His speech was usually rambling, but this time I found it brief and laconic.

1. rambling (adj.) a rambling speech or piece of writing is long and confusing

    ramblings (n.) [ plural ] talk or writing that goes on for a long time and is boring, annoying, or confusing

Casting a furtive glance over his shoulder, the felon slipped out the main prison gate to be swallowed up in the British fog.

2. furtive (adj.) done quickly and secretly to avoid being noticed

    furtively (adv.), furtiveness (n.)

3. swallow (v.) to make food or drink go from your mouth down through your throat and into your stomach

    Example: She quickly swallowed the rest of her coffee.

    Example: I had a sore throat and it hurt to swallow.

    Example: Tim swallowed nervously before replying.

    swallow your pride/ disappointment/ anger etc   to not show your feelings and not allow them to affect the way you behave

  Example: He finally had to swallow his pride and ask for help.

    swallow up  (1)  to take controll of a smaller company or country

    Example: The company was swallowed up in a corporate merger.

    (2) to use a lot of something such as money, time, or effort

    Example: Campaigning swallows up a lot of time without guaranteeing success.

    (3) to destroy something completely or make it disapper

    Example: The whole building was swallowed up by flames.

To compound their problems, the officials were badgered by irate citizens who accused the guards of accepting bribes from convicts whose motto was:“Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.”

4. convict (n.) someone who is in prison because they have committed a crime

    (v.) to prove in a court of law that someone is guilty of a crime

    Example: Anderson faces up to 24 years in prison if convicted.

    convict sb of sth

    Example: Robinson was convicted of the murder of his mother and brother.

    convicted (adj.) proved to be guilty of a crime by a court of law

    Example: a convicted killer/ murderer/ rapist

    conviction (n.) a decision by a court of law that someone is guilty of a crime

    Example: The conviction of three youths was later overturned by the Court of Appeals.

    previous conviction = a crime that someone has been convicted of in the past

    Example: She has a previous conviction for dangerous driving.

    (n.) a strong belief or opinion about something

    (n.) the feeling or appearance of being confident or very certain about something

5. motto ( plural mottos or mottoes ) a short statement that expresses something such as a principle or aim, often used as a statement of belief by an organization or individual

    Example: Never give up! That's my motto!


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