ (informal), snip (informal)
related terms:
  • circumcision
circumcision {{wikipedia}} etymology From Latin circumcīsiō, from circumcīdō, from circum + caedō. pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The act of excising or amputating the prepuce (the foreskin on penis, the clitoral hood on clitoris)
  2. The act of excising tissue from the vulva of the female.
Synonyms: circ (informal), female genital mutilation
related terms:
  • circumcise, circumcize
  • male circumcision
  • female circumcision
circumfetishist etymology {{blend}}.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative) A person with a sexual fetish for male circumcision.
  2. (by extension, pejorative) An advocate of routine male circumcision.
    • 2001, 15 April, Maze chris, BS was RE: debra series -PLEASE READ-,!original/,, “It's not my or the cirp site owners' fault that the vast bulk of proper medical and scientific papers, as opposed to the crap opinion pieces by US and religious circumfetishists, come down heavily against routine circumcision --as does every medical authority in the world including the American Academy of Pediatrics!!!! ”
    • 2003, 26 July, Maze [username], Re: HIV and cirucmicision resolved?,!original/alt.circumcision/JOayimOtUvY/YrYxJwhvzfIJ, alt.circumcision, “Countries around the world that only have about 1% circ rate have only a fraction of the HIV infection of the U.S. which back in the middle '70's had the highest rate of new infection in the world and at that time we had a total male circ rate of about 80%. To circumcise an infant, or for an adult male to get cut on the word of some "senior researcher" is just the dumbest thing in the world. These circumfetishists are telling an unsuspecting and uneducated public that they are bound to inevitably engage in some unprotected sex with promiscuous male or female partners.”
    • 2007, 26 September, Darling Regan, Phalluses and Fallacies: Some faulty ways of thinking that lead to circumcision,!original/alt.circumcision/LmeTm__zAvg/T4EhY4AK4t8J, alt.circumcision, “EVEN IF every argument presented by circumfetishists were TRUE - cutting another person's genitals would still be wrong”
circumforaneous etymology From Latin circum (compare English circum-) with -foraneous, from forum. pronunciation
  • (UK) /sɜːkəmfəˈɹeɪnɪəs/
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Wandering from place to place or market to market.
    • 1992, Peter Bowler, Ron Bell, The superior person's second book of weird and wondrous words, page 38: Gyrovagues: Monks who were accustomed to wander from place to place. In modern times, perhaps, any of the various circumforaneous proselytizers who go from door to door—Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, et al.
    • 2008, James Boice, NoVA: a novel, page 83: It is perfect for a thirteen-year-old child of NoVA when in the throes of another fit of aimlessness and maddening, ravenous boredom in which only the entering of a mall, the circumforaneous wandering amid others of your kind, or the buying of a CD (usually more like the stealing of a CD) can cure the disease.
  2. (by extension) Indirect, roundabout, or unnecessarily complex.
    • 2002, Philip Mirowski, Machine dreams: economics becomes a cyborg science, page 43: The reason that this has not been the subject of extended commentary in science studies was that the path along which thermodynamics wrought its magic was unprecedentedly indirect and circumforaneous:…
circussy etymology circus + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Resembling or characteristic of a circus.
Synonyms: circuslike
cishet etymology cis + het
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (LGBT, informal, neologism) Cissexual and heterosexual.
    • 2013, "Witchymorgan", "On the Labor Movement and Transmisogyny", Black & Pink, May 2013, page 4: Even in death, the way we are spoken about by the mainstream cishet world is traumatizing and violent. Even in death, trans women of color cannot escape the trauma of colonialism and genocide.
    • 2013, Ariel Estrella, "Hegemony, heteronormativity and amoeba", The Mac Weekly (Macalester College), 18 October 2013: While children can be born to any kind of parent and situation, unless drastic measures are taken, they will be raised in an overwhelmingly cisgendered and heterosexual (cishet) world. Cishet children and adults’ identities are affirmed by media, legal documents, population majority, history and other depictions of assumed cis-ness and heterosexuality.
    • 2014, Bec Eames, "In defence of unattractive feminism", Honi Soit, Semester 1, Week 12, page 17: {{…}} it reinforces the problematic notion that 'true' feminism belongs to cishet white abled feminists; {{…}}
    • {{seemoreCites}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, neologism) A cissexual and heterosexual person
    • 2014, Anthony Speciyogic, "Burger King Pride Campaign Claims ‘We’re All The Same Inside’", Inquisitr, 5 July 2014 People who identify as cisgender and heterosexual, or cishets, are certainly more privileged in today’s society than the LGBTQIA+ community — which includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer-identified, intersex, and asexual people, as well as others who do not identify as cishet people.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. alternative spelling of sissy
  2. (LGBT slang) A cissexual or cisgender person.
  • (cissexual or cisgender person) tranny
cit etymology Shortened from citizen. pronunciation
  • /sɪt/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (archaic, derogatory) townsman, city dweller
    • 1856, , The Piazza Not forgotten are the blue noses of the carpenters, and how they scouted at the greenness of the cit, who would build his sole piazza to the north.
