Simple English Dictionary

Sources from

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ability: natural talent, being able to do something.

aboard: on or in a bus, ship, plane, etc.

to accelerate: to gain or increase speed.

to accompany: to join.

accurate: exact, truthful.

to accuse: to claim someone did something wrong.

achieve: to reach a goal, result.

addictive: relating to a habit that is hard to stop. He is addicted to drugs.

adolescence: (usually) a person’s teenage years.

to adopt: to take into one’s family.

affair: a romantic relationship (with someone who is not a husband or wife).

to age: to get older.

airborne: in flight, flying.

alliance: an agreement to work together.

to amaze: to make a great impression.

animated: to make lifelike as in a cartoon.

annual: happening every year.

to apologize: to say that one is sorry.

to appoint: to select somebody for a job.

architecture: buildings.

ark: an ancient ship.

to arrest: taken by the police.

arsonist: somebody who illegally starts a fire to cause damage, somebody who causes arson.

to assassinate: to kill someone.

asthma: a breathing disorder.

astonishing: amazing, surprising.

astronomer: a person who studies objects outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.

automaker: car company.



bachelor: a man who is not married.

bail: the money a person pays so he/she does not have to go to jail.

ballpark: a baseball stadium, a place where ball games are played.

ban: prevention, prohibition.

bankrupt: unable to make the payments needed to stay in business, out of money.

B.C.: the dates before Christ was born.

to be ashamed: to feel guilty or embarrassed.

to be in attendance: to be present at an event.

to be credited with: to be responsible for (inventing, making, producing).

to be obsessed: to think about constantly.

to be trapped: to be unable to escape.

behind bars: in jail.

benefits: positive uses.

bestseller:: a successful book.

beverage: drink.

bicentenary: the 200th anniversary.

bid: an attempt to get something.

bill: a piece of paper money.

to blame: to place the responsibility on something or someone.

bloodstream: the blood flowing through a circulatory system, Random House Unabridged Dictionary.

bookmaker: a person who determines the odds and receives payments for bets.

bout: a (boxing) contest.

Boxing Day: the day after Christmas, December 26.

box office: the place where tickets are sold.

brainchild: an original idea.

to break a record: to do better than any one else has done in a race or sporting event.

to break up: to end a romantic relationship.

to brew: to make beer.

brewery: a company which makes beer.

bulimia: a serious eating disorder with young women who eat a lot of food and then feel guilty and depressed.

bully: a person who is cruel to smaller or weaker people.

to busk: to perform outdoors.



cabinet: the group of ministers in a government.

to call off: to end, cancel.

capital: The city where the government is located.

catnap: a short nap.

C.E.O.: Chief Executive Officer. The top person in a company.

certificate of good conduct: a document that shows you do not have a criminal record.

chain: a number of business with the same owner.

chateau: a large country house or castle.

checkout: a counter where customers pay at a supermarket.

childbirth: giving birth to a child.

to chime: to make a musical sound, ie, from a bell or a clock.

to cite to give as a reason or example, to quote.

to claim: to state that something is true.

to clash: to fight.

to collaborate: to work together.

comeback: to lead after being behind in a game.

to come up with: to make a new thing, to invent.

to commence: to start.

concentration camp: a place where prisoners of war are kept under harsh, terrible conditions.

to conduct: to lead, direct.

confidential: secret.

to console: to try and help someone who is sad feel better.

to construct: to build.

to consume: to eat or drink.

to contain: to include, have within.

contentedness: the feeling of being pleased, satisfied, happy.

to contradict: to show the opposite of something.

copyright: a document that allows you to publish artistic, musical and written work.

contagious: related to something which can be spread, such as a disease from one person to another.

controversial: causing debate between opposing positions.

costly: expensive.

coup: the removal of a leader from power. Also called coup d’etat.

crash: a car accident.

crisis: a difficult time, a dangerous time.

cuisine: the making and style of food, ie, Italian cuisine, Japanese cuisine.

curfew: a time when people cannot go outside.

currency: the money of a country.

to cut off: to stop the supply of something.



to dash: to move, run quickly.

to debut: to appear for the first time.

decade: a period of 10 years.

