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The height of a place usually measured above sea level.
La Paz, Bolivia, is the highest capital city in the world. Its altitude is 3650m above sea level.
An instrument that indicates geographical directions (north, south, east, west) with a needle that always points north.
I think my compass is broken, I am sure that we are walking east but it keeps saying that we are heading south.
Time zone
A section of the globe that has its own time.
Spain is in the time zone GMT +1.
The hot area which circles around the globe that is at the exact middle point between the North and South Pole.
Quito, Ecuador, is very close to the equator.
Circles around the globe that run parallel to the equator that are used to determine specific locations, measured in degrees relative to the equator.
Madrid, Spain, is on the same latitude as New York City.
Circles around the globe that run north to south (perpendicular to the equator) that are used to determine location, measured in degrees relative to “the centre line”, or the Prime Meridian.
New York City is on the same longitude as Montreal, Canada.
An area of land almost entirely surrounded by water except for an isthmus connecting it with the main land.
As the peninsula couldn´t be seen from inside a boat, they had to put a lighthouse on it.
An area of land almost entirely surrounded by water except for an isthmus connecting it with the main land.
As the peninsula couldn´t be seen from inside a boat, they had to put a lighthouse on it.
A book of maps.
As a child my mother gave me my first atlas, which became my favourite book.
The height of a place, used similarly to altitude.
When you travel to high elevations you must be cautious of the effects of altitude sickness.
Expression: Above sea level
Often used as a reference point when measuring altitude.
The peak of Mt Everest is at 8,848 meters above sea level.
Expression: To have a field day
To do something you thoroughly enjoy.
The journalist sure had a field day when all the controversy came out about Toronto’s mayor.
Expression: Go with the flow
To be very easy going and follow what others are doing.
I don’t mind where we go to have dinner; I’ll go with the flow.
Expression: The tip of the iceberg
A small, easily observed part of a much larger problem or situation.
The current state of the economy is just the tip of the iceberg of our global problems; things are expected to get much worse before they get better.
Expression: Under the weather
To feel a bit sick.
Lisa is feeling under the weather today so she’s not coming in to work.
Expression: Stick-in-the-mud
Someone who is very predictable, lacks imagination, and actively resists change.
My uncle Ross is a big stick-in-the-mud; every morning he goes to the same coffee shop and orders the same thing.
Expression: Over the hill
To be beyond one's prime, to be old.
My mom is dreading turning forty-five as she says then she will be over the hill.
Expression: Win by a landslide
Win something by a lot (it usually applies to elections).
Our new prime minister won the election by a landslide.
On the rocks
For something in serious trouble, or (of alcoholic beverages) served undiluted with ice cubes.
After our big fight over the weekend, our relationship is on the rocks.

I ordered another whiskey on the rocks to quench my thirst.
Expression: Other fish in the sea
Used to say there are many more possibilities or people, often used when speaking of available people to date romantically.
I was very depressed about breaking up with my girlfriend, but my friends assured me there is plenty of fish in the sea.
Expression: Dirt cheap
(inf.) Very cheap.
They took advantage of the clothes sale where everything was dirt cheap.
Expression: Down to earth
A description of someone who has a natural, humble personality.
Even though her family is very rich, she comes off as very down to earth.
The act of stopping work when you become too old to continue or have saved enough money for it to be unnecessary, or the period of someone’s life following this act.
After years spent working as a civil servant he is now enjoying retirement .
Short for trade union. An organisation comprising of workers and their representatives whose primary function is to campaign for and protect workers' rights. Usually industry-specific.
During election times in the UK, members of the Transport and General Workers Union often support Labour Party candidates.
The condition of being unemployed, or the situation of people who want to work but cannot find jobs.
The financial burden placed on the welfare state is a direct result of high unemployment in the country.
A formal document stating one's intention to stop working in a job or position, or the act of resigning.
Feeling very emotional, she submitted her resignation to the company director.
A person (often a student or recent graduate) receiving receiving practical training in a working environment.

Finally, after working three months as an intern he was offered a full-time contract.
An official record of achievement awarded for the successful completion of a course or for passing an exam.
Owing to her lack of qualifications, she found getting a decent job extremely difficult.
