English Words in Action, Group C

(a variety of English words which have developed through history and are currently used in our modern age)

English vocabulary quizzes in random order from easy to more difficult for greater word skills.

Simply click on this banner (or the following link) and you will be on your way to stimulate your brain for greater word comprehension with quizzes based on some of the words in this unit.

churn (verb), churns; churned; churning
1. To shake quickly and often: Athena's mother still churns cream to make fresh butter for her family as she did when she lived on a dairy farm as a young girl.
2. To vigorously move around: One day and night, while Sam and his wife were on a cruise ship, the sea was violently churning causing many of the passengers to become seasick.
3. Feeling sick from nervousness, disgust, etc.: Mark's stomach was churning as he started to get ill with influenza.

Just thinking about the final exams, that she would have to take in her university classes, made Pearl's stomach churn.

The terrible violence in the movie churned Kent's stomach.

4. To frequently buy and sell a client's securities: In order to generate more commissions, the broker encouraged his customers to churn their investments often.
5. To produce as part of a continuous process: Ingrid churns out a new novel every six months.
chutzpah (s) (noun), chutzpahs (pl)
A personal confidence or courage that allows someone to do or say things that may seem shocking to others: It took a lot of chutzpah for Mildred to oppose her supervisor at the business meeting the way she did.
A shameless impudence in behavior.
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ci-devant (adjective) (not comparable)
Applied to a person with reference to an office or a position which he or she no longer occupies: The school's ci-devant, or retired, principal is spending a lot of time traveling with his family.
A recent or previous person who was in a position but is now retired.
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civilian succession (s) (noun), civilian successions (pl)
The act or process of following in order or sequence: A civilian succession is opposed to a military succession.

Since its independence from Britain in 1960, Nigeria has seesawed between civilian and military rule, enduring a brutal civil war and decades of misrule that siphoned billions of dollars from the country's oil wealth.

No previous civilian government in Nigeria has handed power to another civilian government, making April's election a watershed.

Further complicating Nigeria's march toward democracy is the unrest in the Niger Delta, where militants, seeing more of the country's oil wealth for the impoverished residents of the oil-rich delta, have carried out kidnappings and bombings that have harmed the oil industry.

—Compiled from "Nigerian election facing hurdles:
For the first time, a civilian succession is in the offing";
from the International Herald Tribune by Lydia Polgreen, March 9, 2007; page 5.
clamp (s) (noun), clamps (pl)
A tool or device, the purpose of which is to secure one or two objects firmly in place: Trudy's friend, who is a carpenter, has several sizes of clamps to use in her work.

Some clamps are mechanical devices that have movable jaws so an object can be secured to a bench or work table.

clamp (verb), clamps; clamped; clamping
1. To fasten two or more things firmly together by using a device or tool which holds something together tightly: The doctor clamped the blood vein during the operation.
2. To hold something firmly and tightly in position: Chuck clamped the two pieces of glued wood together until they become securely attached.
3. To establish by some authority or to impose: The government clamped a tax on imports from certain countries.
4. To press or to squeeze something: When asked to explain what happened at the meeting last night, Shanna clamped her mouth shut and refused to say anything about it.
clampdown (s) (noun), clampdowns (pl)
An increased effort to make sure that people obey laws and rules: There was a security clampdown in the city's traffic system.

There is going to be a new clampdown on drug trafficking and on weapons smugglers.

clangor (s) (noun), clangors (pl)
1. A repetition of loud noises: Neighbors were disturbed by the sharp sounds of various metallic clangors which a group of celebrants were making to express their wishes for a happy new year to those who were there and elsewhere in the world.
2. Etymology: from Latin clangere, " to clang".
A repeated loud ringing in and from a man's head.
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A sharp and loud sound when a man in armour is hit on the head.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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claptrap (s) (noun), claptraps (pl)
1. Absurd or nonsensical conversation or ideas which are expressed to others: Sharon said the politician's speech was nothing but claptrap, or bunkum and hot air!
2. A trick or method to gain applause: It was an old-fashioned melodrama full of claptrap or high-sounding language with little meaning, used to impress people.
Insincere or preentious talking.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

clash (s) (noun), clashes (pl)
A coincidence of differences that may result from discords or antagonisms: The clash of opinions caused tensions during the political debate and so they agreed that there had to be some way to diminish such clashes.
clash (KLASH) (verb), clashes; clashed; clashing
1. To bang or bring two items together in a manner that causes a loud, crashing noise: As the men unloaded the garbage cans early in the morning, they would often wake up the neighborhood because they clashed the containers so loudly.
2. To engage in violent conflict or fighting with another individual or group: It was recorded that the armies clashed on this plain many years ago.
3. To engage in harsh verbal disagreement, to argue: The politicians were clashing because they couldn't agree as to what should be done by the central government.
clip (s) (noun), clips (pl)
1. Usually a small piece of metal or plastic which holds things together or that keeps things in place and order: He prefers to use a money clip instead of a wallet.

Do we have enough paper clips to hold all of these papers together?

2. A container that is filled with bullets and which is placed inside a gun so the bullets can be fired or shot at a target: He filled the ammunition clip and was ready to fire at the target.
3. A short section of a movie, TV show, video, etc.: He was presenting a clip of his new movie so the small group of producers could make comments and suggestions.
4. An article that has been cut out of a newspaper or magazine: She had a pile of press clips from the newspaper about her son.
5. The speed at which something happens: The economic market is dropping at a clip this year.
6. When something moves or happens quickly: The train is moving at a good clip today.
7. In medicine, a metallic instrument for holding bodily tissue or other part together: The surgeon used clips to hold the skin together so she could suture the incision.

The doctor used a wound clip or metal clasp for the surgical approximation of the skin incisions.

8. Informal, for one time or instance: Janine makes just about $500 a clip for her research.

Agustin runs about five miles at a clip each day.

clip (verb), clips; clipped; clipping
1. To hold two or more things together with a small piece of metal or plastic: Jennifer clipped the papers together so they would continue to be organized in their subject area.
2. To attach something to or onto something else with an attaching device: Maribel's mother clipped the keys to her belt.

The TV program director told Devon to clip the microphone onto his shirt.

3. To make something shorter or neater by cutting off small pieces of it: Lorna is outside clipping the hedge.
4. To cut an article, a picture, etc. out of a newspaper or a magazine: Harrison clipped out several puzzles which he found in the magazines.

Debora was clipping more articles about educational activities from magazines and newspapers to put in her blogs to educators.

clip joint (s) (noun), clip joints (pl)
A business; for example, a bar or a nightclub, that charges its customers much more money than that which seems to be normal: Mike complained to the waitress that the bill for the meal made him feel that he was in a clip joint.

The police raided the clip joint in their search for those who were selling illegal drugs.

clipboard (s) (noun), clipboards (pl)
1. A small board to which papers can be attached: The supervisor used a clipboard to hold the paper on which he wrote his notations.
2. Part of a computer program which holds a copy of some data, including words or pictures, and that allows the user to move the data to another document or program: Bart was in the process of copying the pictures and text to the clipboard and pasting them in the new document.

Links to all of the groups of English words in action, Groups A to Z.

You may see the bibliographic list of sources of information for these words in action.