deceased: dead.

defending champion: the person or team which won an event the last time it was held.

demand: the need to buy something — which one has the ability to buy.

to deny: to say that something is not true.

dependence: needing something, relying on something.

desirable: something that someone would want, something that is worth having.

despicable: terrible, awful, bad.

devastating: very damaging.

devotee: a big fan, supporter, enthusiast.

to diagnose: to find the nature of a (medical) problem through analysis.

diplomat: a person, such as an ambassador, who represents a government.

disastrous: bringing a very bad result.

to discuss: to talk about.

dispute: disagreement, argument.

disturbing: annoying, bothersome.

to divide: to separate into groups or parts.

domain name: an Internet address. For example,,, etc.

to download: to transfer a file from one computer to another.

drastically: extremely.

to dread: to be afraid of.

drowsiness: sleepiness.

to duck: to bend down suddenly (to avoid a punch or a thrown object).



to earn: to gain or win through skill or work.

elder: older.

eleventh-hour decision: a decision made at the last minute.

to eliminate: to remove from a contest.

to elope: to run away secretly to get married.

to embrace: to put one’s arms around another person.

to employ: to hire, to give someone a job.

to enable: to make possible.

to enforce: to put into place with force.

enlistment: the time a person is in the military.

entourage: a member of a group that follows an important person or celebrity.

environmentalist: a person who works to protect the environment.

equestrian: someone who rides horses for sport.

erroneously: wrongly, mistakenly.

to establish: to set up.

to estimate: to give a calculation or opinion about the size or value of something.

exasperating: frustrating, irritating.

excessive: going beyond what is considered normal or usual.

execution: Putting a prisoner to death.

exhaustion: extreme loss of strength and energy in a person.

expert: someone who knows a lot about a subject. For example, a fashion
expert, a baseball expert, etc.

exponentially: used to describe something which has grown extremely fast.

extrovert: a talkative person.



to fall off the wagon: to resume or continue a bad habit, such as smoking or drinking.

famine: extreme hunger, lack of food.

fancier: a person who has a special liking towards something: ie, John likes dogs, he is a dog fancier.

favorite: (in sports) the player or team that is most likely to win.

feline: belonging to the cat family.

fiancée: a woman who engaged to be married.

to file: to apply, to submit papers.

to fine: to punish through a payment.

to fire: to remove someone from a job.

firm (noun): a business, company.

fitness: good health.

forces: an army or military.

flabbergasted: surprised.

to flee: to run away.

fraction: a small part of a larger whole.

frequently: often.

fuel-efficient: using less fuel, gasoline.

fugitive: someone who is hiding from police.

furious: very angry



gaffe: a mistake.

game: wild animals which are hunted.

gather: to come together.

generosity: an act (or acts) of kindness or giving.

to get a little carried away: to act in an extreme manner.

to get along: to have a positive relationship with someone.

to give it a shot: to try something.

to go to the polls: to vote.

glare: a very strong, bright light.

graduate: a person who has received a degree or diploma from a school.

grammarian: a person who studies grammar.

the green light: approval, permission.



to hand over: to give property or control to someone else.

to hand out: to give out, supply.

to hatch: to come out from an egg.

to have egg on one’s face: to make an embarrassing mistake, to feel like a fool.

to have two left feet: to dance badly.

to headbutt: to hit somebody with your head.

headquarters: the main office of an organization.

heavyweight: a boxer that weighs more than 79.4 kilograms.

heiress: a woman who inherits money.

hit: success.

holidaymaker: vacationer, someone who is on holiday.

hometown: the town where a person was born.

honor: a prize, award or credit that is given for achievement.

to house: to be a storage space for something.

human rights: basic freedoms that people have.

to hurl: to throw.

hyperinflation: extreme inflation.



to impeach: to make a leader step down.

in charge of: under the control of, in the care of.

incumbent: a politician currently in office.

individual: person.

inexpensive: cheap, not expensive.

influence: (in art) a person or style that has a powerful effect on the work you do.

to inherit: to receive money from someone after that person dies.

innovative: new (used when speaking about a new product or idea.)

introvert: a shy person.

investigate: to examine.

