Mots difficiles en anglais


[sunglasses, outfit, jewellery, decor] vulgaire
bon marché, toc
[show, programme] médiocre
[person] ringard(e)


avarié, pollué, contaminé « her breath was tainted with alcohol » « blood tainted with the AIDS and hepatitis viruses »
entaché de « the report was tainted with racism. »


apprivoisé « They've got a tame hedgehog. »
[story, style, match, film] fade « Some of today's political demonstrations look rather tame.    »
apprivoiser, dompter, dresser « The Amazons were the first to tame horses. »


1- enchevêtrement → a tangle of wires : un enchevêtrement de câbles 2- to be/get in a tangle [string, wires, hair] être emmêlé/s'emmêler → I've got my shoelaces in a bit of a tangle ; her hair tends to tangle 3- to be/get o.s. in a tangle : être en pleine confusion, être un sac de nœuds → we had got ourselves in a tangle (nous étions en pleine confusion) ; my tax affairs were in a complete tangle (mes affaires fiscales étaient un véritable sac de nœuds). ◊ to be tangled up [wires, string, sheets] = être emmêlé(e).
to get tangled up = s'emmêler.


enchevêtrement « a tangle of wires. »
to be in a tangle, to be tangled = être emmêlé « I've got my shoelaces in a bit of a tangle. »        
fig.: « a confused tangle of plots and subplots. » « My tax affairs were in a complete tangle » (= "sac de nœuds"). 
fig.: to be in a tangle = être en pleine confusion.
to tangle = s'emmêler « her hair tends to tangle. »


to be tantamount to sth = équivaloir à qch His statement was tantamount to an admission of guilt.


to throw a tantrum, to have a tantrum = piquer une colère. « He immediately threw a tantrum, screaming like a child. » « My son had a tantrum and banged his fist on the ground. »


to be confirmed (à confirmer)

tear duct

canal lacrymal


fastidieux such lists are long and tedious to read.   
[conversation] insipide


immeuble tenement building, tenement block. « I live in a tiny studio in a filthy tenement. »
appartement, logement  « overcrowded tenements. »


principe → « This is a basic tenet of capitalism. »


principe → « this is a basic tenet of capitalism. »


décupler => The number of landmine incidents in Colombia has increased tenfold since 1991


occupation (d'un poste) during his tenure as chairman = pendant qu'il occupait le poste de président
to have tenure (university) = être titulaire


terre cuite A beautiful terracotta coloured villa.
(couleur) ocre, brun


concis ; laconique « Jade is a terse and simple javascript templating language. »

thanks a bunch

Merci mille fois!

the apple doesn't fall far from the tree

tel père tel fils, telle mère telle fille

the ball of the foot

la plante du pied

the be-all and end-all

l'alpha et l'omega ; le but suprême : « profit is the be-all and end-all of business »

the fuzz

les flics

the hoi polloi

la plèbe


attempted theft = tentative de vol
anti-theft device, theft prevention device = antivol
aggravated theft = vol qualifié

there's a catch

c'est une attrape; il y a anguille sous roche « you can fly Skybus for 10 bucks, but there's a catch! »
cf.: pitfall piège, chausse-trape « The pitfalls of working abroad are numerous. »


"thigh gap" = espace entre les cuisses d'une personne debout, prisé dans le monde de la mode.


lanière ; string


you thou shalt not kill = tu ne tueras point
thou art = tu es


thrift shop = petite boutique d'articles d'occasion gérée au profit d'œuvres charitables


économe My mother taught me to be thrifty ; thrifty shoppers.


économe  « my mother taught me to be thrifty »  « thrifty shoppers »
thrift = économie.


foule I walked through the throng.
prendre d'assaut The street was thronged with shoppers.
affluer (fig.) The crowd thronged into the streets.


pousée, propulsion
propulser (sens propre et figuré)


voyou « a good thug is a dead thug. »


ton, ta , → « honor thy father and thy mother. »


bois. Building timber = bois de construction « Most of the region's building timber is imported from the south. »
arbres « Most of his land is planted with timber. »


opportun → the timely arrival of the maintenance man


1- picotement, frisson → a tingle of excitement = un frisson d'excitation 2- frissonner (d'excitation) → hours after he had kissed her, she was still tingling → fans who tingle with anticipation as they await the arrival of the teams


éméché. Ex: the wine had made him tipsy.


on tiptoe = sur la pointe des pieds « They stretched their arms and stood on tiptoe. »
to tiptoe= marcher sur la pointe des pieds « He tiptoed out of the room » (=il sortit de la chambre sur la pointe des pieds). « she tiptoed to the window » (=elle alla à la fenêtre sur la pointe des pieds).


oeil pour oeil, dent pour dent. donnant donnant.
It's tit for tat: c'est un prêté pour un rendu.
To give tit for tat: répondre du tac au tac.
To give somebody tit for tat: rendre la pareille à quelqu'un.
a series of tit-for-tat expulsions =  une escalade des expulsions


potin She told me a juicy titbit about Claire.


potin a juicy titbit about sb = une belle sur qn she told me a juicy titbit about Claire.  

