Section 3 Words and Expressions

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Section 3 Words and ExpressionsSectio

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    Section 3: Words and Expressions from Module 4 Music relative

    adj. (formal)

    1 considered and judged by being compared with sth. else: the relative merits of the two plans 2

    ~ (to sth.) considered according to its position or connection with sth. else: the position of the sun

    relative to the earth 3 [only before n.] that exists or that has a particular quality only when compared with sth. else comparative: They now live in relative comfort (= compared with how they lived before). Given the failure of the previous plan, this turned out to be a relative success.

    It’s all relative though, isn’t it? We never had any money when I was a kid and $500 was a fortune

    to us.


    1 a person who is in the same family as sb. else: a close / distant relative her friends and relatives 2 a thing that belongs to the same group as sth. else: The ibex is a distant relative of the mountain goat



    1 [vn] to explain the meaning of sth.: The students were asked to interpret the poem. 2 [vn] ~ sth.

    (as sth.) to decide that sth. has a particular meaning and to understand it in this way: I didn’t know

    whether to interpret her silence as acceptance or refusal. The data can be interpreted in many

    different ways 3 [v] ~ (for sb.) to translate one language into another as you hear it: She couldn’t

    speak much English so her children had to interpret for her. characteristic

    adj.~ (of sth./sb.) very typical of sth. or of sb.’s character: She spoke with characteristic


    characteristically adv.: Characteristically, Helen paid for everyone.


    ~ (of sth./sb.) a typical feature or quality that sth./sb. has: The need to communicate is a key

    characteristic of human society. The two groups of children have quite different characteristics.

    Personal characteristics, such as age and sex are taken into account.

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    1 ~ (sth.) (with sth.)| ~ A and B (together) to come together to form a single thing or group; to join two or more things or groups together to form a single one: [v] Hydrogen and oxygen combine to

    form water. Hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water. Several factors had combined to ruin our plans. [vn] Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Combine the eggs with a little flour. The German team scored a combined total of 652 points.

    2 [vn] ~ A and / with B to have two or more different features or characteristics; to put two or more different things, features or qualities together: The hotel combines comfort with convenience.

    This model combines a telephone and fax machine. a kitchen and dining-room combined We are still looking for someone who combines all the necessary qualities. They have successfully combined the old with the new in this room.



    1 to make sb. sad and without enthusiasm or hope: [vn] Wet weather always depresses me. [vn to

    inf] It depresses me to see so many young girls smoking. 2 [vn] to make trade, business, etc. less

    active: The recession has depressed the housing market.


    n. ~ (to be / do sth.)| ~ (of being / doing sth.)

    1 [C] something that you want to do or achieve very much: She never achieved her ambition of

    becoming a famous writer. His burning ambition was to study medicine. It had been her lifelong ambition. political / literary / sporting ambitions

    2 [U] the desire or determination to be successful, rich, powerful, etc.: motivated by personal

    ambition She was intelligent but suffered from a lack of ambition.


    prep. concerning sb./sth.; about sb./sth.: She has said nothing regarding your request. Call me if you have any problems regarding your work.


    v. (spread, spread)


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    1 [vn] ~ sth. (out) (on / over sth.) to open sth. that has been folded so that it covers a larger area than before: to spread a cloth on a table Sue spread the map out on the floor. The bird spread its wings. 2 [vn] ~ sth. (out) (on / over sth.) to arrange objects so that they cover a large area and can be seen easily: Papers had been spread out on the desk.


    3 [vn] ~ sth. (out) to move your arms, legs, fingers, etc. far apart from each other: She spread her

    arms and the child ran towards her.


    4 to affect or make sth. affect, be known by, or used by more and more people: [v, usually + adv. /

    prep.] The disease spreads easily. Within weeks, his confidence had spread throughout the team. Use of computers spread rapidly during that period. [vn] to spread rumours / lies about sb. The disease is spread by mosquitoes.


    5 [usually +adv. / prep.] to cover, or to make sth. cover, a larger and larger area: [v] The fire

    rapidly spread to adjoining buildings. Water began to spread across the floor. A smile spread slowly across her face. [vn] Using too much water could spread the stain. 6 [vn] to cause

    sb./sth. to be in a number of different places: Seeds and pollen are spread by the wind. We have

    10 000 members spread all over the country. 7 [v + adv. / prep.] ~ (out) to cover a large area:

    The valley spread out beneath us.


    8 ~ (A on / over B)| ~ (B with A) to put a layer of a substance onto the surface of sth.; to be able to be put onto a surface: [vn] to spread butter on pieces of toast pieces of toast spread with butter [v] If the paint is too thick, it will not spread evenly.


