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.

sleazy (adjective), sleazier, sleaziest
1. Dirty, disreputable, or sordid in character or appearance: After camping in the rough for two months, Monroe's sleazy appearance was no surprise to anyone.
2. Messy, unwashed, ragged, and tattered: Tim's poor neighborhood has so many sleazy stores with torn carpeting and dirt on the walls that he hates to go into any of them.
3. Dishonest, lacking in moral correctness, and squalid: The sleazy merchant operated in the various neighborhoods, selling his merchandise for much more that it was worth or selling used items and claiming that they were new.

The local bar gets some sleazy characters going there; especially, at night.

4. Shabby, poor quality, and inadequate craftsmanship: The store patron pointed out the sleazy materials and workmanship in the piece of furniture he bought.
5. Threadbare and poorly woven material: Helena's coat has such a sleazy lining and exterior that she is going to throw it away.
6. Etymology: from 1644, "hairy, fuzzy", later "flimsy, unsubstantial" (from 1670); of unknown origin.
A reference to being thin or poor in texture of unimportant or shabby.
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slobber (s) (noun), slobbers (pl)
Liquid material, usually saliva, that drools or dribbles outwardly and down from the mouth: Little Jimmy's toy was covered with slobber because his dog was chewing and drooling on it.
slobber (verb), slobbers; slobbered; slobbering
Letting saliva or some other liquid flow down from the mouth: As a result of his illness, it was sad that Mike was always slobbering when he talked, ate, or drank; all of which he could not avoid.
sloth (SLAWTH or SLOHTH) (s) (noun), sloths (pl)
1. A derogatory word for people which is used in the sense of physical or mental inactivity: Sloths are reluctant to do whatever work that they should be doing.

The term sloth is a stronger word than "idle" or "lazy". Historically, it is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

2. One of several slow moving animals that live in the trees in South American forests: On a recent expedition to South American, a biologist counted three different types of sloths living in the trees.
3. Etymology: from Middle English slouthe, "slow".

slothful (adjective), more slothful, most slothful
A reference to being idle, sluggish, or lazy: A slothful person is always a burden to any group trying to complete a project.
Descriptive of being lazy, inactive, or indolent.
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Descriptive of being lazy or sluggardly.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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sluggish (adjective), more sluggish, most sluggish
1. A reference to a person who is habitually idle, lazy and inactive: Mary always feels sluggish in the morning, so she usually drinks a large glass of water and some coffee to wake up completely and to get moving!
2. Characteristic of something which is slow and indicates little motion: Inflation has been rising despite the sluggish economy.
3. Etymology: from Middle English slug, "slow moving" + -ish, "inclined to be".
Relating to lacking vigor and energy and slow moving.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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smart (adjective), smarter, smartest
1. Being good at learning or thinking about things: Mona is a very intelligent, bright, clever, and smart student.
2. Showing exceptional intelligence or good judgment: Tony made a smart move when he accepted the new job that was offered to him.
3. Very fast and energetic: Kevin's mother gave him a smart slap on his bottom when he talked back to her.
4. Things that are controlled by computers which can perform actions that appear to be intelligent: The so-called-smart drones still make too many mistakes.
smart (verb), smarts; smarted; smarting
1. To feel or to experience a sudden sudden and sharp pain: Glenda's eyes are smarting from the fumes of the chemical.

The fall against the wall caused Brian's arm to smart.

2. To be very upset about something: Shareen is still smarting about not being picked to play in the finals.
smart aleck (s) (noun), smart alecks (pl)
Some person who says clever things or makes amusing comments which are often rude or disrespectful: The clerk in the store in Karen's neighborhood was a smart aleck who often offended customers when they complained about any products that were for sale.
A conceited person who claims to have all the answers for any problems.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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smatter (verb), smatters; smattered; smattering
To talk, babble, or to chatter idly or without making any sense: Ronnie was smattering on and on about his hobby with his visitors who tried to change the subject, but he just continually smattered on more and more.
smatterer (s) (noun), smatterers (pl)
A person who has little or no knowledge about what he or she is talking about: Troy was a smatterer who would keep talking about financial investments; however, he couldn't produce any proof of personal results of success.
smattering (s) (noun), smatterings (pl)
1. A superficial or slight understanding of something or "piecemeal knowledge"; a smidgen: Lee knows only a smattering of the local language despite the fact that he has lived there for several years.
2. A small amount or number; a touch or a trace: Although the spring weather has been very pleasant, there has been only a smattering of the much needed rain for the fruit trees and crops.

The speaker received a smattering of applause from the audience; especially, since he obviously didn't know what he was talking about.

smidgen (s) (noun), smidgens (pl)
1. A very condensed quantity or portion of something: A smidgen is commonly used to indicate measures for small amounts that include tad, dash, pinch, and drops; however, there seems to be some consensus of tad being the largest in this set and smidgen being larger than a drop but smaller than a pinch.
2. A tiny bit: Irene told the waiter in the restaurant that she just wanted a smidgen of ice cream with the cake for her desert.

The maid cleaned Ken's house until there wasn't even a smidgen of dust left.
3. Etymology: from Scottish smitch, "a stain, a speck; an insignificant size or amount of something."

An insignificant amount.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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smile (verb), smiles; smiled; smiling
1. To raise the corners of a person's mouth when he or she is happy, pleased, or being friendly; or when something seems to be amusing: Glenda was smiling when she arrived for work because her colleagues were always so friendly when they greeted her.
2. To express one's feeling, consent, etc.: Sabina smiled showing her agreement to the suggestion that her mother made.
smolder (s) (noun), smolders (pl)
Smoke coming from something that is burning slowly without a flame: The man's cigar produced acrid smolders for anyone who was walking behind him outside.

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.