Tits Mcgee

fille à grosse poitrine


ricaner, ricanement « a titter went round the audience. »

to (be on the) rampage

se déchaîner Hundreds of fans went on the rampage after the match.   
se livrer à des saccages gangs of youths rampaged on the fringes of the demonstration They went rampaging through the town.

to allay

apaiser, calmer « He did what he could to allay her fears. »        
dissiper « He didn't manage to allay suspicions that he was involved in the fraud. »

to angle for

[+job, promotion]  chercher à obtenir « I was angling for a job »
[+compliments, sympathy]  chercher « she was angling for compliments. » « he's angling for sympathy. »

to backfire

avoir l'effet inverse que prévu « The President's tactics could backfire. » « The rehousing scheme backfired when refugees decided they did not want to move . »
to backfire on sb = se retourner contre qn « His plan backfired on him. »
pétarader « The car backfired. »
backfire = retour de flamme.

to baffle

laisser perplexe The question has baffled experts for years his reaction baffled me «

baffling = déroutant, troublant « the most baffling medical mystery. »

to bail out

[+prisoner] payer la caution de « He has been jailed eight times. Each time, friends bailed him out. »
  [+friend, company] renflouer   he desperately needed cash to bail out the ailing restaurant. « If the bank won't lend me any more money, I know my mother will bail me out. »

to barf


to batter

battre « The boys witnessed their father battering their mother. » « The ship was battered by the waves. »

to be a bombshell

faire l'effet d'une bombe His resignation after thirteen years is a political bombshell.

to be a good all-rounder

être bon en tout. « He's really talented, a good all-rounder. » « Our mini-oven is the perfect all-rounder. »

to be gutted

être dégoûté => I was gutted = j'étais carrément dégoûté.

to be in dire straits

être aux abois there's so many people out of work and and in dire straits

to be in labour

être en travail (=en train d'accoucher) « she's in labour »

to be in one's cups

être ivre « He talked too freely when, as was too often the case, he was in his cups. »

to be infatuated

être sous le charme → I was totally infatuated.
infatuated with sb = entiché de qn → « at the beginning I was infatuated with Maggie. »

infatuation (with person, thing) = engouement → « this is not love but a foolish infatuation. »

to be nauseous

avoir mal au cœur, avoir envie de vomir (=to feel nauseous) « I started feeling dizzy and nauseous. »
nauseous = nauséabond, écœurant « he found her Sixties idealism nauseous. »
◊ prononcer NOSHOUS

to be neck and neck

[horses, runners, competitors] être au coude à coude « They were neck and neck right up to the finishing line. » « Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are running neck-and-neck in California »

to be on the loose

être en liberté « a murderer was on the loose in the surrounding hills ». « A man-eating lion is on the loose somewhere in England. »

to be out of one's league

ne pas être de taille, être hors de portée
Don't even try it, she's way out of your league!
Her success has taken her out of my league : son succès l'a rendue inaccessible aux gens comme moi.

to be overkill

être exagéré « such security measures may be overkill. »

to be prone to sth

être sujet(te)  à qch he is prone to indigestion after rich restaurant meals. He was prone to depression.
être enclin(e) à qch males are more prone to violence
être susceptible de people with fair skin are more prone to develop skin cancer.
error-prone : source d'erreur

to be up to scratch

aux normes (produit)
être à la hauteur (=to be up to the mark)

to be up to the mark

être à la hauteur (fig.) I have to watch my staff all the time to keep them up to the mark. The efforts of the security services have not been quite up to the mark.

to beat about the bush

tourner autour du pot

to beckon

attirer.« All the attractions of the city beckon » = toutes les attractions de la ville nous attirent.
« Fame and fortune beckoned... » La gloire et la fortune (nous) attiraient...
to beckon to sb = faire signe à qn. « He beckoned to the waiter. »
to beckon sb over = faire signe de venir à qn « he beckoned her over » = il lui fit signe de venir. 

to beef up

renforcer a campaign to beef up security Both sides are still beefing up their military strength.   

to befriend

prendre en amitié, se prendre d'amitié pour. He was befriended by a colleague.
venir en aide à, aider

to befuddle

brouiller les idées de problems that are befuddling them.
to be befuddled = avoir les idées brouillées

to behead

décapiter « A soldier was beheaded by jihadists in the public square. » 

to belittle

déprécier, rabaisser, diminuer. « Don't let anyone belittle you. »

to beseech

implorer, supplier, prier « I heard men crying out, beseeching Allah to save them. »

to bewilder

dérouter, déconcerter « The silence from Alex had hurt and bewildered her. »

to bite the bullet

assumer, prendre sur soi « The teacher knew I cheated so i had to bite the bullet and confess » « The severe drought is forcing everybody to bite the bullet and use less water. »

to blush

rougir « I felt myself blush. »       
with a blush = en rougissant. « Ann accepted it with a blush. »
to spare sb's blushes = éviter d'embarrasser qn.

to bob

[boat, cork] flotter Something white was bobbing in the water.   
to bob up and down (in water) = danser, sautiller
to bob about (in the air) = se balancer Huge balloons bobbed about in the sky above.   
to bob up = remonter brusquement à la surface Suddenly an object bobbed up from below the surface.

to brace

redresser « He stood to attention, bracing his shoulders »  « He braced his back against the wall. »
se préparer mentalement « She braced herself for her forthcoming ordeal. »

to brag

se vanter (=to boast) « He'll probably go around bragging to his friends. »
to brag about sth = se vanter de qch « I didn't brag about the salary. »

to brood

broyer du noir I have to try not to brood too much   
to brood about sth = se faire du mauvais sang à propos de qch She constantly broods about her family.

