100 Words with Uncommon Meanings

They are 100 common words with uncommon meanings; the example sentences are selected from recent English media, like Economics and BBC, most of them are for academic reading. The list is updated weekly to help readers refresh hot usage of common words.

 100 Common Words with Uncommon Meanings and Sentences
ride  Speak
travel in a vehicle, such as a car, bus, or train
I can still see Castro riding into Havana at the head of his ragtag but victorious army.
rack  Speak
cause extreme physical or mental pain to
Her stroke was a major one, and in the aftermath she was racked by hysterical screaming.
ram  Speak
roughly force something into place
Before I could get up he butted me in the head and rammed me again as hard as he could.
slate  Speak
schedule or plan
A Marine veteran was slated for deportation until the immigration agency realized he was a US citizen.
episode  Speak
an occurrence of an illness
He has episodes where he disappears and when he is found again, he often has no recollection of where he has been.
hack  Speak
gain illegal access to computer or network
There is not a single bit of crime evidence regarding to conspiring with the Russians to hack the Democratic National Committee.
reveal  Speak
expose, make known to others
Nearby, a small alley tucked between 38 and 40 Hicks St reveals a trio of small houses.
surface  Speak
provide something with a particular upper or outer layer
A sorority sister at the University of Tennessee was suspended Thursday after video surfaced showing her making a racial slur.
ring  Speak
be filled with talk or report, sound repetitiously
NASA rang in 2019 in stellar style by celebrating a successful excursion to the most distant world ever explored - some billion miles beyond Pluto.
wrestle  Speak
struggle with a difficulty or problem
This year's best films wrestled mightily with questions of identity and belonging in a year when our culture did the same.
dust  Speak
cover lightly with a powdered substance
As we creep ever closer to Dec. 25, people are hoping there is at least a light dusting of snow on the ground for the biggest gift-giving holiday of the year.
event  Speak
match or tournament, sports competition
Anthony reacts as he has Tony down on the mat in their lightweight bout during the UFC 229 event.
chapter  Speak
a local branch of a society
Two grown men joined in a vicious hazing in the name of their college-fraternity chapter, beating a 45-year-old pledge so badly that he landed in the hospital.
buzz  Speak
be very excited and happy
The Internet buzzed about the former first daughter's decision to join the Ann Arbor school after an Instagram post purportedly from her private account celebrated her acceptance.
alone  Speak
independently, unaided, unaccompanied, without help
That alone should cause the number of closures to increase, as bad managers get fired and money is recirculated into those managers that do better.
crop  Speak
harvest from a particular area
The aromatic uber-tubers, in season from October through December, are better and more abundant than last year’s mostly miserable crop.
fashion  Speak
make into a particular or the required form
He fashions a starchy, uptight world-class pianist by capturing that essence of self control.
carry  Speak
move body in a particular way
I am conscious of how my father carried himself and I see my family in this, my point of reference is a combination of their dignity and nobility.
tee  Speak
T-shirt, casual wear for all ages
At movie events, stars often show in jeans and tees, but they both attended this screening promptly wearing.proper well-pressed clothes.
several  Speak
separate or respective
Its path to the playoff is dependent on utter chaos; but the teams ahead of it have faced several more.
snap  Speak
break or cause to break suddenly and completely
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.
vibrate  Speak
echo, resonate; continue to be heard
America, according to Kennedy and those who vibrated to his bombast, was living on the lip of a volcano, with no secure civil rights.
charge  Speak
accusation, typically one formally made against a prisoner brought to trial
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.
dock  Speak
place where the person accused of a crime stands or sits in law court
In a scruffy courtroom with breeze-block walls, the dock is empty, defendants no longer appear in person.
sport  Speak
wear or display a distinctive or noticeable thing
Such scenes were once unthinkable in England's courtrooms, where magistrates can be called "your worship" and some judges sport gowns and wigs.
theatre  Speak
effectiveness of dramatic performance
Proponents of reform argue that the theatre of court is too intimidating for those accused of relatively minor crimes but in unknown rituals.