Relevant experience
To have direct and accumulated knowledge in a particular line of work.
He was confident that the relevant experience on his CV would get him the job.
A self-employed person who is not employed constantly by the same employer, but instead hired by different people to complete specific tasks.
As a freelancer, I have travelled and worked in numerous places around Europe.
Hours worked in addition to your contracted hours, sometimes paid at an increased rate.
The company was so busy they placed all their full time staff on compulsory overtime.
The monetary payment received for goods or services.
Professional writers do not have a regular income.
Idiom: Dead-end job
A job in which there is no chance of progressing to a better job.
To keep providing for his family he had no choice but to take a dead-end job
Idiom: Jack / Jill of all trades
Someone who can do many different jobs but does not excel in any.
Unfortunately for the Petersons, the builder proved himself to be a jack of all trades but a master of none!
Idiom: Par for the course
A type of behavior that is normal or as you would expect
Compulsory overtime during weekdays was regarded as par for the course by the staff who worked there.
Idiom: Work your socks off
To work very hard.
She worked her socks off for five years and got the promotion she fully deserved.
Idiom: Pull your weight
To work equally as hard as other people in the work place.
He was fired from his job because he wasn’t pulling his weight.
Idiom: Get the sack
To be fired from a job.
He’s going to get the sack after underperforming the last few years.
Idiom: Bring home the bacon
To make money.
This new pay rise will certainly help bring home the bacon.
Idiom: Crack the whip
To be very demanding; to make others work very hard.
People have been working a lot harder since the new boss started, he really likes to crack the whip.
Idiom: Cream of the crop
The absolute best of something.
Their customer service is consistently ranked as the cream of the crop
Idiom: Line of work
A specified occupation or vocation.
In her line of work she had to deal with a lot of stressful situations.
Idiom: To talk shop
To talk about your job with those you work with when not at work.
Steven was considered a bore because he always talked shop in the pub.
A repeated decorative design.
About five years ago, the plaid pattern was very in style.
Something to describe the current style.
Clothes that are trendy usually go away relatively fast.
The part of the stage known as a "runway" that models walk out onto during a fashion show.
It was one of the longest catwalks they had, so there were a large number of photographers there.
Usually to describe a shirt or dress without sleeves.
During the summer, you will see a lot of people wearing sleeveless shirts.
Something that is beautiful no matter what the current trends are.
This little black cocktail dress is timeless.
Something that is old but still with great value.
I found this vintage purse in a secondhand clothes store.
Idiom: To have money burning a hole in (your) pocket
To have money to spend freely on whatever you want.
He had 50 euros burning a hole in his pocket.
Idiom: Buckle down
Put aside distractions and focus on work.
The deadline was approaching so he knew he had to buckle down and do a lot of work.
Idiom: Dressed to kill
Usually for women, to look sexy and impressive wearing a special outfit, to stand out.
There were a lot of important people at the fundraiser, so she made sure she was dressed to kill.
Idiom: Get the boot
To get fired.
I’m glad I had some money saved up before, because yesterday I got the boot from my job.
Idiom: Below the belt
Unfair or unjust.
He made a below the belt personal comment about the other candidate’s family, and immediately regretted it.
Idiom: Smarty pants
A person who is intelligent in an arrogant way.
The genius in class had to be a smarty pants and make the rest of the students feel bad.
Idiom: Out of style
Not fashionable, that is of older fashion trends.
John is really out of style with his overalls and flannel shirt.
Idiom: Dressed up to the nines
Someone who is dressed very well and formally.
Becky was dressed up to the nines last night at the gala, she looked stunning.
Idiom: Make a fashion statement
To express your personal style and make a drastic statement with your clothing choice.
Madonna really made a fashion statement with that skin tight leather leotard.
Idiom: To be in style
Something that is trendy
Striped pants are really in style this season.
Available space or rooms in a hotel.
Items with a lot of monetary or personal value.
Safe / Safety box
A metal box that can be locked with a key or password where someone can keep valuables.
Room service
When you call the hotel's reception to have food brought up to your room.
Old in a charming way, often used to describe old-fashioned places.
Youth hostel
An inexpensive place to stay usually filled with young backpackers, often with shared dormitory options.
