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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The publishers would like to acknowledge the following for their invaluable contribution to the original COBUILD concept :
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GUIDE TO KEY FEATURES

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  • DefinitionsPLUS Grammar — Each definition includes the most representative grammatical patterns to help the learner use English correctly.
  • DefinitionsPLUS Natural English — Each definition is a model of how to use the language appropriately and idiomatically.
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The Bank of English™ is the original and the most current computerized corpus of authentic American English. This robust research tool was used to create each definition. All sample sentences are drawn from the rich selection that the corpus offers.

LETTER FROM JOHN SINCLAIR

Dear Dictionary User,
I am proud to present the First Edition of the Collins COBUILD Advanced Dictionary of American English, which continues the distinctive COBUILD tradition established nineteen years ago and offers some innovative features to make the book even easier to use.
The basis for the authority of COBUILD is the Bank of English™, part of the Collins Word Web, one of the biggest corpora of its kind in any language, and now containing 645 million words. Decisions about which words to include as headwords in the dictionary, whick meanings to draw attention to, which phrases to recognize as settled expressions in the language, and many other issues, are directly informed by the Bank of English™. The regular updating of this corpus ensures that this edition is up-to-date; new words and phrases constantly creep into the language, and sometimes establish themselves quickly, so lexicographers keep a careful watch for them.
All the examples in this book are quoted from the rich selection that the corpus offers. In the choice of examples, we pay careful attention to collocation — the significant co-occurrence of words — so that the examples are not only natural forms of expression, but also are reliable models of usage. Important collocations are also highlighted in the definitions, giving help with set lexical and grammatical patterns.
The COBUILD defining style is modelled on the way people explain the meaning of words to each other, and it is refreshingly direct, because the definitions are just normal sentences of English with the headword or phrase in bold face. This style is not only easier to understand than the usual way definitions are written, it also allows a lot of extra information to be presented in a natural way. Please read the definitions carefully and learn to take from them all the information they provide.
COBUILD was the first dictionary to stress the importance of the commoner words for a learner. Dictionaries traditionally try to pack as many headwords in as possible, without always indicating which are the ones that keep coming up in speech and writing. The common vocabulary words often have several senses and are found in phrase patterns which help to distinguish the senses, and all this is carefully set out in this dictionary. Common words have diamond symbols, with a simple code to tell you approximately how common they are.
The authority of a very large corpus, and the experience of many years of using this corpus to get from it accurate and important information about today's English, makes me very confident that this will be a valuable resource. I know that many native speakers of English, and many whose English, although not native, is extremely fluent, use COBUILD as their dictionary for preference. So while it is primarily aimed at the needs of advanced learners, it does not matter how advanced they are!
John Sinclair
Founding Editor-in-Chief
Emeritus Professor of Modern English Language, University of Birmingham
President, the Tuscan Word Centre

INTRODUCTION

A dictionary is probably the single most important reference book that a learner of English can buy. At Collins we do our best to ensure that our dictionaries live up to all expectations. This Collins COBUILD Advanced Dictionary of American English is specifically designed for the American market.
The corpus
The Collins COBUILD Advanced Dictionary of American English, like all Collins dictionaries, is based on a corpus, the Bank of English™, part of the Collins Word Web, which now contains over 650 million words of contemporary English. The corpus is central to the compilation of COBUILD dictionaries. It enables the dictionary editors to look at how the language works and make evidence-based statements about the meanings, patterns, and uses of words with confidence and accuracy.
Content
A dictionary must present the most important facts about language, and dictionary compilers need good evidence to be able to make their selections. It is much easier to decide which words to include, and which to omit, when we have accurate statistical information from such a vast database of language as the Bank of English™. This enables the compilers to look at the relative frequency of words and to identify and highlight the 2,500 most frequently used words in English. These words account for over 75% of all English usage, so it is easy to see why they are important.
Definitions
One of the most distinctive features of all COBUILD dictionaries is the use of full English sentences in the definitions, explaining the meaning in the way that one person might explain it to another. They give the user much more than the meaning of the word they are looking up, and also contain information on usage, register, typical context, and syntax. The fullness of the definitions will give learners of English confidence as they learn what words and phrases mean and how they are used.
Examples
All of the examples in this dictionary have been selected from the Bank of English™, and have been chosen carefully to show the collocates of a word — other words that are frequently used with the word we are defining — and the patterns in which it is used. Since the examples are genuine pieces of text, you can be sure that they show the word in use in a natural context.
Set structures
For each definition, the word or phrase being defined is printed in bold. In addition, we have identified and highlighted in bold words which combine with the headword to make a very important or set grammatical structure or collocational pattern, for example, A band of people is...If you say something to yourself, you think it...If you are unable to do something, it is...
Coverage
Today's learners of English need to be aware of the variation of language in different parts of the English-speaking world. The Collins COBUILD Advanced Dictionary of American English includes useful notes to identify vocabulary and expressions from those parts of the world, particularly American and British English.
Usage notes
Throughout the text we have included a number of notes which give additional information about how words are used. There is a variety of useful information contained in these notes, which help to clarify important distinctions in usage and in grammar.
Culture notes
Extra information on culturally significant events, institutions, traditions and customs is given in the form of a note following the relevant entry. These notes are intended to help you gain a greater understanding of life and culture in English-speaking countries.
Complex entries
Entries which are long or complex are given a special treatment to make them easier to navigate. A menu shows what sections the entry is divided into, and how they are ordered, so that you can immediately go to the correct section to find the meaning you want. For example, mean is divided into three sections, corresponding to its verb, adjective, and noun uses. The same principle is used for hold, where there is an important sense distinction running through its uses.
Grammatical information
Where relevant, useful information about the grammatical patterns is provided. This information appears immediately before the examples which further clarify the patterns.