Israelite: A person who lived in the ancient kingdom of Israel.

an item: a romantic couple.



jog: to run for exercise.

to joke: to tell a joke, to say something funny.

journey: trip.



to kick off: to start a game.

to kick the habit: to stop a bad habit, such as smoking or drinking.



to lack: to be without something.

to lambaste: to criticize strongly.

landline: a traditional telephone, i.e., not a mobile.

landmark: an important or historic building.

latter: the second of two.

to lay to rest: to bury (at a funeral)

leg: part of a trip.

likely: a word used to describe something that will probably happen.

to limit: to set a limit, number.

literate: able to read and write.

to lob: to throw slowly.

to locate: to find.

to lose your temper: to be angry.

lovebirds: a couple which is very much in love.

to lower: to reduce.



to make it: (slang) to be successful.

to make up: to invent something that is not true.

manufacturer: a person or company that makes a product.

median: the middle or at the 50% level.

memo: a written document sent within a company.

memorable: easily remembered.

mic: microphone.

morgue: a place where dead bodies are kept before they are identified.

multitude: a large amount, number.



neglected: not used.

neurosurgeon: a doctor who performs surgery on the brain or nervous system.

nickname: another version of a person’s name, often shorter.

nightlife: activities at night, such as bars, discos, theaters.

nobility: the group of people belonging to the highest
social class in a country, the aristocracy.

to nominate: to choose, select for a position.

nostalgic: wanting or desiring things that are of the past.

numerous: several, many.

nut: (slang) a crazy person.



obese: having excessive body fat.

obesity: the state of being very fat.

objective: a goal or an aim.

to observe: to see, notice.

to obtain: to get, to acquire.

occupation: job, work.

odd: unusual, strange.

on demand: a new media term which means to see something whenever you want to see it. For example, a movie or television program.

oracle: a person who says wise things about the future.

organic: without chemicals.

orphanage: a home for orphans, children without parents.

to oust: to throw someone out of office.

out of control: wild.

outlaw: to make illegal.

outskirts: the outer parts or border of a city or region.

to outsource: to contract work out to another company or individual.



to pass away: to die.

pasty: a pie (which is usually filled with meat).

to patch things up: to improve a relationship.

patent: the right given by a government to an inventor to sell an invention.

to patent: to give an inventor of a product the right to sell it as his or her own.

pathologist: a person who studies the nature of diseases.

to pay a visit: to visit.

personality: a well-known or important person.

pickup truck: a small truck which is open at the back and used for deliveries.

pitcher: the player in baseball who
throws the ball to the batter.

to plagiarize: to steal the written work of another person.

plot: plan.

Pole: a person from Poland.

populous: having a lot of people.

portable: something that can be
carried, like an iPod or a mobile phone.

portion: a section, a part of a whole.

to portray: to show or represent (in a film or in the theater).

premiere: the first performance of a movie or play.

presenter: someone who presents a show on television.

prestigious: honored, esteemed, with a big reputation.

prevention: the way we avoid getting a disease.

production: a work of art or literature.

to prohibit: to ban, prevent.

to propose: to ask someone to marry you.

protest: an action against something.

to provoke: to make someone act in a certain way.

publisher: a person or company in the business of making books or other printed materials.

to purchase: to buy.



to qualify: to meet the requirements of something.

quarter: three months of a year
(in business). Usually January-March, April-June, etc.

quest: the search or pursuit of a goal.

to quit: to stop doing.



rapidly: very quickly.

to reach a milestone: to arrive at an important point.

readership: the people who read a written publication.

realm: an artistic domain.

recession: a time when the economy goes down.

to reconsider: to consider again, to think about again.

to recount: to count again.

to redeem: to make up for a bad result or performance.

to rehearse: to train or practice for a part in a movie or a play.

to reject: to refuse, not to accept.

remake: a creation that is made again.

remarkable: uncommon, extraordinary.

to require: to be necessary.

rerun: a show that is broadcast again.

to resemble: to look similar to something or someone.

to resent: to dislike.

reservation: doubt, concern.

resident: someone who lives in a particular place.

responsible: being the cause of an action.

résumé: curriculum vitae.