  • ICT
  • tic, TIC
citation needed
phrase: {{en-phrase}}
  1. (Internet slang, Wiktionary and WMF jargon) A portion of a wiki needs to be validated by a source.
  2. (Internet slang, by extension, chiefly, humorous) A portion of text may be false or inaccurate.
cite etymology From Old French citer, from Latin citare, frequentive of ciēre. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /saɪt/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To quote; to repeat, as a passage from a book, or the words of another.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
  2. To list the source(s) from which one took information, words or literary or verbal context.
  3. To summon officially or authoritatively to appear in court.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A citation. We used the number of cites as a rough measure of the significance of each published paper.
  • EITC
  • etic
citify etymology From city + fy.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive, informal) To become more like or more in the character of a city.
    • 1946, , Volume 192, The metropolis grows like a tree in concentric circles, rim upon rim, the inner rings hardening or "citifying" and the outer bark expanding or "urbanizing."
    • 1970, , Hearings, reports and prints of the House Committee on Appropriations, The United States of America is not yet a jungle of metropolitan areas, but we are citifying at a very rapid pace.
    • 2010, Dr Dan Budenz, Analyzing Monsters - Family Cures: The Drew Peterson Saga, page 105, My wife and I happened to have fought with authorities to address the extremely dangerous roads throughout this citifying rural community.
  2. (transitive, slang) To make more like or more in the character of a city.
    • 1975, Robert Lipsyte, Sportsworld: an American Dreamland, Harness racing was being citified by crooked lawyers.
    • 1989, David R. Kinsley, The Goddesses' Mirror: Visions of the Divine from East and West, In her role as a citifying presence, Athena often is associated with political structures, the administration of justice, and the arts of persuasion, such as rhetoric.
    • 1995, , , Volume 187, "But these newcomers are citifying the rural atmosphere." They're also citifying prices.
  3. (transitive, informal) To make more like a city person.
    • 2005, John Michael Archer, Citizen Shakespeare: freemen and aliens in the language of the plays, page 97: In taking his gage from a prostitute in the London stews, he appropriates in a burlesque mode the faltering aristocratic rituals that Richard and his father try to manage. He citifies them, or reveals how they have already been invaded by city modes of violence and desire in the history world.
    • 2007, Matthew Desmond, On the Fireline: Living and Dying with Wildland Firefighters, I reacted to my well-to-do peers, with the help of my roommate and best friend John, by sissifying and citifying them.
Synonyms: urbanize
  • countrify
city banker
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British) A banker, stockbroker or other financial worker in the City.
  2. (British, rhyming slang, pejorative) A wanker.
Synonyms: (A wanker) merchant banker
city slicker
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic) One accustomed to a city or urban lifestyle or unsuited to life in the country. They were a couple of city slickers and if they had seen a cow before, they certainly didn't act like it.
city titty
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A raised pavement marker.
civilian etymology Borrowing from Old French civilien. pronunciation
  • /sɪˈvɪljən/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A person following the pursuits of civil life, especially one who is not an active member of the armed forces. exampleThree civilians were apprehended by the soldiers and taken away in a military vehicle.
  2. (informal) A person who does not belong to a particular group or engage in a particular activity.
  3. One skilled in civil law.
    • Jonathan Swift exampleAncient civilians and writers upon government.
  4. A student of civil law at a university or college. {{rfquotek}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. That which is not relate to the military, police or other professions. exampleThe three detainees were actually army defectors wearing civilian clothing. example''He worked as a civilian journalist for ten years before being employed by the public broadcaster.''
civils pronunciation
  • (UK) /sɪvl̩z/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (chiefly, informal) civil engineering
The word is normally plural in construction, and is mostly used in relation to the infrastructure of transport networks and projects, particularly the maintenance of existing structures or the design and construction of new projects.
  • clivis
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. (informal) An item of underwear.
  • kc/s
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Geordie, vulgar, slang) A testicle.
  2. (Australia, vulgar, slang) An anus.
clacka bags
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Geordie, vulgar) The scrotum.
noun: {{head}}
  1. (Geordie, vulgar) plural of clacka Testicles.
clagnut etymology clag + nut?
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A dingleberry (clinging piece of feces).
    • 1999, "Purple People Eater", Army Builder?? (on Internet newsgroup Your{{SIC}} a clagnut on the collective anus that is this NG...
    • 2003, "JoeTheBlow", "Burn those seats!" (on Internet newsgroup Will Ikea be wanting those classy cloth chairs back after Ray and Scott's sweaty clagnut ridden hairy arses have pressed into them for 5 minutes?
clam {{wikipedia}}
etymology 1 From Middle English clam, from Old English clamm. pronunciation
  • /klæm/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A bivalve mollusk of many kinds, especially those that are edible; as, the long clam ({{taxlink}}), the quahog or round clam (Venus mercenaria), the sea clam or hen clam ({{taxlink}}), and other species of the United States. The name is said to have been given originally to the {{taxlink}}, a huge East Indian bivalve.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, 3 , [ Mr. Pratt's Patients] , “My hopes wa'n't disappointed. I never saw clams thicker than they was along them inshore flats. I filled my dreener in no time, and then it come to me that 'twouldn't be a bad idee to get a lot more, take 'em with me to Wellmouth, and peddle 'em out. Clams was fairly scarce over that side of the bay and ought to fetch a fair price.”