GUIDE TO THE DICTIONARY ENTRIES

Definitions
One of the features of the Collins COBUILD Advanced Dictionary of American English is that the definitions are written in full sentences, using vocabulary and grammatical structures that occur naturally with the word being explained. This enables us to give a lot of information about the way a word or meaning is used by speakers of the language. Whenever possible, words are explained using simpler and more common words. This gives us a natural defining vocabulary with most words in our definitions being among the 2,500 most common words of English.
Information about collocates and structure
In our definitions, we show the typical collocates of a word : that is, the other words that are used with the word we are defining. For example, the definition of meaning 1 of the adjective savory says :
Savory food has a salty or spicy flavor rather than a sweet one.
This shows that you use the adjective savory to describe food, rather than other things. Meaning 1 of the verb wag says :
When a dog wags its tail, it repeatedly waves its tail from side to side.
This shows that the subject of meaning 1 of wag refers to a dog, and the object of the verb is “tail”.
Information about grammar
The definitions also give information about the grammatical structures in which a word is used. For example, meaning 1 of the adjective candid says :
When you are candid about something or with someone, you speak honestly.
This shows that you use candid with the preposition “about” with something and “with” with someone.
Other definitions show other kinds of structure. Meaning 1 of the verb soften says :
If you soften something or if it softens, it becomes less hard, stiff, or firm.
This shows that the verb is used both transitively and intransitively. In the transitive use, you have a human subject and a non-human object. In the intransitive use, you have a non-human subject.
Finally, meaning 1 of compel says :
If a situation, a rule, or a person compels you to do something, they force you to do it.
This shows you what kinds of subject and object to use with compel, and it also shows that you typically use the verb in a structure with a to-infinitive.
Information about context and usage
In addition to information about collocation and grammar, definitions also can be used to convey your evaluation of something, for example to express your approval or disapproval. For example, here is the definition of unhelpful :
If you say that someone or something is unhelpful, you mean that they do not help you or improve a situation, and may even make things worse.
In this definition, the expressions “if you say that”, and “you mean that” indicate that these words are used subjectively, rather than objectively.
Other kinds of definition
We sometimes explain grammatical words and other function words by paraphrasing the word in context. For example, meaning 3 of through says :
To go through a town, area, or country means to travel across it or in it.
In many cases, it is impossible to paraphrase the word, and so we explain its function instead. For example, the definition of unfortunately says :
You can use unfortunately to introduce or refer to a statement when you consider that it is sad or disappointing, or when you want to express regret.
Lastly, some definitions are expressed as if they are cross-references. For example :
Rd. is a written abbreviation for road.
e-commerce is the same as e-business.
If you need to know more about the words road or e-business, you look at those entries.
Style and Usage
Some words or meanings are used mainly by particular groups of people, or in particular social contexts. In this dictionary, where relevant, the definitions also give information about the kind of people who are likely to use a word or expression, and the type of social situation in which it is used.
In terms of geographical diversity, this dictionary focuses on American and British English using evidence from the Bank of English™. Where relevant, the American form is also shown at the equivalent British word or meaning.
This information is usually placed at the end of the definition, in small capitals and within square brackets. If more than one type of information is provided, they are given in a list.
Geographical labels
am : used mainly by speakers and writers in the US, and in other places where American English is used or taught.
brit : used mainly by speakers and writers in Britain, and in other places where British English is used or taught. Where relevant the American equivalent is provided.
Other geographical labels are used in the text to refer to English as it is spoken in other parts of the world, e.g. australian, scottish.
Style labels
business : used mainly when talking about the field of business, e.g. annuity
computing : used mainly when talking about the field of computing, e.g. chat room
dialect : used in some dialects of English, e.g. ain't
formal : used mainly in official situations, or by political and business organizations, or when speaking or writing to people in authority, e.g. gracious
humorous : used mainly to indicate that a word or expression is used in a humorous way, e.g. gents
informal : used mainly in informal situations, conversations, and personal letters, e.g. pep talk
journalism : used mainly in journalism, e.g. glass ceiling
legal : used mainly in legal documents, in law courts, and by the police in official situations, e.g. manslaughter
literary : used mainly in novels, poetry, and other forms of literature, e.g. plaintive
medical : used mainly in medical texts, and by doctors in official situations, e.g. psychosis
military : used mainly when talking or writing about military terms, e.g. armor
offensive : likely to offend people, or to insult them; words labeled offensive shold therefore usually be avoided, e.g. cripple
old-fashioned : generally considered to be old-fashioned, and no longer in common use, e.g. dashing
spoken : used mainly in speech rather than in writing, e.g. pardon
technical : used mainly when talking or writing about objects, events, or processes in a specialist subject, such as business, science, or music, e.g. biotechnology
trademark : used to show a designated trademark, e.g. Biro
vulgar : used mainly to describe words which could be considered taboo by some people; words labeled vulgar should therefore usually be avoided, e.g. piss
written : used mainly in writing rather than in speech, e.g. avail

PRAGMATICS LABELS

Many uses of words need more than a statement of meaning to be properly explained. People use words to do many things : give invitations, express their feelings, emphasize what they are saying, and so on. The study and description of the way in which people use language to do these things is called pragmatics.
In the dictionary, we draw attention to certain pragmatic aspects of words and phrases of English, paying special attention to those that, for cultural and linguistic reasons, we feel may be confusing to learners. The following labels are used :
approval : used to show that you approve of the person or thing you are talking about, e.g. angelic.
disapproval : used to show that you disapprove of the person or thing you are talking about, e.g. brat.
emphasis : used to emphasize the point you are making, e.g. never-ending.
feelings : used to express your feelings about something, or towards someone, e.g. unfortunately.
formulae : used in particular situations such as greeting and thanking people, or acknowledging something, e.g. hiya.
politeness : used to express politeness, sometimes even to the point of being euphemistic. e.g. elderly.
vagueness : used to show how certain you are about the truth or validity of your statements; this is sometimes called “hedging” or “modality”, e.g. presumably.

PRONUNCIATION

The basic principle underlying the suggested pronunciations is “If you pronounce it like this, most people will understand you.” The pronunciations are therefore broadly based on the two most widely taught accents of English, GenAm or General American for American English, and RP or Received Pronunciation for British English.
For the majority of words, a single pronunciation is given, as most differences between American and British pronunciation are systematic. Where more than one pronunciation is common and the difference is not accounted for in the notes below, alternative pronunciations are given.
The pronunciations are the result of a program of monitoring spoken English and consulting leading reference works. The transcription system has developed from original work by Dr David Brazil for the Collins COBUILD English Language Dictionary. The symbols used in the dictionary are adapted from those of the International Phonetic Alphabet(IPA), as standardized in the English Pronouncing Dictionary by Daniel Jones(14th Edition, revised by AC Gimson and SM Ramsaran 1988).