to buckle

boucler, attacher « he hadn't buckled his safety belt »  
voiler « the car clipped my bicycle wheel and badly buckled it the door was beginning to buckle from the intense heat. »
céder « the parents would have buckled under that sort of pressure  » 
[leg, knee] céder « his knees buckled and he fell backwards »

to bug

  [+room] poser des micros dans « He heard that they were planning to bug his office. »
[+phone] brancher sur table d'écoute « I found out my phone was bugged. »
embêter, casser les pieds à « That's what bugs me about the whole business. » « I only did it to bug my parents »

to build up

remonter build her up with kindness and a sympathetic ear I'm trying to build up his morale.   
don't build your hopes up = ne te fais pas d'illusions.

to busk

jouer d'un instrument ou chanter dans la rue « They spent their free time in Glasgow busking in Argyle Street. »

to call off

annuler, rompre (un engagement, des fiançailles), mettre fin à

to call out

pousser un cri → « I called out and my Mum entered the room. »
appeler, faire appel à → « the government called out the army to help put out the fires. »
crier → « then someone called out, "Let's merge!" »
to call out sth to sb = crier qch à qn → « she called out to her daughter: "I'm sorry!". »

to carry a torch for sb

Être amoureux de qqn. « Terry has been carrying a torch for Liz for years, but she seems not to notice. »

to cater for

préparer des repas (pour)
satisfaire, pourvoir à « In a consumer society no effort is made to cater for the needs of the elderly. »
s'adresser à, pourvoir aux besoins de « we can cater for all age groups in our summer schools. »

to cave

s'écrouler, s'effondrer, s'affaisser
fig.: flancher, céder I can't believe you caved!

to chicken out

se dégonfler → I chickened out at the last moment.
to chicken out of doing sth = se dégonfler au moment de faire qch → He chickened out of asking her to the party (il s'est dégonflé au moment de l'inviter à la fête).

to chuck

lancer, jeter → I feel like chucking the bottle through the windscreen. plaquer → he's fed up because his girlfriend's just chucked him.

to chuckle

glousser, ricaner « He chuckled at his own joke. »
to chuckle to oneself = rire sous cape « He chuckled to himself as he read the letter. »
chuckle = gloussement, ricanement « He gave a little chuckle. »

to cleave


to clench

serrer to clench the teeth

to clinch

[+deal] conclure = The European Union and China clinched a deal on Friday limiting the rise in Chinese exports of textiles and clothing to the EU.

to cling to

se cramponner, s'accrocher à The human baby is too weak to cling to its mother The adults cling to old emotional values.

to clink glasses

trinquer (=porter un toast)
trinquer à la santé de qn = to drink to sb('s health)

to clutter

encombrer « I don't have much time for girls who overdose and clutter up the wards. »
fouillis, fatras « The rooms were full of clutter. » « There's too much clutter in here. »
cluttered = encombré « a dirty, cluttered room filled with the evidence of a sloppy man. »        
cluttered screen = écran rempli de fenêtres.

to conceal

cacher, dissimuler « The scarf concealed a revolver ; about 3kg of cocaine was found concealed in his luggage » ; « The duke might be concealing a secret from me » ; « They are trying to conceal the truth. »

to conceal

cacher, dissimuler. « The scarf concealed a revolver. » « His "heart attack" was in fact a concealed murder. »

to condone

fermer les yeux sur, approuver (tacitement). « I don't condone cheating. »

to contend with sth

affronter qch, faire face It's bad enough when you have to contend with accidental fires   
to contend for sth  = se disputer qch three parties are contending for power.

to convene

convoquer, assembler
se réunir, s'assembler « the parliament will convene on April 17 »

to cram

fourrer « He crammed the bank notes into his pockets and ran off » « I’ve tried to cram all the wisdom I’ve accumulated in my book. »

to cramp sb's style

priver qn de ses moyens He thinks marriage would cramp his style.

to crave

[+attention] = avoir un grand besoin de Teenagers crave attention.
[+food, drink, cigarette, fresh air] = avoir envie de, avoir terriblement envie de, être avide de « she craved luxury. Baker was craving for a smoke. »
= to gasp I'm gasping for a cigarette (je meurs d'envie de fumer une cigarette)

to crimp

to put a crimp on = mettre le frein à, affecter → « U.S. recession is likely to put a crimp on business worldwide. »

to cross the T's and dot the I's

-Have you written your speech yet ?
-I've drafted it. « Now all that's left to do is basically cross the Ts and dot the Is. »

to crumble

s'émietter, s'effriter, s'ébouler, se délabrer, tomber en ruines
(fig) [marriage, market, economy, empire, coalition] s'effondrer

to cull

[+animals] procéder à l'abattage sélectif de →« If you have a flock of ewes it is best to cull them before mating. »
to cull a flock = procéder à un abattage sélectif pour contrôler un troupeau
sélectionner → « we'll cull the best ideas and convene a seminar to discuss them »« Laura was passing around photographs she'd culled from the albums at home »
to cull information from sth = tirer des informations de qch → « information culled from movies he had seen on television. »
massacre, abattage → « a big elephant cull in Zimbabwe. »

to cut right to the chase

aller droit au but, ne pas y aller par quatre chemins. « Let's cut right to the chase »

to dangle

1- [hands, feet, legs] pendre → He sat on the wall, his legs dangling → huge earrings dangled from her ears. 2- faire balancer → he dangled the keys in front of me. 3- (fig) faire miroiter → the prospect of an exciting buy is dangled before the media → to dangle a carrot in front of sb (=tendre la carotte à qn) → the club has dangled a £400,000 carrot in front of Darlington.