  2. Strong pincers or forceps.
  3. A kind of vise, usually of wood.
  4. (US, slang) A dollar (usually used in the plural). Possibly originating from the term wampum. exampleThose sneakers cost me fifty clams!
  5. (slang, derogatory) A Scientologist.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To dig for clams.
etymology 2
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A crash or clangor made by ringing all the bells of a chime at once. {{rfquotek}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To produce, in bellringing, a clam or clangor; to cause to clang. {{rfquotek}}
etymology 3
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. clamminess; moisture
    • Carlyle The clam of death.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To be moist or glutinous; to stick; to adhere. {{rfquotek}}
  2. To clog, as with glutinous or viscous matter.
    • L'Estrange A swarm of wasps got into a honey pot, and there they cloyed and clammed themselves till there was no getting out again.
{{Webster 1913}}
  • calm
clambake {{wikipedia}} etymology clam + bake
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An informal beach party in which food, usually seafood, is cooked in a pit dug in the sand, filled with hot coal.
  2. (slang, chiefly, West Coast US) An instance of smoking (usually marijuana) in an enclosed space.
Synonyms: (smoking) hotbox
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (figurative) Informal, makeshift, sloppy.
    • 2004, New Yorker, 9-16 August not in their Ivy privilege or clambake geography
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive, slang, chiefly, West Coast US) To smoke marijuana in an enclosed space such as a car with the windows up.
  2. (transitive, slang, chiefly, West Coast US) To enclose something and fill it with smoke by smoking (usually marijuana) inside it. We clambaked the car last night!
Synonyms: hotbox
clanker etymology clank + er
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Something that makes a clank noise.
    • {{quote-news}}
  2. (slang) A fib. Stop telling clankers!
clap pronunciation
  • /klæp/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{audio}}
etymology 1 From Old English clæppan.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The act of striking the palms of the hands, or any two surfaces, together. He summoned the waiter with a clap.
  2. The explosive sound of thunder.
    • {{RQ:Joyce Ulysses}} Episode 12, The Cyclops The deafening claps of thunder and the dazzling flashes of lightning which lit up the ghastly scene testified that the artillery of heaven had lent its supernatural pomp to the already gruesome spectacle.
  3. Any loud, sudden, explosive sound made by striking hard surfaces together, or resembling such a sound. Off in the distance, he heard the clap of thunder.
    • Jonathan Swift Give the door such a clap, as you go out, as will shake the whole room.
  4. A slap with the hand, usually in a jovial manner. His father's affection never went further than a handshake or a clap on the shoulder.
  5. A single, sudden act or motion; a stroke; a blow.
    • Shakespeare What, fifty of my followers at a clap!
  6. (falconry) The nether part of the beak of a hawk.
  7. (Yorkshire) A dropping of cow dung (presumably from the sound made as it hits the ground) Edward Peacock, ''A Glossary of Words Used in the Wapentakes of Manley and Corringham, Lincolnshire'', [ p 188]
    • 1890, John Nicholson, Folk Lore of East Yorkshire, page 139 “Oh! get some coo clap (cow dung), mix it wi’ fish oil (whale oil), put it on, and let it stop on all neet.”
Synonyms: (sound of thunder) thunderclap, See also
verb: {{en-verb}} {{wikipedia}}
  1. To strike the palms of the hands together, creating a sharp sound. The children began to clap in time with the music.
  2. To applaud. The audience loudly clapped the actress, who responded with a deep curtsey. It isn’t the singers they are clapping; it's the composer.
  3. To slap with the hand in a jovial manner. He would often clap his teammates on the back for encouragement.
  4. To bring two surface together forcefully, creating a sharp sound. He clapped the empty glass down on the table. She clapped the book shut. He clapped across the floor in his boots.
    • Marvell Then like a bird it sits and sings, / And whets and claps its silver wings.
  5. To come together suddenly with noise.
    • Dryden The doors around me clapped.
  6. To create or assemble (something) hastily (usually followed by up or together). We should clap together a shelter before nightfall. The rival factions clapped up a truce.
  7. To set or put, usually in haste. The sheriff clapped him in jail. She was the prettiest thing I'd ever clapped eyes on.
    • John Locke He had just time to get in and clap to the door.
    • Lamb Clap an extinguisher upon your irony.
  8. (slang, AAVE) To shoot (somebody) with a gun.
etymology 2 Uncertain.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, with "the") Gonorrhea.
    • 1997 MASH
    • “What in hell makes you think he's got the clap?” Hawkeye asked. “Even a clap doctor can't diagnose it through a parka 1998 Dan Savage
    • When I explained that I thought he had given me the clap, he said I must be mistaken, it had to be someone I'd “tricked” with at ... He'd never had an STD in his life, he told me, and slammed down the phone. 1998 Changing Bodies
    • He thought I had given him the clap [gonorrhea], but I knew I didn't. 2006 The STDs Update
    • Gonorrhea, sometimes called the clap, is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
    I'm gonna kill that bitch for giving me the clap! If your dick has "the drip" you probably have the clap and need to go to the sex clinic. He wasn't careful; he caught both syphilis and the clap.
