ESL Resources for Students & Teachers - Simple English News

Active Words





ability: natural talent, being able to do something.

abroad: in a foreign country.

to accompany: to join.

accountancy: keeping and inspecting financial records of businesses, institutions or individuals.

accurate: exact, truthful.

to acquire: to get by one’s effort, American Heritage Dictionary.

to achieve: to reach a goal, result.

addictive: relating to a habit that is hard to stop. He is addicted to drugs.

adolescence: (usually) a person’s teenage years.

to age: to get older.

airborne: in flight, flying.

alliance: an agreement to work together.

to amaze: to make a great impression.

The Americas (also America): North and South America.

ancestor: someone who is your relative and who lived a long time ago.

antagonist: a person who opposes other person, opponent.

anthem: a hymn.

to apologize: to say that one is sorry.

appliance: a household item (often electric) used for a purpose, ie, a toaster, hair-dryer.

appriase: to give your opinion about the value of something.

archery: shooting arrows.

archipelago: a large group of islands.

architecture: buildings.

as early early: very early.

audax: a long-distance cycling event which participants must navigate within a predefined time limit.

autumn (BrE): the season of the year after summer and before winter.



bachelor: a man who is not married.

backlash: a strong negative reaction.

baldness: lack of hair growth, hair loss.

ballpark: a baseball stadium, a place where ball games are played.

to ban: to prohibit, to forbid.

barn: a farm building used for storing crops or for housing livestock.

bastion: a fortified place.

to be crazy about: to like something very much.

to be credited with: to be responsible for (inventing, making, producing).

to be fed up: to have had enough, to be tired of.

beloved: well liked, popular.

benefits: positive uses.

beverage: drink.

bicentenary: the 200th anniversary.

The Big Apple: a term for New York City.

blender (also liquidizer): a small electric appliance used in the kitchen for cutting vegetables, fruit, etc.

blight: a disease of plants.

blistering: (of sunlight) very strong, intense.

blizzarda powerful snowstorm.

blockhead: a stupid person.

bloodstream: the blood flowing through a circulatory system, Random House Unabridged Dictionary.

to bother: to disturb, to cause trouble.

bout: a (boxing) contest.

brainchild: an original idea.

to brew: to make beer.

brewery: a company which makes beer.

buff: a person who is interested in a particualr thing, a fan.

buffer: a device at the end of a railway car to absorb shock.

buffoonish: like a clown.

bug: (informal) a virus.

bully: a person who is cruel to smaller or weaker people.

to burn up: to be completely destroyed by heat (e.g. objects entering the earth’s atmosphere).

to busk:to perform outdoors.

bustling: full of activity.



candlelight: the light of a candle.

catch: a problematic downside.

catfish: someone using a false identity on social network media in order to cheat.

cemetery: a place in which dead people are buried.

chalk: a white or coloured substance used for writing or drawing.

chateau: a large country house or castle.

to cheer up: don‘t be sad.

childbirth: giving birth to a child.

to chillax: to calm down and relax.

to chime: to make a musical sound, ie, from a bell or a clock.

the Chinese: Chinese people.

chocoholic: a person who is very fond of eating chocolate.

chocolatier: maker or seller of chocolate.

chore: work done around the house, ie, washing dishes.

Christmas: an annual Christian festival commemorating and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ held on Decmeber 25.

cigarette butt: the filter end of a cigarette that you throw away after you have finished smoking.

to claim: to state that something is true.

cliff: a steep high face of a rock (according to WordNet).

climber: a person or thing that goes up towards the top of.

clockwork: machinery that is used especially in mechanical clocks.

clothing line: it is a collection of clothes in the fashion industry put together to show designer’s inspiration, often featuring new trends during a particular season.

cold spell: a period of cold weather.

to come true: to fulfil, to happen.

commotion: a noisy disturbance.

complaint: a statement that you are not satisfied with something.

to commence: to start.

concentration camp: a place where prisoners of war are kept under harsh, terrible conditions.

to conduct: to lead, direct, manage.

