All Words Glossary

Glossary of British Terms
beginning with letter B
Browse the British Glossary

Baal Tweet Definition of Baal Like Definition of Baal on Facebook
proper noun (Baal, im, -)
  1. (mythology) the supreme male deity of the Phoenician and Canaanitish pantheons; a Mediterranean fertility deity whose worship was characterised by the sexual acts of his followers during periodic rituals, along with occasional human sacrifice and frequent temple prostitution, worshipped as far back as 1400 BCE
  2. (Biblical, plural) the whole class of divinities to whom the name Baal was applied.
  3. (biblical) one of the fallen angels of Satan.
bag Tweet Definition of bag Like Definition of bag on Facebook
  1. A flexible container made of cloth, paper, plastic, etc.
  2. One"s preference.
Acid House is not my , I prefer the more traditional styles of music.
  1. (derogatory) An ugly woman.
  2. (baseball) First, second, or third base.
He headed back to the .
  1. (baseball) The cloth-covered pillow used for first, second, and third base.
''The grounder hit the and bounced over the fielder"s head.
  1. (context, preceded by "the") A breathalyzer device, so named because it formerly had a plastic bag over the end to measure a set amount of breath.
verb (bag, g, ing)
  1. To put into a bag.
  2. To catch or kill, especially when fishing or hunting.
We bagged three deer yesterday.
  1. To gain possession of something, or to make first claim on something.
  2. (context, slang, w:AAVE, African American Vernacular English) To be caught by the police.
  3. (context, slang, w:AAVE, African American Vernacular English) To bring a woman one met on the street with one.
  4. (context, slang, w:AAVE, African American Vernacular English) To laugh uncontrollably.
  5. (context, AU, slang) To criticise sarcastically.
  6. (context, medical) To provide artificial ventilation with a bag valve mask (BVM) resuscitator.
bait Tweet Definition of bait Like Definition of bait on Facebook
  1. Any substance, especially food, used in catching fish, or other animals, by alluring them to a hook, snare, trap, or net.
  2. Anything which allure, allures; a lure; enticement; temptation.
  3. A portion of food or drink, as a refreshment taken on a journey; also, a stop for rest and refreshment.
  4. A light or hasty luncheon.
  1. To attract fish or other animals in order to catch them.
  2. The act to worry or torment a chained or confined animal by setting dogs upon it for sport.
  3. To intentionally annoy, torment, or threaten by constant rebukes or threats.
bally Tweet Definition of bally Like Definition of bally on Facebook
  1. Used as a mild intensifier: very.
That was a foolish thing to do, old chap!
bandy Tweet Definition of bandy Like Definition of bandy on Facebook
  1. (sports) A winter sport played on ice, from which ice hockey has developed.
verb (bandies, bandying, bandied, bandied)
  1. To give and receive reciprocally; to exchange.
to words (with somebody)
  1. To use or pass about casually.
to have one"s name bandied about (or around)
  1. bowlegged, Bowlegged, or bending outward at the knees; as in bandy legged.
bang Tweet Definition of bang Like Definition of bang on Facebook
  1. A sudden percussive noise.
When he struck it with a hammer, there was a loud .
  1. A strike upon an object causing such a noise.
  2. An explosion.
  3. (especially plural) A fringe of hair cut across the forehead. (British: fringe)
Tiffany has long hair and bangs.
1902: She was not much to look at. Her red hair hung in an uncurled bang over her forehead — w:Barbara Baynton, Barbara Baynton, short story Squeaker's Mate (variously reprinted, including in The Penguin Century of Australian Stories, ed. Carmel Bird, 2000, ISBN 0-670-89233-5)
  1. The symbol !, known as an exclamation point.
An e-mail address with an ! is called a path.
  1. (math) A factorial, in mathematics, because the factorial of n is often written as n!
  2. (figuratively) An act of sexual intercourse.
  3. plural: Brucellosis, a bacterial disease (a corruption of the alternate name "Bang's disease")
  4. An offbeat figure typical of reggae songs and played on guitar and piano.
  5. (slang) An explosive product, in mining
Load the bang into the hole.
  1. (slang) An abrupt left turn, in Boston slang; the opposite of this, an abrupt right turn, is a hang
verb (bangs, banging, banged)
  1. To make sudden loud noises, and often repeatedly, especially by exploding or hitting something.
The fireworks banged away all through the night.
  1. (slang, figuratively) To engage in sexual intercourse.
  2. (i, with "in") To hammer or to hit anything hard.
Hold the picture while I in this nail.