  • calp
claret {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English, from Middle French claret.{{}} Compare tent, also from color. pronunciation
  • /ˈklærɪt/, /ˈklærət/{{}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (chiefly, British) A dry red wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France, or a similar wine made elsewhere.
  2. A deep purplish-red colour, like that of the wine. {{color panel}}
  3. (colloquial) blood Often used in a sporting context eg 'He spilt some claret'.
Synonyms: traditional dry red (Australia)
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Of a deep purplish-red colour, like that of claret.
  • arclet, cartel, rectal
clart Alternative forms: clairt, clort etymology From Middle English *clart, found in the verb biclarten. Further origin uncertain. pronunciation
  • /klɑːt/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A daub. a clart of grease
  2. (now Scotland, northern England) Sticky mud, mire or filth.
    • 1997, Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon: I’m but a county Surveyor,– not really at m’ best upon the grand and global type of expedition, content here at home, old Geordie a-slog thro’ the clarts […].
  3. (Geordie, pejorative) A person who is unclean.
  4. (Geordie, pejorative) A fool.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive, now Scotland, northern England) To daub, smear, or spread, especially with mud, etc.; to dirty.
    • 1932, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song, Polygon 2006 (A Scots Quair), p. 43: Chris boiled water in kettles for hours and hours and then towels came down, towels clairted with stuff she didn't dare look at, she washed them quick and hung them to dry.
clash {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈklɑːʃ/
  • (UK) /ˈklæʃ/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology {{Onomatopoeic}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (onomatopoeia) A loud sound. I heard a clash from the kitchen, and rushed in to find the cat had knocked over some pots and pans.
  2. (military) A skirmish, a hostile encounter.
  3. (sports) a match; a game between two sides.
    • 2011, Tom Fordyce, Rugby World Cup 2011: England 12-19 France But they ran out of time and inspiration as Les Bleus set up a deserved semi-final clash with Wales.
  4. An angry argument
  5. Opposition; contradiction; such as between differing or contending interests, views, purposes etc. a clash of beliefs a personality clash
  6. A combination of garments that do not look good together, especially because of conflicting colours. She was wearing a horrible clash of red and orange.
  7. (hurling) An instance of restarting the game after a "dead ball", where it is dropped between two opposing players, who can fight for possession.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. to make a loud clash The plates clashed to the floor.
  2. to come into violent conflict Fans from opposing teams clashed on the streets after the game.
  3. (intransitive) to argue angrily My parents often clashed about minor things, such as the cleaning or shopping rota.
  4. (intransitive, of clothes) to not look good together. You can't wear that shirt, as it clashes with your trousers. She looked so trashy, her lipstick and jewellery all clashed.
  5. (intransitive, of events) to coincide, to happen at the same time, thereby rendering it impossible to attend all. I can't come to your wedding as it clashes with a friend's funeral.
  6. (intransitive, in games or sports) to face each other in an important game.
    • {{quote-news }}
related terms:
  • clashy
  • electroclash
  • soundclash
clash of the ash etymology
  • from the use of ash wood in the manufacture of hurleys.
idiom: {{head}}
  1. (Ireland, informal) hurling
clashy pronunciation
  • /ˈklæʃi/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 clash + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (obsolete, regional) wet; rainy
  2. (informal) that clash, that do not match or fit stylistically
etymology 2 Corruption of khalasi.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (archaic) A khalasi.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal, of clothes, upholstery, etc.) Featuring discordant colour or pattern.
    • 2008, Lisa Papademetriou, Accidentally Fabulous, Scholastic (2008), ISBN 9780545046671, page 2: "You could have borrowed one of Dad's ties," I pointed out. "Dad only has striped ties," Kirk said. "I've only got striped shirts. I'm not about to get all clashy-clashy at some fancy party."
    • 2009, Caitlin Moran, "Forget pushy parents, the less you encourage your children the better", The Times (UK), 3 August 2009: Nor getting everyone’s “colours” done, so that the high streets won’t be so “clashy-clashy,” and constantly distressing to the more aesthetically sensitive.
    • 2010, Lisi Harrison, My Little Phony, Poppy (2010), ISBN 9780316132565, unnumbered page: She told me that just because matchy-matchy wasn't in, it did nawt{{sic}} mean clashy-clashy was.
    • {{seemoreCites}}
  • matchy-matchy
class {{wikipedia}} etymology From French classe, from Latin classis pronunciation
  • (RP) /klɑːs/, {{enPR}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • (US) /klæs/, {{enPR}}
    • (GenAm) [kʰɫæs]
    • (New York) [kʰɫeəs]
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (countable) A group, collection, category or set sharing characteristic or attribute.
    • {{quote-news}}
    exampleThe new Ford Fiesta is set to be best in the 'small family' class. exampleThat is one class-A heifer you got there, sonny. exampleOften used to imply membership of a large class. exampleThis word has a whole class of metaphoric extensions.
