Judging the quantity of quantities

The actual amounts referred to by expressions of quantity can be vague and hard to pin down.  Below is a chart of quantity expressions listed in a divided continuum from completely negative (“none”) to very positive (“a vast number of”).  Numerous quantity expressions…


The meaning of quantity expressions

If we really think about it, quantity expressions, other than actual numbers and words like “none,” do not specify exact amounts, and some vary widely in the actual amounts they can refer to.  The choice of any one of them—“several,” “a lot,” “a bit,” “a few,” “many”– depends on how the speaker feels about the amount being referred to, and whether that amount feels small or large or somewhere in between.


Idiomatic phrases in Wordsmyth dictionaries

Wordsmyth has recently updated its collection of idiomatic phrases. We’ve added both more senses and more example sentences, especially to phrasal verbs. This update will make Wordsmyth an even more helpful and powerful tool for learners and teachers of English.

Did you know that Wordsmyth phrases each have their own entries? This makes searching for a particular phrase very simple. Just type the phrase into the search box! No need to look up and search through the entry for “get” if you’re looking for “get away with” or “get around to.” Still, if you’d like to see other phrases with “get,” they can easily be seen listed in the entry for “get.”


Wordsmyth News

• New! Wordsmyth’s Spelling activity for assessment
• Database update with newly added headwords, phrases, images, and animations
• Idiomatic phrases in Wordsmyth dictionaries


WOTD: strive

intransitive verb to try or work hard; exert oneself.The athletes strove to improve their performance before the next Olympics.She’s striving to reach the top in her profession.Leaders on both sides have been striving for a peaceful end to the conflict.He continues to strive…


Weekly Quiz

With the Wordsmyth Vocabulary Center activities, you can study these words, play games with them, and assess your knowledge of their meanings with a quiz. Click here to go to the Vocabulary Center. This word list will have been loaded for you. Just…


WOTD: ludicrous

adjective worthy of mockery; laughable and ridiculous.He regretted his ludicrous attempt at poetry and turned his attention back to journalism . See the full entry edit


WOTD: rot

intransitive verb to decompose or decay, as organic matter.They kept the vegetables so long that they rotted in the refrigerator. transitive verb to cause decay or deterioration in.The warm weather rotted the fallen apples.Sugar can rot your teeth. noun the process of rotting;…


WOTD: atheist

noun one who believes that there is no god or gods.He’d grown up believing in God, but the war had made him an atheist. See the full entry edit