English Words in Action, Group M

(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.

milestone (s) (noun), milestones (pl)
1. A stone marker set upon a roadside to indicate the distance in miles from a given point: While Mark was driving, the milestones made it possible for him to determine how far he was from reaching his destination.
2. An important event or turning point in one's history or career, or that of nations: The invention of new military weapons are milestones of mankind's route to self-destruction.
minion (MIN yuhn) (s) (noun), minions (pl)
1. A servile or slavish follower, or followers, of someone who is generally regarded as important: Surrounding the rock star were her minions who were putting her special facial make-up on as they were getting ready for the concert.
2. A subordinate or minor official: The real estate owner sent his minion to check on the house to see if the property was salable.
3. A person who is not considered powerful or important and who obeys the orders of a powerful boss or leader: One of the chief executive officer's minions was assigned to work out the financial details for a special project.
A sycophant or an obsequious follower.
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A slavish person who is subservient to a higher authority.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

misspeak (mis SPEEK) (verb), misspeaks; misspoke (mis SPOHK); misspeaking (mis SPEEK ing)
1. To make statements that are inappropriate or made in haste: Trina tends to misspeak if she is nervous when speaking to a crowd.
2. To say or to pronounce words in an incorrect manner or to express improperly: Because the librarian tends to misspeak so often, Albert wonders if he really knows how often he misinforms his visitors.
3. To speak otherwise than according to one's intention: The politician tends to misspeak so often his credibility is questionable.

If the imperfectly expressed thought, whether an amusing blooper or a serious gaffe, is unintentional and a mere slip of the lip; then such misspeaking should not be considered lying.

mock (adjective) (no comparatives)
A reference to that which is not real or authentic: With a mock smile, Henry told Sally that he would love to go for a walk with her in the rain.
mock (MAHK) (verb), mocks; mocked; mocking
1. To laugh at, to ridicule, to make fun of someone or something: Sharon couldn't help but mock Jim's awkward marriage proposal.
2. To frustrate, to confuse or to disappoint: Peter's irresponsible behavior mocks Karin's trust in him.
3. To arrange for training or practice; or performed as a demonstration: Web designers and innovators mock up something, put it online, and get immediate feedback from users which makes a full-scale working model of something so it can undergo testing and be used to improve the program.

4. Etymology: from the mid-15th century, "make fun of", from Old French mocquer "to deride, to jeer"; of unknown origin.
mockery (s) (noun), mockeries (pl)
A behavior or speech which makes fun of someone or something in a harmful way: Mockery was the only outlet for Ben's jealously when Iva left him for another guy.

Revealing the politician's bribery in order to run for office made a mockery of the contest.

When anyone makes a mockery of something, he or she makes it seem ridiculous or useless.

moot (MOOT) (adjective), more moot, most moot
1. Descriptive of something that is debatable, not certain, questionable, or is totally insignificant: During a lecture, a student asked the professor a moot question regarding what was on the last test, which the other students considered to be inappropriate at that time.

When it started to rain, it became a moot decision as to where Jim and his family would have their picnic .

2. Etymology: originally in Anglo Saxon days, a moot point was one which was talked about at a "meeting" because "meeting" is the original sense of the noun moot, a town meeting for purposes of debating and discussing issues.
Compiled from information provided by John Ayto
in the Dictionary of Word Origins; Arcade Publishing;
New York; 1990; page 354.
Open to question and debatable.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

moot (verb), moots; mooted; mooting
To present an idea or a topic for debate or discussion: The tax issues have been mooted in Congress and they will be points of arguments for a long time.
To argue and to debate for and against.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

mouse (s) (noun), mice (pl)
1. A very small rodent which has a pointed nose and a long thin tale: The house was invaded by mice and it didn't take long before one of the many traps caught and killed one of them.
2. A shy, inconspicuous, unobtrusive person: Poor Susan, she is such a mouse at parties and even when she is in a group with other people.
mouse (s) (noun), mouses (pl)
When referring to the computer tool, a small tool which is used to move with the hand to control functions: Mike used the hand-operated electronic mouse to control the coordinates on his computer screen while he moved it around on a pad.

Actually, Mike had two different mouses, one with a connecting cord and one which was cordless.

mouse (verb), mouses; moused; mousing
1. To hunt for small rodents which are pests with the intention of killing them: During the winter, Joshua spent a lot of time mousing in his garage.
2. To look for, to hunt for something, or someone in a quiet, stealthy manner: The cats moused around the barn looking for small rodents.
3. Using a hand-held computer device to control the movement of a pointer on the computer screen which, when rolled along a flat surface, directs an indicator to move correspondingly around a computer screen, allowing the operator to move the indicator freely so he or she can select operations or manipulate text or graphics: While the technicians were mousing around on the new computer, they were able to determine if the quality had really improved as claimed by the computer company.

Thomas is a person who mouses for hours at a time at work and at home; in fact, his wife once told a friend that they both mouse on their separate computers.

mow (verb), mows; mowed; mowing
To cut something; such as, grass, with a blade or a machine: Estella can hear her neighbor mowing his lawn with his loud motorized machine.
mowing (adjective), more mowing, most mowing
A term that describes the kind of tool which is used for cutting grass, hay, etc.: The farmer was busy with his mowing machine cutting the alfalfa that he will use to feed his cattle during the winter.

Another farmer was using his mowing equipment first to reap his wheat and then his oats.

MP (s) (noun), MPs (pl)
1. A branch of an armed-military force assigned to perform law enforcement duties: An MP is an equivalent to a civilian police officer; however, only MPs, or Military Police, are authorized to serve on military installations while civilian police are not.

An MP also indicates "mounted police" who ride horses when performing special duties as civilian police.

2. A member of a government group in such countries as Great Britain, Canada, etc.: The MP is a Member of Parliament which is the highest legislature in the UK consisting of the sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons.
mug (s) (noun), mugs (pl)
1. A person's face: A photograph of a criminal's mug was presented to the police for identification purposes.
2. A heavy drinking cup with a handle: Jane's family often prefer to use mugs when they have soup or other hot liquids to consume.
3. The hot liquid that is in a drinking container: Sam and his mother were drinking a big mug of soup while his father was drinking a mug of coffee.

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.