  2. (countable) A social grouping, based on job, wealth, etc. In Britain, society is commonly split into three main classes; upper class, middle class and working class.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
  3. (uncountable) The division of society into classes. exampleJane Austen's works deal with class in 18th-century England.
  4. (uncountable) Admirable behavior; elegance. exampleApologizing for losing your temper, even though you were badly provoked, showed real class.
  5. (countable and uncountable) A group of student in a regularly scheduled meeting with a teacher. exampleThe class was noisy, but the teacher was able to get their attention with a story.
  6. A series of classes covering a single subject. exampleI took the cooking class for enjoyment, but I also learned a lot.
  7. (countable) A group of students who commenced or completed their education during a particular year. A school class. exampleThe class of 1982 was particularly noteworthy.
  8. (countable) A category of seats in an airplane, train or other means of mass transportation. exampleI used to fly business class, but now my company can only afford economy.
  9. (biology, taxonomy, countable) A rank in the classification of organism, below phylum and above order; a taxon of that rank. exampleMagnolias belong to the class Magnoliopsida.
  10. Best of its kind.
    • {{quote-news}}
    • {{quote-news}}
    • {{quote-news}}
    exampleIt is the class of Italian bottled waters.
  11. (mathematics) A collection of set definable by a shared property. exampleThe class of all sets is not a set.
  12. (military) A group of people subject to be conscript in the same military draft, or more narrowly those persons actually conscripted in a particular draft.
  13. (programming, object-oriented) A set of object having the same behavior (but typically differing in state), or a template defining such a set.
  14. One of the sections into which a Methodist church or congregation is divided, supervised by a class leader.
Synonyms: See also
hyponyms: {{hyp-top4}}
  • business class
  • character class
  • economy class
  • equivalence class
  • first class
  • form class
  • middle class
  • noun class
  • pitch class
  • professional class
  • school class
  • second class
  • social class
  • spectral class
  • super class
  • third class
  • upper class
  • working class
{{hyp-bottom}} {{hyp-top4}}
  • abstract class
  • anonymous/local class
  • base class
  • child class
  • class diagram
  • convenience class
  • factory class
  • final class
  • inner class
  • outer class
  • parent class
  • static class
  • subclass
  • super class
  • wrapper class
related terms: {{rel-top}}
  • class action
  • class clown
  • class diagram
  • class reunion
  • class struggle
  • touch of class
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To assign to a class; to classify.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, The Mirror and the Lamp , 2, , “She was a fat, round little woman, richly apparelled in velvet and lace, […]; and the way she laughed, cackling like a hen, the way she talked to the waiters and the maid, […]—all these unexpected phenomena impelled one to hysterical mirth, and made one class her with such immortally ludicrous types as Ally Sloper, the Widow Twankey, or Miss Moucher.”
    exampleI would class this with most of the other mediocre works of the period.
  2. (intransitive) To be grouped or classed. exampleThe genus or family under which it classes. — Tatham.
  3. (transitive) To divide into classes, as students; to form into, or place in, a class or classes.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (Irish, British, slang) great; fabulous
related terms: {{rel-top3}}
  • class act
  • classify
  • class picture
  • classless
  • classroom
  • class up
  • class war
  • classy
  • coach class
  • steerage class
  • {{rank}}
classical etymology From classic, from English classicus (of the first class). pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Of or relating to the first class or rank, especially in literature or art.
    • Arbuthnot Mr. Greaves may justly be reckoned a classical author on this subject.
  2. Of or pertaining to established principle in a discipline.
    • {{RQ:Schuster Hepaticae V}} Herbarium material does not, indeed, allow one to extrapolate safely: what you see is what you get; what you get is classical alpha-taxonomy which is, very largely and for sound reasons, in disrepute today.
  3. (music) Describing European music and musician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
  4. (informal, music) Describing serious music (rather than pop, jazz, blues etc), especially when played using instruments of the orchestra.
  5. Of or pertaining to the ancient Greeks and Romans, especially to Greek or Roman authors of the highest rank, or of the period when their best literature was produced; of or pertaining to places inhabited by the ancient Greeks and Romans, or rendered famous by their deeds.
    • Macaulay He [Atterbury] directed the classical studies of the undergraduates of his college.
  6. Conforming to the best authority in literature and art; chaste; pure; refined; as, a classical style.
    • Macaulay Classical, provincial, and national synods.
  7. (physics) Pertaining to models of physical laws that do not take quantum or relativistic effects into account; Newtonian or Maxwellian.
Synonyms: classic
classical music etymology classical + music
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (music) Music of the classical period; the music of , , etc; the musical period before the romantic.
  2. (informal) The more serious forms of European and American music, as opposed to folk music, jazz or the many forms of popular music.
etymology 1 classify + ed
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-past of classify Make sure all the field observations are classified by species.
adjective: {{wikipedia}} {{en-adj}}
  1. Formally assigned by a government to one of several levels of sensitivity, usually (in English) top secret, secret, confidential, and, in some countries, restricted; thereby making disclosure to unauthorized persons illegal. We do not discuss specific interrogation techniques because they are classified information.
