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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



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noun [countable] brake pronunciation in British English /breɪk/
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [usually plural] the equipment in a car, bicycle, or other vehicle that you use for slowing down or stopping

    The brakes failed and the car crashed into a tree.

    We heard a screech of brakes as Jill’s car pulled up.

    slam on/hit the brakes (=stop suddenly):

    I saw the child run out, so I slammed on the brakes.

    brakes squealing/screeching (=making a loud noise):

    I heard the brakes squealing, then a loud crash.

  2. 2
    [usually singular] an action or a situation that prevents something from developing or making progress
    put a brake/the brakes on something:

    The high level of debt put a brake on economic recovery.

    act as a brake on something:

    Inevitably, insufficient funding acts as a brake on medical research.


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a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

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