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Butbut1 (but; unstressed bət),USA pronunciation conj.
- on the contrary;
yet: My brother went, but I did not.
save: She was so overcome with grief she could do nothing but weep.
except that (fol. by a clause, often with that expressed): Nothing would do but that I should come in.
- without the circumstance that: It never rains but it pours.
- otherwise than: There is no hope but by prayer.
- that (used esp. after doubt, deny, etc., with a negative): I don't doubt but he will do it.
- who not;
that not: No leaders worthy of the name ever existed but they were optimists.
- (used as an intensifier to introduce an exclamatory expression): But she's beautiful!
- [Informal.]than: It no sooner started raining but it stopped.
- but what. See what (def. 31).
- with the exception of;
save: No one replied but me.
just: There is but one God.
- but for, except for;
were it not for: But for the excessive humidity, it might have been a pleasant day.
- buts, reservations or objections: You'll do as you're told, no buts about it.
Softsoft (sôft, soft),USA pronunciation adj., -er, -est, n., adv., interj.
- yielding readily to touch or pressure;
easily penetrated, divided, or changed in shape;
not hard or stiff: a soft pillow.
- relatively deficient in hardness, as metal or wood.
- smooth and agreeable to the touch;
not rough or coarse: a soft fabric; soft skin.
- producing agreeable sensations;
pleasant or comfortable: soft slumber.
- low or subdued in sound;
gentle and melodious: soft music; a soft voice.
- not harsh or unpleasant to the eye;
not glaring: soft light; a soft color.
- not hard or sharp: soft outlines.
- gentle or mild: soft breezes.
- genial or balmy, as climate or air.
- gentle, mild, warm-hearted, or compassionate: a soft, grandmotherly woman.
- smooth, soothing, or ingratiating: soft words.
- not harsh or severe, as a penalty or demand.
- responsive or sympathetic to the feelings, emotions, needs, etc., of others;
- sentimental or flowery, as language: soft, meaningless talk.
- not strong or robust;
incapable of great endurance or exertion: He was too soft for the Marines.
involving little effort;
not difficult, laborious, trying, or severe: a soft job.
- easily influenced or swayed;
easily imposed upon;
- lenient, permissive, or conciliatory, esp. regarding something that is conceived of as dangerous or threatening: to be soft on Communism.
- (of water) relatively free from mineral salts that interfere with the action of soap.
- (of paper money or a monetary system) not supported by sufficient gold reserves or not easily convertible into a foreign currency.
- (of a market, market condition, or prices) declining in value, volume, profitability, etc.;
weak: a soft tourist season.Cf. firm 1 (def. 7).
- (of money) plentiful or available at low interest rates or on easy terms: a soft loan.
- (of a metal) easily magnetized and demagnetized.
- (of solder) fusing readily.
- (of a metal or alloy) fully annealed, so as to provide minimum mechanical hardness.
- (of a photographic image) having delicate gradations of tone.
- (of a focus) lacking in sharpness.
- (of a lens) unable to be focused sharply.
- (of consonants) lenis, esp. lenis and voiced.
- (of c and g) pronounced as in cent and gem.
- (of consonants in Slavic languages) palatalized. Cf. hard (def. 38).
- [Mil.](of a missile-launching base) aboveground and relatively unprotected from enemy attack.
- (of a landing of a space vehicle) gentle;
not harmful to the vehicle or its contents: a soft landing on the moon.
- (of a beam of particles or electromagnetic radiation) having relatively low energy: soft x-rays.Cf. hard (def. 40).
- (of a delegate, voter, etc.) not committed to any one candidate.
- foolish or stupid: soft in the head.
- (of a detergent) readily biodegradable.
- be soft on someone, [Informal.]to be amorously inclined toward a person;
have an affection for: He's been soft on her for years.
- something that is soft or yielding;
the soft part.
- in a soft manner.
- be quiet! hush!
- not so fast! stop!
Whatwhat (hwut, hwot, wut, wot; unstressed hwət, wət),USA pronunciation pron.
- (used interrogatively as a request for specific information): What is the matter?
- (used interrogatively to inquire about the character, occupation, etc., of a person): What does he do?
- (used interrogatively to inquire as to the origin, identity, etc., of something): What are those birds?
- (used interrogatively to inquire as to the worth, usefulness, force, or importance of something): What is wealth without friends?
