English Words in Action, Group S

(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.

squat (SKWAHT) (verb), squats; squatted; squatting
1. To sit or to position oneself in a manner that is close to the ground while resting one’s lower body on his or her heels: Jerry squatted behind the desk so his brother couldn't find him while they were playing hide and seek.
2. To live in a building or on land without the owner's permission and without paying to be there: The migrant workers were squatting on the vacant farm.

That family has been squatting in that house for months.

squatter (s) (noun), squatters (pl)
Someone or those who live in a place without permission and without paying the owner to be there: They were squatters who had settled in the vacant house without the right to do it.
squeamish, (SKWEE mish) (adjective), more squeamish, most squeamish
1. Referring to a person's sensitivity of being easily sickened or upset: Trina gets squeamish about eating raw fish.

Marvin gets a squeamish feeling just at the sight of blood.

2. Relating to the condition of having an unpleasantly nervous or doubtful feeling: Shelby's brother has a squeamish attitude about walking in the city at night.
3. Descriptive of someone who is easily shocked, disturbed, or disgusted: Some movies are just too unacceptable for squeamish people who can't stand looking at all of the violence and bloodshed.
4. Pertaining to a person who is afraid to deal with or to do things which might hurt or offend people: Journalists should not be squeamish about writing the truth about anyone or anything.
5. Characteristic of an individual who is easily offended or shocked by such things as violence, the mention of bodily functions, or strong language: Some talk-show hosts on the radio and TV programs upset members of their squeamish audiences who feel it is inexcusable for those hosts to use such psycho talk, vulgarisms, and personal attacks on people they disagree with.
6. Etymology: from squoymous, "disdainful, fastidious" which is from Anglo-French escoymous, of unknown origin.
A reference to being easily nauseated or upset by that which is very disabreeable.
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squint (SKWINT) (verb), squints; squinted; squinting
To look at something with one’s eyes partially closed, to close one's eyes against bright light: Because of the bright lights, Mary had to squint her eyes so she could see where she was going.
squinter (s) (noun), squinters (pl)
A person who is looking at something with his or her eyes partly closed: Tonja was a squinter whenever she had to look at small print without her glasses.
stalemate (STAYL mayt") (s) (noun), stalemates (pl)
1. In chess, a situation in which no winner is possible because neither player can move a piece without placing the king in check: The chess champion was astonished to find herself in a stalemate with her opponent.
2. Any tie or deadlock; or a position in which no action can be taken resulting in a complete standoff or impasse: The national budget debate in the Senate ended in a stalemate.

The union delegates announced that there was a stalemate in the contract negotiations with the city.

stalwart (s) (noun), stalwarts (pl)
1. Someone who is physically and morally strong: Jake was respected for being a stalwart who was not only a very good coach at his university but also as a deacon in his church.
2. A person, or people, who steadfastly support an organization or cause: The candidate for President had a significantly large number of stalwarts who would be voting for him in the coming election.
stalwart (adjective), more stalwart, most stalwart
1. Relating to enormous strength and vigor of mind, body, or spirit: Norman's stalwart son was a star professional football player.
2. A reference to those who are very loyal and dedicated: Susan and her friends were more stalwart supporters of the politician's candidacy for governor than most of the other people in her community.
3. Etymology: from Old English staelwierthe, "serviceable, good" from stathol, "position" + wierthe, "worthy, excellent".
Very brave, strong, and large.
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stark (adjective), starker, starkest
1. Referring to an unpleasant and difficult to accept or to experience condition: Auto accidents serve as a stark reminder of the dangers of driving when drunk.

The reporter's criticism of the movie in his newspaper stands in stark contrast to the praise it has received from other viewers.

2. Etymology: from German stark, "strong".
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stash (verb), stashes; stashed; stashing
1. To put something away in a secret or hidden place for future use: Henrietta stashed a significant amount of money in her closet.
2. Etymology: from an unknown origin.
To hide or to put away in a secret place.
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steadfast (adjective), more steadfast, most steadfast
Pertaining to being firm, steady, or unwavering about an issue or principle: Carol was a steadfast student at the university despite the fact that she had to work at a restaurant several hours each day in order to pay for her tuition and other living expenses.
Referring to anyone who is not changing or wavering in his or her beliefs or responsibilities.
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Relating to a person or animal that is firmly loyal and trustworthy.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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steadily (adverb), more steadily, most steadily
In a nonmoving way: Bernhard was told to keep holding the camera steadily.
steady (s) (noun), steadies (pl)
1. An informal usage primarily in the U.S.; the only person someone is having a romantic relationship with: When asked how long Shelby and her friend had known each other, she told Susan that he had been her steady for over a year.
2. A person or people who have been regular participants in some activity or situation: William and David have been steadies at this office for several years.
steady (adjective), steadier, steadiest
1. Not shaking or moving and held firmly in one place or position: Having a steady hand with a camera can result in better pictures.

As a result of his illness, Ron lost his normally steadier balance while he was walking and so he almost fell over.

2. Not changing as time passes; such as, not increasing or decreasing; or lasting or continuing for a long time in a dependable way: The doctor told Mildred that she had a steady heart rate.

David is so much happier now that he has a steadier job.

3. Happening or developing in a continuous and normally gradual way: Shirley is making steady progress after her operation.

Finally, there was a steady rain on Tuesday after such a long period without any significant rainfall.

4. Dependable or reliable: Frank's sister thanked him for being her steadiest supporter during her illness.
steady (verb), steadies; steadied; steadying
1. To keep something or someone from moving, shaking, or falling: Henry steadied himself by using the handrail as he walked up to the next floor to his apartment.
2. To cause something to stop changing, increasing, or decreasing: Prices for food have not been steadying lately.

The new medicine has been helping to steady Aurora's heart rate.

Karin took a drink of water and sat down to steady her nerves.

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.