to consider: to think about.

to construct:to build.

contentedness: satisfaction.

to contradict: to show the opposite of something.

to converse: to speak, hold a conversation.

conglomeration: (in business) a group of several companies.

to convince: to persuade, to win someone to your side of an argument.

to cope: to deal with something successfully.

copyleft: opposite of copyright.

cosmonaut: a Soviet or Russian astronaut.

cottage: a small house by a lake or mountain that is often used as a vacation home.

crane: a device for lifting and moving heavy weights.

craze: a temporary fashion, mania.

crisis: a difficult time, a dangerous time.

crude oil: petroleum as it comes from the ground.

cruelty: behaviour that causes harm.

cub: the young of a bear.

cub reporter: a young or inexperienced reporter employed by a newspaper.

cuisine: the making and style of food, ie, Italian cuisine, Japanese cuisine.

cutlery: forks, knives and spoons used for eating.

to cut off: to stop the supply of something.



daily: a daily newspaper.

to dash: to move, run quickly.

debris: the remains of something which was destroyed or broken down.

to debut: to appear for the first time.

deceased: dead.

to deduce: to form a conclusion or opinion about something.

demand: the need to buy something — which one has the ability to buy.

deodorizer: a product that removes a bad smell from something.

dependence: needing something, relying on something.

to depict: to show in a picture.

descent: the origin of a person.

desirable: something that someone would want, something that is worth having.

destination: a place to which a person is travelling.

devastating: causing damage.

devotee: a big fan, supporter, enthusiast.

diplomat: a person, such as an ambassador, who represents a government.

dire: horrible, terrible.

dismal: depressing, cheerless.

display: exhibition.

dispute: disagreement, argument.

dog days of summer: the hot days of summer.

dormant: inactive.

dough: flour and liquid mixed together.

to download: to transfer a file from one computer to another.

to dub: to give name to.

to duck: to bend down suddenly (to avoid a punch or a thrown object).

dulcet: (especially of sounds) sweet and pleasant to the ear.

dung: excrement, especiall of animals.

dwelling: a place where people live in (a house, flat, etc.).

to dye: to color (colour BrE) something.



eager: strong interest or enthusiasm.

earworm: a tune or part of a song that keeps repeating in your mind.

elder: older.

elevation: the height above sea or ground level.

to elope: to run away secretly to get married.

to embrace: to put one’s arms around another person.

to enable: to make possible.

to endorse: to give support.

entrepreneur: a person who starts a business.

epitome: a typical example of a particular type.

erroneously: wrongly, mistakenly.

to establish: to set up.

evocative: that produces especially emotional feelings.

exasperating: frustrating, irritating.

Executive Board: a group of people that are directly involved in making the most importantdecision for an organistation.

exhausted: very tired.

expense: it is the money you must pay for something.

exponentially: used to describe something which has grown extremely fast.

extraterrestrial: outside earth.

extrovert: a talkative person.



fall (AmE): the season of the year after summer and before winter.

to fall apart: break up, (of an organization) not to continue.

fancier: a person who has a special liking towards something: ie, John likes dogs, he is a dog fancier.

faux pas: behaviour that is not polite.

favorite: (in sports) the player or team that is most likely to win.

feline: belonging to the cat family.

feud: a strong quarrel or argument which often exists for a long time.

fidelity: not cheating on your partner.

to file: to send in a report.

to fire: to remove someone from a job.

firm (noun): a business, company.

flavour: (flavor AmE) a taste.

to flee (flee – fled -fled): to run away.

fleeting: not lasting, temporary.

flux: a constant change.

footie: (slang) football, soccer.

footing: basis, base.

forces: an army or military.

fortune: a great amount of money or possessions, wealth.

fraction: a small part of a larger whole.

frequently: often.



gadget: a device.

gaffe: a mistake.

game: wild animals which are hunted.

gamification: the concept of adding playful elements into a game in order to encourage the engagement of participants.

garlic: a plant, with a very strong taste and smell, which is used in cookery and herbal medicine.