Guide to Pronunciation Symbols

Vowel SoundsConsonant Sounds
ɑcalm, ahbbed, rub
æact, massddone, red
aɪdive, cryffit, if
aʊout, downggood, dog
ɛmet, lend, penhhat, horse
eɪsay, weightyyellow, you
ɪfit, winkking, pick
ifeed, mellip, bill
ɒlot, spotəlhandle, panel
oʊnote, coatmmat, ram
ɔclaw, maulnnot, tin
ɔɪboy, jointənhidden, written
ʊcould, stoodppay, lip
uyou, userrun, read
ʌfund, mustssoon, bus
əfirst vowel in aboutttalk, bet
isecond vowel in veryvvan, love
usecond vowel in actualwwin, wool
xloch
zzoo, buzz
ʃship, wish
ʒmeasure, leisure
ŋsing, working
tʃcheap, witch
θthin, myth
ðthen, bathe
dʒjoy, bridge

Notes
/æ/ or /ɑ/
There are a number of words which use the /æ/ sound in GenAm and in most accents of English, but /ɑ/ in RP, such as “bath” which is pronounced /bæθ/ in GenAm and /bɑθ/ in RP. This affects some words in which this vowel is followed by the sounds /f/, /nd/, /ns/, /nt/, /ntʃ/, /s/, /θ/. For example, “graph”, “command”, “can't”, “ranch”, “class” and “bath” are pronounced /græf/, /kəmænd/, /kænt/, /ræntʃ/, /klæs/ and /bæθ/ in GenAm, but /grɑf/, /kəmɑnd/, /kɑnt/, /rɑntʃ/, /klɑs/ and /bɑθ/ in RP. However, there are exceptions to this such as “land” /lænd/. In these cases, we show only the GenAm version as it is a common and acceptable pronunciation for British English, even though it is not RP.
/r/
In most accents of English, including GenAm, “r” is always pronounced. One of the main ways in which RP differs is that “r” is only pronounced as /r/ when the next sound is a vowel. Thus, in RP, “far gone” is pronounced /fɑ gɒn/ but “far out” is pronounced /fɑr aʊt/. Similarly, “fire”, “flour”, “fair”, “near” and “pure” are pronounced /faɪər/, / flaʊər/, /fɛər/, /nɪər/ and /pyʊər/ in GenAm, but /faɪə/, /flaʊə/, /fɛə/, /nɪə/ and /pyʊə/ in RP.
/oʊ/
This symbol is used to represent the sound /oʊ/ in GenAm, and also the sound /u/ in RP, as these sounds are almost entirely equivalent.
/əl/ and /ən/
These show that /l/ and /n/ are pronounced as separate syllables :
handle /hændəl/
hidden /hɪdən/
Stress
Stress is shown by underlining the vowel in the stressed syllable :
two /tu/
result /rizʌlt/
disappointing /dɪsəpɔɪntɪŋ/
When a word is spoken in isolation, stress falls on the syllables which have vowels which are underlined. If there is one syllable underlined, it will have primary stress.
“TWO”
“reSULT”
If two syllables are underlined, the first will have secondary stress, and the second will have primary stress :
“DISapPOINTing”
A few words are shown with three underlined syllables, for example “disqualification” / dɪskwɒlɪfɪkeɪʃən/. In this case, the third underlined syllable will have primary stress, while the secondary stress may be on the first or second syllable :
“DISqualifiCAtion” or “disQUALifiCAtion”
GenAm usually prefers “dis-”, while RP tends to prefer “DIS-”.
In the case of compound words, where the pronunciation of each part is given separately, the stress pattern is shown by underlining the headword : “off-peak”, “first-class”, but “cake pan”.
Stressed syllables
When words are used in context, the way in which they are pronounced depends upon the information units that are constructed by the speaker. For example, a speaker could say :
1“the reSULT was disapPOINTing”
2“it was a DISappointing reSULT”
3“it was VERy disappointing inDEED”
In (3), neither of the two underlined syllables in disappointing /dɪsəpɔɪntɪŋ/ receives either primary or secondary stress. This shows that it is not possible for a dictionary to predict whether a particular syllable will be stressed in context.
It should be noted, however, that in the case of adjectives with two stressed syllables, the second syllable often loses its stress when it is used before a noun :
“an OFF-peak FARE”
“a FIRST-class SEAT”
Two things should be noted about the marked syllables :
1They can take primary or secondary stress in a way that is not shared by the other syllables.
2Whether they are stressed or not, the vowel must be pronounced distinctly; it cannot be weakened to /ə/, /ɪ/, or /ʊ/.
These features are shared by most of the one-syllable words in English, which are therefore transcribed in this dictionary as stressed syllables :
two /tu/
inn /ɪn/
tree /tri/
Unstressed syllables
It is an important characteristic of English that vowels in unstressed syllables tend not to be pronounced clearly. Many unstressed syllables contain the vowel /ə/, a neutral vowel which is not found in stressed syllables. The vowels /ɪ/, or /ʊ/, which are relatively neutral in quality, are also common in unstressed syllables.
Single-syllable grammatical words such as “shall” and “at” are often pronounced with a weak vowel such as /ə/. However, some of them are pronounced with a more distinct vowel under certain circumstances, for example when they occur at the end of a sentence. This distinct pronunciation is generally referred to as the strong form, and is given in this dictionary after the word STRONG.
shall /ʃəl, STRONG ʃæl/
at /ət, STRONG æt/