- (used interrogatively to request a repetition of words or information not fully understood, usually used in elliptical constructions): You need what?
- (used interrogatively to inquire the reason or purpose of something, usually used in elliptical constructions): What of it?
- how much?: What does it cost?
- (used relatively to indicate that which): I will send what was promised.
anything that: Say what you please. Come what may.
- the kind of thing or person that: He said what everyone expected he would. They are just what I was expecting.
- as much as;
as many as: We should each give what we can.
- the thing or fact that (used in parenthetic clauses): He went to the meeting and, what was worse, insisted on speaking.
- (used to indicate more to follow, additional possibilities, alternatives, etc.): You know what? Shall we go or what?
- (used as an intensifier in exclamatory phrases, often fol. by an indefinite article): What luck! What an idea!
- don't you agree?: An unusual chap, what?
who: She's the one what told me.
- Say what? (used esp. among teenagers) What's that you say? Would you repeat that?
- So what? (an expression of disinterest, disinclination, or contempt.)
- what have you, other things of the same kind;
so forth: money, jewels, stocks, and what have you.
- what for:
- why: What are you doing that for?
- a punishment or scolding.
- what if, what would be the outcome if;
suppose that: What if everyone who was invited comes?
- what it takes, something that enables one to achieve success or attain a desired end, as good looks, ability, or money: There's a young woman who has what it takes to get along in the world.
- what's what, the true situation;
all the facts: It's high time you told him what's what.
- the true nature or identity of something, or the sum of its characteristics: a lecture on the whats and hows of crop rotation.
- (used interrogatively before nouns): What news? What clothes shall I pack?
- whatever: Take what supplies you need.
- to what extent or degree? how much?: What does it matter?
- (used to introduce a prepositional phrase beginning with with): What with storms and all, their return was delayed.
- [Obs.]for what reason or purpose? why?
- (used in exclamatory expressions, often fol. by a question): What, no salt?
- [Older Use.]as much as;
as far as: He helps me what he can.
- but what, but that;
who or that … not: Who knows but what the sun may still shine.
Lightlight1 (līt),USA pronunciation n., adj., -er, -est, v., light•ed or lit, light•ing.
- something that makes things visible or affords illumination: All colors depend on light.
- Also called luminous energy, radiant energy. electromagnetic radiation to which the organs of sight react, ranging in wavelength from about 400 to 700 nm and propagated at a speed of 186,282 mi./sec (299,972 km/sec), considered variously as a wave, corpuscular, or quantum phenomenon.
- a similar form of radiant energy that does not affect the retina, as ultraviolet or infrared rays.
- the sensation produced by stimulation of the organs of sight.
- an illuminating agent or source, as the sun, a lamp, or a beacon.
- the radiance or illumination from a particular source: the light of a candle.
- the illumination from the sun;
daylight: We awoke at the first light.
- daybreak or dawn: when light appeared in the east.
- daytime: Summer has more hours of light.
- a particular light or illumination in which an object seen takes on a certain appearance: viewing the portrait in dim light.
- a device for or means of igniting, as a spark, flame, or match: Could you give me a light?
- a traffic light: Don't cross till the light changes.
- the aspect in which a thing appears or is regarded: Try to look at the situation in a more cheerful light.
- the state of being visible, exposed to view, or revealed to public notice or knowledge;
limelight: Stardom has placed her in the light.
- a person who is an outstanding leader, celebrity, or example;
luminary: He became one of the leading lights of Restoration drama.
- the effect of light falling on an object or scene as represented in a picture.
- one of the brightest parts of a picture.
- a gleam or sparkle, as in the eyes.
- a measure or supply of light;
illumination: The wall cuts off our light.
- spiritual illumination or awareness;
- Also called day. one compartment of a window or window sash.
- a window, esp. a small one.
- mental insight;
- lights, the information, ideas, or mental capacities possessed: to act according to one's lights.
- a lighthouse.
- [Archaic.]the eyesight.
- bring to light, to discover or reveal: The excavations brought to light the remnants of an ancient civilization.
- come to light, to be discovered or revealed: Some previously undiscovered letters have lately come to light.
- hide one's light under a bushel, to conceal or suppress one's talents or successes.
