The Gay Man's Illistrated Dictionary


pronunciation: be kən

part of speech:     transitive verb & intransitive verb

inflections: beckoned, beckoning, beckons

definition 1:         to signal to come, esp. with a gesture.

The nurse beckoned him to come into the examining room.

synonyms: gesture, motion, signal, wave

similar words: bid, call, gesticulate, nod, summon

definition 2:         to attract or draw toward; invite.

The beautiful sea beckoned us.

synonyms: allure, attract, call, draw, entice, invite, lure, pull, tempt

similar words: decoy, interest, seduce, tantalize

related words:     sign, signal



pronunciation: sawft

parts of speech:

adjective, noun, adverb

part of speech:     adjective

inflections: softer, softest

definition 1:         easily yielding to pressure ; not firm or hard ; pliable.

a soft mattress

soft bread

synonyms: flabby, flaccid, malleable, mushy, penetrable, pliable, tender

antonyms: crisp, crusty, firm, hard, stony, unyielding

similar words: crumbly, ductile, elastic, fleshy, flexible, fragile, limp, mushy, plastic, pliant, resilient, spongy, squashy, supple, yielding

definition 2:         smooth and pleasing to touch.

her soft hands

synonyms: delicate, silken, velvet

antonyms: rough

similar words: downy, fleecy, plush, satiny, silky, sleek, smooth, tender

definition 3:         not strong or glaring; subdued.

soft colors

synonyms: feeble, muted, neutral, subdued, subtle

antonyms: bright, glaring, harsh

similar words: delicate, diffuse, dim, faint, feeble, gentle, mellow, mild, pale, pastel, quiet, tranquil, weak

definition 4:         quiet or low in tone and volume.

soft music

synonyms: feeble, low, muted, quiet, subdued

antonyms: harsh, loud, raucous, stentorian, strident

similar words: faint, feeble, gentle, hushed, light, mellow, subtle, weak

definition 5:         not strict; lenient.

a soft teacher

synonyms: easy, indulgent, lax, lenient

antonyms: hard, stern, strict, unyielding

similar words: clement, flexible, liberal, loose, permissive, pliable, sympathetic, tolerant

definition 6:         not severe; light.

a soft punishment

synonyms: easy, gentle, light, mild, pliant

antonyms: hard, harsh, strong, tough

similar words: benign, compassionate, easy, lax, moderate, slack, slight

definition 7:         (informal) not difficult, as a job.

synonyms: easy, effortless, simple

similar words: comfortable, plush, simple

definition 8:         easily swayed or manipulated.

He’s too soft for the business world.

synonyms: flexible, pliable, pliant, spineless

antonyms: firm, tough, uncompromising, unyielding

similar words: compliant, docile, easy, gutless, irresolute, malleable, meek, namby-pamby, submissive, tractable, unsure, weak-kneed, wishy-washy, yielding

definition 9:         in poor shape for strenuous physical activity.

The new recruits were soft.

synonyms: unfit

antonyms: fit, tough

similar words: delicate, effeminate, fat, feeble, flabby, fragile, frail, weak

definition 10:       of water, fairly free of mineral salts.

antonyms: hard

definition 11:       See soft drink.

related words:     balmy, credulous, innocuous, low-key, still, sweet

part of speech:     noun

definition:  something that is soft.

part of speech:     adverb

inflections: softer, softest

definition:  in a soft manner; gently.

He let me down soft.

synonyms: delicately, gently

antonyms: hard

similar words: easily, tenderly

related words:     slack

derivations:          softly (adv.), softness (n.)



pronunciation: taek chu əl

part of speech:     adjective

definition:  of, relating to, or caused by the sense of touch.

related words:     sensational

derivation: tactually (adv.)



pronunciation: pro

parts of speech: adjective, noun

phrases: turn pro

part of speech:     adjective

definition:  (informal) professional, esp. in certain sports.

antonyms: amateur

related words:     ace, master

part of speech:     noun

inflections: pros

definition 1:         (informal) a professional, or someone as knowledgeable or expert as a professional.

antonyms: amateur

similar words: ace, mastermind

definition 2:         (pl.) the professional teams or leagues in some sports, such as football or baseball (prec. by the).