settle  Speak
resolve or reach an agreement about
It could herald a much bigger change: the precedent set would surely entice others to follow, why should a restaurant settle for paying an extra twice as much to accept credit-card fees?
heart  Speak
the central or innermost part of something
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.
shell  Speak
attack especially with artillery or bombers
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.
flock  Speak
congregate or mass in a large group
Ponte City, a cylindrical brutalist skyscraper stretching 54 storeys, was built for yuppies who had flocked to the city, often from Europe.
quarters  Speak
housing or accommodation, esp as provided for military personnel and their families
It was reserved for the wealthy, three-storey penthouses had wine cellars, saunas and jacuzzis; the only black residents were servants, in whose quarters windows had to be at least six feet off the ground.
pitch  Speak
football field, a playing field
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.
friendly  Speak
match which is not part of a competition, and is played for entertainment or practice
A congressional inquiry found no evidence to support this, though it confirmed that the Brazilian team had agreed to play an inordinate number of friendlies that drained the players' energies.
title  Speak
champion, championship
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.
peak  Speak
reach a highest point, either of a specified value or at a specified time
There is no credible rival for its position as the world’s preeminent innovation hub; but there are signs that the Valley’s influence is peaking.
horizon  Speak
the limit of a person's mental perception or interest
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.
forgive  Speak
ignore, turn a blind eye to, tolerate
Despite their mechanical complexity and the need for piloting skills akin to riding a unicycle, a helicopter’s idiosyncrasies can quickly be forgiven.
cover  Speak
a thing that lies on, over, or around something to protect or conceal it
The air grew thick with dust and cordite as Leopard 2 tanks raced across the scrubby landscape, with howitzer fire providing cover and helicopters circling overhead.
premium  Speak
of exceptional quality or greater value than others of its kind; superior
It includes a big expansion of the premium Alfa and Maserati brands, which have for years remained tantalisingly on the verge of a comeback.
wage  Speak
carry on, engage in
Japanese people wage over $180bn a year on this pinball derivative, fleeing the tedium of office and home life for its noisy thrills.
inch  Speak
move slowly and carefully in a specified direction
Tempers ran high as the bill inched toward law; an attempt by the government to cut off debate sparked scuffles among lawmakers.
look  Speak
the appearance of someone or something
He found himself transfixed by the look, the dazed or vacant stare, of those who knew they were about to die.
blockstack  Speak
a new type of internet where users own their data and apps run locally
Though Blockstack and its ilk have done the same, their main aim is to make the online world a more decentralized place; again, this sounds like the sort of thing geeks said in the 1990s.
cap  Speak
a limit on the amount of money to be spent in a particular activity
The commission requested the power to levy larger fines, saying that the current cap of £20,000 per offence risked a mere cost of doing business for rule-breaking campaigns.
mix  Speak
a combination of different kinds
Since e-bikes have been added to the mix, the term granny-pace has a whole new meaning as riders -often the elderly or parents ferrying children- overtake young racers without breaking a sweat.
sheet  Speak
any broad thin expanse or surface
Each platelet is only a few millionths of a metre across, it consists of a sheet of stiff cellulose fibres; although the fibres are minute, they are strong.
spot  Speak
see, notice, or recognize something that is difficult to detect
It spotted a tremor of magnitude 3.4 that had an epicentre 89km from the cable’s nearest point.
minutely  Speak
with great attention to detail; meticulously
The seismic waves from a nearby earthquake will deform the cable minutely, leaving the returning light slightly out of phase with the light emitted by the laser.
spike  Speak
a sharp increase in the magnitude or concentration
Dry seasons are growing longer, withering crops; heat spikes are a growing problem too, with countries regularly notching lethal summer temperatures.
contain  Speak
keep within limits; not to allow to spread
The big mistake last time was to dither: containing an epidemic early is easier and cheaper and saves lives; this time medical staff have been rushed to the scene.
humane  Speak
having or showing compassion or benevolence
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.
succession  Speak
a number of things sharing a specified characteristic and following one after the other
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.
outfit  Speak
a group that works as a team
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.