    9 [vn] ~ sth. (out) (over sth.) to separate sth. into parts and divide them between different times or different people: A series of five interviews will be spread over two days. Why not pay monthly and spread the cost of your car insurance? We attempted to spread the workload between the departments.


    n. [U] damage or injury that is caused by a person or an event: He would never frighten anyone or

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    cause them any harm. He may look fierce, but he means no harm. The court case will do serious harm to my business. The accident could have been much worse; luckily no harm was done. Don’t worry, we’ll see that the children come to no harm. I can’t say I like Mark very much, but I don’t wish him any harm. Hard work never did anyone any harm. Look, we’re just going out for a few drinks, where’s the harm in that? The treatment they gave him did him more harm than good.

    it wouldn’t do sb. any harm (to do sth.) used to suggest that it would be a good idea for sb. to do sth.: It wouldn’t do you any harm to smarten yourself up.

    no harm done (informal) used to tell sb. not to worry because they have caused no serious damage or injury: Forget it, Dave, no harm done.

    out of harm’s way in a safe place where sb./sth. cannot be hurt or injured or do any damage to sb./sth.: She put the knife in a drawer, out of harm’s way. I prefer the children to play in the garden where they’re out of harm’s way.

    there is no harm in (sb.’s) doing sth. | it does no harm (for sb.) to do sth. used to tell sb. that sth.

    is a good idea and will not cause any problems: He may say no, but there’s no harm in asking. It

    does no harm to ask.


    [vn] to hurt or injure sb. or to damage sth.: He would never harm anyone. Pollution can harm

    marine life. These revelations will harm her chances of winning the election rhyme


    1 [C] a word that has the same sound or ends with the same sound as another word: Can you think

    of a rhyme for ‘beauty’? 2 [C] a short poem in which the last word in the line has the same sound as the last word in another line, especially the next one: children’s rhymes and stories

    nursery rhyme 3 [U] the use of words in a poem or song that have the same sound, especially at the ends of lines: a poem written in rhyme the poet’s use of rhyme a poem with an unusual rhyme scheme a poem without rhyme

    there’s no rhyme or reason to / for sth. | without rhyme or reason if there is no rhyme or reason

    to sth. or it happens without rhyme or reason, it happens in a way that cannot be easily explained or understood: Suddenly, without rhyme or reason, his mood changed.

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    1 [v] ~ (with sth.) if two words, syllables, etc. rhyme, or if one rhymes with the other, they have or

    end with the same sound: ‘Though’ rhymes with ‘low’. ‘Tough’ and ‘through’ don’t rhyme. rhyming couplets 2 [vn] ~ sth. (with sth.) to put words that sound the same together, for example when you are writing poetry: You can rhyme ‘girl’ with ‘curl’. 3 [v] (of a poem) to have lines

    that end with the same sound: I prefer poems that rhyme.


    n. (pl. -ies)

    1 [U] great suffering of the mind or body: Fame brought her nothing but misery. 2 [U] very poor

     [C] something that living conditions: The vast majority of the population lives in utter misery. 3

    causes great suffering of mind or body: the miseries of unemployment

    make sb.’s life a misery to behave in a way that makes sb. else feel very unhappy

    put an animal, a bird, etc. out of its misery to kill a creature because it has an illness or injury that cannot be treated

    put sb. out of their misery (informal) to stop sb. worrying by telling them sth. that they are anxious to know: Put me out of my misery—did I pass or didn’t I?.


    v. (-bb-)

    [vn] ~ sb./sth. (of sth.) to steal money or property from a person or place: to rob a bank The

    tomb had been robbed of its treasures. The gang had robbed and killed the drugstore owner. rob sb. blind (informal) to cheat or trick sb. so that they lose a lot of money: You can’t trust them.

    They’ll rob you blind as soon as your back is turned.

    rob the cradle (NAmE, informal) to have a sexual relationship with a much younger person rob Peter to pay Paul (saying) to borrow money from one person to pay back what you owe to another person; to take money from one thing to use for sth. else rob sb./sth. of sth. [often passive] to prevent sb. having sth. that they need or deserve: A

    last-minute goal robbed the team of victory. He had been robbed of his dignity. negative



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    1 bad or harmful: The crisis had a negative effect on trade. The whole experience was definitely more positive than negative.


    2 considering only the bad side of sth./sb.; lacking enthusiasm or hope: Scientists have a fairly

    negative attitude to the theory. ‘He probably won’t show up.’ ‘Don’t be so negative.’


    3 expressing the answer ‘no’: His response was negative. They received a negative reply. GRAMMAR

    4 containing a word such as ‘no’, ‘not’, ‘never’, etc.: a negative form / sentence


    5 (abbr. neg.) not showing any evidence of a particular substance or medical condition: Her

    pregnancy test was negative.