to daunt

intimider he was daunted by the high quality of work they expected

to delve into sth

fouiller dans qch « She delved into her rucksack and pulled out a folder. » fig.: « she delved into her mother's past. »

to delve into sth

fouiller dans qch « She delved into her rucksack and pulled out a folder. » « She delved into her mother's past. »

to dent

[+car] cabosser I dented my car.   
ébranler (fig.) That sort of thing dents your confidence. 

to deride

tourner en dérision, railler « Many MPs deride his management skills. » « She used to deride me for my geekery. »

to despise

mépriser → « I can never forgive him. I despise him. »

to drag one's feet

trainer les pieds, faire preuve de mauvaise volonté => Though marriage was his idea, he began to drag his feet when wedding preparations began.

to drain

exténuer the week's emotional turmoil had drained me.
to feel drained (of energy, emotion) = être épuisé

to drop the f-bomb

utilisation malvenue du mot "fuck". « News anchor dropped the F-bomb live on air. » « Dude, stop dropping the f-bomb. »

to dump

déposer → « we dumped our stuff at the hotel. »
abandonner → « the car was dumped on the motorway. »
to dump waste = déverser des déchets →« the company dumped the waste in the river. »
vendre à bas prix
plaquer → « he's just dumped his girlfriend. »

to ensnare

prendre au piège the spider must wait for prey to be ensnared on its web feminism is simply another device to ensnare women.

to equivocate

user de faux-fuyants (=to be evasive) I'm not trying to equivocate here

to expel

chasser, expulser « Peasants were expelled from their villages. »
renvoyer, exclure « He had been expelled from his previous school for stealing. »

to falter

chanceler, vaciller, hésiter, fléchir « his steps faltered » = son pas se fit plus hésitant. « From that moment onwards he never faltered in his resolve. »   

to fathom

comprendre, sonder, pénétrer (un mystère)
Jeremy's passive attitude was hard to fathom I really couldn't fathom what she was talking about.

to faze

déconcerter, démonter → big concert halls do not faze Melanie. → he wasn't a bit fazed by the fact that I was gay.

to fill sb in

mettre qn au courant « Look, whatever you got going on, fill me in, cause I'm in the dark here. »

to fix up

[+meeting] arranger
to fix sb up with sth = trouver qch pour qn

to flesh out

[+story, plan] développer « he talked with him for an hour and a half, fleshing out the details of the plan. »

to flounder

battre de l'aile « The economy was floundering. »        
tourner en rond « I was floundering. I worked in a number of jobs. I had no direction in my life. »     

to foil

[plan, attempt] déjouer, contrecarrer

to fondle

caresser He tried to fondle her

to forsake

(forsook - forsaken) = abandonner → « Do not forsake me, father. »

to foster

placer -> the children were fostered (out) at an early age les enfants
foster child = enfant masculin placé dans une famille d'accueil
foster home = famille d'accueil
foster mother/father = mère/père de la famille d'accueil

to fret

se tracasser « Don't fret, Mary. »
to fret about/over sth : se tracasser au sujet de qch « Philip was fretting about his exams. » « I don't think people should fret over this. »

to frog-march

to frog-march sb out = faire sortir qn de force

to frolick

gambader « She loves to frolick in the meadows. »

to gallivant around

se balader (=to go gallivanting) I can't go gallivanting like a youngster A girl's place is in the home, not gallivanting around and filling her head with nonsense.

to garner

[+information, +support, +votes] recueillir the bush administration manipulated and withheld intelligence in order to garner support for the invasion of Iraq

to gasp

haleter, souffler to gasp for breath / for air
avoir le souffle coupé to gasp in / with amazement = avoir le souffle coupé par la surprise
I'm gasping for a cigarette = je meurs d'envie de fumer une cigarette = I'm craving for a cigarette
I'm gasping (for a drink) = je meurs de soif

to gasp

haleter he was gasping to gasp for breath.
the last gasp of sth = les derniers moments de qch The last gasp of a monetary system.

to get a kick out of sth

se régaler de qch

to get cracking

s'y mettre « Well, time to get cracking ! »

to give sb a tongue-lashing

houspiller After a cruel tongue lashing, he threw the girl out of the group.

to go astray

s'égarer the letter had gone astray.
fig.: quitter le droit chemin.
to lead sb astray = détourner qn du droit chemin don't worry, I won't lead you astray.

to go like clockwork

marcher comme sur des roulettes → « everything went like clockwork. »

to go the way of the dodo

disparaître, devenir obsolète (=to go the way of the dinosaurs). « Now that Blu-Ray has caught on, DVD has gone the way of the dodo. »

to goof

faire une gaffe
to goof around = faire l'imbécile

to graze

paître, brouter « Sheep may safely graze. »
frôler, effleurer A« bullet grazed the back of his head. »
écorcher « I grazed my legs as he pulled me up. »

to grind

écraser « Ushiba ground his cigarette beneath his heel. »
aiguiser « The blade had been ground to a sharp edge. »
to grind one's teeth = grincer des dents « she grinds her teeth in her sleep. »
to grind to a halt = s'immobiliser « The truck ground to a halt after a hundred yards » « The peace process has ground to a halt while Israel struggles to form a new government. »
corvée « the long grind of revision. »
the daily grind = le train-train quotidien.

to grope

avancer/chercher à tâtons, tâtonner « He groped his way through the darkness » « I groped for the timetable I had in my pocket. » « Europe is still groping for solutions to the crisis. » « She groped for the right words. »
peloter « He tried to grope her and put his hand up her skirt. »

to grovel

(fig.) ramper He whined and grovelled and apologised
to grovel before/to sb I don't grovel to anybody.

