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Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

mer cen ary

noun, adjective

BrE / msnri /
NAmE / mrsneri /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
EXAMPLE BANK
( pl. mer cen aries )
a soldier who will fight for any country or group that offers payment
foreign mercenaries
mercenary soldiers
adjective
WORD ORIGIN
( disapproving )
only interested in making or getting money
a mercenary society/attitude
She's interested in him for purely mercenary reasons.
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

horse man

BrE / hsmn /
NAmE / hrsmn /
noun
( pl. horse men / BrE hsmn ; NAmE hrsmn / )
a rider on a horse; a person who can ride horses
a good horseman
300 horsemen appeared on the top of the hill.
see also horsewoman
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

cav alry

BrE / kvlri /
NAmE / kvlri /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
( usually the cavalry ) [ singular + singular or plural verb ]
(in the past) the part of the army that fought on horses; the part of the modern army that
uses armoured vehicles
The cavalry charged up the hill to engage the rebels.
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

arch er

BrE / t(r) /

NAmE / rtr /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
a person who shoots with a bow and arrows
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

breast plate

BrE / brestplet /
NAmE / brestplet /
noun
a piece of armour worn by soldiers in the past to protect the upper front part of the body
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

lance

noun, verb
BrE / lns /
NAmE / lns /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
a weapon with a long wooden handle and a pointed metal end that was used by people
fighting on horses in the past
verb
VERB FORMS
WORD ORIGIN
1 [ transitive ] ~ sth to cut open an infected place on sb's body with a sharp knife in
order to let out the pus (= a yellow substance produced by infection)
to lance an abscess
2 [ intransitive ] + adv./prep. ( of a pain ) to move suddenly and quickly and be
very sharp
Pain lanced through his body.
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

sword
BrE / sd /
NAmE / srd /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
EXAMPLE BANK
a weapon with a long metal blade and a handle
to draw/sheathe a sword (= to take it out/put it into its cover)
put sb to the sword ( old-fashioned or literary ) to kill sb with a sword
a/the sword of Damocles ( literary ) a bad or unpleasant thing that might happen
to you at any time and that makes you feel worried or frightened From the legend in which
Damocles had to sit at a meal at the court of Dionysius with a sword hanging by a single
hair above his head. He had praised Dionysius' happiness, and Dionysius wanted him to
understand how quickly happiness can be lost.

turn swords into ploughshares ( literary ) to stop fighting and return to peaceful
activities
more at cross swords at cross v. , be a double-edged sword/weapon at
double-edged , the pen is mightier than the sword at pen n.
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

mace
BrE / mes /
NAmE / mes /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
CULTURE
1 [ countable ] a decorative stick, carried as a sign of authority by an official such as a
mayor
compare sceptre
2 [ countable ] a large heavy stick that has a head with metal points on it, used in the
past as a weapon
3 [ uncountable ] the dried outer covering of nutmegs (= the hard nuts of a tropical
tree), used in cooking as a spice
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

battle axe

( BrE )
( US also battle ax )
BrE / btlks /
NAmE / btlks /
noun
1 ( informal , disapproving ) an aggressive and unpleasant older woman
My landlady is an old battleaxe and has far too many house rules.
2 a heavy axe with a long handle, used in the past as a weapon
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

land owner

BrE / lndn(r) /
NAmE / lndonr /
noun
a person who owns land, especially a large area of land
land owner ship / BrE ; NAmE / ( also land owning ) noun [ uncountable ]
private landownership
land owning / BrE lndn ; NAmE lndon / adjective [ only before
noun ]
the great landowning families
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

ir ri gate

BrE / ret /
NAmE / ret /
verb
VERB FORMS
WORD ORIGIN
1 ~ sth to supply water to an area of land through pipes or channels so that crops will
grow
irrigated land/crops
2 ~ sth ( medical ) to wash out a wound or part of the body with a flow of water or
liquid
ir ri ga tion / BrE ren ; NAmE ren / noun [ uncountable ]
irrigation channels
Irrigation has increased the area of cultivable land.
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