Bed and breakfast
Someone's private home which has several extra rooms for overnight guests; the cost generally includes home-made breakfast.
A place to stay overnight which usually has other services for travelers. The quality of a hotel can be determined by its star rating (1 to 5 stars).
A place for travellers to stay overnight. Generally people travelling on the road stay here and the quality of the establishment is often lower than at a hotel.
A new trend where travellers can stay on an unknown local's couch for free (organized through a social media site).
A type of vacation accommodation where people usually go to relax. Often times when booking all-inclusive vacations people stay in resorts.
Usually a special promotion for a holiday.
Package deal
When you buy a deal that includes many different items, for example flights, hotel and food all paid together.
To reserve.
A vacation which includes everything you would need throughout your holiday: hotel, flight, airport transfer, food, drinks and towels.
A journey (by bus, boat, plane, train, etc) that includes the trip there and back.
When a thief steals things right out of someone's pocket or purse.
Tourist information center
Where tourists can go to get information about the local sights.
An information pamphlet which talks about the local highlights, events and destinations.
Strikingly beautiful scenery.
Idioms: A mile a minute
Very quickly.
It seems like he talks a mile a minute, no one can understand him!
Idioms: Asleep at the wheel
Not paying attention.
The teacher caught him totally asleep at the wheel during class, and when he didn't know the answer he was really embarrassed.
Idioms: Hit the road
To leave a place, to depart.
Well I think it's about time we hit the road, we have a lot of driving ahead of us.
Idioms: Get/have itchy feet
To have a strong urge to travel.
I know I just got home one month ago, but I have itchy feet. I need to go somewhere new.
Idioms: Off the beaten track
To travel to uncommonly visited sights or locations.
Kelly enjoys traveling off the beaten track. She usually stays in unknown towns and visits sights that no one has ever heard about, but she always has amazing pictures.
Idioms: Off season
The least busy time of the year to visit a certain place.
We are going to go to Florida in the off season to get a better price on our hotel.
Idioms: Rocky road
A difficult time.
It's been a really rocky road since we left home.
Idioms: Running on fumes/Running on empty
Someone is surviving or doing something with very little energy left.
After travelling for three days straight, I barely made it to work on Monday. I was running on fumes.
Idioms: Smooth/plain sailing
To do something or progress easily.
Once I finish this last exam, It'll be smooth sailing until graduation.
Idioms: Red eye flight
A description for flights that are in the middle of the night.
Usually red eye flights are cheaper than flights at peak hours.
Idioms: Tourist trap
An overpriced tourist attraction.
This resort is just one big tourist trap. It's overpriced and not even that nice.
Idioms: Train of thought
A sequence of thoughts, usually used when mid-sentence you forget what you were saying.
Mid-sentence I completely lost my train of thought.
Idioms: To run a tight ship
To manage something firmly and strictly, usually a business.
The boss runs a tight ship around here. She doesn't even let us chat with our co-workers between calls.
Idioms: A third wheel
To be a single person in the company of a couple, or several couples.
When I found out my girlfriend couldn't come to the dinner I knew I was going to feel like a third wheel with the other couples being there too.
Idioms: Travel light
To bring very few things with you while traveling.
We all need to travel light as there are going to be five people travelling in my tiny car.
Idioms: The world is your oyster
To have the freedom and ability to go anywhere or do anything.
My father's words were encouraging: he said, “Now you have finished university the world is your oyster. You can do anything you want.”
Related to the relationships between people.
Many sales jobs require someone that has great interpersonal skills.
Position or rank held in relation to other people's position.
I know he is the manager but he behaves like he has the status of a CEO.
Code of ethics
An official set of documented guidelines that police a certain profession or company.
Psychologists have a very strict code of ethics to adhere to in order to keep their title.
People who are equal to one another.
Jim really values the opinion of his peers in relation to his work.
Rules which govern behavior based on moral values.
I think that our boss has terrible business ethics; he has no problem lying or cheating to get what he wants.
Something regarded as typical or standard practice.
The norm in some cultures is for youth to live with their parents until they are married.
To incorporate or become part of a certain group or society.
The process of integration can take many years when you move to a new country.
Culture Shock
Feelings of confusion or anxiety when experiencing aspects of a new culture.