LIST OF GRAMMATICAL NOTATIONS

Word classes
ADJadjective
ADVadverb
AUXauxiliary verb
COLORcolor word
COMBcombining form
CONJconjunction
CONVENTIONconvention
DETdeterminer
EXCLAMexclamation
FRACTIONfraction
MODALmodal verb
N-COUNTcount noun
N-COUNT-COLLcollective count noun
N-FAMILYfamily noun
N-IN-NAMESnoun in names
N-MASSmass noun
N-PLURALplural noun
N-PROPERproper noun
N-PROPER-COLLcollective proper noun
N-PROPER-PLURALplural proper noun
N-SINGsingular noun
N-SING-COLLcollective singular noun
N-TITLEtitle noun
N-UNCOUNTuncount noun
N-UNCOUNT-COLLcollective uncount noun
N-VARvariable noun
N-VAR-COLLcollective variable noun
N-VOCvocative noun
NEGnegative
NUMnumber
ORDordinal
PHRASAL VERBphrasal verb
PHRASEphrase
PREDETpredeterminer
PREFIXprefix
PREPpreposition
PREP-PHRASEphrasal preposition
PRONpronoun
PRON-EMPHemphatic pronoun
PRON-INDEFindefinite pronoun
PRON-INDEF-NEGnegative indefinite pronoun
PRON-NEGnegative pronoun
PRON-PLURALplural pronoun
PRON-POSSpossessive pronoun
PRON-RECIPreciprocal pronoun
PRON-REFLreflexive pronoun
PRON-REFL-EMPHemphatic reflexive pronoun
PRON-RELrelative pronoun
PRON-SINGsingular pronoun
QUANTquantifier
QUANT-NEGnegative quantifier
QUANT-PLURALplural quantifier
QUESTquestion word
SOUNDsound word
SUFFIXsuffix
V-Iintransitive verb
V-LINKlink verb
V-RECIPreciprocal verb
V-RECIP-PASSIVEpassive reciprocal verb
V-Ttransitive verb
V-T PASSIVEpassive transitive verb
V-T/V-Iintransitive or transitive verb

Words and abbreviations used in patterns
adjadjective group
adj-superlsuperlative form
advadverb group
amountword or phrase indicating an amount of something
brd-negbroad negative
clclause
comparcomparative form
contcontinuous
def-ndefinite noun group
def-n-uncountdefinite noun group with an uncount noun
def-pl-ndefinite noun group with a noun in the plural
detdeterminer
-edpast participle of a verb
groupnoun group, adjective, adverb, or prepositional phrase
imperimperative
infinfinitive form of a verb
-ingpresent participle of a verb
interroginterrogative
likeclause beginning with like
nnoun or noun group
namesnames of places or institutions
negnegative word
n-properproper noun
numnumber
n-uncountuncount noun or noun group with an uncount noun
ordordinal
Pparticle, part of a phrasal verb
passivepassive voice
plplural
pl-nnoun in the plural, plural noun group, co-ordinated noun group
pl-numplural number
posspossessive
prepprepositional phrase or preposition
pronpronoun
pron-indefindefinite pronoun
pron-reflreflexive pronoun
pron-relrelative pronoun
questquestion word
singsingular
sing-nnoun in the singular
suppsupplementary information accompanying a noun
that‘that'-clause
to-infthe to-infinitive form of a verb
usuusually
vverb or verb group
v-contcontinuous verb
v-linklink verb
whwh-word, clause beginning with a wh-word

EXPLANATION OF GRAMMATICAL TERMS

Introduction
For each use of each word in this dictionary, grammar information is provided. For a very few words, such as abbreviations, contractions and some words of foreign origin, no grammar is given, because the words do not belong to any word class, or are used so freely that every example could be given a different word class, e.g. AD, ditto, must've.
The grammar information that is given is of three types :
1the word class of the word : e.g. PHRASAL VERB, N-COUNT, ADJ, QUANT
2restrictions or extensions to its behavior, compared to other words of that word class : e.g. usu passive, usu sing, also no det
3the patterns that the word most frequently occurs in : e.g. N 'of' n, ADJ that, ADV with v
For all word classes, the patterns are given immediately before the examples they accompany.
The word class of the word being explained is in CAPITAL LETTERS. The order of items in a pattern is the order in which they normally occur in a sentence. Words in italics are words (not word classes) that occur in the pattern. Alternatives are separated by a slash (/).

