Cooperation(See also ASSISTANCE, RECIPROCITY
To make a contribution, either of money or of time and effort; to interrupt or butt in. This expression probably derives from the game of poker in which chips, representing money, are placed by players in the “pot.” Putting chips in the “pot” is equivalent to entering the game. Figurative uses of the phrase play on the idea of “entering the game”—that is, becoming involved. Ways of “chipping in” range from giving money to a charity or participating in a joint enterprise to “putting one’s two cents in.” Such uses of the phrase gained currency in the second half of the 19th century. Only the ‘interrupt, butt in’ meaning is uncommon today.go Dutch
To have each person pay his own way, to share or split the cost; to go fifty-fifty or halves. Although the exact origin of this expression is not known, it is perhaps an allusion to the qualities or independence and thrift characteristic of the Dutch people. The phrase to go Dutch
probably arose from the earlier combinations of Dutch lunch, party
, or supper
, events or meals to which each person contributed his share, similar to today’s potluck suppers or B.Y.O.B. parties where the guests furnish the food and drink. The oldest related “Dutch” combination is apparently Dutch treat
, which dates from about 1887, and is closest in meaning to to go Dutch
To suggest a free trade area to any of them in such circumstances looks rather like proposing to a tee-totaller that you and he go dutch on daily rounds of drinks. (The Economist, October 1957)
The expression dates from the early part of the 20th century.
in cahoots See CONSPIRACY.
in there pitching See EXERTION.
keep one’s end up To do one’s fair share, do one’s part; to hold one’s own; to share the responsibilities involved in an undertaking. In print since the mid-19th century, this expression probably derives from the image of two people balancing a heavy load. It is widely heard today.
Colonel Baden-Powell and his gallant garrison will have to keep their end up unassisted. (Westminster Gazette, November 24, 1899)
kick in To contribute, to put in, to donate or give, to pay one’s share; usually in reference to money. This American slang expression probably derives from the poker slang meaning of to kick ‘to raise or up an already existing bet.’
The lawyer guy kicked in with the balance of the ten thousand. (K. McGaffey, Sorrows of Show-Girl, 1908)
pick up the slack To compensate, offset or counterbalance. The expression usually indicates that a person or group must put forth extra effort to make up for another’s absence, weakness, or low output.
play ball To work together toward a common goal; to cooperate; to act justly and honestly. This expression is perhaps derived from the set of rules agreed upon by youngsters before they play a game together or from the necessity of team effort and cooperation in athletic contests. The expression is heard throughout the English-speaking world.
The police of Buffalo are too dumb—it would be redundant, I suppose, to say “and honest”—to play ball with the hold-up mobs. (C. Terrett, Only Saps Work, 1930)
pull one’s weight To do one’s rightful share of the work; to effectively perform one’s job. This expression apparently originated from rowing, where an oarsman who does not apply all his strength to each stroke is considered a burden rather than an asset. Similarly, one who figuratively pulls his weight makes himself a valuable contributor to a team effort. In contemporary usage, the expression is often used in discussing the value or usefulness of an employee.
n. pl. lib·er·ties
a. The condition of being free from restriction or control.
b. The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one’s own choosing.
The condition of being physically and legally free from confinement, servitude, or forced labor. See Synonyms at freedom
2. Freedom from unjust or undue governmental control.
3. A right or immunity to engage in certain actions without control or interference: the liberties protected by the Bill of Rights.
a. A breach or overstepping of propriety or social convention. Often used in the plural.
b. A statement, attitude, or action not warranted by conditions or actualities: a historical novel that takes liberties with chronology.
c. An unwarranted risk; a chance: took foolish liberties on the ski slopes.
5. A period, usually short, during which a sailor is authorized to go ashore.
1. Not in confinement or under constraint; free.
2. Not employed, occupied, or in use.
[Middle English liberte, from Old French, from Latin l
s, from l
; see leudh- in Indo-European roots.]