ro ta tion

BrE / rten /
NAmE / roten /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
EXAMPLE BANK
1 [ uncountable ] the action of an object moving in a circle around a central fixed point
the daily rotation of the earth on its axis
2 [ countable ] one complete movement in a circle around a fixed point
This switch controls the number of rotations per minute.
3 [ uncountable , countable ] the act of regularly changing the thing that is being
used in a particular situation, or of changing the person who does a particular job
crop rotation/the rotation of crops (= changing the crop that is grown on an area of
land in order to protect the soil)
job rotation (= the practice of regularly changing the job that a particular person does so
that they become experienced in different areas)
Wheat, maize and sugar beet are planted in rotation .
The committee is chaired by all the members in rotation .
ro ta tion al / BrE rtenl ; NAmE rotenl / adjective [ only before
noun ]
The event is held on a rotational basis in each of the participating countries.
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

pot ter

verb, noun
BrE / pt(r) /
NAmE / ptr /
verb
VERB FORMS
WORD ORIGIN
( BrE )

( NAmE putt er )
[ intransitive ] + adv./prep.
to do things or move without hurrying, especially when you are doing sth that you enjoy
and that is not important
I spent the day pottering around the house.
noun
WORD ORIGIN
a person who makes clay pots by hand
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

weaver
BrE / wiv(r) /
NAmE / wivr /
noun
a person whose job is weaving cloth
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

car pen ter

BrE / kpnt(r) /
NAmE / krpntr /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
EXAMPLE BANK
a person whose job is making and repairing wooden objects and structures
compare joiner
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

join er

BrE / dn(r) /
NAmE / dnr /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
1 ( BrE ) a person whose job is to make the wooden parts of a building, especially window
frames, doors, etc.
compare carpenter
2 a person who joins an organization, club, etc
All joiners will receive a welcome pack.
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

black smith

BrE / blksm /
NAmE / blksm /
( also smith )

noun
a person whose job is to make and repair things made of iron, especially horseshoes
compare farrier
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

mill er

BrE / ml(r) /
NAmE / mlr /
noun
a person who owns or works in a mill for making flour
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition


trade noun, verb
BrE / tred /
NAmE / tred /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
COLLOCATIONS
COLLOCATIONS
SYNONYMS
EXAMPLE BANK
1 [ uncountable ] the activity of buying and selling or of exchanging goods or services
between people or countries
international/foreign trade
Trade between the two countries has increased.
the international trade in oil
the arms/drugs, etc. trade
see also balance of trade , fair-trade , free trade
2 [ countable ] a particular type of business
the building/food/tourist, etc. trade
He works in the retail trade (= selling goods in shops/stores) .
see also rag trade

3 the trade [ singular + singular or plural verb ] a particular area of business


and the people or companies that are connected with it
They offer discounts to the trade (= to people who are working in the same business) .
a trade magazine/journal
Their company is respected and well known in the trade.
see also stock-in-trade
4 [ uncountable , countable ] the amount of goods or services that you sell
business
Trade was very good last month.
5 [ uncountable , countable ] a job, especially one that involves working with your
hands and that requires special training and skills

He was a carpenter by trade .


When she leaves school, she wants to learn a trade.
She was surrounded by the tools of her trade (= everything she needs to do her job) .
see a jack of all trades at jack n. , ply for hire/trade/business ply your
trade at ply v. , do a roaring trade (in sth) at roaring , the tricks of the
trade at trick n.
verb
VERB FORMS
WORD ORIGIN
EXAMPLE BANK
1 [ intransitive , transitive ] to buy and sell things
~ (in sth) (with sb) The firm openly traded in arms.
Early explorers traded directly with the Indians.
trading partners (= countries that you trade with)
~ sth (with sb) Our products are now traded worldwide.
2 [ intransitive ] to exist and operate as a business or company
The firm has now ceased trading.
~ as sb/sth They traded as Walker and Son.
3 [ intransitive , transitive ] ~ (sth) to be bought and sold, or to buy and sell sth,
on a stock exchange
Shares were trading at under half their usual value.
4 [ transitive ] to exchange sth that you have for sth that sb else has
~ (sb) sth to trade secrets/insults/jokes
~ sth for sth She traded her posters for his CD.
~ sth with sb I wouldn't mind trading places with her for a day.
trade at sth ( US ) to buy goods or shop at a particular store
trade down to spend less money on things than you used to
Shoppers are trading down and looking for bargains.
trade sth in to give sth used as part of the payment for sth new
He traded in his old car for a new Mercedes.
related noun trade-in
trade sth off (against/for sth) to balance two things or situations that are
opposed to each other
They were attempting to trade off inflation against unemployment.
related noun trade-off
trade on sth ( disapproving ) to use sth to your own advantage, especially in an
unfair way
exploit
They trade on people's insecurity to sell them insurance.
trade up
1 to sell sth in order to buy sth more expensive
We're going to trade up to a larger house.
2 to give sth you have used as part of the payment for sth more expensive
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

