bad things always come in threes meaning, bad things alwa... | English Cobuild dictionary



  ( firsts    plural  )
1       ord   The first thing, person, event, or period of time is the one that happens or comes before all the others of the same kind.,   (Antonym: last)    She lost 16 pounds in the first month of her diet., ...the first few flakes of snow..., Two years ago Johnson came first in the one hundred metres at Seoul.     
      First is also a pronoun., pron  
The second paragraph startled me even more than the first..., He put me through a series of exercises to improve my car control. The first was to drive on simulated ice.     
2       adv   If you do something first, you do it before anyone else does, or before you do anything else.  
ADV with v, ADV with cl/group  
I do not remember who spoke first, but we all expressed the same opinion..., First, tell me what you think of my products..., Routine questions first, if you don't mind.     
3       ord   When something happens or is done for the first time, it has never happened or been done before.  
This is the first time she has experienced disappointment..., It was the first occasion when they had both found it possible to keep a rendezvous.     
      First is also an adverb., adv   ADV with v  
Anne and Steve got engaged two years after they had first started going out...     
4       n-sing   An event that is described as a first has never happened before and is important or exciting.  
a N, oft N for n  
It is a first for New York. An outdoor exhibition of Fernando Botero's sculpture on Park Avenue.     
5       pron   The first you hear of something or thefirst you know about it is the time when you first become aware of it.  
the PRON that  
We heard it on the TV last night<endash>that was the first we heard of it...     
6       adv   You use first when you are talking about what happens in the early part of an event or experience, in contrast to what happens later.  
ADV before v   (=initially)  
When he first came home he wouldn't say anything about what he'd been doing.     
      First is also an ordinal., ord   usu poss ORD  
She told him that her first reaction was disgust...     
7       adv   In order to emphasize your determination not to do a particular thing, you can say that rather than do it, you would do something else first.  
ADV after v     (emphasis)    Marry that fat son of a fat cattle dealer? She would die first!     
8       adv   You use first when you are about to give the first in a series of items.  
ADV with cl/group  
Certain guidelines can be given. First, have a heating engineer check the safety of the system.     
9       ord   The first thing, person, or place in a line is the one that is nearest to you or nearest to the front.,   (Antonym: last)    Before him, in the first row, sat the President..., First in the queue were two Japanese students.     
10       ord   You use first to refer to the best or most important thing or person of a particular kind.  
The first duty of any government must be to protect the interests of the taxpayers..., Imagine winning the local lottery first prize of £5,000.     
11       ord   First is used in the title of the job or position of someone who has a higher rank than anyone else with the same basic job title.  
...the First Lord of the Admiralty., ...the first mate of a British tanker.     
12       n-count   In British universities, a first is an honours degree of the highest standard.  
oft N in n Oxford Blue who took a First in Constitutional History.     
13    You use first of all to introduce the first of a number of things that you want to say.  
first of all      phrase   PHR with cl/group  
The cut in the interest rates has not had very much impact in California for two reasons. First of all, banks are still afraid to loan.     
14    You use at first when you are talking about what happens in the early stages of an event or experience, or just after something else has happened, in contrast to what happens later.  
at first      phrase   PHR with cl   (=initially)  
At first, he seemed surprised by my questions..., I had some difficulty at first recalling why we were there.     
15    If you say that someone or something comes first for a particular person, you mean they treat or consider that person or thing as more important than anything else.  
come first      phrase   V inflects  
There's no time for boyfriends, my career comes first.     
16    If you learn or experience something at first hand, you experience it yourself or learn it directly rather than being told about it by other people.  
at first hand      phrase   PHR after v  
He arrived in Natal to see at first hand the effects of the recent heavy fighting.     
17    If you say that you do not know the first thing about something, you are emphasizing that you know absolutely nothing about it.  
do not know the first thing about sth      phrase   V inflects     (emphasis)    You don't know the first thing about farming.     
18    If you put someone or something first, you treat or consider them as more important than anything else.  
put sb/sth first      phrase   V inflects  
Somebody has to think for the child and put him first.     
19    You say `first things first' when you are talking about something that should be done or dealt with before anything else because it is the most important.  
first things first             phrase  
Let's see if we can't find something to set the mood. First things first; some music.     
    first and foremost  
Translation English - Cobuild Collins Dictionary  
Collaborative Dictionary     English Cobuild
remnants of disputes that make a relationship between people or companies difficult to maintain, even without an open dispute
extremely bad
about humans
come on
Slang; written abbreviation, there`s no difference in pronunciation for "c`mon "and "come on".
quit disobeying; start acting like someone would want to
E.g. Finally, her husband has come to heel and they will buy a new car, as she wants.
expression used when nothing is going well
Arotten apple is a member of a group, or a single element in a set of things, that is bad and likely to corrupt the other people or things in the group
Allusion to the expression "One bad apple spoils the barrel"
a very creative person; someone who is always able to come up with fresh ideas
unattractive person, looking dirty and/or smelling bad
someone who is always trying to please others
"He`s always been a people pleaser."
characteristic of awesome people or things
A plan done for something bad or illegal.
I will never scheme in the future because it is a bad thing to do.
expression meaning "things never change"
deliberately make things difficult for someone; sabotage
have everything together; have all things settled/organized
E.g.: Just when I had got all my ducks in a row and I was ready to go, I received a call and had to cancel my trip.
used figuratively, a train crash means something disastrously bad
'this train crash of a policy'
fear of running out of things to read
amongst other things said or stated
At the panel she stated her claims inter-alia
1. [Mil.] a pilot who comes in support of the leading aircraft. He is positionned besides and slightly behind the leading aircraft. 2. [Fig.] a person who helps a friend to approach potential partners
2. this meaning has been popularised by the TV series How I Met Your Mother
a misfit; something or someone looking/behaving in a manner that comes in contradiction with the general context
to look for or expose information about a person's past, usually bad, and to therefore bring that person down or put them in a bad light
1. break; fall apart; 2. be in a bad mood
= bad press: negative opinion or image expressed in the media
The firm got some negative press over that decision
def.: if you are too confident about yourself, something bad will happen to show you that you are not as good as you think you are
term coined by the James Bond movie, meaning that a great danger will come for Bond to overcome
anyone with a good definition ?
Something that as soon as it is done becomes decided upon to repeat the next year and years to come. Does not necessarily have to had been done previous years to be defined an instant tradition.
an ambitious woman who thinks her career really matters more than many things and is not willing to compromise on it
take an action that will complicate things; do something with a negative impact
expression used for describing a perfect compatibility (between people, things, factors etc.)


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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"