  2. Not meant to be disclosed by a person or organization. I won't say who I'm going to the prom with; that's classified.
etymology 2 {{wikipedia}} From classified advertisement, by shortening.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A classified advertisement in a newspaper or magazine. He ran a classified for the tools he wanted to sell.
classitis etymology class + itis
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (web design, usually, derogatory) The practice of authoring stylesheet with redundant and semantic unhelpful class.
    • 2006, Paul Haine, HTML Mastery: Semantics, Standards, and Styling (page 175) Classitis can be avoided through a better understanding of CSS selectors.
    • 2011, Antony Kennedy, Inayaili de León, Pro CSS for High Traffic Websites (page 102) Frameworks tend to suffer from divitis and classitis.
related terms:
  • divitis
class warfare
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative, idiomatic) The efforts of leveler promoting a greater financial contribution from the rich for the general benefit of the masses
    • 1906, John Spargo, The Socialists, page 71 To end this class warfare is the conscious aim of the Socialist movement.
    • 1994, Charles M. Kelly, The Great Limbaugh Con: and other right-wing assaults on common sense, page 79 There's been a marked increase lately in Limbaugh's rhetoric about, of all things, class warfare.
    • 2004, Paula S. Rothenberg, Race, class, and gender in the United States: an integrated study, page 590 It is class warfare under the theory of 'let's get the rich guy, the richest 1 percent. ... Once again, we are engaging in classic class warfare.
clattery etymology clatter + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Tending to cause a clatter; noisy and possibly cumbersome.
clause {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English, from Old French, from Malayalam clausa (Latin diminutive clausula), from Latin clausus, past participle of claudere; see close. pronunciation
  • /klɔːz/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. {{rfc-sense}} (grammar, informal) A group of two or more word which include a subject and any necessary predicate (the predicate also includes a verb, conjunction, or a preposition) to begin the clause; however, this clause is not considered a sentence for colloquial purposes.
  2. (grammar) A verb along with its subject and their modifiers. If a clause provides a complete thought on its own, then it is an independent (superordinate) clause; otherwise, it is (subordinate) dependent.
    • 1988, Andrew Radford, Transformational grammar: a first course, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, page 300, 6 However, Coordination facts seem to undermine this hasty conclusion: thus, consider the following: (43)      [Your sister could go to College], but [would she get a degree?] The second (italicised) conjunct is a Clause containing an inverted Auxiliary, would. Given our earlier assumptions that inverted Auxiliaries are in C, and that C is a constituent of S-bar, it follows that the italicised Clause in (43) must be an S-bar. But our familiar constraint on Coordination tells us that only constituents belonging to the same Category can be conjoined. Since the second Clause in (43) is clearly an S-bar, then it follows that the first Clause must also be an S-bar — one in which the C(omplementiser) position has been left empty.
  3. (legal) A separate part of a contract, a will or another legal document.
In When it got dark, they went back into the house, “When it got dark” is a dependent clause within the complete sentence. The independent clause "they went back into the house" could stand alone as a sentence, whereas the dependent clause could not.
related terms:
  • close
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive, shipping) To amend (a bill of lading or similar document).
    • {{quote-journal}}
    • The Hamburg rules on the carriage of goods by sea, page 215, Samir Mankabady, 1978, “Any attempt to clause a Bill of Lading will be strenuously resisted by shippers, and they will obtain clean bills in the usual ways”
    • Bills of lading: law and practice, Alan Mitchelhill, 1990, “It was held that the bills of lading presented were in this case 'clean' as they contained no reservations by way of endorsement, clausing or otherwise to suggest that the goods were defective”
    • Cases & materials on the carriage of goods by sea, page 104, Martin Dockra, Katherine Reece Thomas, “There is little authority in English law dealing with the liability of a carrier who unnecessarily clauses a bill of lading.”
clay {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English clay, cley, from Old English clǣġ, from Proto-Germanic *klajjaz, from Proto-Indo-European *gley-.Krueger 1982; Merriam-Webster 1974. Cognate with Dutch klei, Low German klei, German Klei, Danish klæg; compare Ancient Greek γλία 〈glía〉, Latin glūten (whence ultimately English glue), Ukrainian ґлей 〈g̀lej〉. Related also to clag, clog. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /kleɪ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A mineral substance made up of small crystal of silica and alumina, that is ductile when moist; the material of pre-fired ceramic.
    • {{RQ:Vance Nobody}} Three chairs of the steamer type, all maimed, comprised the furniture of this roof-garden, with (by way of local colour) on one of the copings a row of four red clay flower-pots filled with sun-baked dust{{nb...}}.
  2. An earth material with ductile qualities.
  3. (tennis) A tennis court surface. exampleThe French Open is played on clay.
  4. (biblical) The material of the human body.
    • 1611, Old Testament, King James Version, Book of Job 10:8-9: Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about...thou hast made me as the clay.
    • 1611, Old Testament, King James Version, Book of Isaiah 64:8: But now, O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou art our potter; and we are the work of thy hand.
  5. (geology) A particle less than 3.9 micron in diameter, following the Wentworth scale.
  6. (firearms, informal) A clay pigeon.
