Definition of drop in English:

drop

Syllabification: drop
Pronunciation: /dräp
 
/

verb (drops, dropping, dropped)

[with object]
1Let or make (something) fall vertically: the fire was caused by someone dropping a lighted cigarette they dropped bombs on London during the raid
More example sentences
  • The fire had started when she fell asleep and dropped her cigarette.
  • Investigations by police and fire officers concluded that one of them had fallen asleep and dropped a lit cigarette end.
  • He drops the phone and falls back to the floor, shaking.
Synonyms
let fall, let go of, lose one's grip on; release, unhand, relinquishput, place, deposit, set, lay, leave
informal pop, plonk
1.1Deliver (supplies or troops) by parachute: the airlift dropped food into the camp
More example sentences
  • Only on rare occasions would an entire Brigade be dropped for an assault upon one objective.
  • The Germans have to fly increasingly further with fewer aircraft and landing fields to drop supplies.
  • We dropped the Parachute Regiment into Arnhem and also towed gliders over.
1.2 Rugby Score (a goal) by a drop kick.
More example sentences
  • England have had a hard time of it since Wilkinson dropped the goal which won them the World Cup in Sydney in November.
  • A rare Hull breakaway five minutes from time set up the position for Richard Whiting to drop a crucial field goal.
  • The second half saw Bolton under the cosh as Heaton Moor scored a second try and their stand off dropped a goal from 50 metres to level the scores.
1.3(Of an animal, especially a mare, cow, or ewe) give birth to (young).
More example sentences
  • They were four hours east of Sterling, when Fly dropped her first pup.
  • This species of hartebeest has its young in the late dry season, some antelope prefer to drop their young during the first rains.
  • She dropped her first litter of pups in September of 2003.
1.4 informal Take (a drug, especially LSD) orally: he dropped a lot of acid in the Sixties
More example sentences
  • Before I had dropped LSD for the first time, I didn't understand the neck thing.
  • Ellis would frequently drop acid on off days and weekends.
  • The notorious acid flashback (where a person will trip out long after the last time they dropped a tab) happens when the body uses some of these fat reserves, thus releasing L.S.D. into the bloodstream.
2 [no object] Fall vertically: the spoon dropped with a clatter from her hand
More example sentences
  • Sebastian's subsequent survival was another aerial spectacle as his boat dropped vertically to the stage in stormy lighting.
  • My spoon dropped clumsily from my hand.
  • A thrust and twist through its chest, and it fell limp, the daggers clattering as they dropped from its hands.
Synonyms
2.1(Of a person) allow oneself to fall; let oneself down without jumping: they escaped by climbing out of the window and dropping to the ground
More example sentences
  • The crews grabbed them from the first floor of their terraced home in Prestwich after the family dropped on to the roof of their bay windows.
  • Wordlessly, she stands up and, doesn't drop, but jumps off going further than she should.
  • I jumped, or dropped, whichever sounds more dignified, off the pipe.
2.2(Of a person or animal) sink to or toward the ground: he dropped to his knees in the mud
More example sentences
  • Then its head sunk down and the beast simply dropped to the ground, fast asleep.
  • At the shot, the buck dropped to the ground but was up again moving away with no flash of the white tail to be seen.
  • James groaned from the ground and Andy dropped to her knees to help him.
Synonyms
fall, sink, collapse, slump, tumble
2.3 informal Collapse or die from exhaustion: he looked ready to drop
More example sentences
  • It was nearly three in the morning and he looked ready to drop from exhaustion.
  • I was exhausted and ready to drop before the day was even half over but there was no way in hell I was going to give Annie the satisfaction of seeing me like that.
  • It looked like you were ready to drop after a couple of hours there, Brooke.
Synonyms
2.4(Of ground) slope steeply down: the cliff drops ninety yards to the valley below
More example sentences
  • In front the land dropped steeply away to the desert.
  • A couple of hundred yards from where the trees stopped, the ground dropped away in a sheer cliff.
  • The ground dropped away from the far edge of the trail to a spectacular view of the canyon and the mountains beyond.
Synonyms
slope downward, slant downward, descend, go down, fall away, sink, dip
3Make or become lower, weaker, or less: he dropped his voice as she came into the room [no object]: pretax profits dropped by 37 percent tourism has dropped off in the last few years
More example sentences
  • Energy demand might not drop much unless the price of energy doubled.
  • In addition, predictions that housing prices would drop began appearing in the local media.
  • Furious investors frantically sold their shares, causing the share price to drop 54 per cent in one day.
Synonyms