- in a good (or bad ) light, under favorable (or unfavorable) circumstances: She worshiped him, but then she'd only seen him in a good light.
- in (the) light of, taking into account;
considering: It was necessary to review the decision in the light of recent developments.
- light at the end of the tunnel, a prospect of success, relief, or redemption: We haven't solved the problem yet, but we're beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.
- see the light:
- to come into existence or being.
- to be made public.
- to begin to accept or understand a point of view one formerly opposed: Her father was opposed to her attending an out-of-town college, but he finally saw the light.
- shed or throw light on, to clarify;
clear up: His deathbed confession threw light on a mystery of long standing.
- having light or illumination;
well-lighted: the lightest room in the entire house.
- pale, whitish, or not deep or dark in color: a light blue.
- (of coffee or tea) containing enough milk or cream to produce a light color.
- to set burning, as a candle, lamp, fire, match, or cigarette;
- to turn or switch on (an electric light): One flick of the master switch lights all the lamps in the room.
- to give light to;
furnish with light or illumination: The room is lighted by two large chandeliers.
- to make (an area or object) bright with or as if with light (often fol. by up): Hundreds of candles lighted up the ballroom.
- to cause (the face, surroundings, etc.) to brighten, esp. with joy, animation, or the like (often fol. by up): A smile lit up her face. Her presence lighted up the room.
- to guide or conduct with a light: a candle to light you to bed.
- to take fire or become kindled: The damp wood refused to light.
- to ignite a cigar, cigarette, or pipe for purposes of smoking (usually fol. by up): He took out a pipe and lighted up before speaking.
- to become illuminated when switched on: This table lamp won't light.
- to become bright, as with light or color (often fol. by up): The sky lights up at sunset.
- to brighten with animation or joy, as the face or eyes (often fol. by up).
Throughthrough (thro̅o̅),USA pronunciation prep.
- in at one end, side, or surface and out at the other: to pass through a tunnel; We drove through Denver without stopping. Sun came through the window.
beyond: to go through a stop sign without stopping.
- from one to the other of;
between or among the individual members or parts of: to swing through the trees; This book has passed through many hands.
- over the surface of, by way of, or within the limits or medium of: to travel through a country; to fly through the air.
- during the whole period of;
throughout: They worked through the night.
- having reached the end of;
done with: to be through one's work.
- to and including: from 1900 through 1950.
- by the means or instrumentality of;
by the way or agency of: It was through him they found out.
- by reason of or in consequence of: to run away through fear.
- in at the first step of a process, treatment, or method of handling, passing through subsequent steps or stages in order, and finished, accepted, or out of the last step or stage: The body of a car passes through 147 stages on the production line. The new tax bill finally got through Congress.
- in at one end, side, or surface and out at the other: to push a needle through; just passing through.
- all the way;
along the whole distance: This train goes through to Boston.
- throughout: soaking wet through.
- from the beginning to the end: to read a letter through.
- to the end: to carry a matter through.
- to a favorable or successful conclusion: He barely managed to pull through.
- through and through:
- through the whole extent of;
thoroughly: cold through and through.
- from beginning to end;
in all respects: an aristocrat through and through.
- having completed an action, process, etc.;
finished: Please be still until I'm through. When will you be through with school?
- at the end of all relations or dealings: My sister insists she's through with selfish friends.
- passing or extending from one end, side, or surface to the other.
- traveling or moving to a destination without changing of trains, planes, etc.: a through flight.
- (of a road, route, way, course, etc., or of a ticket, routing order, etc.) admitting continuous or direct passage;
having no interruption, obstruction, or hindrance: a through highway; through ticket.
- (of a bridge truss) having a deck or decks within the depth of the structure. Cf. deck (def. 21).
- of no further use or value;
washed-up: Critics say he's through as a writer.
Yonderyon•der (yon′dər),USA pronunciation adj.
- being in that place or over there;
being that or those over there: That road yonder is the one to take.
- being the more distant or farther: yonder side.
- at, in, or to that place specified or more or less distant;
Windowwin•dow (win′dō),USA pronunciation n.
- an opening in the wall of a building, the side of a vehicle, etc., for the admission of air or light, or both, commonly fitted with a frame in which are set movable sashes containing panes of glass.
- such an opening with the frame, sashes, and panes of glass, or any other device, by which it is closed.