For some students it's a culture shock when they begin their study abroad program and experience life in a foreign country.
Minority groups
People who are not in the majority. Minority groups can be based on age, race, gender, sexual orientation or other categories.
The Employment Equity Act in Canada helps to promote the hiring of minority groups: people with disabilities, aboriginal people and visible minorities.
A thought or opinion someone has that causes them to give something/someone preferable treatment or treat them unfairly.
My mum thinks I am the best painter in my school, but I think there may be a slight bias as I am her daughter.
To informally connect with a large number of business people.
My brother goes to networking events to make new business contacts.
To become absorbed into a new culture.
My parents don’t want me to completely assimilate to life in the USA, they want me to keep celebrating our native holidays and speaking our traditional language.
Believing your own race or culture is superior to another.
Being ethnocentric can become dangerous if people fail to recognize the faults within their own cultures, as well as the rewards of practices in different cultures.
A division within a culture or society with a specific pattern of behavior, attitude, or belief system.
Many different types of music, like Grunge and Death Metal have strong subcultural identities.
Make eye contact
When two people look each other in the eyes at the same time.
Michelle and I made eye contact when Robert was talking about what happened.
Butt in
To interrupt someone during a conversation.
When my boss is talking, I have to butt in with my opinion because he never asks me what I think.
Have a row
To fight or have a fight/argument with someone.
Sorry, I’m late. I’ve just had a big row with my boss.
Chat up
To talk flirtatiously to someone that you are romantically interested in.
Steve is constantly chatting up girls whenever we go to bars.
To accidentally hear what a speaker is saying without the speaker knowing.
I overheard what you told Billy about me, it was really sweet.
To constantly quarrel about trivial matters.
Mike and Patricia are always bickering; it’s really annoying to be around them.
Talk down to someone
To speak to someone patronizingly or condescendingly; to treat someone like a child.
The boss appeared to have no faith in his employees' intelligence or abilities as he was always talking down to them.
Talk back
To verbally challenge or speak disrespectfully to someone, especially a superior or someone in higher authority.
Teenagers often talk back to their parents.
Tell someone off
To tell someone what you think angrily.
Billy was a naughty child and his parents and teachers were always telling him off.
Rant about something
To be continually complaining about something and for a long time.
My aunt just rants about the quality of the bus system every time I see her.
Cut someone off
To interrupt someone.
My brother cuts me off to tell me his opinion every time we talk about politics.
Get ahold of
To get into contact with someone.
I am having a hard time getting ahold of Jim, I wonder if he is away.
Keep someone posted
Keep someone informed about a certain situation.
I'll keep you posted on the outcome of the case.
Give someone a call
To call someone on the phone.
I’m going to give my sister a call right now. I hope she’s not too busy.
Keep in touch with someone
To be in regular contact with someone.
Even after all these years I still keep in touch with my friends from high school.
Talk someone’s ear off
To talk a lot.
My co-worker James always talks my ear off when we go for lunch together.
Speak up
To express an opinion openly or loudly.
You should really speak up about what happened. Sexual harassment is a serious issue.
Open up
To openly discuss something private or sensitive.
During our weekend break, my boyfriend really opened up about his past.
A small non-rigid airship that floats due to it being filled with lighter-than-air gas, usually used as advertisement.
Cable car
A vehicle which hangs from and is moved by a cable and transports people up steep slopes.
Cargo ship
A very large ship used to transport goods, usually carries large quantity of containers.
A car that has a roof that can be folded back or removed.
Cruise ship
A large luxury passenger ship that carries tourists and visits different ports and islands.
A mode of transportation where dogs carry passengers and supplies on a sled/sledge over ice, used in polar climates where there are no roads.
A large truck that is used for transportation of goods.
A boat used for transporting cars and passengers across a river or expanse of water.
Golf cart
A small two-person cart used to get around a golf course.
Hot air balloon
An aircraft which floats thanks to a big balloon which gets filled with hot air. Beneath the balloon there is a basket attached where the passengers stand.
A powerful plane that moves very quickly and is built to be highly aerodynamic.
A small boat for one or two people which can be used in fast moving rivers or across the ocean.
A long, comfortable vehicle used for special occasions (weddings, anniversaries or birthday) which is often rented with a chauffer.