Word classes
ADJ
An adjective can be graded or ungraded, or be in the comparative or the superlative form, e.g. He has been absent from his desk for two weeks...the most accurate description of the killer to date...The eldest child was a daughter called Fatiha.
Adjective patterns
ADJ n The adjective is always used before a noun, e.g. ...a governmental agency.
usu ADJ n The adjective is usually used before a noun. It is sometimes used after a link verb.
v-link ADJ The adjective is used after a link verb such as be or feel, e.g. He felt unwell. Adjectives with this label are sometimes used in other positions such as after the object of a verb such as make or keep, but never before a noun.
usu v-link ADJ The adjective is usually used after a link verb. It is sometimes used before a noun.
ADJ after v The adjective is used after a verb that is not a link verb, e.g. I wore a white dress and was barefoot.
n ADJ The adjective comes immediately after a noun, e.g. between archaeology proper and science-based archaeology.
det ADJ The adjective comes immediately after a determiner and before any other adjectives, and sometimes comes before numbers, e.g. You owe a certain person a sum of money. If the dictionary does not show that an adjective is used only or mainly in the pattern ADJ n and v-link ADJ, this means that the adjective is used freely in both patterns.
These main adjective patterns are sometimes combined with other patterns.
ADV
An adverb can be graded or ungraded, or be in the comparative or the superlative form. e.g. Much of our behavior is biologically determined...I'll work hard...Inflation is below 5% and set to fall further....those areas furthest from the coast.
AUX
An auxiliary verb is used with another verb to add particular meanings to that verb, for example, to form the continuous aspect or the passive voice, or to form negatives and interrogatives. The verbs be, do, get and have have some senses in which they are auxiliary verbs.
COLOR
A color word refers to a color. It is like an adjective, e.g. the blue sky...The sky was blue, and also like a noun, e.g. She was dressed in red....several shades of yellow.
COMB
A combining form is a word which is joined with another word, usually with a hyphen, to form compounds, e.g. strawberry-flavored, business-speak. The word class of the compound is also given, e.g. COMB IN ADJ, COMB IN N-UNCOUNT.
CONJ
A conjunction usually links elements of the same grammatical type, such as two words or two clauses, e.g. She and Simon had already gone....I sat on the chair to unwrap the package while he stood behind me.
CONVENTION
A convention is a word or a fixed phrase which is used in conversation, for example when greeting someone, apologizing, or replying, e.g. hello, sorry, no comment.
DET
A determiner is a word that is used at the beginning of a noun group, e.g. a tray, more time, some books, this amount. It can also be used to say who or what something belongs or relates to e.g. his face, my house, or to begin a question e.g. Whose car were they in?
EXCLAM
An exclamation is a word or phrase which is spoken suddenly, loudly, or emphatically in order to express a strong emotion such as shock or anger. Exclamations are often followed by exclamation marks, e.g. good heavens! Ouch!
FRACTION
A fraction is used in numbers, e.g. five and a half, two and two thirds; before of and a noun group, e.g. half of the money, a third of the children, an eighth of Russia's grain; after in or into, e.g. in half, into thirds. A fraction is also used like a count noun, e.g. two halves, the first quarter of the year.
MODAL
A modal is used before the infinitive form of a verb, e.g. You may go. In questions, it comes before the subject, e.g. Must you speak? In negatives, it comes before the negative word, e.g. They would not like this. It does not inflect, for example, it does not take an -s in the third person singular, e.g. She can swim.
N-COUNT
A count noun has a plural form, usually made by adding -s. When it is singular, it must have a determiner in front of it, such as the, her, or such, e.g. My cat is getting fatter...She's a good friend.
N-COUNT-COLL
A collective count noun is a count noun which refers to a group of people or things. It behaves like a count noun, but when it is in the singular form it can be used with either a singular or plural verb, e.g. Their audience are much younger than the average...The British audience has a huge appetite for serials...Audiences are becoming more selective.
N-FAMILY
A family noun refers to a member of a family, e.g. father, mommy, and granny. Family nouns are count nouns which are typically used in the singular, and usually follow a possessive determiner. They are also vocative nouns. They are also proper nouns, used with no determiner, e.g. My mommy liked marzipan...Tell them I didn't do it, Mommy...Mommy's always telling me I'm too old for dolls.
N-IN-NAMES
The noun occurs in names of people, things, or institutions.
N-MASS
A mass noun typically combines the behavior of both count and uncount nouns in the same sense. It is used like an uncount noun to refer to a substance. It is used like a count noun to refer to a brand or type, e.g. Rinse in cold water to remove any remaining detergent...Wash it in hot water with a good detergent...We used several different detergents in our stain-removal tests.
N-PLURAL
A plural noun is always plural, and is used with plural verbs. If a pronoun is used to stand for the noun, it is a plural pronoun such as they or them, e.g.These clothes are ready to wear...He expressed his condolences to the families of people who died in the incident. Plural nouns which end in -s usually lose the -s when they come in front of another noun, e.g. pants, pants leg. If they refer to a single object which has two main parts, such as jeans and glasses, the expression a pair of is sometimes used, e.g. a pair of jeans. This is shown as N-PLURAL : also 'a pair of' N.
N-PROPER
A proper noun refers to one person, place, thing, or institution, and begins with a capital letter. Many proper nouns are used without a determiner, e.g....Earth; some must be used with the, and this is indicated : N-PROPER, 'the' N, e.g. the UK.
N-PROPER-COLL
A collective proper noun is a proper noun which refers to a group of people or things. It can be used with either a singular or a plural verb, e.g. The Senate is expected to pass the bill shortly...The Houses of Parliament are the British parliament.
N-SING
A singular noun is always singular, and needs a determiner, e.g....to respect the environment...Maureen was the epitome of sophistication. When only a or the is used, this is indicated : N-SING : 'a' N or N-SING : 'the' N, e.g. The traffic slowed to a crawl....We dropped to the ground.
N-SING-COLL
A collective singular noun is a singular noun which refers to a group of people or things. It behaves like a singular noun, but can be used with either a singular or plural verb, e.g. The enemy were pursued for two miles...Their defense has now conceded 12 goals in six games.
N-TITLE
A title noun is used to refer to someone who has a particular role or position. Titles come before the name of the person and begin with a capital letter, e.g. The Chancellor of the Exchequer.
N-UNCOUNT
An uncount noun refers to things that are not normally counted or considered to be individual items. Uncount nouns do not have a plural form, and are used with a singular verb. They do not need determiners, e.g....an area of outstanding natural beauty.
N-UNCOUNT-COLL
A collective uncount noun is an uncount noun which refers to a group of people or things. It behaves like an uncount noun, but can be used with either a singular or plural verb, e.g....Hearts is one of the four suits in a pack of playing cards....Hearts are trumps.
N-VAR
A variable noun typically combines the behavior of both count and uncount nouns in the same sense (see N-COUNT, N-UNCOUNT). The singular form occurs freely both with and without determiners. Variable nouns also have a plural form, usually made by adding -s. Some variable nouns when used like uncount nouns refer to abstract things like hardship and technology, and when used like count nouns refer to individual examples or instances of that thing, e.g.Technology is changing fast...They should be allowed to wait for cheaper technologies to be developed. Others refer to objects which can be mentioned either individually or generally, like potato and salad : you can talk about a potato, potatoes, or potato.
N-VAR-COLL
A collective variable noun is a variable noun which refers to a group of people or things. It behaves like a variable noun, but when it is singular it can be used with either a singular or a plural verb, e.g. The management is doing its best to improve the situation.
N-VOC
A vocative noun is used when speaking directly to someone or writing to them. Vocative nouns do not need a determiner, but some may be used with a possessive determiner, e.g. Thank you, darling...How are you, my darling?
NUM
A number is a word such as three and hundred. Numbers such as one, two, three are used like determiners, e.g. three bears; like adjectives, e.g. the four horsemen; like pronouns, e.g. She has three cases and I have two; and like quantifiers, e.g. Six of the boys stayed behind. Numbers such as hundred, thousand, million always follow a determiner or another number, e.g. two hundred people, the thousand horsemen, She has a thousand dollars and I have a million, A hundred of the boys stayed behind.