- the frame, sashes, and panes of glass, or the like, intended to fit such an opening: Finally the builders put in the windows.
- a windowpane.
- anything likened to a window in appearance or function, as a transparent section in an envelope, displaying the address.
- a period of time regarded as highly favorable for initiating or completing something: Investors have a window of perhaps six months before interest rates rise.
- chaff1 (def. 5).
- [Pharm.]the drug dosage range that results in a therapeutic effect, a lower dose being insufficient and a higher dose being toxic.
- See launch window.
- a specific area at the outer limits of the earth's atmosphere through which a spacecraft must reenter to arrive safely at its planned destination.
- a section of a display screen that can be created for viewing information from another part of a file or from another file: The split screen feature enables a user to create two or more windows.
- to furnish with a window or windows.
- [Obs.]to display or put in a window.
Breaksbreak (brāk),USA pronunciation v., broke or (Archaic) brake;
bro•ken or (Archaic) broke;
- to smash, split, or divide into parts violently;
reduce to pieces or fragments: He broke a vase.
- to infringe, ignore, or act contrary to (a law, rule, promise, etc.): She broke her promise.
- to dissolve or annul (often fol. by off): to break off friendly relations with another country.
- to fracture a bone of (some part of the body): He broke his leg.
- to lacerate;
wound: to break the skin.
- to destroy or interrupt the regularity, uniformity, continuity, or arrangement of;
interrupt: The bleating of a foghorn broke the silence. The troops broke formation.
- to put an end to;
stop: His touchdown run broke the tie. She found it hard to break the cigarette habit.
- to discover the system, key, method, etc., for decoding or deciphering (a cryptogram), esp. by the methods of cryptanalysis.
- to remove a part from (a set or collection): She had to break the set to sell me the two red ones I wanted.
- to exchange for or divide into smaller units or components: She broke a dollar bill into change. The prism broke the light into all the colors of the rainbow.
- to make a way through;
penetrate: The stone broke the surface of the water.
- to open or force one's way into (a dwelling, store, etc.).
- to contest (a will) successfully by judicial action.
- to make one's way out of, esp. by force: to break jail.
- to better (a given score or record): He never broke 200 in bowling or 80 in golf.
- to disclose or divulge personally in speech or writing: He broke the good news to her at dinner.
- to solve: The police needed only a week to break that case.
- to rupture (a blood vessel): She almost broke a blood vessel from laughing so hard.
- to disable or destroy by or as if by shattering or crushing: to break a watch.
- to cause (a blister, boil, or the like) to burst, as by puncturing: She broke the blister with a needle.
- to ruin financially;
make bankrupt: They threatened to break him if he didn't stop discounting their products.
- to overcome or wear down the spirit, strength, or resistance of;
to cause to yield, esp. under pressure, torture, or the like: They broke him by the threat of blackmail.
- to dismiss or reduce in rank.
- to impair or weaken the power, effect, or intensity of: His arm broke the blow.
- to train to obedience;
tame: to break a horse.
- to train away from a habit or practice (usually fol. by of ).
- to render (a circuit) incomplete;
stop the flow of (a current).
- to release (a story) for publication or airing on radio or television: They will break the story tomorrow.
- to continue (a story or article) on another page, esp. when the page is not the following one.
- [Pool.]to cause (racked billiard balls) to scatter by striking with the cue ball.
- (of a pitcher, bowler, etc.) to hurl (a ball) in such a way as to cause it to change direction after leaving the hand: He broke a curve over the plate for a strike.
- (in tennis and other racket games) to score frequently or win against (an opponent's serve).
- to unfurl (a flag) suddenly by an easily released knot.
- to prove the falsity or show the lack of logic of: The FBI broke his alibi by proving he knew how to shoot a pistol.
- to begin or initiate (a plan or campaign), esp. with much publicity: They were going to break the sales campaign with a parade in April.
- to open the breech or action of (a shotgun, rifle, or revolver), as by snapping open the hinge between the barrel and the butt.
- to shatter, burst, or become broken;
separate into parts or fragments, esp. suddenly and violently: The glass broke on the floor.
- to become suddenly discontinuous or interrupted;
stop abruptly: She pulled too hard and the string broke.
- to become detached, separated, or disassociated (usually fol. by away, off, or from): The knob broke off in his hand.