to hang around

traîner (= to hang about)→ « hanging around the streets with nothing to do »

to hatch

[chick, egg] éclore « She stays in the nest until the chicks hatch »
to be hatched = éclos « The young disappeared soon after they were hatched. »
[+scheme, plot] tramer « What if the 9/11 conspiracy were actually hatched in Washington DC, at the highest leves of the US governement? »

to have a bone for

to be infatuated → man I have a bone for this girl, I want to hook up with her.

to have a hard-on

bander, avoir la trique

to heighten

augmenter « The violence has heightened tension in the state. » « Teachers can help build students' vocabulary knowledge by heightening their interest in words. »
to heighten awareness = sensibiliser. « This association seeks to heighten awareness about animal rights. »

to hinder

entraver, faire obstacle à, gêner. « Further scientific research is hindered by lack of cash. » « His progress in the company has been hindered by his lack of self-confidence. »

to holler


to huddle

se blottir we huddle out of the cold in a small, warm room   
to huddle around a fire = se blottir autour d'un feu
to huddle together = se blottir les uns contre les autres
a huddle = un petit groupe they collapsed in a huddle. 

to hump

(argot) baiser Marcel, stop humping the lamp! Teach your dog to hump your leg on command!

to imbue

to imbue sth with sth = insuffler qch à qch. « A brief to imbue the brand with a subtler, more aristocratic vibe. »
to imbue sb with +feeling] = remplir qn de. « His presence imbued her with a feeling of security. »
to be imbued with a feeling = être pénétré d'un sentiment. « An officer imbued with a sense of duty. »

to indict

[prononcer endite] inculper => « prosecutors are only supposed to indict people on stuff they can prove. »

to intersperse with

parsemer de. « To intersperse flowers among shrubs. Tp intersperse a dull speech with interesting anecdotes. »

to kick the bucket

mourir, casser sa pipe, rendre l'âme « The old horse finally kicked the bucket » « I think my sewing machine has kicked the bucket. »

to lash out

donner des coups -> she lashed out in all directions = elle se débattit de toutes ses forces
fig.: fustiger -> he lashed out at his critics = il a fustigé ses détracteurs

to lay on

mettre, installer, organiser → A swish gala banquet had been laid on in their honour at the Imperial Hotel. They laid on a special meal (=ils ont organisé un repas soigné).
mettre en place → they laid on extra buses (=ils ont mis en place un service de bus supplémentaire).

to lay sth bare

mettre qch/qn à nu the newspaper laid bare the TV star's drug excesses Berlusconi laid bare

to loom

[mountain, iceberg] surgir
(=to be imminent) [danger, crisis] menacer, paraître imminent.

to lure

attrait the lure of rural life keep him away from the lure of other women.
attirer par la ruse to lure sb into sth : they were being lured into a trap he had lured her into his room.   
[+customers] attirer to lure sb into [+shop, restaurant] = attirer qn dans they use low prices to lure customers into their superstores.

to make up for

compenser I'm sorry I broke your vase - I'll make up for it. What the country lacks in natural resources it makes up for in bright ideas.

to maul

mettre en pièces He was mauled by a bear He was mauled by the tabloids.

to meddle

s'en mêler « It's best not to meddle. »
to meddle in sth = se mêler de qch « What had induced the woman to meddle in his affairs? »
to meddle with sth = se mêler de qch « I dared not meddle with my wife's plans. »

to mesmerize

ensorceler, hypnotiser « He mesmerized the crowd. »
mesmerizing = ensorcelant, hypnotisant « She has a mesmerising smile. »

to mix and match

to mix and matchassortir, assortiment. « You can mix and match colours and sizes. »

to moisturize


to mull over

[+idea, problem] réfléchir à, ruminer mull it over = penses-y

to muse

méditer, songer, réfléchir « let's take some time to muse about our new life »  « "I wonder what happened to him", she mused »
musing = songerie

to nip

pincer « one of those little dogs that runs after you, nipping your ankles. »
mordre « The horse nipped me on the back of the head. »
pincement, morsure
to give sb a nip = mordre qqn. « He gave her a nip. »
petit verre « a nip of whisky »
gorgée « she took a nip from a flask of cognac. »

to nod

faire oui de la tête « "Are you okay?" I asked. She nodded. »
faire un signe de tête « All the girls nodded and said "Hi". »

to nut

éjaculer « I'm gonna nut! »

to outsmart

se montrer plus malin que, se montrer plus futé que « she used her wits to outsmart the enemy. »
to try to outsmart (someone) = jouer au plus fin (= to have a battle of wits)

to outwit

se montrer plus malin que « To win the presidency he had first to outwit his rivals »

to override

[+order, objection, decision] passer outre this text opens the possibility for Islam to override democracy
[+consideration, wishes] primer sur

to paddle

donner une fessée
 paddling = fessée (=spanking) « that's a paddlin' » = ça mérite une fessée.

to pamper

dorloter « children pampered by nannies » « Why don't you let your mother pamper you for a while? »

to parch

dessécher The hot sun parched the bare earth.

to partake

participer, prendre part à you will probably be asked about whether you partake in vigorous sports
to partake of [+food, drink] prendre He refused to partake of the modest meal she had prepared.

to pass along

faire passer « he lit a joint a passed it along. » « It was the first time that this magazine was passed along to me. »

to pass away


to pass gas

proper term for "fart". Ex: go outside to pass gas !