ORD
An ordinal is a type of number. Ordinals are used like adjectives, e.g. He was the third victim; like pronouns, e.g. the second of the two teams; like adverbs, e.g. The other team came first; and like determiners, e.g. Fourth place goes to Timmy.
PHRASAL VERB
A phrasal verb consists of a verb and one or more particles e.g. look after, look back, look down on. Some phrasal verbs are reciprocal, link or passive verbs.
PHRASE
Phrases are groups of words which are used together with little variation and which have a meaning of their own, e.g. The emergency services were working against the clock.
PREDET
A predeterminer is used in a noun group before a, the, or another determiner, e.g. What a terrific idea!...both the children....all his life.
PREFIX
A prefix is a letter or group of letters, such as un- or multi-, which is added to the beginning of a word in order to form another word. For example, the prefix un- is added to happy to form unhappy
PREP
A preposition begins a prepositional phrase and is followed by a noun group or a present participle. Patterns for prepositions are shown in the dictionary only if they are restricted in some way. For example, if a preposition occurs only before a present participle, it is shown as PREP -ing.
PREP-PHRASE
A phrasal preposition is a phrase which behaves like a preposition, e.g. Prices vary according to the quantity ordered.
PRON
Pronouns are used like noun groups, to refer to someone or something that has already been mentioned or whose identity is known, e.g. They produced their own shampoos and haircare products, all based on herbal recipes...two bedrooms, each with three beds. Some pronouns are further classified, for example as PRON-EMPH, PRON-INDEF, and so on.
PRON-EMPH
Emphatic pronouns are words like all, both, and each, when they are used to emphasize another noun or pronoun, e.g. We each have different needs and interests...I wish you both a good trip.
PRON-INDEF
Indefinite pronouns are words like anyone, anything, everyone, and something, e.g. Why would anyone want that job?...after everything else in his life had changed.
PRON-INDEF-NEG
Negative indefinite pronouns are words like none, no-one, and nothing, e.g. He searched for a sign of recognition on her face, but there was none... Do our years together mean nothing?
PRON-NEG
Negative pronouns are words like neither, e.g. Neither seemed likely to be aware of my absence for long.
PRON-PLURAL
Plural pronouns are the plural personal pronouns, which include we, us, they, and them, e.g. Neither of us forgot about it.
PRON-POSS
A possessive pronoun is used to say who or what something belongs to or relates to. The possessive pronouns are mine, yours, his, hers, ours and theirs, e.g. That wasn't his fault, it was mine...The author can report other people's results which more or less agree with hers.
PRON-RECIP
The reciprocal pronouns are each other and one another, e.g. We looked at each other in silence.
PRON-REFL
Reflexive pronouns are pronouns which are used as the object of a verb or preposition when they refer to the same person or thing as the subject of the verb. They are used in the same positions as other pronouns. The reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, oneself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves, e.g. I asked myself what I would have done in such a situation...One must apply oneself to the present.
PRON-REFL-EMPH
Emphatic reflexive pronouns are reflexive pronouns which are used for emphasis, often after another pronoun or at the end of a clause, e.g. A wealthy man like yourself is bound to make an enemy or two along the way...The president himself is on a visit to Beijing...I made it myself.
PRON-REL
Relative pronouns are words like which and who, that introduce relative clauses. They are the subject or object of the verb in the relative clause, or the object of a preposition, e.g. ...those who eat out for a special occasion...The largest asteroid is Ceres, which is about a quarter the size of the moon.
PRON-SING
Singular pronouns are the singular personal pronouns, which include I, me, he, him, she, her, it, and one, e.g. He didn't mean to be cruel but I cried my eyes out.
QUANT
A quantifier comes before of and a noun group, e.g. most of the house. If there are any restrictions on the type of noun group, this is indicated : QUANT 'of' def-n means that the quantifier occurs before of and a definite noun group, e.g. Most of the kids have never seen the sea.
QUANT-NEG
Negative quantifiers are words like neither, e.g. Neither of us felt like going out.
QUANT-PLURAL
Plural quantifiers are words like billions and millions which are followed by of and a noun group, e.g....for billions of years.
QUEST
A question word is a wh-word that is used to begin a question, e.g. Why didn't he stop me?
SOUND
Sound words are used before or after verbs such as go and say, e.g. Suddenly there was a loud crack.
SUFFIX
A suffix is a letter or group of letters such as -ly or -ness, which is added to the end of a word in order to form a new word, usually of a different word class, e.g. quick, quickly.
V-I
An intransitive verb is one which takes an indirect object or no object, e.g.The problems generally fall into two categories...As darkness fell outside, they sat down to eat.
V-LINK
A link verb connects a subject and a complement. Most link verbs do not occur in the passive voice, e.g. be, become, taste, feel.
V-RECIP
Reciprocal verbs describe processes in which two or more people, groups, or things interact mutually : they do the same thing to each other, or participate jointly in the same action or event. Reciprocal verbs are used where the subject is both participants, e.g. Fred and Sally met...The participants can also be referred to separately, e.g. Fred met Sally...Fred argued with Sally. These patterns are reciprocal because they also mean that Sally met Fred and Sally argued with Fred. Note that many reciprocal verbs can also be used in a way that is not reciprocal. For example, Fred and Sally kissed is reciprocal, but Fred kissed Sally is not reciprocal (because it does not mean that Sally also kissed Fred).
V-RECIP-PASSIVE
A passive reciprocal verb behaves like both a passive verb and a reciprocal verb, e.g. He never believed he and Susan would be reconciled.
V-T
A transitive verb is one which takes a direct object, e.g. He mailed me the contract.
V-T PASSIVE
A passive verb occurs in the passive voice only, e.g. The company is rumored to be a takeover target.
V-T/V-I
Some verbs may be transitive or intransitive depending on how they are used, e.g. He opened the window and looked out...The flower opens to reveal a bee.
Words and abbreviations used in patterns
In a pattern, the element in capital letters represents the word in the entry. All the other elements are in small letters. Items in italics show the actual word that is used, such as of. Items in roman print show the word class or type of clause that is used. For example :
N 'of' n means that the word being explained is a noun (N), and it is followed in the sentence by the word of and another noun or noun group (n).
ADV adj / adv means that the word being explained is an adverb (ADV), and it is followed in the sentence by an adjective (adj) or (/) another adverb (adv).
When the word in the entry occurs in a pattern, the element in capital letters is N for any kind of noun, ADJ for any kind of adjective, and so on. PHR is used for a phrase, and N is used to represent a noun in phrase.
Words used to structure information in patterns
after : after v means after a verb. The word is used either immediately after the verb, or after the verb and another word or phrase, or in a marked position at the beginning of the clause. For example, the adverb mildly is used :
immediately after a verb : Have a nice time, dear, and drive carefully.
after a verb and its object : Use a flash and position the camera carefully.
at the beginning of a clause : Carefully make a cut with a small knife.
The phrase on hold is used :
immediately after a verb : Everything is on hold until we know more.
after a verb and its object : He put his retirement on hold.
also : used with some nouns to show that the word is used in a way that is not typical of that type of noun. For example, also N in pl means that unlike most uncount nouns, this noun also has a plural form and use. Also is used with some adverbs and adjectives to show a pattern that is less common than the other patterns mentioned. For example, usu ADV with v, also ADV adj means that the adverb is usually used with a verb but is also used before an adjective.
before : before v means before a verb. The word is used before the main element in a verb group. For example, the adverb already is used :
before the whole verb group : those who already know of the delights of skiing.
immediately before the main element in the group : They had already voted for him at the first ballot.
no : used to indicate that a verb is not used in a particular way, for example no passive, or that a singular noun is also used without a determiner : also no det.
oft : used to indicate that a word or phrase often occurs in a particular pattern or behaves in a particular way.
only : used to indicate that a verb is always used in a particular way, for example only cont.
usu : used to indicate that a word or phrase usually occurs in a particular pattern or behaves in a particular way.