Motorhome/camper van
A large vehicle that has space for eating, sleeping and living.
Two-wheeled vehicle which is powered by a motor.
A small motorcycle.
A vehicle which has room for four or more people and a trunk for storage, often used as a family car.
A boat that can be submerged below the water and navigate in the depths of an ocean or sea.
A boat that has a sail.
A small vehicle used in the snow or on ice which is steered by two skis at the front.
SUV (sports utility vehicle)
Large vehicle designed to be used on rough surfaces and often has four-wheel drive.
A vehicle that can carry between eight and fifteen passengers or a bit of cargo (bigger than a car but smaller than a truck).
A sailboat or motorboat used for pleasure or racing.
Idioms: To be in the same boat (as someone)
To be in the same situation.
Many of the workers are in the same boat. They don't know if they are going to keep their jobs or not.
Idioms: To go off the rails
When a previously well-behaved person begins behaving in an uncontrolled or unacceptable way.
Many child-stars later go off the rails later in life due to stress.
Idioms: End of the road
The end of a certain process.
Graduating from university is the end of the road for students. However, it is only the beginning of the rest of their lives.
Idioms: Train of thought
Stream of consciousness.
I was giving a presentation and lost my train of thought. It was embarrassing because I just went silent.
Idioms: Hold your horses
Be patient.
He was very excited about how well he thought he had done on the exam, but I told him, “Hold your horses until you see the mark.”
Idioms: To miss the boat
To miss out on something or when it's too late to do something.
He should have sent his CV in two weeks ago. Now he's missed the boat as they've already hired someone.
That ship has sailed
Miss an opportunity.
I would never get back together with Sean. It's too late now, that ship has certainly sailed.
Idioms: To rock the boat
To cause unwanted drama.
My husband and I had been getting on really well until his mom moved in. Boy did that rock the boat!
Idioms: To drive a hard bargain
Be a tough negotiator.
I really wanted to buy my car from that dealership, but the salesman really drove a hard bargain, he wouldn't bring the price down at all.
Idioms: My way or the highway
When someone wants a certain thing done how they want it or they don't want it done at all.
There is no sense in giving your opinion on the matter because it's my way or the highway.
Idioms: To be a backseat driver
A passenger in the car who annoyingly tells the driver how to drive.
Peter, stop being such a backseat driver. I know where I am going.
Idioms: To be in the driver's seat
To be in control of a certain situation.
My brother is in the driver's seat for the planning of this new business.
To injure or damage the ligaments of a joint without breaking or fracturing anything.
A specific area of a hospital dedicated to a specific treatment method or illness.
The psychiatric ward of the hospital was separated from the other medical zones.
A process of improving an injury or sickness.
After leg surgery, it took about six months of rehabilitation to recover fully.
Contamination by germs (bacteria or virus), often in a localised area of the body.
That infection in my knee was caused by a dog bite.
You can use "acute" to indicate that an undesirable situation or feeling is very severe or intense.
The war has aggravated an acute economic crisis.
General practitioner (GP)
A general medical doctor, usually the family doctor based at a local clinic.

You should see your GP to check out that nasty throat infection.
Itchy, swollen, red areas of the skin which can appear quickly in response to an allergic reaction or other conditions, such as heat.
She said,'Well, if they give him the wrong milk and he comes out in hives we'll have you to thank.
A regular examination of a person by a doctor to make sure the person is healthy.
We have to go to the GP tomorrow for our yearly check-up.
A widespread disease that affects many individuals in a population.
Due to low vaccination rates, we have experienced a meningitis epidemic.
A sudden appearance or increase in something, especially diseases (or crime).
The school is closed due to an outbreak of head lice.
A note given to you by a doctor that allows you to obtain medicines that are not freely available to purchase in a pharmacy. Also used to refer to any medicine that you have to take on a regular basis.
My doctor gave me a prescription for antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
A response to a physical injury or infection where the skin becomes red and swollen and/or inflamed - usually a temporary reaction.
That wasp sting has caused a rash on my skin which is quite painful.
An illness, usually not a serious one.
The doctor diagnosed a common stomach ailment.
