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.

smolder (verb), smolders; smoldered; smoldering
1. To burn slowly with no flames and very little smoke: The trees and bushes of the wildfires are still smoldering after several days.
2. To feel strong emotions but keep them hidden from others: Alan's rejection by the company smoldered with anger in his thoughts and feelings.
smoldering (adjective), more smoldering, most smoldering
1. A reference to burning without smoke: The smoldering fireplace continued all night and even into the next day.
2. Descriptive of burning inwardly with silent rage: Eric had several smoldering days of anger without saying anything about the argument he had had with his neighbor.
smooth (adjective), smoother, smooothest
Characteristic of having a surface which has no roughness, bumps, ridges, or irregularities: Claus worked on the wooden table until it had the smoothest top, edges, and legs possible.
smooth (verb), smoothes; smoothed; smoothing
1. To make something neat, shiny, even, or level: Jim was making every effort to smooth the plaster on the walls and ceiling of the living room before he painted it and put on the wallpaper.
2. To refine, polish, perfect, or facilitate: Betty smoothed out her musical presentation so she would be ready for the concert.
3. To calm, mollify, assuage, or to tone down: The head of the city council smoothed the discontent of the citizens with more acceptable solutions.
smoothly (adverb), more smoothly, most smoothly
Conveying something that is accomplished without problems, difficulties, or delays: The family's trip went very well; especially, since the traffic was flowing smoothly as they drove to their vacation destination and back home again three weeks later.
snafu (s) (noun), snafus (pl)
1. A problem which makes a situation very difficult or too confusing: There is a major scheduling snafu with this airline tonight.
2. A mishap or mistake generally caused by incompetence and resulting in a delay or in confusion: Because the mail was not sorted correctly, there were several major snafus with the delivery of checks this month.
3. Etymology: Primarily a term used in the U.S.: "military slang, euphemistically, "Strictly Normal, All Fouled Up".
snafu (verb), snafus; snafued; snafuing
To cause a condition that becomes confused or which creates chaos: The improper identification of spending and receipts caused the tax declaration to be snafued for the tax preparer.

When David's secretary snafued the data for the financial report, it obviously resulted in a great deal of confusion; so, she was required to re-do it correctly.

snap (s) (noun), snaps (pl)
1. A fastener made of metal or plastic pieces that fit tightly together when they are pressed together, making a sharp sound: Often it's easier to use snaps on clothes than buttons; especially, for children.
2. A movement that is made by the hand in which two fingers move rapidly to the base of the thumb, resulting in a sharp sound: Billy has trained his dog to come to him when she hears the snaps of his fingers.
3. A period of cold weather: There was a cold snap in the middle of the spring season.
4. In American football, putting the ball in play when the center passes it between his legs; usually, to the quarterback: When the center passed the football, the quarterback fumbled the snap.

The next time the quarterback received the snap, he threw a long pass that resulted in a touchdown.

5. Normally unposed photographs taken while using a small camera: Mac is showing the snapshots that he made with his iPhone and his friend is showing the snaps she made with her BlackBerry.
6. The elasticity of something, intended to cause the item to return to its original shape after being stretched: The waistband had lost its snap because it was stretched too often.
7. Any activity that is easy to do: Completing the task was a snap.

The software was a snap to install and to use.

8. A sudden, short, sharp sound that is caused by the breaking or moving of something into a new position: Andrew could hear the snaps of twigs as he walked through the dry area of the forest.
snap (adjective), more snap, most snap
Something which is done or made suddenly; often, without careful thinking: Samuel made a snap statement that got him in trouble with his wife.

The politician, thinking that the microphone in front of him was off, made a snap remark (which happened to be vulgar) about his opponent to someone who was sitting next to him and which was heard by the TV audience, too.

snap (verb), snaps; snapped; snapping
1. To separate something into pieces resulting in a sharp sound or to make something do this: The branch from a tree snapped and fell to the ground behind.
2. To move, to strike, or to operate something in a way that makes a sharp noise: The trap snapped shut.

The woman was snapping the pieces together.

The student was snapping her chewing gum in class which upset the teacher!

3. To break something by excessive force or pressure: The rope snapped because of the weight of the large wooden box that was hanging from the steel girder of the structure.
4. To lose control or to suddenly erupt in anger because of a difficult situation or circumstance, etc.: Richard just snapped and started swearing at everyone.
5. To say something or to reply in anger or irritation using short, angry statements: The couple was arguing and snapping at each other and Dina snapped that Larry was lucky to have a job at all.
6. Using a camera to capture an image of someone or something on film; especially, in a casual way: The images of the country were being snapped by a satellite camera.
7. To bite or to try to bite someone or something with a quick movement or movements: The boy ran off with the neighbor's little dog which was snapping and yapping behind him.
8. To take or to grasp something eagerly, or to take something away from someone suddenly: The man's wife suddenly snapped the paper away from him.
9. Something or someone that moves quickly and sharply: The soldiers snapped to attention when the officer arrived.

The flags, which were snapping in the wind, could be heard by the people walking past them.

snap up (verb), snaps up; snapped up; snapping up
To buy or to acquire something quickly or eagerly: Many shoppers went to the stores to snap up bargains after the holidays.

The ad on the internet suggested that web site owners, "Go snap up a new web address for your business."

Hundreds of Shakespeare fans were snapping up costumes and accessories worn by stars of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Crowds of fans snapped up 10,000 items; including uniforms, shirts, shoes and hats at the company’s rehearsal rooms in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Snap, Crackle, and Pop (s) (noun); Snaps, Crackles, and Pops
There were three little elves who ran around in a kitchen promoting Rice Krispies, Frosted Rice, and Cocoa Krispies for the Kellogg's cereal company located at One Kellogg Square in Battle Creek, Michigan: Both Snap, and Pop wore tall baker's hats; while, Crackle wore a red-striped stocking cap.

The elves derived their names from the Snap! Crackle! Pop! "sounds" that came from the Rice Krispies cereal in a bowl when milk was poured on it.

snappish (adjective), more snappish, most snappish
Feeling or showing irritation: Sabina made a snappish remark when the man in the elevator asked her where she was working in the building.

The shopper was snappish and rude with the salesclerk.

snappishly (adverb), more snappishly, most snappishly
A reference to the behavior of someone who is showing anger: When Monroe met his wife downtown, she snappishly said, "I've been waiting for you for more than thirty minutes!"
snappy (adjective), snappier, snappiest
1. Exciting or lively: The musical group played a snappy tune.
2. Moving or able to move quickly: The elderly man walked at a snappy pace.
3. Fashionable or stylish: Barry was a snappy dresser including his snappy bow tie.
4. Clever and humorous: The show was well-acted, and they presented snappier dialogues than they did previously.
5. Feeling or showing irritation: Margaret was very snappy with her son when he got home late.
6. To act, to move, to go, or to do something quickly: Jerry, clean your room and do it snappier than you did last time!

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.