B1 used at the beginning of children's stories to mean "a long time ago":
used when referring to something that happened in the past, especially
when showing that you feel sorry that it no longer happens:
once upon a time
Once upon a time there was an ugly duckling.
Once upon a time people knew the difference between right and wrong, but nowadays nobody seems to care.
B2 a curved device used for catching or holding things, especially one attached to a surface for hanging things on:
a coat/picture hook a boat hook a fish hook
B2 [ C or U ] a willingness to give your time and energy to something that you believe in, or a promise or firm decision to do something:
[ C ] something that you must do or deal with that takes your time:
- Players must make a commitment to play for a full season.
- her commitment to left-wing politics/the cause of feminism/the company
- She is known chiefly for her commitment to nuclear disarmament.
- I'd like to thank the staff for having shown such commitment.
family/work commitments I've got too many commitments at the moment to do an evening class. Children are such a commitment.
2 having little importance, influence, or effect, especially when compared with other things of the same type:
- a minor operation
- It's only a minor problem.
- There's been an increase in minor offences, such as traffic violations and petty theft.
- She suffered only minor injuries.
C1 the fact of making something seem larger, more important, better, or worse than it really is:
Sal estimates over 60 people were there but I think that's a slight exaggeration.
[ + to infinitive ] It would be no exaggeration to say that her work has saved lives.
B1 [ I or T ] to make an arrangement or meeting certain, often by phone or writing:
- [ + that ] Six people have confirmed that they will be attending and ten haven't replied yet.
- Flights should be confirmed 48 hours before departure.
- I've accepted the job over the phone, but I haven't confirmed in writing yet.
B2 to involve yourself in a situation when your involvement is not wanted or is not helpful:
It's their problem and I'm not going to interfere. I'd never interfere between (US with) a husband and wife. Interfering in other people's relationships is always a mistake.
an interruption in the usual way that a system, process, or event works:
It would cause a tremendous disruption to our work schedule to install a different computer system.
A crackdown on illegal-immigrant hiring could create widespread workplace disruptions.
C1 to prevent someone or something from entering a place or taking part in an activity:
- Women are still excluded from the club.
- Microbes must, as far as possible, be excluded from the room during an operation.
Tom has been excluded from school (= he is not allowed to go to school) for bad behaviour.
G 1. to experience great difficulties or be completely unable to decide what to do or say next:
2. verb: (especially of a boat) to fill with water and sink:
to be unsuccessful:
He lost the next page of his speech and floundered around/about for a few seconds. Although his business was a success, his marriage was floundering. Richardson resigned as chairman, leaving the company floundering.
2. The ferry foundered in a heavy storm, taking many of the passengers and crew with it.
to be unsuccessful: Teaching computers to read and write has always foundered on the unpredictable human element in language.
G . 1. B2 in the past:
- 1. formerly
- The European Union was formerly called the European Community.
2. After he formally declared his interest in the club, a number of rival takeover bids have been announced.The centre will be formally opened next year.The ceasefire has yet to be formally agreed.