- to become inoperative or to malfunction, as through wear or damage: The television set broke this afternoon.
- to begin suddenly or violently or change abruptly into something else: War broke over Europe.
- to begin uttering a sound or series of sounds or to be uttered suddenly: She broke into song. When they entered, a cheer broke from the audience.
- to express or start to express an emotion or mood: His face broke into a smile.
- to free oneself or escape suddenly, as from restraint or dependency (often fol. by away): He broke away from the arresting officer. She finally broke away from her parents and got an apartment of her own.
- to run or dash toward something suddenly (usually fol. by for): The pass receiver broke for the goal line.
- to force a way (usually fol. by in, into, or through): The hunters broke through the underbrush.
- to burst or rupture: A blood vessel broke in his nose. The blister broke when he pricked it.
- to interrupt or halt an activity (usually fol. by in, into, forth, or from): Don't break in on the conversation. Let's break for lunch.
- to appear or arrive suddenly (usually fol. by in, into, or out): A deer broke into the clearing. A rash broke out on her arm.
- to dawn: The day broke hot and sultry.
- to begin violently and suddenly: The storm broke.
- (of a storm, foul weather, etc.) to cease: The weather broke after a week, and we were able to sail for home.
- to part the surface of water, as a jumping fish or surfacing submarine.
- to give way or fail, as health, strength, or spirit;
collapse: After years of hardship and worry, his health broke.
- to yield or submit to pressure, torture, or the like: He broke under questioning.
- (of the heart) to be overwhelmed with sorrow: Her heart broke when he told her that he no longer loved her.
- (of the voice or a musical instrument) to change harshly from one register or pitch to another: After his voice broke, he could no longer sing soprano parts.
- (of the voice) to cease, waver, or change tone abruptly, esp. from emotional strain: His voice broke when he mentioned her name.
- (of value or prices) to drop sharply and considerably.
- to disperse or collapse by colliding with something: The waves broke on the shore.
- to break dance.
- (of a horse in a harness race) to fail to keep to a trot or pace, as by starting to gallop.
- [Bot.]to mutate;
- to undergo breaking.
- [Billiards, Pool.]to make a break;
take the first turn in a game.
- (of a pitched or bowled ball) to change direction: The ball broke over the plate.
- [Horse Racing, Track.]to leave the starting point: The horses broke fast from the gate.
- [Boxing.]to step back or separate from a clinch: The fighters fell into a clinch and broke on the referee's order.
- to take place;
- to become known, published, or aired: The story broke in the morning papers.
- [Hort.]to produce flowers or leaves.
- break away:
- to leave or escape, esp. suddenly or hurriedly.
- to sever connections or allegiance, as to tradition or a political group.
- to start prematurely: The horse broke away from the starting gate.
- break back, [Tennis.]to win a game served by an opponent immediately after the opponent has done so against one's own serve.
- break bulk, to remove a cargo wholly or in part.
- break camp, to pack up tents and equipment and resume a journey or march: They broke camp at dawn and proceeded toward the mountains.
- break down:
- to become ineffective.
- to lose control;
weaken: He broke down and wept at the sad news.
- to have a physical or mental collapse.
- to cease to function: The car broke down.
- to itemize: to break down a hotel bill into daily charges.
- to separate (a compound) into its constituent molecules.
- [Elect.](of an insulator) to fail, as when subjected to excessively high voltage, permitting a current to pass.
- to decompose.
- to analyze.
- to classify.
- to separate into constituent parts: to break down a beef carcass into basic cuts.
- break even, to finish a business transaction, period of gambling, series of games, etc., with no loss or gain: He played poker all night and broke even.
- break ground:
- to begin construction, esp. of a building or group of buildings: to break ground for a new housing development.
- [Naut.]to free an anchor from the bottom;
- break in:
- to enter by force or craft: Someone broke in and made off with all the furniture.
- to train or instruct;
initiate: The boss is breaking in a new assistant.
- to begin to wear or use in order to make comfortable: These shoes haven't been broken in.
- to interrupt: He broke in with a ridiculous objection.
- to run (new machinery) initially under reduced load and speed, until any stiffness of motion has departed and all parts are ready to operate under normal service conditions;
- break in on or upon, to enter with force upon or accidentally interrupt;
intrude upon: The visitor opened the wrong door and broke in on a private conference.