side  Speak
support or oppose in a conflict
When Mr Meshal sided with his Qatari financiers, who backed Syria's Islamist rebels after the uprising in 2011, Mr Assad and his men fumed at the treachery.
hideout  Speak
a hiding place, especially one used by someone who has broken the law
In his hideout. he is close to clinching a deal on devolution that would let Renamo share or win power in some provinces.
regime  Speak
a government, especially an authoritarian one
The 40% of humanity who lived under Marxist regimes for much of the 20th century endured famines, gulags and party dictatorships.
hawk  Speak
carry around and offer goods for sale, typically advertising them by shouting
China's earliest pawn shops were run by Buddhist monasteries; in recent decades monks are keen to attract visitors, paving roads to their temples and opening shops hawking spiritual tat.
man  Speak
work at, run, or operate a place or piece of equipment
Monks are rattled: the one manning Guanyin's donation box fears such undisguised moneymaking would turn their shrine into a temple run by CEO abbot.
wreck  Speak
cause the destruction by sinking or breaking up
The threat to a craft of deep space is that its electronics might be wrecked; radiation slowly displaces atoms in solids, to the detriment of any electronic components those atoms are part of.
chill  Speak
an unpleasant feeling of coldness in the atmosphere
In the chill of deep space, bacteria somehow shielded from cosmic radiation might survive dormant for millions of years.
reach  Speak
a continuous extent of land or water, especially a stretch of river between two bends
Just a few years ago Wuhan, a sprawling metropolis in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, exemplified China’s economic woes.
loft  Speak
kick, hit, or throw (a ball or missile) high up
The company has built 500 burners on Himalayan ridges in the path of the monsoon, and is testing a system to loft particles of silver iodide from the machines into the atmosphere.
divert  Speak
cause to change course or turn from one direction to another
Diverting water from the south of China to the north is not the country’s only crazily ambitious drought-alleviation scheme.
capably  Speak
ably, aptly, competently
It listens to customer-service calls and assigns an empathy score based on how compassionate agents are and how fast and how capably they settle complaints.
worthwhile  Speak
worth the time, money, or effort spent; of value or importance
Factory workers have long clocked in and out; but AI makes ubiquitous surveillance worthwhile, because every bit of data is potentially valuable.
track  Speak
follow the course or trail of
Amazon has patented a wristband that tracks the hand movements of warehouse workers and uses vibrations to nudge them into being more efficient.
kindle  Speak
light or set on fire
Such grandiose forecasts kindle anxiety as well as hope; many fret that AI (artificial intelligence) could destroy jobs faster than it creates them.
nestle  Speak
settle or lie comfortably within or against something
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.
stray  Speak
move away aimlessly from a group or from the right course or place
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.
malfunction  Speak
a failure to function in a normal or satisfactory manner
CBC says it will edit the encore broadcast of ice dance competition to eliminate images of a French skater's breast that was exposed due to a costume malfunction.
imperative  Speak
of vital importance, crucial
The defence team deployed peremptory challenges, which can be used by both sides for purely strategic reasons with no imperative to justify their use, to nix Indigenous people from being considered as jurors.
render  Speak
cause to be or become; make
The lead-up to the trial itself sparked suspicions: secret jury deliberation can lead to jury nullification, when the jury renders a verdict based purely on its prejudices.
disregard  Speak
pay no attention to; ignore
Did the jury simply disregard the law to give Stanley a free pass to murder? Jury deliberations are kept secret by law, and can never become the basis for a factual appeal.
scrap  Speak
a small piece of something, especially one that is left over after the greater part has been used
The lace on Diana's dress was not just old, it was really, really old, sourced from antique scraps bought at auction by her dress designers.
resemble  Speak
look or seem like
That franchise was told that the blue was chosen to echo the sky, and the building is more orange and red to resemble the surrounding terrain.
hoax  Speak
a humorous or malicious deception
A flat-earther who witnessed this week’s SpaceX launch says it was a hoax – and that Elon Musk has been groomed to help fool people into thinking intergalactic travel is possible.
inspiration  Speak
the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative
Scholars have long argued about the inspiration for Shakespeare's canon; now a piece of software, used for detecting plagiarism among university students, may have the answer.