Bank Holiday Tweet Definition of Bank Holiday Like Definition of Bank Holiday on Facebook
nounorbank holiday (pluralBank Holidaysorbank holidays)
  1. (context, mainly, UK) In Great Britain and some other countries, a weekday, often a Monday, on which banks were traditionally closed and granted to workers as a national holiday.
barmy Tweet Definition of barmy Like Definition of barmy on Facebook
adjective (barm)
  1. (context, rare) containing barm, i.e. froth from fermented yeast
  2. (context, mainly, Commonwealth English) dotty, goofy, wacko.
2004: The movie is sweet enough in its way... -- Roger Ebert
barnacle Tweet Definition of barnacle Like Definition of barnacle on Facebook
  1. A marine crustacean of the subclass Cirripedia that attaches itself to submerged surfaces such as tidal rocks or the bottoms of ships.
  2. The barnacle goose.
  3. (obsolete) An instrument like a pair of pincers, to fix on the nose of a vicious horse while shoeing so as to make it more tractable.
  4. (context, archaic, UK) A nickname for spectacles.
  5. (context, slang, obsolete) A good job, or snack easily obtained.
barrack Tweet Definition of barrack Like Definition of barrack on Facebook
  1. (military) A building for soldiers, especially when in garrison. Commonly in the plural, originally meaning temporary huts, but now usually applied to a permanent structure or set of buildings.
  • He lodged in a miserable hut or , composed of dry branches and thatched with straw. - Gibbon.
    1. (local, United States, U.S.) A movable roof sliding on four posts, to cover hay, straw, etc.
    2. (Ireland,Colloquial, usually plural) the police station.
  1. To house military personnel; to quarter
  2. (context, Australian English, New Zealand English) to cheer on a team etc
  3. (British) to jeer
barrow Tweet Definition of barrow Like Definition of barrow on Facebook
  1. A mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves.
bat Tweet Definition of bat Like Definition of bat on Facebook
  1. Any of the small, nocturnal, flying mammals of the order Chiroptera, which navigate by means of echolocation. They look like a mouse with membranous wings extending from the forelimbs to the hind limbs or tail. Altogether, there are about 1.000 bat species in the world.
  2. (context, offensive) An old woman.
  3. (1811) A low whore: so called from moving out like a bat in the dusk of the evening.
verb (bats, batting, batted)
  1. (transitive) to hit with a bat.
  2. (intransitive) to take a turn at hitting a ball with a bat in sports like cricket, baseball and softball, as opposed to fielding.
  3. (intransitive) to strike or swipe as though with a bat
The cat batted at the toy.
bathe Tweet Definition of bathe Like Definition of bathe on Facebook
verb (bath, ing)
  1. to take a bath or clean using water.
beanfeast Tweet Definition of beanfeast Like Definition of beanfeast on Facebook
  1. (context, mostly, UK) A dinner party given to the employees of a firm.
  2. (context, mostly, UK) Any similar social occasion.
beastly Tweet Definition of beastly Like Definition of beastly on Facebook
  1. Pertaining to, or having the form, nature, or habits of a beast.
  2. Characterizing the nature of a beast; contrary to the nature and dignity of man; brutal; filthy.
  3. Abominable; as, beastly weather.
beetle Tweet Definition of beetle Like Definition of beetle on Facebook
  1. Any of numerous species of insect in the order Coleoptera characterized by a pair of hard, shell-like, front wings which cover and protect a pair of rear wings when at rest.
  2. A type of mallet with a large wooden head.
  3. Nickname of two models of car made by w:Volkswagen, Volkswagen.
beetroot Tweet Definition of beetroot Like Definition of beetroot on Facebook
  1. A normally deep red coloured cultivar of the beet. A root vegetable usually cooked or pickled before eating.
bent Tweet Definition of bent Like Definition of bent on Facebook
  1. An inclination or talent.
He had a natural bent for painting.
  1. A predisposition to act or react in a particular way.
His mind was of a technical bent.
  1. (past of, bend)
  1. Of something that is usually straight: folded.
  2. (context, slang, derogatory, mostly, UK) Homosexual.
  3. determined, Determined or insistent.
He was on going to Texas, but not even he could say why.
  1. Of a person leading a life of crime.
  2. (context, slang, football) inaccurate at shooting
betting shop Tweet Definition of betting shop Like Definition of betting shop on Facebook
  1. (context, mostly, UK) the premises of a bookmaker, where people may place bets, watch horse races etc on television, and collect their winnings
bicentenary Tweet Definition of bicentenary Like Definition of bicentenary on Facebook
noun (bicentenaries)
  1. a two-hundred year anniversary
big Tweet Definition of big Like Definition of big on Facebook
adjective (bigg, er)
  1. Of a great size; large; the weakest sense of great size.
Elephants are animals, and they eat a lot.
