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
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.