English Words in Action, Group E

(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.

encroach (verb), encroaches; encroached; encroaching
1. To infringe or to take advantage of someone or a situation in an underhanded manner: Wiretapping encroaches on people's rights to privacy.
2. To make inroads, to invade, to take over: The desert is encroaching on the grassland.

The hedge of Dustin's neighbor is encroaching on his property.

The ocean is slowly encroaching on the shoreline.

3. Etymology: from Old French en-, "in" + crochier, "to hook"; literally to get a hook into something that belongs to another person.

The related French word croc [pronounced, CROW], "hook" doesn't go back to Latin but to Germanic origins and it is related to Old Norse krokr, "hook", and to English crook

To intrude or to trespass.
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To enter the rights of another person.
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encroacher (s) (noun), encroachers (pl)
Someone who intrudes gradually, stealthily, harmfully, or is alluringly dangerous regarding the rights, property, etc., of another person or of people: One night while Cathy was sleeping, she was suddenly awakened by an encroacher who threatened to kill her if she didn't give him her jewelry and money.

Once the new Iranian system of encroachers become operational, and the government's restrictive network goes into effect, ordinary Iranians will wake up to a more censored internet.

encroachment (s) (noun), encroachments (pl)
1. Intrusion on a person's territory, rights, etc.: There are those who believe that there are too many encroachments of laws which are interfering with their individual liberties.

Greg is not happy that his job is causing so many encroachments on his family life.

2. A gradual advance beyond normal or acceptable limits: Erin is concerned about the encroachment of computer games on her son's life.

The small farmers of the agricultural area were resisting the encroachments of wealthy corporations that were trying to buy their farmlands.

The new censorship laws restricting access to the Internet by the government of Iran are encroachments on the freedom of the Iranian people to communicate with the rest of the world.

Iran has prevented access to services like Facebook and Twitter before, but this time the encroachments appear to be particularly widespread.

Gradual intrusion on a person's property.
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ensconce (verb), ensconces; ensconced; ensconcing
1. To settle comfortably and safely: Shawn found his mother in the library, where she had ensconced herself in an armchair and was reading her favorite novel.
2. To cover or to shelter; to hide securely: Sean ensconced himself in the next room in order to eavesdrop on the conversation that was going on out in the hall.

To protect herself from pickpockets, Tamika ensconced her cellphone in her inside-zippered pocket so no one could take it.

3. Etymology: "to cover with a fort", from en- "make, put in" + sconce, "small fortification, a shelter"; probably from Dutch schans, "earthwork".
Dog is comfortable in the man's lap.
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To settle comfortably with someone.
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To settle with a family.
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To shelter or to hide.
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enthrall (verb), enthralls; enthralled; enthralling
1. To captivate or to charm: Trudy is an actress whose grace, skill, and virtuosity enthrall people who see her performances in various countries.
2. To put or to hold in slavery, to subjugate or to bring under control: Harlan was enthralled too much by various superstitions.
entrepreneur (s) (noun), entrepreneurs (pl)
Someone who organizes, starts, and operates a new business and even risks his or her own money to get it started: Michael Williams became an entrepreneur selling and repairing computers.
Someone who takes on the risk and management of a business.
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A person who is managing a business.
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environment (s) (noun), environments (pl)
1. Conditions that surround people or things: Mold grows best in a warm, damp environment.
2. The conditions and influences that affect the growth, health, progress, etc. of someone or something: Maude grew up in a loving environment.

A happy family provides a loving environment for its children.

3. Etymology: from French environ, "around"; so, environment is the total of the things or circumstances around people and nature; and the environs are the "surrounding neighborhood of a place".
environmental (adjective), more environmental, most environmental
A reference to the surroundings of people and things: Earth's millions of species influence a wide range of environmental processes, including the force of nature, the stability of ecosystems, and the goods and services they provide.
environmentalist (s) (noun), environmentalists (pl)
People, or organizations, national and international, who work to protect the natural world: The environmentalists are striving to protect our natural world from pollutions and other threats to the survival and well-being of creatures on the earth.
ephemeral (i FEM uhr uhl) (adjective), more ephemeral, most ephemeral
A description which lasts for a short time, is brief, or is transitory: Many people enjoy the ephemeral beauty of spring.
escapade (ES kuh payd") (s) (noun), escapades (pl)
1. An act or undertaking that is typically done in the spirit of mischief, or done as a prank: Painting pictures on the school building was the latest escapade done by those boys.

James and Mark were told that such escapades are contrary to acceptable behavior and so they would have to remove the images from the building.

2. Etymology: from the Vulgar Latin verb excappare, "to escape"; from the Latin prefix ex- + Late Latin cappa, "head covering" or "cloak".
eschew (verb), eschews; eschewed; eschewing
1. To shun, or to avoid, something on principle or as a matter of course; especially because someone thinks it is not proper and so it should not be done: The new political group eschews the killing and destructiveness by terrorists.
2. Abstain from, forgo, give up, stay away from; something that is unworthy or injurious: Many people need to eschew food that makes them overweight and even unhealthy.
To abstain from something distasteful.
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To shun something because of possible injury.
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To abstain from something wrong.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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escrow (adjective) (not comparable)
Pertaining to an agent, a title company, or a bank which has a special account that includes a deposit for a sale until all of the conditions have been met and then the closing will take place and the money will be transferred to the seller: The escrow agent acts as a neutral party in the sales transaction and facilitates the sale by allowing the buyer and the seller to close the business agreement without having to exchange documents and funds.
escrow (s) (ES kroh", e SKROH) (noun), escrows (pl)
1. A legal document; such as, a deed, a bond, money, stock, or other property that is delivered by a grantor to a third person, or party, which is kept in custody until certain requirements have been fulfilled by the other parties: The term escrow originally applied only to instruments for the conveyance of land, but it is now used for all written items including mortgages, bonds, promissory notes, life insurance policies, patents, stock certificates, and even money deposited to be held until the performances of specified actions have been accomplished.

Hayden put his rent payment in escrow until the landlord fixed the broken water pipes.

The company put the workers' salaries in escrow pending a settlement in wage increases.

2. Etymology: from Middle French escroe, "scrap, scroll" and it was also borrowed through medieval Latin scroda into Old French as escroe, where its meaning of "cut piece, strip" evolved into "strip of parchment".
escrow (verb), escrows; escrowed; escrowing
To place funds with an agent or a bank until the time comes to transfer the title received from the seller and any money that has been received from the buyer is closed with the recording of the deeds, obtaining title insurance, and any other concurrent closing activities that have been concluded: There are often costs that must be escrowed for fees of services; including those performed by the lender, escrow agent, and the title company; depending on the amount of the mortgage loan and other aspects of the sale.

It is common in American real-estate law for all types of documents to be escrowed; that is, holding them with the understanding that they will not be released until certain actions have been accomplished or concluded.

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.