  1. (colloquial) Adult.
Kids should get help from people if they want to use the kitchen.
  1. (colloquial) fat, Fat.
Gosh, she is big!
  1. important, Important or significant.
What's so about that? I do it all the time.
  1. popular, Popular.
That style is very right now in Europe, especially among teenagers.
  1. (colloquial) (construed with on) enthusiastic, Enthusiastic (about).
I'm not on the idea, but if you want to go ahead with it, I won't stop you.
  1. Of an industry or other field: Thought to have undue influence.
There were concerns about the ethics of science.
Bill Tweet Definition of Bill Like Definition of Bill on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (given name, male), diminutive of William.
  2. (context, UK, slang) A nickname for the British constabulary. Often called "The Bill" or "Old Bill"
  3. (context, US, slang) One Hundred Dollars.
billabong Tweet Definition of billabong Like Definition of billabong on Facebook
  1. (Australian English) A stagnant pool of water.
  2. A streambed that is only filled with water during the rainy season.
  3. A channel that dead-ends which extends from the main part of a river.
  4. An oxbow lake.
Billy Tweet Definition of Billy Like Definition of Billy on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (given name, male), a diminutive of William.
binder Tweet Definition of binder Like Definition of binder on Facebook
  1. Someone who binds, particularly someone who binds books; a bookbinder.
  2. A cover or holder for unbound papers, pages etc.
  3. Something that is used to bind things together, often referring to the mechanism that accomplishes this for a book.
  4. Adossier.
  5. (context, agriculture) A machine used in harvesting that ties cut stalks of grain into a bundle.
  6. (chemistry) A chemical that causes two other substances to form into one.
  7. A down payment on a piece of real property that secures the payor the right to purchase the property from the payee upon an agreement of terms.
  8. (Chiefly Minnesota) A rubber band.
bird Tweet Definition of bird Like Definition of bird on Facebook
noun (tearoom)
  1. The vulgar hand gesture in which the middle finger is extended.
    • 2003, The Beach House, James Patterson—Then she raised both hands above her shoulders and flipped him the bird with each one.
  1. To observe or identify wild birds in their natural environment.
blackleg Tweet Definition of blackleg Like Definition of blackleg on Facebook
noun (blacklegs, -)
  1. (uncountable) Fatal cattle disease caused by soil-borne bacteria.
  2. (countable) A person who takes the place of striking workers. A scab.
  3. (countable) A person who cheats in a game, a cheater.
  1. Relating to a scab worker.
The workers entered under cover of darkness.
Blighty Tweet Definition of Blighty Like Definition of Blighty on Facebook
proper noun
  1. Great Britain, Britain, or England, especially as viewed from abroad
block Tweet Definition of block Like Definition of block on Facebook
  1. A substantial, often approximately cuboid, piece of any substance.
A of ice.
A of stone.
  1. A cuboid of wood, plastic or other material used as a base on which to cut something.
Anne Boleyn placed her head on the and awaited her execution.
  1. A group of urban lots of property, several acres in extent, not crossed by public streets
I'm going for a walk around the .
  1. A group of buildings in a city or town, demarcated by streets.
A of flats.
  1. The distance from one street to another in a city that is built (approximately) to a grid pattern.
The place you are looking for is two long blocks east and one short north.
  1. (slang) The human head.
I'll knock your off.
  1. A set of sheets (of paper) joined together at one end.
A of 100 tickets.
  1. (computing) A logical data storage unit containing one ore more physical sector, sectors (see cluster).
  2. (context, rigging) A case with one or more sheaves/pulleys, used with ropes to increase or redirect force, for example, as part of the rigging of a sailing ship.
  3. (chemistry) A portion of a macromolecule, comprising many units, that has at least one feature not present in adjacent portions.
  4. Something that prevents something from passing (see blockage).
There's a in the pipe that means the water can't get through.
  1. (sports) An action to interfere with the movement of an opposing player or of the object of play (ball, puck).
  2. (Cricket) A shot played by holding he bat vertically in the path of the ball, so that it loses momentum and drops to the ground.
  3. (volleyball) A defensive play by one or more players meant to deflect a spiked ball back to the hitter"s court.
(WikiSaurus?-link, head)
  1. (transitive) To fill (something) so that it is not possible to pass.
The pipe is blocked.
