100 Phrases with Meaning and Sentence

100 common phrases with meaning and sentence in academic reading; these phrases are selected from latest English media, with uncommon meanings in contexts.
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 100 Common Phrases in Academic Reading
hedge fund  Speak
n.
a limited partnership of investors that uses high risk methods
The stars of the biggest hedge funds are losing their shirts as analysts fear a major financial wipeout is imminent.
lose shirt  Speak
v.
lose a lot of money, lose all of one's assets
The stars of the biggest hedge funds are losing their shirts as analysts fear a major financial wipeout is imminent.
woman about town  Speak
n.
a socially active, sophisticated woman who frequents fashionable nightclubs, theaters, or restaurants
British-born media maven and woman about town Tina Brown, 64, moved to New York in the early 1980s to helm Vanity Fair.
pop up  Speak
v.
appear suddenly, in a short time
They're popping up all over town, from the super-pricey hotel lounge to barbecue joint, bars are getting into a white truffle-infused act.
street-boy  Speak
n.
mischievous boy, naughty boy
Grabbing my heart, this script is profound to tell a street-boy who says earthy things.
well-pressed  Speak
a.
thoroughly or skilfully pressed
At movie events, stars often show in jeans and tees, but they both attended this screening promptly wearing.proper well-pressed clothes.
poster child  Speak
n.
typical or good example of something
Central Florida has become the poster child for this issue, courtesy of the 23-game winning streak that has shone a light on the inequality in the sport.
courtesy of  Speak
ad.
given or allowed by, as a result of
Central Florida has become the poster child for this issue, courtesy of the 23-game winning streak that has shone a light on the inequality in the sport.
winning streak  Speak
n.
a consecutive sequence of won games or competitions
Central Florida has become the poster child for this issue, courtesy of the 23-game winning streak that has shone a light on the inequality in the sport.
shine a light  Speak
v.
metaphorically put the spotlight on an issue or subject so that others will notice it
Central Florida has become the poster child for this issue, courtesy of the 23-game winning streak that has shone a light on the inequality in the sport.
story line  Speak
n.
plot of a novel, play, movie, or other narrative form
Story lines are never lacking in the annual Ohio-Michigan rivalry, the latter is looking to snap a six-game losing streak, and then knocks off Northwestern in the title game.
knock off  Speak
v.
stop doing something, kill
Story lines are never lacking in the annual Ohio-Michigan rivalry, the latter is looking to snap a six-game losing streak, and then knocks off Northwestern in the title game.
scorched-earth  Speak
n.
a military policy in which everything in an area are destroyed so that enemy cannot use them
The current scorched-earth politics began five years before: according to Ford, in 1982, at an alcohol-soaked party her 15-year-old self was assaulted by 17-year-old Kavanaugh, who categorically denies this.
back-alley  Speak
n.
a narrow passage behind or between buildings
The confirmation wouldn't mean "women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids."
pass out  Speak
v.
lose consciousness, faint
He was in the same compartment, when the other inmate appeared to pass out after snorting something.
in and out  Speak
a.
involving inward and outward movement, especially rapid entrance and exit
He had battled addiction for years and been in and out of jail, was in pretrial custody on a number of charges, including assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats.
lead-up  Speak
n.
an event, point, or sequence that leads up to something else
I didn't actually see the lead-up to it, but I heard the noise, saw the bus slam on the brakes, the right side of the bus windshield was shattered.
breeze-block  Speak
n.
a large, grey brick made from ashes and cement
In a scruffy courtroom with breeze-block walls, the dock is empty, defendants no longer appear in person.
drill bit  Speak
n.
cutting tool used to remove material to create holes
When the drill bit reaches about a mile and a half in depth, nearly six times the height of the Empire State Building, it will munch its way sideways for another two miles.
all but  Speak
ad.
very nearly
On the surface, the natural landscape is all but barren, clouds drift over a plain adorned by tumbleweed.
jet lag  Speak
n.
tiredness by a person after a long flight across several time zones
One of the perks of business travel is frequent-flyer points; a trip may end with a large dose of jet lag, but at least some points will be earned, which can be redeemed for benefits worth 1.5 cents for each.
work ethic  Speak
n.
the principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward
Executives should stop equating the work ethic with the long working hours, work should not be frantic, a relaxed ethos in the office might work better in the long run.
weapon-wielding  Speak
a.
holding weapon in hands and ready to use it
Matilda's ability to escape into other worlds is also a key aspect of the novel, which is at its heart an ode to literature: through books, Matilda can flee oafish relatives and weapon-wielding teachers.
crown prince  Speak
n.
a male heir to a throne
Last year Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince pulverised Awamiyah, a rebellious town; Saudi forces shelled its 400-year-old neighbourhoods and erected siege walls to trap some 200 gunmen.
well-to-do  Speak
a.
wealthy; prosperous
Well-to-do people praise Prince Muhammad for ridding Awamiyah of a slum infested by gun-toting criminals, which appealed to landless peasants in Eastern Province.
lump with  Speak
v.