poise  Speak
be or cause to be balanced or suspended
This weekend is merely the calm before the proverbial marvel-powered storm as 'Black Panther' is poised to leap into theaters with potentially record-breaking results.
exert  Speak
apply or bring to bear;
make a physical or mental effort
Justin, who works as an Uber driver, also speculated the main reason one percent of the world's elite want to keep the true shape of the Earth secret is to exert control.
roam  Speak
move about or travel aimlessly, especially over a wide area
Mustang roam freely over much of the southwest United States; they live in bands of between 5-20 horses, mainly females and foals led by a dominant stallion.
swoop  Speak
move rapidly downward through the air
Swooping in for the hunt, the long-eared bat takes on the deadly deathstalker scorpion on foot;this scorpion's venom is so strong it is capable of killing a human.
accommodate  Speak
provide lodging or sufficient space for;
fit in with the wishes or needs of
People of different ages have very divergent working styles, priorities, and needs; but how can your business accommodate these unique needs, while still enabling effective collaboration and productivity?
bootleg  Speak
illegal musical recording, especially one made at a concert
Star Wars was banned in the Soviet Union until 1990, although a thriving black market bootleg video exchange meant many Soviet citizens had in fact seen the films during the 1980s.
fickle  Speak
changing frequently, especially as regards one's loyalties
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.
perceive  Speak
become aware or conscious of; come to realize or understand
Friday's change is notable, however, given Facebook's fear of being perceived as an arbiter of news quality.
overhaul  Speak
take apart in order to examine it and repair it if necessary
The move comes roughly a week after Facebook announced it would overhaul its core News Feed product to focus more on engaging content from friends and family rather than passive low-quality news.
trustworthy  Speak
able to be relied on as honest or truthful
Facebook will begin allowing its users to rank news sources they see as the most credible and trustworthy so it can better rank and prioritize them in its News Feed.
euphoria  Speak
a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness
The euphoria is what was once considered the provenance of libertarians seeking to create an alternative to central bank system, bitcoin, is bringing to mainstream.
scenery  Speak
the natural features of a landscape
While the breathtaking scenery remains the same, pretty much everything else has changed at Whistler Blackcomb, including the gondola.
goody  Speak
something that causes delight or satisfaction
Outside bright snow can be seen piled on the eaves of massive dark-wood buildings, whose small windows glow with goodies.
hearty  Speak
loudly vigorous and cheerful
Families tuck in to hearty meals of sausages and rye bread, and men play cards over glasses of locally brewed beer.
salvage  Speak
rescue a wrecked or disabled ship or its cargo from loss at sea
Japan's ancient sport sumo is again fighting to salvage its reputation after a top-ranking wrestler seriously injured a fellow competitor in an alcohol-fuelled attack.
ideology  Speak
a system of ideas and ideals, especially one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy
This debate often represents a schism in American political ideology that claims to champion the same goals but attempts to meet those goals through different methods.
trigger  Speak
cause an event or situation to happen or exist
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.
startling  Speak
very surprising, astonishing, or remarkable
Jesus taught that life does not end after our bodies die. He made this startling claim: I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again.
cast  Speak
throw something forcefully in a specified direction
Although boosters of drilling there have long tried to cast the vast region in northeastern Alaska as a virtual frozen desert, the wilderness actually teems with life.
flee  Speak
run away from a place or situation of danger
They've fled violence in Myanmar and sought refuge in neighboring Bangladesh; the amount of people is just unfathomable, and U.N. called the exodus as the fastest growing refugee crisis.
defect  Speak
abandon one's country or cause in favor of an opposing one
The soldier shot multiple times while defecting to the South is in a stable condition but riddled with parasites that could complicate his chances of survival.
slay  Speak
kill a person or animal in a violent way
The move triggered protests from conservation groups and a frenzy on social media from opponents who posted pictures of Trump sons, who are avid hunters, posing with the cutoff tail of a slain elephant on Twitter.
aide  Speak
assistant, adjutant, auxiliary
President Trump as well as his top aides have expressed skepticism about climate change, while others say human activity is to blame for global warming.