English Words in Action, Group B

(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.

barge (verb), barges; barged; barging
1. To transport goods or products in a flat-bottomed boat that is pushed or towed: In order to cut down on transportation costs, the company barged their products into their primary distribution center.
2. To move or to push in a fast and often rude manner: Zola barged through the door without even knocking.

Reuben was getting upset because the other woman kept barging in on their conversation.

Coal and ore had been barged down the Ohio River to the Mississippi River where it was taken to a docking area to be unloaded.

The thief started to run away and barged into a woman on the sidewalk, knocking her down.

3. Etymology: the verb form of barge into dates from the 1830's and is primarily an American-English term."
barren (BAIR uhn) (adjective)
1. Producing no offspring, childless: The couple decided to adopt a child when they realized that she was barren.
2. Sterile, unable to produce heirs or off spring: Farmer John was cheated when he bought the barren cow which could not have any calves.
3. Lacking vegetation; unproductive land, unfruitful, depleted, desolate: No one could raise crops on this barren land.
4. Referring to something that is useless; uninteresting, dull, or uninformative: Mr. Evans presented a barren topic which was not worth any further consideration.
bash (s) (noun), bashes (pl)
1. Slang for a big or exciting party: The family threw Latoya a birthday bash which was just one of several bashes they have thrown for her.
2. Powerful and hard blows: Shelia used a hammer to give a resounding bash or two on the coconut shell in order to break it apart.
bash (verb), bashes; bashed; bashing
1. To strike with a heavy, crushing blow: The gang member bashed the hood of the car with a sledgehammer.

The two cars bashed into each other.

2. To beat or to assault severely: The police arrested the men who bashed and robbed a man who was walking in his neighborhood last evening.
3. To make comments that find fault in someone or to criticize and to disparage something or another person or group: The talk-show-host was bashing a political group with hate mongering and vulgar talk on his program one night.
bawl (BAWL) (verb), bawls; bawled; bawling
1. To cry, wail, howl, yowl, squall, or to weep: Little Jimmy was so upset that he started to bawl for his mother.

Chad was on his bed, bawling uncontrollably because he wanted to go out and play in the snow despite the fact that it was too cold.

2. To say or to shout something using a loud voice: The children were misbehaving so badly and the father was so frustrated, that he could only bawl at them to settle down.

Todd's boss bawled him out because he didn't attend the meeting as he was told.

"Get into the car!", the mother bawled at her two boys who were still fooling around in the yard.

The nursery was full of babies that were bawling.

beard (s) (noun), beards (pl)
1. Facial hair of a man covering the chin, cheeks and throat; especially, when trimmed into shape; sometimes excluding a mustache: Stan had a neat beard and mustache which he trimmed every day.
2. Facial hair that is seen close to the faces of some mammals; for example, goats: Farmer Hans has several male goats all of which have beards.
3. Bristles or whisker like hair of certain plants; for example, wheat, barley, and some kinds of grass: The beards on the barley was turning brown because the grain was ripe.
5. Filaments of some mollusks by which they fasten themselves to a surface under the water: The directions in the recipe said to remove the beards of the mussels before cooking them.
beard (verb), beards; bearded; bearding
1. To place or to go along the edge of something: Houses bearded the top edge of the canyon.
2. To oppose or to confront someone or something confidently or respectfully: The politician was bearded during his political speech on TV.
bedlam (BED luhm) (s) (noun), bedlams (pl)
1. A place or situation of noisy uproar and confusion: There was so much bedlam in kindergarten, that the teacher couldn’t be heard when she tried to talk to them!
2. An insane asylum: A bedlam used to be a place of confinement and housing of lunatics, idiots, or mad people; but now it is called an institution for taking care of the mentally ill.
3. Origin: In 1247, the priory, religious house, of St. Mary of Bethlehem was founded in London.

In the early fifteenth century, it came to be used as a hospital for lunatics, or psychopaths.

Known as "Bethlehem", the name of the asylum was contracted in popular usage to "Bethlem, Bedlem, or Bedlam" which came to be applied to any lunatic asylum, and consequently, bedlam is used to signify any scene of uproar or confusion that is suggestive of a madhouse.

An situation or place that is noisy and full of confusion.
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befit (verb), befits; befitted; befitting
To be suitable to or proper for someone or something: The graduate student has a mental attitude for serious research as befits a scientist.
befitting (adjective), more befitting, most befitting
1. Suitable, fitting, proper, suitable, or appropriate for an occasion: It was a very elegant and royal-type dinner, with a table setting that was befitting a king and a queen.
2. That which is suitable for a particular person, place, or condition, etc.: Melinda wore a befitting gown to the wedding ceremony.
beguile (verb), beguiles; beguiled; beguiling
1. To be deluded, to influence with flattery, to lead astray, to deceive, or to trick: Jenelle was beguiled into thinking that she could become a famous actress.

The salesman was cunning enough to beguile his customers into believing all of the claims that he made regarding the new car.

2. To attract or to interest other people in something: The singer beguiled the audience with his smooth performance.
To deceive or to mislead by deluding.
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To charm, to entertain, and to deceive .
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To charm, to hoodwink by deception.
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beguiling (adjective), more beguiling, most beguiling
Charming, captivating, entertaining: The actors presented beguiling blends of tragedy and humor in their drama.
beguilingly (adverb), more beguilingly, most beguilingly
Related to being charming, pleasing, and amusing: The actress spoke with a beguilingly smooth and alluring voice.
behest (s) (noun), behests (pl)
1. An authoritative command: A special meeting of Congress will be held today at the President's behest.
2. An urgent request: A behest is something that is done by someone's earnest or desperate appeal.
A command or an urgent request.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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belie (verb), belies; belied; belying
1. To slander, to depart from or to evade the truth, to falsify; to contradict: After Fidel explained why he was late to work, he was told that his boss knew that he belied his story.

Diego's actions are belying his claims of being falsely accused of misbehavior.

2. To misrepresent, to give a false idea about something, or to conceal: The speaker's smile belied his anger at the critical comments made by the man in the audience.

Sonja's appearance and behavior belie her young age.

To tell lies or to misrepresent one's real feelings.
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To disguise or give a false impression.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

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.