decrease, lessen, reduce, diminish, depreciate; fall, decline, dwindle, sink, slump, plunge, plummet, drop off
4Abandon or discontinue (a course of action or study): the charges against him were dropped last year drop everything and get over here!
More example sentences
  • ‘The thing about studying here is that you have to be able to drop everything in a second,’ she explains.
  • ‘Angie has dropped everything for me and running the charity has changed both our lives,’ she said.
  • Should one drop everything to answer the phone?
Synonyms
give up, drop out of, finish with, withdraw from; discontinue, end, stop, cease, halt; abandon, forgo, relinquish, dispense with, have done with
informal pack in, quit
4.1Discard or exclude (someone or something): they were dropped from the team in the reshuffle
More example sentences
  • He was dropped from the test team in January 2002 and has received just one chance since.
  • Both photos were going into the article but one had to be dropped due to space and that is when the caption mix-up happened.
  • Freddie and his board were about to drop him when he quit.
Synonyms
exclude, discard, expel, oust, throw out, leave out; dismiss, discharge, let go
informal boot out, kick out
4.2 informal Stop associating with: I was under pressure from family and friends to drop Barbara
More example sentences
  • Alex discovered why he has been dropped as a friend and a lover by Benny.
  • You drop all of your friends and family, you disappear for months at a time, and you're rude as hell when you finally do resurface!
  • I think you should just drop her.
Synonyms
abandon, desert, throw over; renounce, disown, turn one's back on, wash one's hands of; reject, give up, cast off; neglect, shun
literary forsake
4.3Omit (a letter or syllable) in speech: our English au pair drops her h’s
More example sentences
  • Or to make things even more complicated, sometimes one syllable can be dropped altogether.
  • He had a habit of dropping letters in his conversations.
  • Rosa drops the ends of words both in Italian and English.
5Set down or unload (a passenger or goods), especially on the way to somewhere else: he dropped the load off at a dealer’s his mom dropped him outside and drove off to work
More example sentences
  • The driver dropped his passengers outside the Tib Street café before parking the vehicle on Dorsey Street.
  • The cab dropped her off outside of her apartment and she walked, with some difficulty, to the front door.
  • He dropped her off outside her apartment building, pressing the flowers into her hand.
5.1Put or leave in a particular place without ceremony or formality: just drop it in the mail when you’ve got time
More example sentences
  • At lunchtime I went down town and dropped the Bach score in on James.
  • Once you have completed the questionnaire drop it in to me at the clinic and make an appointment to discuss the results.
  • Mel and I head to the mall to shop for Daz's birthday present and then drop it round to the flat.
Synonyms
deliver, bring, take, convey, carry, transport; leave, unload
5.2Mention in passing, typically in order to impress: she dropped a remark about having been included in the selection
More example sentences
  • No surprise Susan fell for Andrew from the start, and yes, she'd picked up on the marriage hints he'd casually dropped along the way.
  • That doesn't stop him from dropping the usual snide comments.
  • The writer / actor enjoys dropping names, making fancy comparisons, and expressing intellectualized insights.
Synonyms
mention, refer to, hint at; bring up, raise, broach, introduce; show off
6(In sports) fail to win (a point, game, or match).
More example sentences
  • The Chinese have yet to drop a match and have only conceded two goals while Germany started well before going through a dry patch during the pool phase.
  • United could ill afford to drop a point in the championship race but after Paul Scholes slammed them into a 15th minute lead that possibility was never on the agenda.
  • The visitors were yet to drop any points, conceding only one goal in their five games prior to the Leigh match.
Synonyms
lose, concede, give away
6.1 informal Lose (money), especially through gambling: they drifted into a roulette parlor and dropped about fifteen dollars
More example sentences
  • Before you step into a studio and drop your hard earned money, here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself beforehand.
  • I have dropped 10000 dollars so far.
  • Three Saudi Arabian princes dropped more than $6 million on the roulette wheel at the Monte Carlo Casino.
7 Bridge Force or be forced to play (a relatively high card) as a loser under an opponent’s higher card, because it is the only card in its suit held in the hand: West dropped the nine [no object]: the queen dropped
More example sentences
  • Face cards are dropped on face cards or aces of the same color.
  • The 3 of diamonds, the lowest card in the deck now becomes the start card if you dropped the two cards I suggested.
  • Alternatively you need the jack with enough cards in your trump suit that you can reasonably hope to drop the 9 when you lead your jack.

