100 Phrases with Meaning and Sentence

One hundred common phrases with meaning and sentence in academic reading; we select these phrases from the latest English media, with special meanings in contexts.
 100 Common Phrases in Academic Reading
tease out  Speak
v.
try to get information or understand a meaning that is hidden or not clear
This requires the ability to disentangle sounds produced by different events or objects, and the ability to tease out the effects of the environment.
lean into  Speak
v.
pursue some task or activity with great effort
In many ways, Kendall Square has been a microcosm for those responses, which has leaned into issues around inclusion, striven to support struggling businesses.
scale up  Speak
v.
increase the size, amount, or importance of something, usually an organization or process
The MIT spin-out uses a continuous manufacturing approach that allows it to scale up printer production with demand.
down the road  Speak
ad.
in the future
This knowledge we’re developing can apply to so many applications down the road, like in water harvesting, and I feel like we're getting the edge over the other competitors.
go-to  Speak
a.
regularly or repeatedly chosen
Despite years of hype, virtual reality headsets have yet to topple TV or computer screens as the go-to devices for video viewing.
go into  Speak
v.
start doing a particular type of work
People were accepting of the idea of having a robot do a nasal swab, which suggests that potential engineering efforts could go into thinking about building the systems.
come up with  Speak
v.
produce something, especially when pressured or challenge
A team has come up with a system that can detect the chemical and microbial content of an air sample with even greater sensitivity than a dog's nose.
herd immunity  Speak
n.
a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that can occur when a high percentage of people has become immune to it
The data support the hypothesis that the virus originated in mainland Southeast Asia; this suggests that the populations there may be benefiting from a level of herd immunity.
weave a story  Speak
v.
invent a complicated story
The government has sought to control the narrative and deflect blame for the pandemic’s origins, which has weaved a story of triumph against the virus.
wind up  Speak
v.
come to be in a particular situation or condition, especially a bad one
Leon winds up hiding in one of the secret rooms, surviving along with other children, waiting, hoping against hope that his mother will be released from prison.
hope against hope  Speak
v.
hope very strongly that something will happen, although you know it is not likely
Leon winds up hiding in one of the secret rooms, surviving along with other children, waiting, hoping against hope that his mother will be released from prison.
in a bid  Speak
ad.
in an attempt
With a highly transmissible new variant of the virus surging across Britain, Johnson is rushing out vaccines faster than the country’s neighbors in a bid to stem the pandemic.
baby bust  Speak
n.
a temporary marked decrease in the birth rate
It all works out to fewer New Year’s babies; the baby bust could mean some 320,000 children who statistically would have likely been born in 2021 but won't because of the pandemic.
rallying cry  Speak
n.
people join together to support an idea, cause, etc.
Part scientific tome, part rallying cry against humans’ impulse to interfere with the natural world, that's the Yellowstone Wolves.
only to  Speak
ad.
to highlight an upsetting, disappointing, or unpleasant action that occurred after something else
"Wolf, Wolf! Stay home! Stay safe!" They've repeatedly shouted, only to smirk smugly as they go about their daily lives.
on the line  Speak
ad.
at serious risk
We have put our livelihoods on the line and our lives on hold at the behest of our leaders who have told us the wolf is real.
on hold  Speak
ad.
in going to be done or dealt with at a later date rather than now
We have put our livelihoods on the line and our lives on hold at the behest of our leaders who have told us the wolf is real.
play out  Speak
v.
become spent, unfold
It’s playing out in the pews, where church attendance is down, where those of faith say they feel increasingly marginalized.
cozy up  Speak
v.
attain or try to attain familiarity, friendship, or intimacy
The safest choice this Thanksgiving is to cozy up to - and cook for - the people you live with; these lower-yield recipes don't sacrifice on satisfaction.
low-yield  Speak
a.
used to describe investments that do not pay much income
The safest choice this Thanksgiving is to cozy up to - and cook for - the people you live with; these lower-yield recipes don't sacrifice on satisfaction.
on the plus side  Speak
ad.
considering the positive, beneficial, advantageous
The report details several potential problems; on the plus side, it notes that the use of off the shelf components would reduce the expense of the overall system.
shelf component  Speak
n.
something that is available immediately and does not need to be specially made
The report details several potential problems; on the plus side, it notes that the use of off the shelf components would reduce the expense of the overall system.
email chain  Speak
n.
an email message that includes a running list of all the succeeding replies starting with the original email
Joe Biden is the person referred to as the 'the big guy' who would receive 10 percent equity in a deal with a Chinese energy firm, as referenced in an email chain including his son Hunter.
ill-timed  Speak
a.
occurring at or planned for an unsuitable time
A high number of cases in a vast country with a creaky public health system was inevitable; but, such a high number is blaming an ill-timed lockdown.
prime-time  Speak
n.