to pencil in

[+appointment] fixer provisoirement « The tour was pencilled in for the following March. »
to pencil sb in (for appointment) compter sur, marquer qn provisoirement « I'll pencil you in for Friday. Phone me if you need to cancel. »

to peruse

lire attentivement, examiner, consulter « We perused the company's financial statements for the past five years. » « She found the information while she was perusing a copy of Life magazine. »

to pimp out

refaire une beauté à qqch (voiture, objet) I've pimped my computer out - Now it has a transparent side and florescent lamps inside it.

to pine (for)

(se) languir (de) « She's pining for her fiancé. The dog is pining while his master is away. »

to pluck

cueillir. To pluck a flower « I plucked a lemon from the tree. »
arracher « She plucked the baby out of my arms. »
to be plucked to safety = être mis à l'abri « The children were plucked to safety as the building burned around them.         »
pincer les cordes d'un instrument. « To pluck the strings of a guitar. »    
to pluck up courage = prendre son courage à deux mains
to pluck up the courage to do sth = trouver le courage de faire qch « I eventually plucked up enough courage to ask her for her number. »
to pluck at = tirer sur « The boy plucked at Adam's sleeve. »

to plummet

[prix, taux, popularité] chuter « In Tokyo, share prices have plummeted for the sixth successive day. » « The Prime Minister's popularity has plummeted to an all-time low. »
to plummet into the sea = s'abîmer en mer « The plane plummeted into the sea. »

to poach

[+worker] débaucher
  [+member, customer] voler
[+ideas] voler, détourner

to proofread

corriger, relire

to pull over

se ranger → the car pulled over to the side of the road
contraindre à s'arrêter (police) → I got pulled over and charged with a DUI.

to pull together

se serrer les coudes they would be far better off, emotionally, if they all pulled together. In times of crisis, we all need to pull together.   
to pull o.s. together = se ressaisir She made an effort to pull herself together before going into the room.

to purloin

dérober « he must have managed to purloin a copy of the key. »

to purport

prétendre « This is a fictional drama that does not purport to be a documentary. »
se vouloir « A society that purports to be modern and civilized. »
purported = soi disant  « Many of the purported benefits of legalised gambling are illusory. »

to put up with

tolérer, supporter « → you're late, Shelly, and I won't put up with it. → She could put up with a lot, but she wouldn't tolerate such violence. → I'm not going to put up with it any longer. »

to quell

[revolt, opposition] réprimer, étouffer
[emotion] dompter, maîtriser
[pain] apaiser, soulager I married her to give the illusion of meaning, to quell the panic.
[doubts, fears] dissiper

to quench

éteindre [+flames]
to quench one's thirst = se désaltérer « He stopped to quench his thirst at a stream. »

to rankle

rester en travers de la gorge (fig.) → I've tried very hard to forget it but it still rankles.
to rankle with sb → his behaviour rankles with me still = sa conduite me reste encore en travers de la gorge.

to reach out

tendre la main
to reach out to sb = tendre la main à qn (sens propre et figuré).

to reckon

[+amount] estimer
considérer, estimer
to reckon on = compter sur, s'attendre à
to reckon with = tenir compte de (=take into account)
to reckon without = ne pas tenir compte de

to relent

plier, céder. « Finally her father relented and allowed her to marry. » « The government will not relent in its pursuit of members of terrorist organizations. »

→ relentless(ly) = implacable(ment). « The relentless heat of the desert. » « They fought relentlessly for their rights. »

to resent

en vouloir à → she resents her mother for being so tough on her.
déplaire → I resent his attitude towards her (=son attitude envers elle me déplaît).

to rise to the occasion

se montrer à la hauteur de la situation → « John had risen to the occasion with an insight that surprised us all. »

to roam

errer, vagabonder → « They roam far and wide... »
to roam free [animal, convicted] = se promener en liberté
to roam the streets = se promener dans les rues, rôder dans les rues → « Dozens of gangs roamed the streets »
to roam around = traîner → « There were gangs of kids on motorbikes roaming around. »

to ruffle

[+hair, feathers] ébouriffer
(fig.) to ruffle sb's feathers = chiffonner qn
[+clothes] chiffonner
[+water] faire moutonner → a stiff breeze ruffled the surface of the sea.
[+person] décontenancer, faire perdre son flegme à → He was not easily ruffled.

to run aground

to run aground(s')échouer. « Many small boats run aground or sink as a result of bad weather. » « Poland's plans to privatise its industry could run aground for lack of domestic funds. »

to sag

être détendu, s'affaisser, ployer, pendre, tomber (propre et fig.) the bed sags in the middle = le lit s'affaisse au milieu
[prices, stocks, demand] fléchir, baisser
traîner the novel sags a bit in the middle = le roman perd un peu de son intérêt au milieu

[in prices, stocks, demand] fléchissement, baisse.

to scarper

ficher le camp « Everyone panicked and scarpered out of the windows. »

to scavenge

faire les poubelles, fouiller, récupérer. « Children often scavenge in the dump for anything valuable. » « Vultures scavenge for food in the savannah. » « After the market, some people scavenge for unsold fruits and vegetables. »

scavenger : charognard ; éboueur.