Phrasal Verbs: Break out
a) Usually used to indicate an escape from a jail or prison.
b) Signifies the sudden appearance of skin problems, most commonly acne or spots.
The inmates made a plan to break out. Unfortunately for them they were caught by the guards.
I was not surprised to see that I broke out in a rash soon after getting bleach on my skin.
Phrasal Verbs: Eat out
To go out to have a meal.
Usually we stay at home to eat dinner, but this Sunday we are going to eat out at an exotic restaurant.
Phrasal Verbs: Fill out
To complete paperwork, such as forms.
Going to get a driver’s license is something that requires you to fill out many different legal forms.
Phrasal Verbs: Stand out
To be distinguishable, noticeable.
Sometimes it is hard to stand out at a university such as Harvard because of all the brilliant minds around you.
Phrasal Verbs: Take out
a) To remove, extract or withdraw something.
b) To vent or release emotions or feelings.
c) To get something official, e.g. insurance, by filling out application forms.
I am going to take out money from that ATM.
She had a bad day at work and when she came home she took her anger out on the furniture by kicking all the chairs and slamming all the doors.

He is taking out a personal insurance policy next week.
Phrasal Verbs: Get out
To leave, run away or escape from something. Often used as an imperative.
This tiny little room has no air, I'm sweltering and I have to get out!
Phrasal Verbs: Run out of something
To use up the supply of something and have none left.
Honey, we have run out of salt again.
Phrasal Verbs: Give out
a) To stop working or become exhausted and fail.
b) To distribute
Suddenly, just as the tank crossed over onto the other side of the river, the bridge gave out and started crumbling down.

The teacher gave out the worksheets at the beginning of the lesson.
Phrasal Verbs: Make something out
To understand, discern or see with difficulty.
I can hardly make out the road ahead with all this mist and fog.
Phrasal Verbs: Back out
To withdraw from a previous arrangement or negotiation.
We backed out of the deal because we weren't happy with some of the terms in the contract.
Idioms: Break a habit
To stop doing something you do as a habit.
I really need to break my smoking habit, it’s getting too expensive.
Idioms: Break a leg
It's another way of saying 'Good Luck' frequently used in theatre.
I have an exam tomorrow.
Well, break a leg!
Idioms: Break a promise
To not keep a promise, to do something you promised not to do.
I'd love to stay at home tonight, but I don’t want to break my promise to Andrew. He's been asking me to go with him to the party for a week, so I can't say no.
Idioms: Break a record
To destroy a previously unsurpassed achievement by setting a new one.
He just broke the record for the quickest time to run a mile.
Idioms: Break someone's heart
To make someone feel great emotional pain, especially by telling them you do not love them.
It broke my heart when she left me.
It breaks my heart to see my daughter look so sad.
Idioms: Break the ice
To say something to begin a conversation with a stranger
To break the ice I asked her if she had been there before.
Idioms: Break the law
To act in an illegal manner.
You are going to break the law by stealing those documents.
Idioms: Break the news to someone
To be the first to tell someone a piece of important (often bad) news.
I hate to be the first to break the news to you, but Alan, your mobile phone is broken.
Idioms: Break the rules
To act in a way that goes against the rules.
Jeremy, stop breaking the rules of poker! You can’t play that card!
Short for nanotech(nology) - an area of science that deals with creating previously impossibly small tools and machines
Nanomedicine requires careful development, we should not rush to jump on the bandwagon, argue nanotech experts.
When gas, light and heat are sent out or released (e.g. cars create emissions which are dangerous for the environment)
This plan aims to compensate for the pollution, emitted due to our travel, by reducing carbon emissions.
Test tube
A small glass tube (open at one end) which scientists use in experiments
Serum is the fluid part that remains after the blood is allowed to clot in a test tube.
Bunsen burner
Small gas equipment used by scientists to heat the contents of test tubes during experiments
Heat the crucible and its contents over a Bunsen burner.
Trial and error
A process of attaining a goal by trying different methods until a successful one is found, e.g. We developed the new software through trial and error.
However, it is only by trial and error that one ends up with a good team.
Control group
The group of test subjects left untreated or unexposed to some procedure and then compared with treated subjects in order to validate the results of the test.
For several patients, it gave positive results, but there was no control group.
