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.

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blunder (s) (noun), blunders (pl)
A terrible or embarrassing mistake resulting from carelessness or ignorance: It was a critical blunder to forget the guest of honor's correct name when the public introduction was made by the chairman.

The government officials were accused of making severe administrative blunders in their financial report.

A stupid or foolish mistake.
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blunder (verb), blunders; blundered; blundering
1. To move in an awkward or confused manner: Vance was about to blunder badly in his speech before he found the notes in the pocket of his jacket.
2. To stumble or to move clumsily: Miriam saw a stranger blundering across the street towards the coffee shop.
3. To act or to speak in a manner that is awkward, ignorant, or thoughtless: The child was so upset that she blundered to her teacher that someone had pushed her, which was not really true.
4. Etymology: from as far back as 1340, which came from Old Norse (Norwegian language as written and spoken from 100 to 1500) blundra, "to shut one's eyes"; while the oldest English sense was "to stumble around blindly". The meaning of "make a stupid mistake" is first recorded in about 1711.
blunderer (s) (noun), blunderers (pl)
1. A person who makes mistakes because of incompetence: Quentin had a reputation of being a blunderer when speaking in front of groups of people.
2. Those who move in awkward or confused ways: The blunderers stumbled along through the woods until they finally found the trail that took them back to their camp.
blur (s) (noun), blurs (pl)
1. Something which cannot be seen clearly: The letters and words are just blurs when Mary looks at them without her glasses.

When the train was speeding on, everything outside the window became one continual blur.

2. Anything that is difficult to remember: The whole day has been a blur for Ernie because he doesn't remember clearly what happened after he had fallen down and hit his head against a tree in the morning.
blur (verb), blurs; blurred; blurring
Making something unclear or difficult to see or to remember: The tears in Salina's eyes blurred the words on the page of the book that she was trying to read.

Although her novel is based on historical happenings, it blurs the distinctions between fact and fiction.

blurb (s) (noun), blurbs (pl)
1. A written praise for a book in the publishing trade that is printed on the dust jacket and is meant as an advertisement for the publication: The author got all of his friends to write blurbs for his new book so he could include them on the cover of his new novel.

Mildred wrote descriptions of praise and compliments in her blurb for the author's book.

2. Etymology: coined by the American humorist Gelett Burgess (1866-1951) in 1907. According to his publisher, B.W. Huebsch, Burgess's book, Are You a Bromide?, was published and was selling well.
Praises for something in an advertisement or on a book jacket.
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blurred (adjective), more blurred, most blurred
A reference to or description about something that confuses or is uncertain: The patient's symptoms included blurred vision; as well as, a blurred memory.
blurriness (s) (noun) (no plural)
1. That which is indistinct and without sharp outlines: What Reginald saw was haze or blurriness of the car that was coming towards him in the fog.
2. Something that is hazy and indistinct to the sight or the mind: There was a blurriness or a lack of sharpness in the X-ray image because the patient was moving during the process.
blurry (adjective), blurrier, blurriest
A description of something which is not clear or that is difficult to see: As long as Jamila didn't have her glasses on, the text was blurry and when she was sleepy and tired, it was even blurrier.
bode (BOHD) (verb), bodes; boded; boding
1. To foreshadow; to predict or to foretell; to presage by signs or by omens; to portend: It is believed by some that a red sunset will bode good weather for sailors; such as, "red sky at night, sailor's delight".
The new trial evidence will bode ill for the lawyer's case because it proves that his defendant is guilty.
2. Etymology: from Old English bodian, "to announce, to tell."
boisterous (adjective), more boisterous, most boisterous
1. Referring to a noisy situation with a lack of restraint and discipline: There was a boisterous crowd after the team won the football championship.
2. Characteristic of violently agitated and turbulent conditions: The boisterous winds and waves were a result of a storm in that area of the beach.
Relating to a noisy and unruly crowd.
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Conveying a noisily and good-natured group of friends.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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Bollywood (BAW lee wood) (s) (noun) (no plural)
The movie films or the motion picture film industry of India: Bollywood is a cinematic blend of two places, Bombay (India) and Hollywood (California).
Bollywood (adjective) (no comparatives)
A reference to the Indian-motion-film industry: Bombay (now known as Mumbai), India, is the production center of over 800 Bollywood motion films a year.
bolster (verb), bolsters; bolstered; bolstering
1. To reinforce, to secure, to strengthen, or to support: More wooden structures are needed to bolster the roof of the building.
2. To uphold, to aid, or to assist: Mary was told that more facts are needed to bolster her political arguments or disputes with other members of congress.
To reinforce or to strengthen and to intensify freindships.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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bondage (s) (noun), bondages (pl)
1. A condition in which someone belongs to another person as his or her servant or serf: Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves from bondage.
2. The state of subjection to a power, influence, or lacking freedom to do what one wants to do: Mark's friend was struggling to overcome the bondage of drug addiction.
The state of being controlled by another power or influence.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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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.