noun

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1A small round or pear-shaped portion of liquid that hangs or falls or adheres to a surface: the first drops of rain splashed on the ground
More example sentences
  • By the time we finished walking round the projects, it was dark and the first drops of rain were beginning to fall.
  • We had dinner with Anne, Will, Jane, Liz and Bill on Friday evening and a few drops of rain fell.
  • We topped the pass as the first drops of rain fell, and then beat the storm in a reckless 20 kilometres downhill dash.
Synonyms
droplet, blob, globule, bead, bubble, tear, dot
informal glob
(drops of water/rain) rare stillicide
1.1 [often with negative] A very small amount of liquid: there was not a drop of water in sight
More example sentences
  • It was true when we were taught to save every grain and every drop of water.
  • A £40 million pipeline has never carried a drop of water since it was built in North Yorkshire more than seven years ago.
  • He explains how precious every drop of water is in their lives.
Synonyms
small amount, little, bit, dash, spot; dribble, driblet, sprinkle, trickle, splash; dab, speck, smattering, sprinkling, modicum
informal smidgen, tad
1.2 [usually with negative] A drink of alcoholic liquor: he doesn’t touch a drop during the week
More example sentences
  • You have lost that disturbed look on your face and without drinking a drop of this delicious brandy I've brought for you.
  • He has not touched a drop of drink for three years.
  • I haven't touched a drop of liquor since, and promptly gave away all of my cigarettes to friends on New Year's Day.
1.3 (drops) Liquid medicine to be measured or applied in very small amounts: eye drops
More example sentences
  • Your child's doctor will give you antibiotic ointment or drops along with specific instructions on how to care for your child.
  • Pink eye is usually treated with antibiotic drops or ointment.
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment, which can only be obtained with a prescription from your doctor.
2 [usually in singular] An instance of falling or dropping: they left within five minutes of the drop of the curtain
More example sentences
  • Suddenly, the ship halted with the drop of the anchor.
  • The crowd of spectators sat on the edges of their seats, waiting with bated breath for the drop of the violet flag.
  • The sale is binding upon both seller and buyer at the drop of the hammer.
2.1An act of dropping supplies or troops by parachute: the planes finally managed to make the drop
More example sentences
  • The council offered to arrange for a helicopter drop of supplies.
  • One of the most obvious lessons Stirling learned was that a parachute drop could be a disaster.
  • There was, however, no way of contacting them and arranging for a parachute drop.
2.2A fall in amount, quality, or rate: a significant drop in consumer spending
More example sentences
  • While, in comparison to last summer, the employment rate has taken a slight drop, the numbers are by no means a bad omen.
  • The drop was largely due to changes in conversion rates.
  • This corresponds to a drop from an annual gross emigration rate of 14.8 percent to 3.7 percent of the population.
Synonyms
2.3An abrupt fall or slope: standing on the lip of a sixty-foot drop
More example sentences
  • I peeked at my surroundings every minute or so, which is why my heart fell into my stomach at the sight of the steep drop.
  • The second mile is a huge drop into Brooklyn, and by about halfway, in the borough of Queens, 12 flat miles are followed by a climb, a drop and another steep climb.
  • But get to the top and gaze over Callander, and you soon realise how steep the drop is: you have climbed higher than 1,000 ft.
Synonyms
cliff, abyss, chasm, gorge, gully, precipice; slope, descent, incline
2.4 (the drop) Bridge The playing of a high card underneath an opponent’s higher card, because it is the only card in its suit held in the hand.
More example sentences
  • With nine cards you should play for the drop.
  • He would have gone down had he played for the drop of the spade queen.
3 informal A delivery: I got to the depot and made the drop
More example sentences
  • The Royal Mail was this morning searching all post to pick out voting papers, to be delivered in special drops or collected by town hall staff.
  • Later the same night, two men dressed in dark-coloured hooded tops and wraparound-style sunglasses confronted the delivery man as he made the drop in Avenue Terrace.
  • Our previous delivery van had to make several drops and then return to the depot.
3.1US A mailbox.
3.2A hiding place for stolen, illicit, or secret things: the lavatory’s toilet tank could be used as a letter drop
More example sentences
  • After the coup, he ran a newspaper stand, which functioned as a letter drop for the clandestine Communist Party.
  • Our requests were usually met, although there were occasional adjustments in types of weapons sent and frequent changes in time or locations of drops.
  • On the plus side, it does enable you to act out your John Le Carre Cold War fantasies with no shortage of dead letter drops and darkened doorways from which to covertly observe the locals.
4 [usually with modifier] A piece of candy or a lozenge: a lemon drop
More example sentences
  • His wearying recourse to the one-liner is the literary equivalent of tossing choc drops to the reader.
  • Dogs with a sweet tooth can fulfil their wish through chocolate milk drops which are safe as they contain minimal amount of cocoa which vets say is harmful to dogs.
  • Suck on hard candy, such as lemon drops or peppermint to decrease bitter or bad tastes in your mouth.
Synonyms
candy, lozenge, pastille
5 (also drop earring) An earring that hangs down from the earlobe: silver drop earrings simple amethyst and diamond drops
More example sentences
  • Her short dark blond hair was curled around a simple Russian tiara with matching diamond drop earrings.
  • There were freshwater pearl drop earrings and a matching five-stringed pearl choker, framed in delicate rose gold.
  • I ended up wearing a blue satin dress and pearl drop earrings.
6A section of theatrical scenery lowered from the flies; a drop cloth or drop curtain.
More example sentences
  • Judd's sets consisted of green and blue upstage drops that moved through a number of positions but did not further encroach on the open space of the stage.
  • Specialty weddings can be held on stage with elaborate drops and lighting.
  • There are also major costs associated with rehabilitating the beautiful drops that the theatre owns.
7A trapdoor on a gallows, the opening of which causes the prisoner to fall and thus be hanged.
More example sentences
  • Once placed on the drop of the gallows Baird addressed the silent crowd.
  • Once assembled on the drop, the hangman, probably Edward Dennis, put the nooses round their necks while they prayed with the Ordinary.
  • Smith the Hangman placed him in the centre of the drop.
7.1 (the drop) Execution by hanging.
More example sentences
  • Some, who might have come miles to see ‘the drop’, were determined to have a good time - almost as though it was a holiday or they had gone to a carnival.
  • A large number of men and women sentenced to the drop had their sentences commuted by the Home Secretary.