Side effect
An adverse effect, an unintended consequence of a drug or therapy; usually not a beneficial effect.
It is not uncommon to experience nausea and vomiting as a side effect of cancer treatment.
To search or examine with continued care; to seek diligently.
In such cases, research should focus on the blockages to implementation.
Empirical Evidence
Empirical evidence is information acquired by observation or experimentation. It is a central process as part of the scientific method.
Moreover, the empirical evidence that trade will lead to democratisation, while long an integral part of US policy, is not very strong.
Make progress
To move forward, improve or develop.
You're going to have to make some progress on the report if you want to keep your job.
Make a discovery
To find something new.
Scientists have made a new discovery that may help in the fight against cancer.
Make up your mind
Finish deciding.
After receiving offers from 3 different universities, Sarah had to make up her mind and choose one
Make a difference
To have a significant (usually positive) effect on a situation.
Recycling and avoiding private transport can really make a difference to the environment, especially if everyone is doing it.
Make amends for something
To repair a relationship, or to do something as a way of apologizing for a misdeed in the past.
Dave took his girlfriend out to dinner to make amends for forgetting her birthday.
Make an exception
To agree to a request even though it does not conform to the normal rules.
Most shops do not allow dogs to enter, but they make an exception for guide dogs for blind people.
Make an example of someone
To punish someone in order to discourage others from doing the same thing.
Although the criminal's offence was not particularly bad, he was made an example of and given a 2 year sentence in the hope of deterring others from committing the same crime.
Make a mockery of something/someone
To publicly make fun of someone/something, or to openly demonstrate that someone/something is weak or ineffective.
Parents delivering junk food to the school gates are making a mockery of the school's healthy eating policy.
Make a point of doing something
To make a special effort to do something.
He made a point of checking that all the lights were off before he left home - he was very keen not to waste electricity.
An epic journey or struggle undertaken when seeking or pursuing something; a search.
The legend of King Arthur tells of how the search for the Holy Grail became his personal quest.
A certain period of time you spend in a place as a guest or resident.
I have visited Portugal many times but my first sojourn lasted six months.
When certain groups or sections of society are mistreated or persecuted by those in positions of power.
Many people suffered at the hands of the regime and its relentless oppression.
The crime of inciting rebellion, public disorder, or doing something that encourages people to disobey the authority of the state.
The famous romantic poet Percy Shelley had to flee the country after being charged with the act of sedition.
The ability to do something difficult, to withstand physical and mental hardship and continue to do it for a long time.
The biggest test of his physical and mental endurance was climbing the notorious cliff face without a rope.
Idioms: To make history
To be famous for some action, event or something that will be remembered by future generations.
Neil Armstrong made history as the first man to walk on the moon.
Idioms: The rest is history
An idiom said after an important event in a story which means that the rest of the story is well-known by everybody.
George Melier was a magician until he stumbled upon a camera and projector. The rest is history.
Idioms: Ancient history
Refers to those periods of human existence which occurred many hundreds or thousands of years before the present time.
Mayan philosophy belongs to a culture steeped in ancient history.
Idioms: History repeats itself
A proverb that means something that has happened in the past is likely to happen again.
I think another war is going to break out. History always repeats itself – the political conditions are the same as last time, so it’s bound to happen.
Idioms: To go down in history
An event, person or thing that made such an impact on our current lives that it will be documented and remembered in the future.
The invention of the internet will go down in history as one of the greatest achievements of technology.
Idioms: History in the making
Used to suggest that a current or future event will be so significant that it will become famous. This phrase is often appropriated as a marketing tool.
Don’t go away ladies and gentlemen because this next event will be sensational, it will be history in the making.
To scroll
To change one's view of information on a computer's screen, typically using a scroll bar or a mouse scroll wheel.
Scrolling is by far the most common action of PC users, when reading long articles.
Used to describe something that features several forms of broadcast and media technology.
Instead of starting from scratch with every project, we have provided you with a number of well-written templates to speed up the process.
To inject or insert a code (malicious or useful) in other code or into the operating system.
Now it is quite easy to embed any Youtube video into most webpages, with a single line of code.
An image or symbol for an application or a program.
You just have to touch the icon to launch the app.
Search engine
A website that allows users to find information on the internet.
Google has become the most popular search engine today.
The process of taking an idea from concept to reality.
Particular attention should be given to clearly identifying the next steps of implementation.
At the highest level of development at a particular time.
This state-of-the-art manufacturing facility uses the latest technology to splice veneers together using hard glue line joining.
A very sudden increase in knowledge and ideas or an important discovery that comes after a long period of trying to understand or create something.
My news app tells me that there has been a huge breakthrough in the field of particle physics.
Tiredness or pain in the eyes, sometimes with a headache, caused by excessive use of the eyes, a common complaint from office workers
How can eyestrain and its related symptoms be avoided?
The newest and most advanced of a field.
Apple is often cited as one of the most cutting-edge producers of technology.
A device or machine, especially one whose name cannot be recalled. It can often be either clever or complicated.
Perhaps you have something practical in mind, such as having a gander at a gadget on your desktop.
Something that appears old-fashioned next to the latest styles, technologies or methods.
My dad’s phone is seriously outdated – you can’t even browse the internet on it!
Idioms: Cog in a machine
A person who performs boring, menial tasks with no opportunity for self-expression, creativity or growth.
John had big aspirations after leaving university, but so far he has been stuck as a cog in a machine working for a multi-national telecommunications company.
Idioms: To get (your) wires crossed
When people misunderstand each other.
We must have gotten our wires crossed because I thought the meeting was at 2pm and he showed up here at 11am.
Idioms: Hit the airwaves
To appear on television or radio
The new show is going to hit the airwaves next week.
Idioms: Light years ahead
To be far ahead of someone or something, usually in technology.
Their company’s new software is light years ahead of the competition.
Idioms: On the same wavelength
To agree on something.
I’m glad my boss and I were on the same wavelength after the meeting yesterday.
Idioms: Light bulb moment
A moment of sudden inspiration and genius.
After years of tedious research and experimentation, one of the scientists had a light bulb moment in the middle of the night and invented the cure for cancer.
Idioms: It's not rocket science
Not difficult; something easy and simple to do. Often used when criticising someone's perceived inability to do something simple.
Look, all you have to do is put the charger into the square hole in the laptop, it’s not rocket science!
Idioms: Tech savvy
When someone has a high level of aptitude and understanding of how to use technology, especially computers.
I have no idea how to fix your computer virus, but why don’t you go talk to Martine next door? She works in IT and she’s very tech savvy.
Idioms: To run out of steam
To get tired and not have enough energy to finish something.
The technician was intending to code all six programs for her clients that evening but she ran out of steam and fell asleep.
Idioms: To blow (your) top
To become suddenly and extremely angry.
When he was told that his new iPad was broken beyond repair, Mr Smith almost blew his top.
Idioms: Fly on the wall
To be unseen, silent observer.
If I could be a fly on the wall anywhere, I would choose the office of the President.
Idioms: Bull market
An optimistic outlook financially.
Before the financial collapse in 2008, the situation was considered to be a bull market.
Idioms: Bear market
When there is a decline in the financial market.
After the financial collapse in 2008, the situation started to be considered a bear market.
Idioms: Take the bull by the horns
To confront a difficult or challenging situation.
I’m going to take the bull by the horns and write the paper myself.
Idioms: Dog tired
Exceedingly exhausted.
After working for 10 hours straight, I am dog tired.
Idioms: Wild goose chase
A hopeless and absurd pursuit for something which is unattainable.
We were on a wild goose chase, trying to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Idioms: Fish out of water
To be unfamiliar and uncomfortable in a situation you are not accustomed to.
During my first few weeks on the job, I felt like a fish out of water.
Idioms: Busy bee
A busy person.
With work, school, and volunteering, she is a very busy bee.
Idioms: A big fish in a small pond
An expression used to emphasise the importance of someone. It relates to an important person in a small group or organisation who would have less power and importance if they were part of a larger group.
He thought he was the smartest student in his class at secondary school, but when he started university he realised that he had been a big fish in a small pond.
Idioms: Bull in a china shop
A very awkward or clumsy person in a delicate, precarious situation.
I feel like a bull in a china shop when I have to speak at funerals; I always say something wrong and butcher it.