pol yg amy

BrE / plmi /
NAmE / plmi /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
[ uncountable ] ( technical )
the custom of having more than one wife at the same time
compare polyandry
pol yg am ist / BrE plmst ; NAmE plmst / noun
pol yg am ous / BrE plms ; NAmE plms / adjective
a polygamous marriage/society
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

des pot ism

BrE / desptzm /
NAmE / desptzm /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
[ uncountable ]
the rule of a despot
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

des pot

BrE / despt /
NAmE / despt /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
EXAMPLE BANK
a ruler with great power, especially one who uses it in a cruel way
an enlightened despot (= one who tries to use his/her power in a good way)
des pot ic / BrE dsptk ; NAmE dsptk / adjective
despotic power/rule
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition


cap ital noun, adjective
BrE / kptl /
NAmE / kptl /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
EXAMPLE BANK
CITY

1 ( also capital city ) [ countable ] the most important town or city of a country,
usually where the central government operates from
Cairo is the capital of Egypt.

Troops are stationed in and around the capital.


a tour of six European capital cities
( figurative ) Paris, the fashion capital of the world
MONEY

2 [ singular ] a large amount of money that is invested or is used to start a business


to set up a business with a starting capital of 100000
3 [ uncountable ] wealth or property that is owned by a business or a person
capital assets
capital expenditure (= money that an organization spends on buildings, equipment, etc.)
4 [ uncountable ] ( technical ) people who use their money to start businesses,
considered as a group
capital and labour
LETTER

5 ( also capital letter ) [ countable ] a letter of the form and size that is used at the
beginning of a sentence or a name (= A,B,C rather than a,b,c)
Use block capitals (= separate capital letters) .
Please write in capitals/in capital letters .
ARCHITECTURE

6 the top part of a column


make capital (out) of sth
to use a situation for your own advantage
The opposition parties are making political capital out of the government's problems.
adjective
WORD ORIGIN
PUNISHMENT

1 [ only before noun ] involving punishment by death


a capital offence
LETTER

2 [ only before noun ] ( of letters of the alphabet ) having the form and size used at
the beginning of a sentence or a name
English is written with a capital E.
compare lower case
EXCELLENT

3 ( old-fashioned , BrE ) excellent


with a capital A, B, etc.
used to emphasize that a word has a stronger meaning than usual in a particular situation
He was romantic with a capital R.
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

in fra struc ture

BrE / nfrstrkt(r) /
NAmE / nfrstrktr /

noun
WORD ORIGIN

[ countable , uncountable ]
the basic systems and services that are necessary for a country or an organization to run
smoothly, for example buildings, transport and water and power supplies
in fra struc tural / BrE nfrstrktrl ; NAmE nfrstrktrl / adjective [
usually before noun ]
infrastructural development
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

cer am ic

BrE / srmk /
NAmE / srmk /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
1 [ countable , usually plural ] a pot or other object made of clay that has been
made permanently hard by heat
an exhibition of ceramics by Picasso
2 ceramics [ uncountable ] the art of making and decorating ceramics
cer am ic adjective
ceramic tiles
Oxford University Press, 2010

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

lapis laz uli

BrE / lps lzjli /


NAmE / lps lzli /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
[ uncountable ]
a bright blue stone, used in making jewellery
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

ob sid ian

BrE / bsdin /
NAmE / bsdin /
noun
WORD ORIGIN
[ uncountable ]
a type of dark rock that looks like glass and comes from volcanoes
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

bas-relief
BrE / bs rlif /
NAmE / bs rlif /

noun
WORD ORIGIN

[ uncountable , countable ]
a form of sculpture in which the shapes are cut so that they are slightly raised from the
background; a sculpture made in this way
Oxford University Press, 2010
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th edition

met al work

BrE / metlwk /
NAmE / metlwrk /
noun
[ uncountable ]
1 the activity of making objects out of metal; objects that are made out of metal
a class in metalwork
a piece of ornamental metalwork
2 the metal parts of sth
cracks in the metalwork
met al work er / BrE metlwk(r) ; NAmE metlwrkr / noun
Oxford University Press, 2010