put someone or something in the same group or category as some other person or thing
The revival of Ponte is lumped in with the gentrification taking place in parts of inner-city Johannesburg, where hipsters gather at a market on Sundays to coo over minimalist lampshades.
in chaos  Speak
a.
overturned, inverted
Although the signs of decline may not yet be evident on the pitch, Latin American football is in chaos, with financial and administrative problems that make the Europeans' troubles seem trifling.
national side  Speak
n.
national team, sports team that is the representative of the whole nation rather than a school or club
Even the celebrated national side is now routinely barracked when it plays at home, so that it has taken to staging its games in provincial towns, where it can hope for a warmer reception than in Rio.
hold on  Speak
v.
stop, keep, persist, grasp
For him, winning titles is just a weapon to make money; lest this sound a little bloodless to the fans, Mr Zohar explains that he aims to get Flamengo back to the point where it can hold on to its best players.
up sticks  Speak
v.
take all the things that you own and go and live in a different place
Many startups are branching out into new places and those who stay have broader horizons: put more money outside Bay Area; but Peter, a high-profile venture capitalist, is among those upping sticks.
akin to  Speak
a.
very similar to something
Despite their mechanical complexity and the need for piloting skills akin to riding a unicycle, a helicopter’s idiosyncrasies can quickly be forgiven.
put out  Speak
v.
extinguish, stamp out, exterminate, wipe out
Civilian roles are just as vital, from rescuing people stranded on mountains, from putting out wildfires to carrying people and presidents to and from places where there are no runways.
stand a chance  Speak
v.
have a prospect of success or survival
Nor would most hovering drones stand a chance in the intense storms and blizzards that helicopters sometimes have to fly into.
weigh down  Speak
v.
make someone heavy and unable to move easily
By tilting the rotors forward, Bell’s V-280 can nip along at 520kph and has a range of almost 1,500km, even when weighed down by four crew and 14 fully-kitted combat troops.
concentrate mind  Speak
v.
make one think very clearly
They need no persuading of the dangers of adventurism, which has been concentrating minds in the alliance since 2014 when President Putin annexed Crimea and fomented war in eastern Ukraine.
big name  Speak
n.
a person who is famous in a certain sphere
Hard-working even by the standards of big name chief executives, he claimed that his customary garb of a crumpled black sweater saved him wasting time choosing a suit.
beat down  Speak
v.
radiate intense heat and brightness, of the sun
The sun beats down on a queue of punters outside the Espace pachinko parlour in central Tokyo; inside is an air-conditioned oasis.
slice through  Speak
v.
cut through something with slicing motions
The moment of death had obsessed him from childhood, when he had acquired that slight crouch, protecting his neck from the shining blade of the guillotine that might slice through.
turn away  Speak
v.
move or cause to move in a different direction
In middle age he could not turn away from Goya’s depictions of bayonetings; in old age he watched without flinching as Islamist terrorists crudely sawed off the heads of victims.
crypto-currency  Speak
n.
a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency
They are easily confused with the many startups that have recently launched new crypto currencies via an initial coin offering (ICO), a much hyped form of crowdfunding.
rule out  Speak
v.
eliminate or exclude something from consideration
He does not rule out a sudden breakthrough that might cut the Gordian knot and make such ledgers more scalable.
count towards  Speak
v.
be part of what is needed to complete or achieve something
It advocated closing a loophole which means that money spent on hiring staff does not count towards a campaign’s spending limits.
high margin  Speak
n.
giving a high level of profit compared to the amount of money spent on doing them
Many e-bikes are powered by gear -the highest margin component- from Bosch, a German conglomerate, which only started tinkering with the technology in 2009.
start off  Speak
v.
begin working, operating, or dealing with something
This starts off as a thick gel, but then hardens into a solid matrix that binds the aggregates together.
foul-up  Speak
n.
a mistake resulting in confusion
Global public-health authorities vowed to learn from previous catastrophic foul-up; a fresh outbreak of Ebola will reveal whether they have done so.
high-profile  Speak
a.
attracting much attention or publicity
This year, following the fall of one of the festival's most high-profile regulars, Harvey Weinstein, the event’s ingrained sexism was scrutinised and criticised more intently than ever.
low-key  Speak
a.
not elaborate, showy, or intensive
modest or restrained
Mr Kore-Eda is one of world cinema's most humane and skilful storytellers, and "Shoplifters" is another of his low-key, acutely observed, ultimately devastating studies of contemporary Japanese life.
count on  Speak
v.
figure, estimate, calculate, forecast, reckon
In the past, companies with sloppy approaches have been able to count on their customers' lack of interest in cybersecurity which has dwindled over the years despite a succession of hacking scandals.
first go  Speak
n.
doing or trying someting at first
Mr Vala decided that the party should indeed have the first go at proving a majority in the state assembly, despite the apparently insuperable arithmetic.
lock arms  Speak
v.
join tightly with the arms on each side
The party locked arms with the third force, a regional outfit called the Janata Dal-Secular; the pairing of two parties thus claimed the right to replace the incumbent from them as chief minister.