regularly occurring time at which a television audience is expected to be greatest
The frenzied coverage of his death and vilification of his actor-girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty has dominated prime-time in India.
at a time  Speak
ad.
during one particular moment
The media circus around the case comes at a time when India faces a host of critical issues.
globe-trot  Speak
v.
travel widely
He's at it with Tenet, which is a globe-trotting sci-fi-spy drama starring John David Washington, who is given the not insignificant task in a looming World War III.
drop shipper  Speak
n.
agent, distributor, or retailer who earns a commission on orders passed on to the manufacturer or original supplier
Manager of influencer Zara McDermott told BBC that her email inbox is flooded with offers from drop shippers asking to promote what she believes to be knock-off goods.
knock off  Speak
n.
a copy that sells for less than the original
Manager of influencer Zara McDermott told BBC that her email inbox is flooded with offers from drop shippers asking to promote what she believes to be knock-off goods.
first responder  Speak
n.
a person, like a policeman, who is responsible for going immediately to provide assistance
The flight was repatriating Indians stranded by the coronavirus crisis; first responders to the crash have been asked to go into quarantine.
bear no resemblance  Speak
v.
not be similar to someone or something else
It all culminated Saturday in Trump declaring that 99 percent of cases are totally harmless — a statement that bears no resemblance to what health officials have said.
long game  Speak
n.
considering the future implications of current choices, thinking ahead, being deliberate and patient
Abbott is playing the long game, recognizing that his handling won’t be judged on momentary headlines, but on the long-term trajectory of the virus in his state.
ramp up  Speak
v.
increase or cause to increase in the amount
While the US has ramped up economic pressure, activists have launched a campaign accusing firms of bolstering from the exploitation of the Muslim minority group.
take up  Speak
v.
claim or accept of something, esp a state benefit, that is due or available
It is difficult to gauge the number of Hong Kong residents who will take up the UK's offer at this moment.
bump into  Speak
v.
meet someone unexpectedly, accidentally hit against something
Their border patrols often bump into each other, resulting in occasional scuffles but both sides insist no bullet has been fired in four decades.
crop up  Speak
v.
appear, occur, or come to one's notice unexpectedly
The same issue crops up in deciding who should be shielding and whether some people need extra protection in the workplace.
to heart's content  Speak
ad.
as much or as often as you like
The guys went out to field camps and they dressed all grubby and they never showered and they could swear and be real, rowdy little boys again to their hearts' content.
spill over  Speak
v.
continue for a longer time than expected, reach or influence a larger area
We see the disease from wildlife to spill over into humans and spread quickly around the world; human encroachment on the natural world speeds up it.
elbow out of  Speak
v.
pressure someone to depart something
The billionaire entrepreneur is sending face masks and ventilators to many places that have been elbowed out of the global brawl over life-saving equipment.
level off  Speak
v.
approach or reach a steady rate, volume, or amount
Dr. Anthony Fauci concurred that the US was starting to see the leveling off and coming down of cases and deaths.
by far  Speak
ad.
far and away, much more of a particular quality than anything else
By far the worst-affected state is New York which has seen 365 deaths and reports from hospitals in New York City depict a health system on the brink.
come under fire  Speak
v.
be criticized, be attacked with guns
He has come under fire after US outlet NPR obtained a recording of him warning a group of wealthy constituents about the dire economic impact of the coronavirus.
free fall  Speak
v.
move under the force of gravity only; fall rapidly
The definition of success varies as per the individuals and the societies; it lures some dropouts leave school so young that they free fall in future careers.
lock down  Speak
v.
confine of prisoners to their cells, typically after an escape or to regain control during a riot
More and more countries are considering draconian measures, whether forcing all international arrivals into quarantine or locking down regions.
shoot up  Speak
v.
increase quickly by a large amount
I don't think it would be as strict as nobody in and out, but if we continue to let cases shoot up, particularly at the community level, there will be what we call mitigation.
shortfall  Speak
n.
a deficit of something required or expected
The shortfall could be stark, potentially forcing doctors to make excruciating life-or-death decisions about who would get such help.
out of the woods  Speak
ad.
out of danger or difficulty
We are not out of the woods because the virus can apparently be transmitted when people have few symptoms and very difficult to be contained.
know-how  Speak
n.
practical knowledge or skill; expertise
This is not an accident or a coincidence, it is a small sample of China's ongoing campaign to siphon off American know-how and technology for its gain.
news outlet  Speak
n.
a newspaper, television company or other mass media which publishes news stories
In a bid to tackle the demand for medical services of new coronavirus, the Wuhan authorities are building new hospitals, reported by a state-owned news outlet.
getaway  Speak
n.
an escape or quick departure, especially after committing a crime  
Reed drove the getaway car, and Lee was positively identified on surveillance video while taking the laptop, investigators said.