to scold

sermonner, gronder « Mother scolded me this morning for being rude. »

to scoop up

ramasser « A giant floating trash collector will try to scoop up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  You can scoop up everything in these shops : clothes, books, housewares, toys, records... » « I scooped my son up in my arms. »

to screen

protéger « I moved in front of her trying to screen her.  The house is screened from the road by high hedges. She screened her eyes from the wind. »
[+film] projeter , diffuser « The series is likely to be screened in January. »
  [+candidates, employees] contrôler « The Secret Service screens several hundred people every week »    « women screened for breast cancer »
[+telephone calls] filtrer « I employ a secretary to screen my telephone calls »

to shag

baiser the man will shag his wife tonight.

to shatter

briser, faire voler en éclats, anéantir. « I shattered the glass. » « My dreams have been shattered. » « My whole world just shattered around me. »

to shove

pousser He dragged her out to the door and shoved her into the street She shoved as hard as she could.   
to shove sb out of the way =  écarter qn en le poussant
fourrer We'll shove an extra paragraph in here. Shove your hands in your pockets
to give sb/sth a shove = pousser qn/qch The car won't start. Can you give it a shove?

to shrug

hausser les épaules. To shrug one's shoulders. « Atlas Shrugged. »
haussement d'épaules. A shrug of the shoulders.

to shun

éviter, fuir

to skim

[+milk] écrémer
(=glide over) raser, effleurer
to skim across = glisser sur « the little boat was skimming across the sunlit surface of the bay »
[+notes, letter, article] parcourir

to skim through = parcourir

to skirt

(= to skirt round, to skirt around) contourner (sens propre et figuré) « he tried to skirt some of the issues »

to skulk

se cacher « They were skulking in a corner ».   
to skulk off = s'en aller en douce

to skyrocket

[prices, rates, costs] monter en flèche → Production has dropped while prices and unemployment have skyrocketed ; Skyrocketing gas prices make fuel efficiency a key concern of consumers and manufacturers.

to slam

1- claquer. Ex: to slam the door ; the door slammed 2- =throw → to slam sb/sth against the wall = jeter qn/qch contre le mur 3- éreinter, démolir (fig.). Ex: the new proposals have been slammed by all the opposition parties. 4- to slam into sth = s'écraser contre qch. Ex: the plane slammed into the building.

to slay, slew, slain

tuer, assassiner. « St George slayed the dragon and rescued the princess. » « Men with courage do not slay dragons, they ride them... »

to sneak

to sneak in = entrer furtivement
to sneak out = sortir furtivement → « that night I sneaked out of my dormitory. »
to sneak up on sb = s'approcher de qn sans faire de bruit
to sneak a peek at sth = to sneak a look at sth = regarder furtivement qch

to sneeze


to snicker

pouffer de rire
snickering = rire étouffé

to snipe

to snipe at sb = critiquer qn → « the Spanish media were still sniping at the British press yesterday. »
to snipe at sb/sth = tirer sur qn/qch sans se faire voir → « gunmen have repeatedly sniped at US Army positions. »

to snoop

fouiner « she's always snooping, trying to find out what we're up to. »
to snoop on sb = espionner qn

to soak

tremper → « water came in the tent and soaked both sleeping bags. »
[+dishes, pots] faire tremper, laisser tremper → « soak the material in bleach for several hours. »

to soothe

apaiser, calmer. « Amandine's voice is very soothing. »
soothing balm : baume apaisant. « A soothing balm for jangled nerves. »

to spark

susciter, provoquer. The incident was the catalyst that sparked the revolution => c'est l'incident qui a déclenché la révolution.
The news sparked (off) an intense debate => la nouvelle déclencha un débat animé.
jeter des étincelles
spark = étincelle (propre et figuré). Whenever they meet the sparks fly => chaque fois qu'ils se rencontrent, ça fait des étincelles.

to spawn

engendrer « the computer revolution and the devices it has spawned. »
frayer, frai (poissons). 

to splurge

dépenser sans compter (≈to go on a spending spree)  Let's splurge and take a taxi home.
a splurge = une folie  « Her last splurge was a last-minute plane ticket to Miami. »

to squander

gaspiller, gâcher  « Do not squander time. That's the stuff life is made of. » « He squandered two chances in the space of three minutes. »

to stagger

chanceler , tituber I staggered to the nearest chair.
stupéfier an event that staggered the world.
[holidays] étaler, échelonner The summer holidays are staggered.

to stay current

être au courant => to stay current with the news

to sting

[insect] piquer bees do not normally sting unless provoked. I've been stung.

to stroke

caresser he stroked her hand = il lui caressait la main

to stumble

trébucher, tituber
to stumble over the words = buter sur les mots
to stumble on, upon = tomber sur

to subside

[flood, waters] baisser
[storm, wind, fear, pain] s'apaiser when God begins to take control fear and resistance will begin to subside
[land, earth, building] s'affaisser

to supercede

remplacer, supplanter « Steam locomotives were superseded by diesel. »

to take chances

courir le risque, prendre des risques I'll take my chances winners take chances

to tick off

cocher → « he ticked off our names on the list. »
passer un savon à qn → « She ticked me off for being late. »
mettre qn en rogne → « I just think it's rude and it's ticking me off. »
to be ticked off at sb = être en rogne contre qn → « she's still ticked off at him for brushing her off » (brush off = envoyer balader).