He wants to play in the pros after college.

related words:     adept, expert, master

phrase:        turn pro



pronunciation: me tə mor fə sihs

part of speech:     noun

inflections: metamorphoses

definition 1:         a complete change of form, structure, substance, appearance, or character; transformation.

The vacant lot went through a metamorphosis as the new playground was built.

synonyms: change, conversion, metastasis, permutation, transformation, transmutation

similar words: alteration, modification, mutation, transfiguration, translation

definition 2:         the form that results from such a change.

synonyms: permutation

similar words: conversion, mutation, transformation

definition 3:         the developmental changes in living organisms, such as the successive stages from caterpillar to butterfly or from tadpole to frog.

similar words: change, conversion, development, metastasis, permutation, transformation, transmutation

related words:     amendment, becoming, process



know [ nō ] (past knew [ noo ], past participle known [ nōn ], present participle know·ing, 3rd person present singular knows)



1. transitive and intransitive verb hold information in mind: to have information firmly in the mind or committed to memory

They know the names of all the U.S. presidents.

2. transitive and intransitive verb be certain about something: to believe firmly in the truth or certainty of something

I know she wouldn’t be late without a good reason.

3. transitive and intransitive verb realize something: to be or become aware of something

I didn’t know you cared.

4. transitive verb comprehend something: to have a thorough understanding of something through experience or study

know computers

5. transitive verb have encountered somebody or something before: to be acquainted, associated, or familiar with somebody or something

I have known John for years.

6. transitive verb recognize differences: to be able to perceive the differences or distinctions between things or people

old enough to know right from wrong

7. transitive verb identify somebody or something by characteristic: to recognize somebody or something by a distinguishing characteristic or attribute

I’d know him anywhere by his peculiar laugh.

8. transitive verb have sex with somebody: to engage in sexual intercourse with somebody ( archaic )

[ Old English cnāwan< Indo-European]



twi·light [ tw lt ]



1. time after sunset or before dawn: the time of day just after sunset or before dawn, when the Sun is below the horizon

2. half-light: the faint diffuse light that occurs at twilight

3. final period: the time when something is declining or approaching its end, especially in a gentle or peaceful way

the twilight of her career

4. Same as  twilight zone (sense 1)

[15th century. < archaic twi- “two, half” < Germanic] 



slip·shod [ slíp shòd ]



1. careless: done in a sloppy way without attention to details

2. untidy: not neat in appearance

[Late 16th century. <slip1 “slide” + shod “wearing shoes”]

slip·shod·di·ness noun 



pronunciation: pet

parts of speech: noun, adjective, transitive verb, intransitive verb

part of speech:     noun

definition 1:         an animal, usu. domesticated or tamed, kept in one’s home for companionship rather than practical use.

synonyms: favorite

similar words: animal, cat, cosset, dog

definition 2:         one who is treated with special affection and indulgence; favorite.

She is her father’s pet.

synonyms: darling, favorite

similar words: baby, dear, jewel, minion

related words:     idol, toast

part of speech:     adjective

definition 1:         kept or treated as a pet.

a pet turtle

similar words: tame

definition 2:         especially favored; favorite.

a pet nephew

a pet idea

synonyms: darling, favorite

similar words: dearest, favored

related words:     dear, fond, precious

part of speech:     transitive verb

inflections: pets, petted, petting

definition 1:         to pat, stroke, or caress; touch or treat as a pet.

synonyms: caress

similar words: dandle, fondle, pat, stroke

definition 2:         (informal) to fondle, usu. intimately as a part of sexual foreplay.

synonyms: caress, dandle, fondle

similar words: caress, cuddle, nuzzle, snuggle

related words:     chuck, grope, love, tickle, touch

part of speech:     intransitive verb

definition:  (informal) to fondle someone or fondle mutually as part of sexual foreplay.

synonyms: fondle

similar words: bill and coo, cuddle, neck, nuzzle, snuggle



pronunciation: In dih vI ju ae lih ti

part of speech:     noun

definition 1:         the aggregate qualities and characteristics of an individual, esp. those that make him or her distinctive.

synonyms: distinctness, separateness, uniqueness

similar words: identity, originality

definition 2:         the state of being individual.

synonyms: singularity

similar words: difference, identity

related words:     character, independence, personality