- break into:
- to interpose;
interrupt: He broke into the conversation at a crucial moment.
- to begin some activity.
- to be admitted into;
enter, as a business or profession: It is difficult to break into the theater.
- to enter by force: They broke into the store and stole the safe.
- break it down, [Australian Slang.]
- stop it;
- (used as an exclamation of disbelief ) that can't be true!
- break off:
- to sever by breaking.
- to stop suddenly;
discontinue: to break off a conversation; to break off relations with one's neighbors.
- break one's heart. See heart (def. 19).
- break out:
- to begin abruptly;
arise: An epidemic broke out.
- (of certain diseases) to appear in eruptions.
- (of a person) to manifest a skin eruption.
- to prepare for use: to break out the parachutes.
- to take out of (storage, concealment, etc.) for consumption: to break out one's best wine.
- [Naut.]to dislodge (the anchor) from the bottom.
- to escape;
flee: He spent three years in prison before he broke out.
- to separate into categories or list specific items: to break out gift ideas according to price range; The report breaks out quarterly profits and losses.
- break service, [Tennis.]to win a game served by one's opponent.
- break sheer, (of an anchored vessel) to drift into such a position as to risk fouling the anchor or anchor cable. Cf. sheer2 (def. 6).
- break step. See step (def. 20).
- break up:
- to separate;
- to put an end to;
- to divide or become divided into pieces.
- to dissolve.
- to disrupt;
upset: Television commercials during a dramatic presentation break up the continuity of effect.
- (of a personal relationship) to end: to break up a friendship; Their marriage broke up last year.
- to end a personal relationship: Bob and Mary broke up last month.
- to be or cause to be overcome with laughter: The comedian told several jokes that broke up the audience.
- break wind. See wind1 (def. 21).
- break with:
- to sever relations with;
separate from: to break with one's family.
- to depart from;
repudiate: to break with tradition.
- an act or instance of breaking;
disruption or separation of parts;
rupture: There was a break in the window.
- an opening made by breaking;
gap: The break in the wall had not been repaired.
- a rush away from a place;
an attempt to escape: a break for freedom.
- a sudden dash or rush, as toward something: When the rain lessened, I made a break for home.
- a suspension of or sudden rupture in friendly relations.
- an interruption of continuity;
departure from or rupture with: Abstract painters made a break with the traditions of the past.
- an abrupt or marked change, as in sound or direction, or a brief pause: They noticed a curious break in his voice.
- an opportunity or stroke of fortune, esp. a lucky one.
- a chance to improve one's lot, esp. one unlooked for or undeserved.
- the breaks, the way things happen;
fate: Sorry to hear about your bad luck, but I guess those are the breaks.
- a brief rest, as from work: The actors took a ten-minute break from rehearsal.
- [Radio, Television.]a brief, scheduled interruption of a program or broadcasting period for the announcement of advertising or station identification.
- [Pros.]a pause or caesura.
- [Jazz.]a solo passage, usually of from 2 to 12 bars, during which the rest of the instruments are silent.
- the point in the scale where the quality of voice of one register changes to that of another, as from chest to head.
- See break dancing.
- a sharp and considerable drop in the prices of stock issues.
- an opening or discontinuity in a circuit.
- one or more blank lines between two paragraphs.
- breaks. See suspension points.
- the place, after a letter, where a word is or may be divided at the end of a line.
- a collapse of health, strength, or spirit;
- an indiscreet or awkward remark or action;
- [Billiards, Pool.]a series of successful strokes;
- [Pool.]the opening play, in which the cue ball is shot to scatter the balls.
- a change in direction of a pitched or bowled ball.
- [Horse Racing, Track.]the start of a race.
- (in harness racing) an act or instance of a horse's changing from a trot or pace into a gallop or other step.
- [Bowling.]a failure to knock down all ten pins in a single frame.
- [Boxing.]an act or instance of stepping back or separating from a clinch: a clean break.
- any of several stages in the grinding of grain in which the bran is separated from the kernel.
- a sport.
- the point at the bottom of a column where a printed story is carried over to another column or page.
- the place at which a superstructure, deckhouse, or the like, rises from the main deck of a vessel.
- breaks, [Phys. Geog.]an area dissected by small ravines and gullies.
- a fault or offset, as in a vein or bed of ore.