to tickle

chatouiller « I was tickling him, and he was giggling. » « A beard doesn't scratch, it just tickles. » « This scarf tickles. »
fig.: réjouir « it tickled me to see them together again. » « This is so adorable, it tickles my heart ! »

to tinker with sth

bricoler qch (=to fiddle around with) « he loves tinkering with the engine. »
to tinker with a problem = bricoler des solutions « Instead of the Government admitting its error, it just tinkered with the problem. »  

to toss

1- lancer, jeter. Ex: she screwed the paper into a ball and tossed it into the fire ; he tossed Bill a can of beer. 2- ballotter Ex: as the plane was tossed up and down, the pilot tried to stabilise it ; the sea tossed the small boat like a cork. 3- to toss a salad : tourner une salade 4- to toss pancakes : faire sauter des crêpes 5- to toss a coin : jouer à pile ou face (= to flip a coin)→ we tossed a coin to decide who would go out and buy the buns.

to tout

to tout for sth = chercher qch An attempt to tout for a sponsor   
to tout for business = chercher du travail
faire l'article pour an US election campaign, with slick television ads touting the candidates the practice of using celebrities to tout products   
to be touted as sth = être présenté comme qch The product is touted as being completely natural.

to twitter

[birds] gazouiller
[person] jacasser

to undergo

subir → « he recently underwent brain surgery. »
to be undergoing change = être en train de changer
to be undergoing repairs = être en réparation → « the car is undergoing repairs. »

to underpin

sous-tendre « Several factors underpin this policy. »

to unfold

[+story, tale] narrer
[events, facts, story] se dérouler the unfolding events

to unravel

(se) démêler, (se) défaire « He could unravel a knot that others wouldn't even attempt. »
(se) dénouer « Carter was still trying to unravel the truth of the woman's story » « She is trying to unravel the mystery of her husband's disappearance. » « Gradually, James' story unravels. »

to unwind

dérouler « I was unwinding my bandage. »
se détendre « reading is a good way to unwind. »

to vanquish

vaincre « a happy ending is only possible because the hero has first vanquished the dragons. » « With knowledge and wisdom, evil could be vanquished on this earth. »
the vanquished = les vaincus

to wind

[+rope, bandage] to wind sth around sth = enrouler qch autour de qch → « wind the wire round the screws. → She wound the bandage around his knee. »
[+clock, toy] remonter → « he stopped to wind his watch. »
[road, river] serpenter → to wind through sth = serpenter à travers qch → « The river winds through the town. → The road winds through the valley. »

to wither

se faner.
fig.: dépérir, péricliter « the question now is whether the railways will flourish or wither. »
to wither on the vine = pourrir sur l'arbre, être gâché. « the apples will wither on the vine if not picked soon » « Fred thinks he is withering on the vine because no one has hired him. »

to withhold

[+support, consent] refuser
 [+evidence, information] dissimuler despite the law's requirements he could withhold some of the information 
 [+money] retenir

to withhold

refuser to withhold payment = refuser de payer
taire, cacher to withhold the truth from somebody = cacher la vérité à quelqu'un.

to woo

courtiser, faire la cour à, chercher à plaire à. « How shall I woo her ? » « The candidate tries to woo reluctant Millennials. »

to wrestle

lutter corps à corps « He leapt onto the vehicle and wrestled (with) the driver. »
to wrestle with sth [+problem, question] se débattre avec qch. « He wrestled with the decision for several weeks, wondering what he should do. »
to arm-wrestle (with sb) = faire un bras de fer (avec qn). « Did any of you boys ever arm-wrestle? »

to wuther

to blow strongly (wind). → "Wuthering Heights" est le titre original du roman d'Emily Brontë "Les Hauts de Hurlevent" (XIXe siècle), qui a inspiré de nombreuses œuvres audiovisuelles, dont le tube "Wuthering Heights" de Kate Bush : "Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy etc."

to yearn

to yearn for sth = désirer vivement qch « He yearned for freedom.  » « Couples who have only daughters and yearn for a son. »
to yearn to do sth = désirer vivement de faire qch « I yearned to see him again. »

to yearn

désirer vivement (qch) « He yearned for freedom. » « I yearned to see her again. »




innovateur, novateur « Trailblazing experiments. » « A trail-blazing agreement that could lead to a global ban on nuclear weapons. »


passager, éphémère. The transient nature of fashion. « She had a number of transient, casual relationships with fellow students. »

trash grabber tool

pince à déchets


ruse ex : they are notorious for resorting to trickery in order to impress their clients.


tiercé. « The trifecta I've been betting for ten years finally hit! »




idioties « You expect me to read tripe like that? » 


absentéisme (scolaire) « schools need to reduce levels of truancy. »


atout she played a trump = elle a joué atout.
[+card] couper
(=outdo) surenchérir sur The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank has trumped Lloyds by raising its offer   
to turn up trumps (=succeed against expectation) = créer la surprise Sylvester Stallone has come up trumps at the US box office with his new movie Cliffhanger   
trump card = atout, carte maîtresse


cours, leçons
tuition fees = frais de scolarité
private tuition = cours particuliers


clé en main a turnkey solution for your business


assistance (=attendance)
[+voters] participation
it was a good turnout = il y a eu beaucoup de monde.
a high turnout = une participation importante.
a low turnout = une faible participation, une forte abstention.


(at meeting)  assistance
(in election)  participation


défense (d'éléphant)

tuxedo, tux

smoking (vêtement). The tuxedo or dinner jacket (trendy 100 years ago) has endured as a classic symbol of the fashionable man.


pince à épiler => a pair of tweezers


brindille « Crows sometimes use tools, from twigs to their own feathers. »
piger « He didn't twig what was going on until it was too late. » « She kept dropping hints but I still didn't twig. »


scintillement, scintiller « At night, lights twinkle in distant villages. »
[eyes] pétillement, pétiller « I noticed a twinkle in her eye at the suggestion. »
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