gather: to come together.

to get by: to make enough money to live on, pay bills, buy food, etc.

to get upset: to become angry.

glare: a very strong, bright light.

to glow: to produce light.

gondola: a Venetian boat.

to go through the roof: to rise (prices) very quickly, to go up very sharply.

to go to the polls: to vote.

to grant: to allow, to let have, to give permission.

greenback: the American dollar.

the green light: approval, permission.

grubby: dirty.

gruelling: physically difficult or tiring.



haberdashery:: small things used in sewing, a shop selling these items.

hailstone: a small ball of ice that falls like rain.

to hand out: to give out, supply.

harsh:: cruel.

harvest: the crops that have been gathered in a season.

to hatch: to come out from an egg.

to have egg on one’s face: to make an embarrassing mistake, to feel like a fool.

to have two left feet: to dance badly.

heat sink: a device for absorbing excessive heat.

heavyweight: a boxer that weighs more than 79.4 kilograms.

to hibernate: to sleep during the winter.

hiker: a person (tourist) who goes for a walk in the countryside.

holidaymaker: vacationer, someone who is on holiday.

homesick: missing ones home.

hood: (AmE: the bonnet) the movable part of a car covering the engine.

to hurl: to throw.

hut: a small, primitive house.



in a row: without interruption, one after the other.

in-between: situated between two categories.

indigenous: native.

illegible: not readable.

inconvenient: not good for someone.

individual: person.

inexpensive: cheap, not expensive.

influence: (in art) a person or style that has a powerful effect on the work you do.

innovative: new (used when speaking about a new product or idea.)

interpretation: oral translation.

introvert: a shy person.



journey: trip.

junk: old things considered as of no value anymore, waste.



to kick off: to start a game.

to kick the habit: to stop a bad habit, such as smoking or drinking.

kilt: traditional clothing worn by men and boys in Scotland.

knit: to make an item from yarn or thread by using long needles or a special machine.



to lack: to be without something.

lacklustre: unispiring.

laconic: using few words.

to land: (of a plane or bird) to come down from the air.

landline: a traditional telephone, i.e., not a mobile.

landmark: an important or historic building.

lantern: a lamp with a transparent case.

latter: the second of two.

lavish: luxurious.

least: smallest, lowest.

lent: the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter observed by the Roman Catholic as a period of fasting.

lieutenant: a rank of officer in the army, navy.

life expectancy: the amount of time a person is expected to live.

likely: a word used to describe something that will probably happen.

liquidizer: a small electric appliance used in the kitchen for cutting vegetables, fruit, etc.

litter: rubbish, waste material.

loan: especially a sum of money that is expected to be returned.

to lob: to throw slowly.

to look over someones shoulder: to monitor someones activity constantly.

loosely translated: not exact translation.

looting: stealing or taking something. Looting is iften used in newspaper reports after an earthquake or riot.

to lose your temper: to be angry.

lovebirds: a couple which is very much in love.

lung: each of the pair of respiratory organs (adj. related to this organ).

to lure : to attract.



malnutrition: not eating enough food.

to make ends meet: to get by with money one makes.

manufacturer: a person or company that makes a product.

manure: excrement, especially of animals.

marine: related to the sea. 

means: a method.

memorable: easily remembered.

to metamorphose: to transform.

midfielder: a player who occupies the middle of the field.

mint: a place where coins are made.

miraculous: extraordinary

monk: a member of a male religious community who does not own anything and is not married.

monstrous: like a monster, very big.

mortgage: a special loan for buying property such as a house, etc.

moustache: (AmE mustache) the hair on the upper lip.

multitude: a large amount, number.



necessity: a need for something.

neglected: receiving little or no attention.

nebulizer: a device used to provide medication to the lungs (Wikipedia).

nerd: a person who is good in technology but not very good in communicating with other people.

nerve-racking: inclined to make one nervous.

never mind: not to mention.

nightlife: activities at night, such as bars, discos, theaters.

nobility: the group of people belonging to the highest social class in a country, the aristocracy.

to nominate: to choose, select for a position.

nomophobia: fear of being without a cell phone.

nostalgic: wanting or desiring things that are of the past.

notwithstanding: in spite of.

nut: (slang) a crazy person.



obese: very fat.

obesity: the state of being very fat.

odd: unusual, strange.

off-road: not on the road.

offspring: children.

