English Words in Action, Group W

(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.

fresh water (s) (noun), fresh waters (pl)
1. Aqueous liquid that is not salty: Rain is fresh water that falls as precipitation from clouds.
2. Inland bodies of unsalty aquatic fluids: Fresh water usually exists in ponds, lakes, or streams; as long as they don't contain salt.
waggish (adjective), more waggish, most waggish
Relating to being humorous in a playful, mischievous, or facetious way: Monroe gave a waggish response when he was told to get ready to go shopping for some meat by asking: "Who are we going to meet at the market?"
Playfully humorous.
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Mischievous humor or joking.
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A reference to being playful or joking.
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wane (WAYN) (verb), wanes; waned; WA
1. To lose size by gradually becoming smaller: The moon wanes as it shows a smaller illuminated region when it proceeds from a full to a new moon.
2. To decline in power, influence, or importance: People's interest of using oil for heating homes waned when the price of gas became much less expensive.
3. To decrease in strength or intensity: Jane had shown a great interest in gardening, but after realizing how much physical work was involved, her enthusiasm and energy level significantly waned.
4. To draw to a close: After a wonderful day at the beach waned, the family gathered up their belongings and slowly walked back to their car so they could get back home in time for dinner.
To become less or to decrease in size or intensity.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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warranty (s) (noun), warranties (pl)
1. A given time limit that is a written commitment or promise between a seller or a manufacturer of a product and a purchaser ensuring service against defects: The vacuum cleaner has a five-year warranty.

The warranty covers the car's mechanical functioning for a year with unlimited mileage.

2. Etymology: the word warranty is the same word as guaranty in that both of them come from French garantie, but for some reason, a Germanic initial w sound replaced the g in warranty and both words mean very similar things; however, warranty is more specific.

water (s) (noun), waters (pl)
1. A colorless liquid that falls as rain and is used for such things as drinking, taking baths, washing things, cooking, etc.; and which is essential for all living things: Water has a freezing point of O°C (32°F) and a boiling point starting at 100°C (212°F).

2. Bodies of fluids; such as, seas, lakes, rivers, or streams: Waters are particular stretches of seas or oceans; especially, those of a country; such as, American waters, Canadian waters, British waters, etc.
3. Any of the aqueous liquids that are normally secreted or that come from the body: Water comes from the bodies of many creatures; including, urine, perspiration, tears, and saliva.
water (verb), waters; watered, watering
1. To pour a liquid on plants to keep them alive and producing: Shirley waters her flowers at least once a day during the summer.
2. To cause aqueous fluid to form in the eyes because of irritation or tiredness: Sharon's eyes were watering because she was very tired and it caused tears to form in her eyes.

When Jim's father heard the sad news about his neighbor's son, his eyes started watering.

3. To form saliva in the mouth: When a person sees food, smells food, or thinks about food, the mouth begins to water; especially, when he or she is hungry.
4. To give drinkable aquatic liquids to animals: The farmer waters his livestock when he feeds them.
5. To supply with fluids, as with channels, ditches, or streams: In agricultural productions, if there is not sufficient rain, then it is necessary to water the fields from the canals.
water table (s) (noun), water tables (pl)
The upper level of a saturated area of soil and rock, where it meets unsaturated soil and rock below it: Water tables tend to be higher under elevated zones and lower under valleys; they may be at the surface as in the case of swamps, or thousands of feet down in reservoirs under deserts.

In dry seasons, the water table may drop several feet in some areas before rising again during the next wet season.

waver (verb), wavers, wavered, wavering
1. To fluctuate in opinion, allegiance, or direction: Jill wavered just for a minute before making her decision to go out with her friends instead of completing the important business which she had on her desk.
2. To sway unsteadily back and forth; to totter, to swing: Since the window to his bedroom was partly open next to his bed, Tim could feel the curtains which wavered on him from the night air.
3. Etymology: from Middle English quaveren, "to tremble".
To show doubt or indecision.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

wax (s) (noun), waxes (pl)
1. A hard substance that is composed of oil or a grease which becomes soft when it is heated and which is used to make various products: Some items that include waxes are candles, floor waxes, car wax, sealing waxes, plus other similar kinds of applications.
2. A natural sticky substance which is produced inside the ears: The doctor used a water flush to get rid of the accumulated ear wax in his patient’s ear.
wax (verb), waxes; waxed; waxing
1. To appear to become larger or fuller: The moon waxes and then it wanes.
2. To become larger by increasing in amount, size, etc.: The people's interest in the economic news seems to wax and to wane, depending on what the other news is.
3. To talk or to write about something in a way that shows that a person is experiencing a mood or a feeling: In his presentation, Harry waxed about his bad health problems.
4. To put a thin layer of an oil based substance on a surface to protect or to polish: Mike's boys were waxing the family car today.

Beverly was warned to be careful because the floor was waxed just a short time ago.

5. To remove hair from a part of the body by smoothing on a warm oil based substance; allowing the substance to harden and then removing it: Helena waxes her legs on a regular basis to keep them hairless and smooth.
waxen (adjective), more waxen, most waxen
1. That which is made of or covered with a hard petroleum-based substance: As an artist, Rosetta specialized in making waxen figurines.
2. Referring to a pale or smooth surface: Harriet's waxen face contrasted with her dark eyes and eyebrows.
3. Weak, pliable, or impressionable: The politician had the feeling that he was speaking to a crowd of waxen minds.
waxy (adjective), waxier, waxiest
Something that seems to be made of or covered with a substance of mineral or plant origin: The special kind of polish left a waxier residue on the car than was acceptable and the owner of the car complained and he refused to pay for the sloppy job.

Mildred had several plants with waxy leaves.

weather (s) (noun), weathers (pl)
1. The condition of the atmosphere with regard to temperature, cloudiness, rainfall, wind, and other meteorological conditions: Today the weather was stormy and wet.
2. The short-term state of the atmosphere, as distinguished from the long-term conditions of "climate"; this includes temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind, visibility, and other factors, chiefly considered in terms of their effects on organic life and human activity: Joe listened to the report about the weather before leaving home to go to work.
3. Specific localized atmospheric situations at a given time; such as, rain or snow: The different weathers in this country vary from very dry to excessively wet or flooding.
4. Etymology: from Middle English weder, wether; from Old English weder, "weather, storm, wind".
weather (verb), weathers; weathered; weathering
1. To change a color, etc., because of the effects of the sun, wind, rain, etc. that develops over a long period of time: The surface of the porch was weathering for a long time.
2. To deal with or to experience something dangerous or unpleasant without being damaged or harmed very much: The couple had to weather some difficult adjustments during the beginning of their marriage.

The travelers weathered some very stormy days when they were hiking in the mountains.

weathered (adjective), more weathered, most weathered
Descriptive of a person or things that are stained or which are worn out by exposure to weather: The farmer had a tanned and a weathered face as a result of working so often out in the sun.

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.