to resume: to continue at a later time, to begin again.

resurgence: comeback.

retirement: the period after a person stops working.

riot(s): violence by a group.

rival: an opponent.

rivalry: a competition between people or teams.

round: 18 holes of golf.

rubble: broken pieces of anything which has been damaged, such as a building.

to rule: to decide (for a judge)

to rule: to lead, to be a leader, to govern.

rumor: a report that may or may not be true. rumour(UK)

to run for: to seek (campaign for) political office (mayor, governor, president).

running mate: a candidate for vice president (usually used in the United States).



scenery: the scenes or views of a place.

to scrounge: to get something which is needed. He scrounged money for lunch.

to scrunch to crush, to squeeze together.

sedentary: inactive, sitting down a lot.

to seek: to try to obtain, to try to get.

to select: to choose.

self-esteem: the quality of the opinion a person has in him or herself.

to sell out: to empty (a store) of products.

settlement: an agreement in business.

shareholder: someone who holds shares of stock in a corporation.

shooter: someone who shoots guns, rifles.

shortage: lack.

short-lived: not lasting long.

shrewd: smart, intelligent.

sibling: a person with the same parents as another person, ie, brother and sister.

to sightsee: to look at places of interest, especially as a visitor or tourist.

simultaneous: happening at the same time.

skydiver: someone who jumps out of an airplane.

skyscraper:: a very tall building.

slight: small.

snap: photograph, snapshot.

sober: clear-headed (not drunk)

spectator: someone who watches an event.

to split up: to end a relationship, to break up.

sprint: a race at full speed.

to sprout up: (used with plants) to develop quickly.

stake: a part or share of a company.

stalemate: a situation in which a person or a team cannot win a contest.

to stand for: to represent, mean, symbolize.

to star: to have the lead role in a film or play.

to step down: to leave a job.

striker: a forward on a soccer team.

to stroll: to walk in a relaxed way.

struggle: fight, battle.

to stun: to shock, to surprise.

stunned: very surprised.

successor: a person who does a job after someone else has left it.

to sue: to take legal action against a person or an organization.

to suggest: to recommend.

summit: a meeting of government leaders.

supporter: fan.

to surpass: to become better or stronger than someone or something else.

to suspend: to stop for a period of time.

to swear: to use bad language.

to swing votes: to change someone’s mind, to cause someone to vote for someone else.



tabloid: a newspaper that often focuses on gossip.

to take for granted: to expect something to be available.

to take the wheel: to drive.

takeoff: (of a plane) departure, leaving the ground.

teller: a person who gives or receives money at a bank.

theatrical: relating to the theater.

to think twice: to think again, reconsider.

thrilled: very happy.

to tidy up: to clean up.

to tie the knot: to get married.

toddler: a young child.

to toss: to throw lightly.

trademark: the officially registered name of a product which belongs to a particular company.

transatlantic: crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

to treat: to pay for food, gifts, entertainment from one’s own money.

trend: a new style.

trial: the legal process used to decide if a person is guilty or innocent.

troop: a group of soldiers.

tumultuous: noisy, lacking in order, causing confusion and nervousness.

turmoil: extreme confusion, disorder.

tycoon: a very rich businessman.



ubiquitous: seeming to be everywhere at the same time.

underdog: (in sports) the weaker team in a game.

to undergo: to experience.

underhand: below the shoulder (in sports when a ball is thrown).

understudy: someone who is ready to work in place of another.

underway: happening at the present time, in progress.

unforgettable: memorable, not to be forgotten.

unenviable: not wanted, not desired.

uninhabitable: not fit for life.

to unseat to oust, to vote out of government.

to unveil: to reveal, to show to the public.

to update: to bring new information.

upset: (in sports) when a weaker team wins a game.

urban: about cities.

to urge: to push, press, insist strongly.



to verify: to prove something is true.

victorious: winning, being the winner.

villain: a bad, evil person.



to wager: to bet money.

wardrobe: the collection of clothes that a person has.

whereabouts: location.

wildlife: animals that don’t live in the home.

willing: ready to do something, wanting to do something.

witness: a person who is present and sees an event happening.









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