    6 (technical) containing or producing the type of electricity that is carried by an electron: a

    negative charge / current the negative terminal of a battery NUMBER / QUANTITY

    7 less than zero: a negative trade balance



    1 [v] ~ (with sth.) to rest while you are doing sth. enjoyable, especially after work or effort

    unwind: When I get home from work I like to relax with the newspaper. Just relax and enjoy the

    movie. I’m going to spend the weekend just relaxing. 2 to become or make sb. become calmer and less worried: [v] I’ll only relax when I know you’re safe. Relax! Everything will be OK. [also vn]




    1 [C] a group of objects, often of the same sort, that have been collected: a stamp / coin, etc.

    collection The painting comes from his private collection. 2 [C] a group of objects or people: There was a collection of books and shoes on the floor. There is always a strange collection of

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    runners in the London Marathon.


    3 [C, U] an act of taking sth. away from a place; an act of bringing things together into one place: refuse / garbage collection The last collection from this postbox is at 5.15. Your suit will be ready for collection on Tuesday. The first stage in research is data collection.


    4 [C] a group of poems, stories or pieces of music published together as one book or disc: a

    collection of stories by women writers a collection of favourite Christmas music MONEY

    5 [C] an act of collecting money to help a charity or during a church service; the money collected: a house-to-house collection for Cancer Research The total collection last week amounted to ?250.


    6 [C] a range of new clothes or items for the home that are designed, made and offered for sale, often for a particular season: Armani’s stunning new autumn collection


    adj. /preznt/

    1 [only before n.] existing or happening now: in the present situation the present owner of the

    house a list of all club members, past and present We do not have any more information at the present time. A few brief comments are sufficient for present purposes. You can’t use it in its present condition. 2 [not before n.] ~ (at sth.) (of a person) being in a particular place: Most

    fathers wish to be present at the birth of their child. There were 200 people present at the meeting. The mistake was obvious to all those present. I wasn’t present when the doctor examined him.

    all present and correct (BrE) (NAmE all present and accounted for) used to say that all the things or people who should be there are now there

    present company excepted (informal) used after being rude or critical about sb. to say that the people you are talking to are not included in the criticism: The people in this office are so

    narrow-minded, present company excepted, of course.

    n. /preznt/

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    1 a thing that you give to sb. as a gift: birthday / Christmas / wedding, etc. presents What can I

    get him for a birthday present? 2 (usually the present) [sing.] the time now: You’ve got to forget

    the past and start living in the present. I’m sorry he’s out at present (= now). 3 the present

    [sing.] (grammar) = the present tense see moment, time n.

    v. /przent/ [vn]


    1 ~ sb. with sth.| ~ sth. (to sb.) to give sth. to sb., especially formally at a ceremony: The local MP

    will start the race and present the prizes. On his retirement, colleagues presented him with a set of golf clubs. The sword was presented by the family to the museum.


    2 ~ sth. (for sth.)| ~ sth. (to sb.) to show or offer sth. for other people to look at or consider: The

    committee will present its final report to Parliament in June. Eight options were presented for consideration. Are you presenting a paper at the conference? He presents a convincing case. The banks will begin to present their arguments today.


    3 ~ sth.| ~ sth./sb. / yourself as sth. to show or describe sth./sb. in a particular way: The company

    has decided it must present a more modern image. It is essential that we present a united front (= show that we all agree). You need to present yourself better. He likes to present himself as a radical politician. The press presents this as a kind of victory. The article presents these proposals as misguided.


    4 ~ sb. with sth.| ~ sth. to cause sth. to happen or be experienced: Your request shouldn’t present us

    with any problems. Use of these chemicals may present a fire risk. Irradiation presents environmental dangers.


    5 ~ itself (to sb.) (of an opportunity, a solution, etc.) to suddenly happen or become available arise: One major problem did present itself, though. As soon as the opportunity presented itself, she would get another job. Thankfully, a solution presented itself to him surprisingly soon. RADIO / TV PROGRAMME

    6 (BrE) to appear in a radio or television programme and introduce the different items in it: She

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    used to present a gardening programme on TV.


    7 to produce a show, play, broadcast, etc. for the public: Compass Theatre Company presents a

    new production of ‘King Lear’. The string orchestra of the Music School of Lemgo will present a

    concert in the Guildhall.


    8 ~ sb. (to sb.) (formal) to introduce sb. formally, especially to sb. of higher rank or status: May I

    present my fiancé to you?


    9 ~ yourself at, for, in, etc. (formal) to officially appear somewhere: You will be asked to present

    yourself for interview. She was ordered to present herself in court on 20 May. EXPRESS STH.

    10 ~ sth. (to sb.) (formal) to offer or express sth. in speech or writing: Please allow me to present

    my apologies.


    11 to give sb. a cheque or bill that they should pay: A cheque presented by Mr Jackson was

    returned by the bank. The builders presented a bill for several hundred pounds. present arms (of soldiers) to hold a rifle vertical in front of the body as a mark of respect therefore

    adv. used to introduce the logical result of sth. that has just been mentioned: He’s only 17 and

    therefore not eligible to vote. There is still much to discuss. We shall, therefore, return to this

    item at our next meeting.

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