  • (material of the human body) soul, spirit
  • kaolin, kaoline
  • ball clay
  • fire clay
  • potter's clay
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To add clay to, to spread clay onto.
  2. (transitive, of sugar) To purify using clay.
    • 1776, , , Book IV, Chapter 7: Of Colonies, Part 2: Causes of Prosperity of New Colonies, They amounted, therefore, to a prohibition, at first of claying or refining sugar for any foreign market, and at present of claying or refining it for the market, which takes off, perhaps, more than nine-tenths of the whole produce.
    • 1809, Jonathan Williams, On the Process of Claying Sugar, in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Volume 6.
    • 1985, Stuart B. Schwartz, Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society: Bahia, 1550-1835, [http//|clays|claying|clayed+sugar%22&hl=en&ei=8sroTbfpEJCyuAOkwvS8Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&sqi=2&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22clay|clays|claying|clayed%20sugar%22&f=false page 200], The Portuguese had mastered the technique of claying sugar, and other European nations tried to learn the secrets from them.
  • acyl, lacy, Lacy
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, archaic, military, UK) term for a member of a tunnelling engineering squad in WWI
Claytons {{wikipedia}} etymology From a non-alcoholic drink called promoted in Australia and New Zealand in the 1980s as “the drink you have when you′re not having a drink”. The drink itself did not impress consumer and is now all but forgotten; the term came to be represent fake substitution or lack of commitment. For example, a half hearted union strike might be called a ‘Clayton′s Strike’.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (Australia, New Zealand, informal) Inferior substitute, unsatisfactory compromise, or ersatz.
    • {{quote-newsgroup }}
    • {{quote-web }}
clean {{slim-wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English clene, clane, from Old English clǣne, from Proto-Germanic *klainiz, from Proto-Indo-European *g(e)lēi-, from Proto-Indo-European *gel-. Cognate with Scots clean and clene, clane, Northern Frisian klien, Dutch klein, Low German kleen, German klein, Swedish klen, Icelandic klénn. Displaced Old English sȳfre, hlūtor. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /kliːn/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (heading, physical) Free of dirt or impurities or protruberances.
    1. Not dirty. exampleAre these dishes clean?  Your room is finally clean!
      • {{RQ:BLwnds TLdgr}} Then his sallow face brightened, for the hall had been carefully furnished, and was very clean. ¶ There was a neat hat-and-umbrella stand, and the stranger's weary feet fell soft on a good, serviceable dark-red drugget, which matched in colour the flock-paper on the walls.
    2. In an unmarked condition. examplePut a clean sheet of paper into the printer.
    3. (aerodynamics) Allowing an uninterrupted flow over surface, without protrusion such as racks or landing gear.
    4. Empty. exampleThe cargo hold is clean.  {{nowrap}}
    5. (of metal) Having relatively few impurities. exampleclean steel
  2. (heading, behavioural) Free of immorality or criminality.
    1. Pure, especially morally or religiously. exampleOur kids can watch this movie because it is clean.
      • Bible, Psalms li.10: Create in me a clean heart, O God.
      • Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) That I am whole, and clean, and meet for Heaven.
    2. Not having used drug or alcohol. exampleI've been clean this time for eight months.
    3. (of criminal, driving, etc. records) Without restriction or penalties, or someone having such a record. exampleUnlike you, I’ve never caused any accidents — my record is still clean! 〈Unlike you, I’ve never caused any accidents — my record is still clean!〉
    4. (informal) Not in possession of weapon or contraband such as drugs. exampleI’m clean, officer. You can go ahead and search me if you want. 〈I’m clean, officer. You can go ahead and search me if you want.〉
    5. (informal) Devoid of profanity.
  3. Smooth, exact, and performed well. exampleI’ll need a sharper knife to make clean cuts.  {{nowrap}} 〈I’ll need a sharper knife to make clean cuts.  {{nowrap}}
  4. (informal) Cool or neat. exampleWow, Dude, those are some clean shoes ya got there!
  5. (health) Being free of sexually transmitted disease (STD). exampleI want to make sure my fiancé is clean before we are married.
  6. Which doesn’t damage the environment. exampleclean energy;  clean coal
  7. Free from that which is useless or injurious; without defects. exampleclean land;  clean timber
  8. Free from restraint or neglect; complete; entire.
    • Bible, Book of Leviticus xxiii.22: When ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of corners of thy field.
  9. Well-proportioned; shapely. exampleclean limbs
  10. (climbing, of a route) Ascended without fall.
Synonyms: (not dirty)
  • dirty
  • unclean
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Removal of dirt. This place needs a clean.
  2. (weightlifting) The first part of the event clean and jerk in which the weight is brought from the ground to the shoulders.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To remove dirt from a place or object. Can you clean the windows today?
  2. (transitive) To tidy up, make a place neat. Clean your room right now!
  3. (transitive, climbing) To remove equipment from a climbing route after it was previously lead climbed.
  4. (intransitive) To make things clean in general. She just likes to clean. That’s why I married her.
  5. (intransitive, curling) To brush the ice lightly in front of a moving rock to remove any debris and ensure a correct line; less vigorous than a sweep.
Synonyms: See also
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. Fully and completely. exampleHe was stabbed clean through. exampleYou must be clean mad.