swear someone in  Speak
v.
administer an oath to someone who then officially begins in office
Little did he know when he was sworn in as chief minister of the Indian state of Karnataka on May 17th, but his tenure was destined to be brief.
run along  Speak
v.
be in line with; form a line along
He unveiled a plan to rebuild southern Damascus, including areas that run along the camp's edge; some suggest relocating the Palestinians to distant scrubland.
drive out  Speak
v.
cause or force someone or something to leave
The pursuit of purity involved vicious factional fights as real Marxists drove out renegades, revisionists and heretics.
doorstop book  Speak
n.
a large, boring book, generally considered a classic
Publishers are producing a cascade of books on his life and thought, from doorstop book Das Kapital, to slim pamphlet Communist Manifesto.
tamp down  Speak
v.
reduce the amount, level, size, or importance of something
The government wants to promote faiths that it views as indigenous, including Buddhism and Taoism, and to tamp down on those seen as foreign and money-grubbing.
open air  Speak
n.
a free or unenclosed space outdoors
When the occupants of Snow Panda House were first allowed to play in the open air in mid-February, they bounded out and rolled in the white stuff.
clock in  Speak
v.
begin work, especially by punching a time clock
Factory workers have long clocked in and out; but AI makes ubiquitous surveillance worthwhile, because every bit of data is potentially valuable.
self-contained  Speak
a.
complete, or having all that is needed, in itself
Literally Buddha Place, Boudhanath is a village nestled within the sprawling Nepalese city; even though it's now a part of Kathmandu, it retains the self-contained cosiness of a village.
chalk up  Speak
v.
draw or write;
rise in the value or level of something
For a long time, I bought into this anti-circle bias; and while I often strayed from the straight and narrow, I always chalked up my circuitous path to personal shortcomings.
short program  Speak
n.
usually the first of two phases in figure skating competitions
Gabriella Papadakis's sparkling green outfit came undone in the back while she and partner were performing their short program.
screen out  Speak
v.
remove from a group that is being examined
The surveys will be used to divide publications into buckets to screen out likely peddlers of misinformation; it's also betting on the notoriously fickle news judgment of the masses.
tuck in  Speak
v.
push, fold so as to hide them;
eat food heartily
Families tuck in to hearty meals of sausages and rye bread, and men play cards over glasses of locally brewed beer.
result in  Speak
v.
cause something to happen
Scientists knew that photons striking a plant’s leaves triggered a cascade that ultimately resulted in sugar production, but no one knew exactly how that worked.
well-studied  Speak
a.
proceeding or resulting from careful study; carefully designed or contrived
The outrage echoed that of 2015 when a Minnesota dentist killed a well-studied lion nicknamed Cecil after he was lured out of a protected Zimbabwe park.
carpet bomb  Speak
v.
bomb an area intensively
Muons are produced when cosmic rays - high-speed atom fragments that hurtle through space - smash into the atmosphere; they carpet bomb Earth at a rate of 10,000 per square meter per minute.
snap election  Speak
n.
an election called earlier than expected
Abe's long-held dream to change the pacifist constitution got a big boost today as conservative coalition won a crucial 2/3 majority in a snap election.
bear down on  Speak
v,
move quickly towards someone in a determined and threatening way
One of the most destructive gusts in the northeastern Atlantic bore down on Ireland, unleashing strong winds and rain that killed at least three people.
screw up  Speak
v.
completely mismanage or mishandle a situation
It's a bizarre concept that Alaskan volcanoes were screwing up the Nile watershed, causing the flow of one of the world’s mightiest rivers to slow.
bump up  Speak
v.
increase the amount or size of something
This was on their backburner and not likely to get fixed anytime soon, and we were hoping to get some additional leverage to make them bump up the priority on their end.
scoop up  Speak
v.
lift out, take up
The footage appears to show security personnel restrain a visibly upset boy while they carefully cut the belt from the youth's torso in Kirkuk. Once the belt has been removed, the boy is scooped up and taken away.
mega-event  Speak
n.
a unique event time nature, which is related to the specific place where it took place, such as the Olympic Game
Such mega-events have undergirded determination in government and the public alike to move on longstanding issues of housing and infrastructure; a flood of public-works projects have accelerated a profound reshaping of Rio de Janeiro, often in ways that reanimate bitterness over racial and class divisions.
stand by  Speak
v.
wait in expectation of some event; make ready
Well, look whats happen again. What are these useless political hacks who have stood by with one attack after another costing the lives of hundreds of innocent Europeans got to say now to the victims and their families of tonight's latest atrocity?
coming-of-age  Speak
a.
related to a young person's transition from being a child to being an adult
Anyone who’s turned the pages of King’s epic coming-of-age horror thriller knows this bloodthirsty funster isn’t your average psycho in greasepaint.
fall into line  Speak
v.
conform with others or with accepted behavior.
If only they were as adamant with completing school, getting employment and becoming a productive member of society rather than settling for living in terrible areas and falling into line with the stereotype.