Old Man Winter: a term used to describe winter, the cold.

oracle: a person who says wise things about the future.

orbit (adj. orbital): the curved path, usually elliptical, made by planets, sattelites, spacecrafts around larger objects such as Earth, the sun, etc…

organic: without chemicals.

to oust: to send away.

overdose: an excessive amount (as of a drug).

overhaul: to examine and repair something.



pardon: the act of forgiving someone.

parity: equality, the same level.

parlour (AmE parlor): a shop for selling a particular food or service.

to pass away: to die.

passerby also passer-by (pl. passersby, passers-by): a person who is going past a particular place.

patent: the right given by a government to an inventor to sell an invention.

to patent: to give an inventor of a product the right to sell it as his or her own.

patch:: a piece of cloth to mend a torn point.

pickle: (of vegetables or sometimes meat) to preserve especially in vinegar or salt water.

pickup truck: a small truck which is open at the back and used for deliveries.

pitcher: the player in baseball who throws the ball to the batter.

phablet: a phone and tablet hybrid.

plant: a living organism that grows in the earth.

to plant: to put a living organism in the ground so that it can grow.

playfull: full of fun.

playwright: someone who writes plays.

Pole: a person from Poland.

polyglot: a person who can speak several langauges.

to ponder: to think deeply about something.

pong: an unpleasant smell.

to pop in: to visit.

portable: something that can be carried, like an iPod or a mobile phone.

to portray: to show or represent (in a film or in the theater).

to possess: to have.

potable: suitable for drinking.

to pour: to flow (e.g. water) in a stream.

prankster: a person who plays tricks on other people.

preserve: (of food, fruit, vegetables) to conserve.

prestigious: honored, esteemed, with a big reputation.

prevention: the way we avoid getting a disease.

previous: exsisting or hppening before.

production: a work of art or literature.

to pull down: to destroy.

pupil: a schoolchild.

to put ones mind to something: to be determined to complete something.



Qatari (also Katari): an inhabitant of Qatar.

to quit: to stop doing.



realm: an artistic domain.

recession: a time when the economy goes down.

reclaimed wood: wood which was previously used in other structures as buildings, furniture, etc.

reconciliation: bringing back of friendly relations.

to reconsider: to consider again, to think about again.

to recount: to count again.

relay team: (in sport) team of sportsmen or sportswomen, in which each contestant participates only in a specified portion of the total distance in a race.

relief: help (things such as food, money, medicine) for people who are victims of a catastrophe, war, flood, etc.

relive: to live or experience again.

to relocate: to move.

remarkable: uncommon, extraordinary.

resurgence: comeback.

resurrection: the rising of Jesus Christ from the dead.

retiree: someone who has stopped working.

to reverse: to cause something to return to an earlier state or condition.

ridiculous: absurd, funny.

rife: numerous, full of something which is usually unpleasant.

robber: a person who steals. A burglar, thief.

roster: a list of players who can play for the team.

to rule: to decide (for a judge).

rumor: a report that may or may not be true. rumour(UK)

running mate: a candidate for vice president (usually used in the United States).



scarecrow: an object (usually a person in old clothes) to scare birds away from a field or garden.

scenery: the scenes or views of a place.

scrap paper: paper that has alreday been used.

scrawl: illegible handwriting.

to scrounge: to get something which is needed. He scrounged money for lunch.

scruffy: of low quality because of long use or bad handling.

to scrunch: to crush, to squeeze together.

sedentary: inactive, sitting down a lot.

to seek: to try to obtain, to try to get.

seismologist: a person (expert) who studies earthquakes.

to select:to choose.

selfie: a photograph that a person has taken of oneself.