  1. (transitive) To prevent (something or someone) from passing.
You're blocking the road - I can't get through.
  1. (transitive) To prevent (something from happening or someone from doing something).
His plan to take over the business was blocked by the boss.
  1. (transitive) The act of impeding an opponent in sports.
He blocked the basketball player's shot.
The offensive lineman, offensive linemen tried to the blitz.
  1. (transitive, theater) To specify the positions and movements of the actors.
It was very difficult to this scene convincingly.
  1. (transitive, Cricket) To hit with a block.
  2. (intransitive, Cricket) To play a block shot.
bloke Tweet Definition of bloke Like Definition of bloke on Facebook
  1. (context, Australian English, UK, South African English, slang) A man (usually in the sense: the typical "man on the street", an ordinary, down-to-earth man, often stressing manhood in a very physical sense)
blooding Tweet Definition of blooding Like Definition of blooding on Facebook
  1. (present participle of, blood
    1. Verb, blood)
blower Tweet Definition of blower Like Definition of blower on Facebook
  1. Person who blows.
  2. Any device that blows.
  3. (the blower) (context, slang, dated, mostly, British) telephone.
Get on the blower and call headquarters right away!
  1. A ducted fan, usually part of some heating, ventilation, and/or air conditioning system.
bludge Tweet Definition of bludge Like Definition of bludge on Facebook
noun (used only in singular)
  1. (slang) The act of bludging.
  2. (slang) Easy work.
verbto bludge (third person:bludges, present:bludging, past:bludged, past participle:bludged)
  1. (slang) To avoid one's responsibilities.
  2. (slang) To do nothing, to be idle.
Bluey Tweet Definition of Bluey Like Definition of Bluey on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (slang) nickname, Nickname given to a redhead, red headed person.
Bobby Tweet Definition of Bobby Like Definition of Bobby on Facebook
proper noun
  1. A diminutive of the male given name Robert.
  2. A diminutive of the female given name Roberta.
bobsleigh Tweet Definition of bobsleigh Like Definition of bobsleigh on Facebook
  1. A winter sport in which teams make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked purpose-built iced tracks in a gravity-powered sled.
  2. The sled used in the sport of bobsleigh
bodgie Tweet Definition of bodgie Like Definition of bodgie on Facebook
  1. (Australian English) (slang) a member of a 1950s rock subculture
boffin Tweet Definition of boffin Like Definition of boffin on Facebook
  1. (british) A scientist or engineer, especially one engaged in technological or military research
bog Tweet Definition of bog Like Definition of bog on Facebook
  1. An expanse of marshland.
  2. (Ireland, UK, coarse, slang) A toilet.
verb (bogs, bogging, bogged)
  1. (colloquial, often with "down") To become mired or stuck (especially in mud.)
  2. (slang, UK, with "off") To go away.
  3. (colloquial, UK, with "up") To make a mess of something.
bogey Tweet Definition of bogey Like Definition of bogey on Facebook
  1. (golf) A score of one over par in golf.
  2. One of two sets of wheels under a train car.
  3. A piece of solid or semisolid mucus in or removed from the nostril.
  4. (engineering) A representative specimen, taken from the centre a spread of production - a sample with bogey (typical) characteristics.
  5. (military) An enemy aircraft.
  6. (military) An unidentified aircraft, especially as observed as a spot on a radar screen.
  1. (golf) To make a .
boiler Tweet Definition of boiler Like Definition of boiler on Facebook
  1. An apparatus that generates heat (usually by burning fuel) and uses it to heat circulate, circulating water (or sometimes another liquid) in a closed system that is then used for space heating, swimming pool heating, or domestic hot water or industrial processes.
  2. Less commonly, a hot water heater.<!--
Note: the below is a more complete definition that was here previously. It borders on the encyclopedic, but I'm leaving it intact, just commented-out, in case someone thinks parts of it should be incorporated into the above definitions that were created from it.
  1. (approximate definition) A fuel burning apparatus in which water is heated to be used for space heating, swimming pool heating, domestic hot water or industrial processes. <br> (more precisely) An apparatus in which a heat source other than a hot liquid or steam (most commonly burning fuel, exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine or gas turbine, waste heat from a process, solar energy or electricity) is used to heat water (or rarely another liquid), normally in a closed recirculate, recirculating system under pressure for use as a heat source in calorifiers, heat exchangers or heat emitters, or less commonly (usage synonymous with hot water heater), with partial or no recirculation, for use directly as domestic hot water or process hot water.