  • ancle, clane, Lance, lance
cleanaholic etymology clean + aholic
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A very clean and tidy person; one who has high standards of cleanliness for the home, etc.
clean potato
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Something that is excellent.
  2. (informal) A person of faultless character.
Synonyms: (thing): the potato, (person): the potato, salt of the earth, upstanding person
cleanskin {{wikipedia}} etymology From clean + skin. pronunciation
  • /ˈkliːnskɪn/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Australia) An unbranded animal.
    • 1921, , Rigby′s Romance, Gutenberg Australia eBook #0607461h, No one had any clear notion of how many head might be collected, but we counted on something over four hundred--possibly up to five hundred and fifty, including calves and cleanskins.
    • 1988, Tom Cole, Hell West and Crooked: I started off lassoing the cleanskins, dragging them up bellowing to the bronco panel where they were quickly leg-roped, thrown and branded.
    • 1995, Darrell Lewis & Charles Schultz, Beyond the Big Run, p. 96: The bullocks would be in the lead and you'd whip in and let the bullocks go to hell, but hang to your cleanskins as much as you could.
  2. Someone with no prior criminal record, a person with no previous conviction; loosely, someone who has not done anything wrong before, an unblemished character.
    • 2007, Poul Anderson, Shocking Australian True Crime Stories, [http//|%22cleanskins%22+police+OR+cricket+-intitle:%22cleanskin|cleanskins%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zK4oT_T-EsL4rQeI1fnXAQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22cleanskin%22|%22cleanskins%22%20police%20OR%20cricket%20-intitle%3A%22cleanskin|cleanskins%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 169], Ryan′s natural father was a cleanskin – a police term for a person with no criminal history – who found himself caught up in the world of career criminals when he married into The Clan.
    • 2010, Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian, 19 Apr 2010: So the only strategy likely to hurt Clegg in those circumstances involves arguing that the Lib Dems are part of the mould too – not cleanskins, but a party with 60-plus MPs in that last discredited parliament.
  3. (Australia, NZ) An unlabelled bottle of wine.
    • 2010, Teresa Ooi, The Australian, 16 Apr 2010: Mr McKenzie said that two years ago a decent bottle of sauvignon blanc sold for $15 to $20, but today prices were down to $10 a bottle. "More cleanskins entering the market is the first indication there is too much SB out there," he said.
    • 2010, Terry Lee Stone, Managing the Design Process Implementing Design: An Essential Manual for the Working Designer, [http//|%22cleanskins%22+-intitle:%22cleanskin|cleanskins%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=s6woT5-GLY-JrAfDprC1AQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22cleanskin%22|%22cleanskins%22%20-intitle%3A%22cleanskin|cleanskins%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 47], In 2009, Back Label commissioned Voice to design a label for its cleanskin.
    • 2011, Craig Sherborne, The Amateur Science of Love, p. 64: My eye-whites still woke up bright and clear despite the night before's two bottles of cheap cleanskin wine.
  4. An undercover police officer who has not done a particular task before.
  5. (cricket) A cricket bat with no maker's logo
clean up {{wikipedia}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To make an area or a thing clean; to pick up a mess; to tidy.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
    exampleClean up your room.
  2. (intransitive, idiomatic, colloquial) To become clean, handsome, smart in appearance, e.g. for a special occasion, especially when it is out of character to be seen as such. exampleHe sure cleans up nice.
  3. (intransitive, idiomatic) To make a large profit; to win by a large margin, or to win a large amount, especially in gambling. Also clean house. exampleMan, he sure cleaned up last night at the blackjack table.   The investors cleaned up when the stock hit the roof last year.
  • {{seeCites}}
related terms:
  • cleanup
clear off
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (informal) To leave abruptly
cleffer etymology clef + er
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) songwriter
    • 1947, Billboard (22 November 1947, page 20) Indications that the top tunesmiths are rewriting their version of the music publishers pot o' gold role in the tune biz can be found in reports here that Edwin H. (Buddy) Morris's relations with film cleffers Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen will be changed shortly from a "pub affiliate" structure to a "writer participation" basis.
cleft chin {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An anatomical genetic trait in which a fissure in the lower jaw causes a visible dimple in the center of the chin.
Synonyms: butt chin, chin cleft, chin dimple, superhero chin
Cleggmania etymology Clegg + mania
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Enthusiasm for British Liberal Democrat politician Nick Clegg.
    • 2010, John Bartle, Nicholas Allen, Britain at the Polls 2010 (page 192) Before the debate the Daily Telegraph, a Conservative-leaning newspaper, had tried to prick the Cleggmania bubble by running a story alleging that Clegg had received payments from party donors directly into his private bank account.
    • 2011, Rachel Johnson, A Diary of The Lady: My First Year As Editor Cleggmania briefly hit Orpington but we need to call our voters and tell them to stick to the blue corner…
etymology 1 Confer clam, or German klemmen, Icelandic klmbra, English clamp.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive or intransitive) To be hungry.
etymology 2 Possibly from clementine, a small round citrus fruit.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Geordie, vulgar, slang) A testicle.

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