with : with is used when the position of a word or phrase is not fixed. This means that the word or phrase sometimes comes before the named word class and sometimes comes after it. For example, quickly at quick 1 has the pattern ADV with v. It occurs :
after the verb : Cussane worked quickly and methodically;
before the verb : She quickly looked away and stared down at her hands.
In addition, with cl is used when the word sometimes occurs at the beginning of the clause, sometimes at the end, and sometimes in the middle. For example, seriously has the pattern ADV with cl. It occurs :
at the beginning of the clause : Seriously, I only watch TV in the evenings.
at the end of the clause : All of us react favorably to those who take our views seriously.
in the middle of the clause : This approach is now seriously out of step with the times.
Elements used in patterns
adj : stands for adjective group. This may be one word, such as “happy”, or a group of words, such as “very happy” or “as happy as I have ever been”.
e.g. adj N : read 8...Ben Okri's latest novel is a good read.
adj-compar : stands for comparative adjective. This is used to indicate an adjective group with the comparative form of the adjective.
e.g. ADJ-compar than : old 2...Bill was six years older than David.
adj-superl : stands for superlative adjective. It is used to indicate an adjective group with the superlative form of the adjective.
e.g. ADV adj-superl : positively 1...This is positively the last chance for the industry to establish such a system.
e.g. ORD adj-superl : second 2... the party is still the second strongest in Italy.
adv : stands for adverb group. This may be one word, such as “slowly”, or a group of words, such as “extremely slowly” or “more slowly than ever”.
e.g. adv ADV : else 1...I never wanted to live anywhere else.
amount : means word or phrase indicating an amount of something, such as “a lot”, “nothing”, “three percent”, “four hundred pounds”, “more”, or “much”.
e.g. amount "and" ADV : above 2...Banks have been charging 25 percent and above for unsecured loans.
brd-neg : stands for broad negative, that is, a clause which is negative in meaning. It may contain a negative element such as “no-one”, “never”, or “hardly”, or may show that it is negative in some other way.
e.g. oft with brd-neg : approve 1...Not everyone approves of the festival.
cl : stands for clause.
e.g. cl ADV : anyway 4...What do you want from me, anyway?
color : means color word, such as “red”, “green”, or “blue”.
e.g. ADJ color : pastel...pastel pink, blue, peach, and green.
compar : stands for comparative form of an adjective or adverb.
e.g. ADV compar : even 2...On television he made an even stronger impact as an interviewer.
cont : stands for continuous. It is used when indicating that a verb is always, usually, or never used in the continuous.
e.g. only cont : die 4...I'm dying for a breath of fresh air.
no cont : adore 1...She adored her parents and would do anything to please them.
def-n : stands for definite noun group. A definite noun group is a noun group that refers to a specific person or thing, or a specific group of people or things, that is known and identified.
e.g. QUANT 'of' def-n : whole 1...I was cold throughout the whole of my body.
def-pl-n : stands for definite noun group with a noun in the plural.
e.g. QUANT 'of' def-pl-n : many 1...It seems there are not very many of them left in the sea.
det : stands for determiner. A determiner is a word that comes at the beginning of a noun group, such as “the”, “her”, or “those”.
e.g. det ADJ : following 2...We went to dinner the following Monday evening.
-ed : stands for past participle of a verb, such as “decided”, “gone”, or “taken”.
e.g. ADV -ed : freshly...freshly baked bread.
group : stands for noun group, adjective, adverb, or prepositional phrase.
e.g. ADV group : strictly...He seemed fond of her in a strictly professional way.
imper : stands for imperative. It is used when indicating that a verb is always or usually used in the imperative.
e.g. only imper and inf : beware...Beware of being too impatient with others.
inf : stands for infinitive form of a verb, such as “decide”, “go”, or “sit”.
e.g. ADJ to-inf : duty-bound...I felt duty-bound to help.
ADV to-inf : yet 7...She has yet to spend a Christmas with her husband.
-ing : stands for present participle of a verb, such as “deciding”, “going”, or “taking”.
e.g. PREP -ing : before 2...He spent his early life in Sri Lanka before moving to Canada.
it : means an “introductory” or “dummy” it. It does not refer to anything in a previous sentence or in the world; it may refer to what is coming later in the clause or it may refer to things in general.
e.g. oft 'it' v-link ADJ to-inf : nice 7...It's nice to meet you.
n : stands for noun or noun group. If the n element occurs in a pattern with something that is part of a noun group, such as an adjective or another noun, it represents a noun. If the n element occurs in a pattern with something that is not part of a noun group, such as a verb or preposition, it represents a noun group. The noun group can be of any kind, including a pronoun.
e.g. ADJ n : abiding...He has a genuine and abiding love of the craft.
names : means names of places or institutions.
e.g. oft in names : requiem 2...a performance of Verdi's Requiem.
neg : stands for negative words, such as “not”, or “never”.
e.g. with neg : dream 6...I wouldn't dream of making fun of you.
n-proper : stands for proper noun. A proper noun is the name of a particular person or thing.
e.g. usu n-proper N : lookalike...a Marilyn Monroe lookalike.
num : stands for number.
e.g. num ADV : odd 3...How many pages was it, 500 odd?
n-uncount : stands for uncount noun or noun group with an uncount noun. An uncount noun is a noun which has no plural form and which is sometimes used with no determiner.
e.g. QUANT 'of' n-uncount : touch 13...She thought she just had a touch of the flu.
ord : stands for ordinal, such as “first”, or “second”.
e.g. ord ADJ n : generation 4...second generation Jamaicans in New York.
passive : stands for passive voice. It is used when indicating that a verb usually or never occurs in the passive voice.
e.g. usu passive : expel 1...More than five-thousand high school students have been expelled for cheating.
pl : stands for plural.
pl-n : stands for noun in the plural, plural noun group, or co-ordinate noun group (two or more noun groups joined by a co-ordinating conjunction).
e.g. PREP pl-n : between 2...I spent a lot of time in the early Eighties travelling between Waco and El Paso.
pl-num : stands for plural number. A plural number is a number which is used only in the plural.
e.g. PREP poss pl-num : in 5...young people in their twenties.
poss : stands for possessive. Possessives which come before the noun may be a possessive determiner, such as “my”, “her”, or “their”, or a possessive formed from a noun group, such as “the horse's”. Possessives which come after the noun are of the form “of n”, such as “of the horse”.
e.g. usu pl, with poss : ancestor 1...our daily lives, so different from those of our ancestors.
prep : stands for prepositional phrase or preposition.
e.g. prep PRON : him 1...Is Sam there? Let me talk to him.
pron : stands for pronoun. A pronoun is a word such as “I”, “it”, or “them” which is used like a noun group. It refers to someone or something that has already been mentioned or whose identity is known.
e.g. PREP pron : before 12...Everyone in the room knew it was the single hardest task before them.
pron-indef : stands for indefinite pronoun. An indefinite pronoun is a word like anyone, anything, everyone and something.
e.g. pron-indef ADJ : else 2...I expect everyone else to be truthful.
pron-refl : stands for reflexive pronoun, such as “yourself”, “herself”, or “ourselves”.
e.g. PREP pron-refl : among 9...The girls stood aside, talking among themselves.
quest : stands for question word. A question word is a wh-word such as “what”, “how”, or “why” which is used to begin a question.
e.g. quest ADV : ever 6...Why ever didn't you tell me?
sing : stands for singular.
sing-n : stands for noun in the singular.
e.g. PREDET det sing-n : all 2...She's worked all her life.
supp : stands for supplementary information accompanying a noun. Supplementary information that comes before a noun may be given by a determiner, possessive, adjective, or noun modifier. Supplementary information that comes after the noun may be given by a prepositional phrase or a clause.
e.g. supp N : park 2...a science and technology park.
that : stands for “that”-clause. The clause may begin with the word “that”, but does not necessarily do so.
e.g. usu N that : conviction 1...It is our conviction that a step forward has been taken.
to-inf : stands for to-infinitive form of a verb.
e.g. v-link ADJ to-inf : inclined 2...I am inclined to agree with Alan.
v : stands for verb or verb group. It is not used to represent a link verb. See also the explanations of after, before and with.
e.g. v PRON : her 1...I told her I had something to say.
v PREP n : at 10...She opened the door and stood there, frowning at me.
v-link : stands for link verb. A link verb is a verb such as “be” which connects a subject and a complement.
e.g. v-link ADJ : down 3...The computer's down again.
wh : stands for wh-word, or clause beginning with a wh-word, such as “what”, “why”, “when”, “how”, “if”, or “whether”.
e.g. ADJ 'about' n/wh : tight-lipped 1...Military officials are still tight-lipped about when their forces will launch a ground offensive.

