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.

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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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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.
mug (verb), mugs; mugged; mugging
1. To attack and to rob someone: Jesse was mugged while he was walking home from the park last evening.
2. To behave in a silly way by making silly facial expressions: The politician was mugging at a man who was yelling in disagreement about a statement that the candidate had made.
mugger (s) (noun), muggers (pl)
Someone who uses physical violence to steal from others: The police caught the mugger who stole Silvia's purse as he was trying to get away.
mugging (s) (noun), muggings (pl)
An assault, or aggressive action, by someone on another person, or people, with the intention of taking their valuables with unlawful force: Recently there have been several muggings of people after it gets dark in Joe's neighborhood.
muggy (adjective), muggier, muggiest
Descriptive of being unpleasantly warm, or hot, and humid: There have been more muggy days this summer than usual; in fact, the last three days have been the muggiest.
murk, mirk (MUHRK) (s) (noun); murks, mirks (pl)
1. A condition in which there is only gloom, poor, or inconsistent light.: A figure emerged from the murk as Jane and James walked down the street in the evening.
2. Gloomy darkness caused by fog, mist, smoke, or cloud: In the harbor, the industrial murk was further exacerbated by the heavy fog causing the special horns to sound throughout the night.
3. Darkness or a thick cloud, which prevents people from seeing clearly: Aurora and Walter carried their flashlights when they walked through the murk on their way home.
4. Dark or dirty water: When Stephan was rowing a boat, he couldn't see the bottom of the lake through all the murk that was there.
5. Etymology: from Middle English mirke, from Old Norse myrkr, or Old English mirce, "dark".
murkiness (MUHR kee nuhs) (s) (noun) (no plural)
1. The quality of or a reference to being cloudy: The murkiness of the night sky hid the tall and well-lighted buildings.

It was difficult to understand the point the politician was making because of the murkiness of his proposal for cleaning up the waterfront.

2. Circumstances in which it is impossible to see: The murkiness of the water completely obscured whatever might be at the bottom of the pond.
murky, mirky (MUHR kee) (adjective); murkier (MUHR kee uhr); murkiest (MUHR kee uhst)
1. Without sufficient light, being dirty, and gloomy: The murky light in the cave made it difficult for the spelunkers to explore it.
2. Densely foggy or covered with a thick mist: A murky sky was hanging over the forest after the fire had been put out.
3. Muddied, difficult to see through because of sediment: Justin doesn't like to swim in the river because of its murky water.
4. Obscure or doubtful and specious: The speaker presented murky information in an effort to disguise the fact that he was not prepared for the debate.
5. Not clearly expressed or understood: The airline offered a murky explanation for the flight delay.
6. Suspicious, intended to deceive, or is hidden: As a politician, the candidate was suspected of having a murky past.
8. Darker and gloomier; especially, as a result of a thick mist: The sky was murkier than normal because of a thin drizzle which was falling and then later, it became the murkiest of nights as a result of the thick fog.
9. A descriptive term for someone or something exhibiting morally questionable behavior: Mike's political background made him a murkier government agent than the others who were running for office.

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.