short-lived: not lasting long.

shrewd: smart, intelligent.

sibling: a brother or sister.

significant: important, meaningful.

the silver screen: movies or the movie business.

sinkhole: a hole in the ground.

sizeable: large, significant.

skin and bones: extremely thin.

skyscraper: a very tall building.

to sledge: to ride on a sledge.

sleet: a mixture of rain, snow and ice.

slice: a thin, flat of food, such as bread, meat or cake, cut from a larger portion.

snag: to grab, to catch.

soil: the top layer of the earth in which plants grow.

species: (in biology) living organisms which have the same characteristics or qualities.

spectator: someone who watches an event.

spectatular: sensational.

splendour: great beauty.

spot: a place.

spouse: a wife or husband.

sprint: a race at full speed.

to sprout up: (used with plants) to develop quickly.

to squeak: to make a short and sharp sound.

starving: very hungry.

to steam: (of a train or ship) to travel by using steam.

stop-motion: a filming technique whereby the camera is repeatedly stopped and started.

stress test: a test to show how strong something (system, health) is.

stroll: a short walk.

struggle: fight, battle.

substance abuse: long-term use of alcohol or drugs.

successor: a person who does a job after someone else has left it.

succulent: juicy.

to suffer: to feel something unpleasant.

to sunbathe:to lie in the sun to tan the skin.

supporter: fan.

to survive: to stay alive, to remain alive.

to suspend: to stop for a period of time.

sustainable:involving methods and systems which use natural resources in a manner that they are not destroyed but can be replenished naturally.

swatch: a sample (as of fabric).

to swear: to use bad language.

sweetheart: loved one.

to swing votes: to change someone’s mind, to cause someone to vote for someone else.

swordsmanship: using swords.

to symbolize: to represent (with symbols).



to take for granted: to expect something to be available.

to take in: to visit.

to take off: (of a plane or bird) the moment of leaving the ground and beginning to fly.

to tee off: to hit a golf ball.

teller: a person who gives or receives money at a bank.

tenement: a larger building with flats for rent.

terra nullius: no man’s land.

that is: in other words.

to thaw up: to warm up.

theatrical: relating to the theater.

to think twice: to think again, reconsider.

thrilled: very happy.

to tie the knot: to get married.

to tithe: to demand the tenth part usually of agricultural produce for the support of the kingdom or the like.

toll: (resulting from some action) loss

to toss: to throw lightly.

trademark: the officially registered name of a product which belongs to a particular company.

to trash: to throw away.

to trespass: to go on someone’s property without permission.

tremendous: very great, very excellent.

trend: a new style.

tweep: a follower on the social media website Twitter.

twig: a small branch.

tycoon: a very rich businessman.



uncover: to reveal, to bring to light, to discover.

to undergo: to experience.

underway: happening at the present time, in progress.

unenviable: not wanted, not desired.

uninhabitable: not fit for life.

to unseat: to oust, to vote out of government.

to unveil: to reveal, to show to the public.

upcycling: creative re-working of used waste or unwanted items into new materials or useful products.

to update: to bring new information.

updraft: an upward movement of air.

uprising: an act of resistance, a rebellion.

urban: about cities.

to urge: to push, press, insist strongly.



various: diferent.

vast: big, great, large.

vengeance: the act of doing something bad to someone because he or she did something wrong to you or someone else.

vertical axis: a line forming an angle of 90 degrees with the level ground.

victorious: winning, being the winner.



to wager: to bet money.

wallet: a pocketbook for holding money and plastic cards.

wardrobe: the collection of clothes that a person has.

wasteful: useless.

to wear: have on one’s body.

wheel: a circular frame used in vehicles or machinery.

whilst: while.

widespread: common, used widely.

wig: an artificial covering of hair worn on the head.

winery: a place, usually a business, where wine is made.

witness: a person who is present and sees an event happening.

workshop: a room in which things are made or repaired.

worth: having a value of.

to wrap: to cover.





yooper: a person that lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.



zingy: pleasantly sharp taste, piquant.