Irregular Verbs

Numbers relate to superheadword numbers in the main dictionary text.
InfinitivePast form(Preterite)Past Participle
arisearosearisen
awakeawokeawoken
bewas, werebeen
beatbeatbeaten
becomebecamebecome
beginbeganbegun
bendbentbent
betbetbet
bindboundbound
bitebitbitten
bleedbledbled
blowblewblown
breakbrokebroken
bringbroughtbrought
buildbuiltbuilt
burnburned or burntburned or burnt
burstburstburst
buyboughtbought
can1could-
castcastcast
catchcaughtcaught
choosechosechosen
clingclungclung
comecamecome
costcost or costedcost or costed
creepcreptcrept
cutcutcut
dealdealtdealt
digdugdug
divedived or dovedived
dodiddone
drawdrewdrawn
dreamdreamed or dreamtdreamed or dreamt
drinkdrankdrunk
drivedrovedriven
eatateeaten
fallfellfallen
feedfedfed
feelfeltfelt
fightfoughtfought
findfoundfound
fitfitfit
flyflewflown
forbidforbadeforbidden
forgetforgotforgotten
forgiveforgaveforgiven
freezefrozefrozen
getgotgotten, got
givegavegiven
gowentgone
grindgroundground
growgrewgrown
hanghung or hangedhung or hanged
havehadhad
hearheardheard
hidehidhidden
hithithit
holdheldheld
hurthurthurt
keepkeptkept
kneelkneeled or kneltkneeled or knelt
knowknewknown
laylaidlaid
lead1ledled
leanleanedleaned
leapleaped or leaptleaped or leapt
learnlearnedlearned
leaveleftleft
lendlentlent
letletlet
lie1laylain
lightlit or lightedlit or lighted
loselostlost
makemademade
maymight-
mean1meantmeant
meetmetmet
paypaidpaid
proveprovedproven
putputput
quitquitquit
readreadread
ridridrid
rideroderidden
ring1rangrung
riseroserisen
runranrun
saysaidsaid
seesawseen
seeksoughtsought
sellsoldsold
sendsentsent
set2setset
shakeshookshaken
shedshedshed
shineshined or shoneshined or shone
shoeshodshod
shootshotshot
showshowedshown
shrinkshrankshrunk
shutshutshut
singsangsung
sinksanksunk
sitsatsat
sleepsleptslept
slideslidslid
smellsmelledsmelled
speakspokespoken
speedsped or speededsped or speeded
spellspelled or speltspelled or spelt
spendspentspent
spillspilled or spiltspilled or spilt
spitspit or spatspit or spat
splitsplitsplit
spoilspoiled or spoiltspoiled or spoilt
spreadspreadspread
springsprangsprung
standstoodstood
stealstolestolen
stick2stuckstuck
stingstungstung
stinkstankstunk
strikestruckstruck or stricken
swearsworesworn
sweepsweptswept
swellswelledswollen
swimswamswum
swingswungswung
taketooktaken
teachtaughttaught
tear2toretorn
telltoldtold
thinkthoughtthought
throwthrewthrown
understandunderstoodunderstood
wakewoke or wakedwoken or waked
wearworeworn
weepweptwept
winwonwon
wind2woundwound
writewrotewritten

著作権

『コウビルド英英辞典(米語版)』は、英国HarperCollins社より出版されている英英辞典「Collins COBUILD Advanced Dictionary of American English」の第5版です。
Collins COBUILD Advanced Dictionary of American English [5th ed.] © HarperCollins Publisher 2008
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