Origin

Old English dropa (noun), droppian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to German Tropfen 'a drop', tropfen 'to drip', also to drip and droop.

Phrases

at the drop of a hat

informal Without delay or good reason: he used to be very bashful, blushing at the drop of a hat
More example sentences
  • She's still experiencing sleepless nights and cries at the drop of a hat.
  • We do not take parents to court at the drop of a hat.
  • Most small business employers aren't callous mongrels who sack workers unfairly or at the drop of a hat to gain a sense of power.

drop the ball

North American informal Make a mistake; mishandle things: I really dropped the ball on this one
[with allusion to mishandling in baseball]
More example sentences
  • Does it create the perception that we're dropping the ball somehow?
  • I'm not dropping the ball on my other work roles.
  • The only thing I'm worried about is that we're dropping the ball on the economy and homeland security.

drop dead

Die suddenly and unexpectedly: she had seen her father drop dead of a heart attack
More example sentences
  • After his wife suddenly drops dead while vacuuming, his life takes an unexpected turn.
  • Suddenly he drops dead and his soul is whisked away, to his not inconsiderable consternation, to heaven to be judged.
  • Only later did the pair find out that it was also the name of a racehorse which had performed well in country meetings for a while before suddenly dropping dead.
[in imperative] informal Used as an expression of intense scorn or dislike.
More example sentences
  • ‘Neil really is a nice guy,’ I said coldly. ‘I hope you drop dead.’
  • Every one of you guys should just drop dead and go to hell.
  • William murmured into her ear through clenched teeth. ‘Drop dead.’

drop a (or the) dime on

informal Inform on (someone) to the police.
More example sentences
  • They're scared to death that if anybody finds out that they dropped the dime on their cousin, or a gang member, or a drug dealer, they're going to die.
  • He drops a dime on his friend in a heartbeat, since he still wanted the money.
  • She's going to drop a dime on him to the employer, and he's going to lose his job.

drop like flies

see fly2.

drop one's guard

Abandon one’s habitual defensive or protective stance.
More example sentences
  • