Mastering English Vocabulary 1: Augur, bulge, down…

by Jakub Marian
Tip: Did you know that “iron” is pronounced as “I earn”, not as “I Ron”? Learn more about the most common pronunci­ation mistakes in English (PDF version).

I use LingQ to expand my vocabulary in many languages, including English. From time to time, I’d like to share here a selection of my lingQs in English, which will consist mostly of unusual words which I, for some reason, consider intriguing. So here is the first set of words. Beware: Only one meaning of every word is included.

augur /ˈɔgər/ – to conjecture from signs or omens; predict.
… not you shall augur and not you shall consult cloud …
bulge /bʌldʒ/ – to curve outward. To swell up.
… hauses were roofed with turves, and had walls somewhat bulged …
down /daʊn/ – the soft, first plumage (feathers) of many young birds. A growth of soft, fine hair or the like.
… one could notice the down that many grew on their chins …
at bay /ət beɪ/ – forced to turn and face attackers;
… man with a history of arrests kept police at bay with a pit bull …
doughty /ˈdaʊti/ – marked by stouthearted courage; brave.
… they were doughty at bay …
dismay /dɪsˈmeɪ/ – a sudden loss of courage in the face of trouble or danger.
… they avoid other people with dismay …
abode /əˈboʊd/ – a place in which a person resides; dwelling; habitation; home.
… over the course of time they had been obliged to adopt other forms of abode …
dearth /dɜrθ/ – an inadequate supply; scarcity; lack.
… beekeepers fed honeybees with flour of roasted grains and solution of either sugar or honey during dearth periods …
dire /daɪər/ – indicating trouble, disaster, misfortune, or the like.
… impairments to prospective memory can have dire consequences …
dwindle /ˈdwɪndl/ – to become smaller and smaller; shrink.
… resources in many areas have dwindled or disappeared …

All definitions are taken from dictionary.reference.com or the Free Online Dictionary. Examples are modified sentences found over the Internet or in books.

By the way, are you not a native English speaker? Then you should check out the list of over 500 commonly mispronounced words I have compiled in the form of a book. There's also a downloadable PDF version.

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