1. Not imprisoned or enslaved; being at liberty.
2. Not controlled by obligation or the will of another: felt free to go.
a. Having political independence: “America . . . is the freest and wealthiest nation in the world” (Rudolph W. Giuliani).
b. Governed by consent and possessing or granting civil liberties: a free citizenry.
c. Not subject to arbitrary interference by a government: a free press.
a. Not affected or restricted by a given condition or circumstance: a healthy animal, free of disease; free from need.
b. Not subject to a given condition; exempt: income that is free of all taxes.
5. Not subject to external restraint: “Comment is free but facts are sacred” (Charles Prestwich Scott).
6. Not literal or exact: a free translation.
a. Costing nothing; gratuitous: a free meal.
b. Publicly supported: free education.
a. Not occupied or used: a free locker.
b. Not taken up by scheduled activities: free time between classes.
9. Unobstructed; clear: a free lane.
10. Unguarded in expression or manner; open; frank.
11. Taking undue liberties; forward or overfamiliar.
12. Liberal or lavish: tourists who are free with their money.
13. Given, made, or done of one’s own accord; voluntary or spontaneous: a free act of the will; free choices.
14. Chemistry & Physics
a. Unconstrained; unconfined: free expansion.
b. Not fixed in position; capable of relatively unrestricted motion: a free electron.
c. Not chemically bound in a molecule: free oxygen.
d. Involving no collisions or interactions: a free path.
e. Empty: a free space.
f. Unoccupied: a free energy level.
15. Nautical Favorable: a free wind.
16. Not bound, fastened, or attached: the free end of a chain.
a. Being a form, especially a morpheme, that can stand as an independent word, such as boat or bring.
b. Being a vowel in an open syllable, as the o in go.
1. In a free manner; without restraint.
2. Without charge.
1. To set at liberty; make free: freed the slaves; free the imagination.
2. To relieve of a burden, obligation, or restraint: a people who were at last freed from fear.
3. To remove obstructions or entanglements from; clear: free a path through the jungle.
for free Informal
[Middle English fre, from Old English fr
o. V., from Middle English freen, from Old English fr
on, to love, set free
; see pr
– in Indo-European roots.]
1. Determination of one’s own fate or course of action without compulsion; free will.
2. Freedom of the people of a given area to determine their own political status; independence.
ng) adj. & n.
1. Liable to be required to give account, as of one’s actions or of the discharge of a duty or trust.
2. Involving personal accountability or ability to act without guidance or superior authority: a responsible position within the firm.
3. Being a source or cause.
4. Able to make moral or rational decisions on one’s own and therefore answerable for one’s behavior.
5. Able to be trusted or depended upon; reliable.
6. Based on or characterized by good judgment or sound thinking: responsible journalism.
7. Having the means to pay debts or fulfill obligations.
8. Required to render account; answerable: The cabinet is responsible to the parliament.
[Obsolete French, corresponding to
, from Latin resp
nsus, past participle of respond
re, to respond
; see respond
Synonyms: responsible, answerable, liable, accountable, amenable
These adjectives share the meaning obliged to answer, as for one’s actions, to an authority that may impose a penalty for failure. Responsible
often implies the satisfactory performance of duties or the trustworthy care for or disposition of possessions: “I am responsible for the ship’s safety”
(Robert Louis Stevenson).
suggests a moral or legal responsibility subject to review by a higher authority: The court held the parents answerable for their minor child’s acts of vandalism.
may refer to a legal obligation, as to pay damages or to perform jury duty: Wage earners are liable to income tax.
especially emphasizes giving an account of one’s discharge of a responsibility: “The liberal philosophy holds that enduring governments must be accountable to someone beside themselves”
implies being subject to the control of an authority and therefore the absence of complete autonomy: “There is no constitutional tribunal to which [the king] is amenable”
(Alexander Hamilton). See Also Synonyms at reliable
Usage Note: Some critics have maintained that responsible should not be used to describe things, since only persons can be held accountable. The application to things is justifiable, however, when responsible is used to mean “being the source or cause of.” In an earlier survey, a majority of the Usage Panel accepted the sentence Faulty construction was responsible for the crash.
New world cycle