  1. (approximate definition) A fuel burning apparatus in which water is boiled to produce steam for space heating, power generation, or industrial processes. <br> (more precisely) An apparatus in which a heat source other than a hot liquid or steam (most commonly burning fuel, exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine or gas turbine, waste heat from a process, solar energy or electricity) is used to boil water (or rarely another liquid), under pressure to provide steam (or other gas) for use as a heat source in calorifiers, heat exchangers or heat emitters, or for use directly for humidification, in an industrial process, or to power steam turbines.
  2. a kitchen vessel for steaming or boiling food
bollard Tweet Definition of bollard Like Definition of bollard on Facebook
  1. (nautical) A strong vertical post of timber or iron, fixed to the ground and/or on the deck of a ship, to which the ship's mooring lines etc are secured
  2. A similar post preventing vehicles access to a pedestrian areas
bombora Tweet Definition of bombora Like Definition of bombora on Facebook
  1. A shallow isolated piece of reef located a distance offshore.
1933: 'Bombora' is an aboriginal word applied to the high-crested wave which breaks ... over submerged rocks near the coastline. &mdash; w:The Bulletin, The Bulletin magazine, 27 May 1933, page 24. Quoted in G. A. Wilkes, A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms, second edition, 1985, w:Sydney University Press, Sydney University Press, ISBN 0-424-00113-6.
bonnet Tweet Definition of bonnet Like Definition of bonnet on Facebook
  1. A type of hat, once worn by women or children, held in place by ribbons tied under the chin.
  2. A traditional Scottish woollen brimless cap, also spelled bunnet.
  3. (context, AU, UK, automotive) The hinged cover over the engine of a motor car.
  4. (nautical) A length of canvas attached to a fore-and-aft sail to increase the pulling power.
bonny Tweet Definition of bonny Like Definition of bonny on Facebook
  1. (Geordie) (alternative spelling of, bonnie)
bonzer Tweet Definition of bonzer Like Definition of bonzer on Facebook
  1. (Australian English) remarkable; wonderful.
boomer Tweet Definition of boomer Like Definition of boomer on Facebook
  1. Adult male kangaroo
  2. A baby boomer
boong Tweet Definition of boong Like Definition of boong on Facebook
  1. (slang) (very insulting) An Australian aborigine. Also applied to indigenous people of New Guinea, Malaysia, etc.
bootlace Tweet Definition of bootlace Like Definition of bootlace on Facebook
  1. A long lace for fastening boots.
boots Tweet Definition of boots Like Definition of boots on Facebook
  1. Plural of boot
  2. (sports) The sports shoes worn by players of certain games such as cricket and football.
  1. third person singular of boot
bother Tweet Definition of bother Like Definition of bother on Facebook
noun (bothers, -)
  1. fuss, Fuss, ado.
There was a bit of at the hairdresser's when they couldn't find my appointment in the book.
  1. trouble, Trouble, inconvenience.
Yes, I can do that for you - it's no .
  1. (transitive) To annoy, to disturb.
Would it you if I smoked?
  1. (intransitive) To do something at one's own inconvenience
Why do I even to try?
  1. (intransitive) To do something which is of negligible inconvenience
You didn't even to close the door.
bottom gear Tweet Definition of bottom gear Like Definition of bottom gear on Facebook
  1. The lowest gearing available from a gearbox, typically in a motor vehicle or cycle.
box room Tweet Definition of box room Like Definition of box room on Facebook
  1. a small bedroom in a house, often used for storage.
boyo Tweet Definition of boyo Like Definition of boyo on Facebook
  1. An Irish word for boy or lad which originated in the 19th century.
  2. A Welsh form of address for a man.
brains trust Tweet Definition of brains trust Like Definition of brains trust on Facebook
  1. (context, mostly, UK) a group of experts who discuss events in public, especially on television or radio
  2. (growing usage) - any group of advisors, whether experts or just friends or acquaintances, who are willing to offer their knowledge or ideas on a topic or issue.
bramble Tweet Definition of bramble Like Definition of bramble on Facebook
  1. Common blackberry.
  2. Any of several closely related thorny plants in the genus Rubus, including blackberry and raspberry.
  3. Any thorny shrub.
brass Tweet Definition of brass Like Definition of brass on Facebook
noun (es, -)
  1. An metallic alloy of copper and zinc used in many industrial and plumbing applications.
  2. (music) A class of wind instruments, usually made of metal (such as brass), that use vibrations of the player's lips to produce sound.
  3. Spent shell casings (usually made of brass); the part of the cartridge left over after bullets have been fired.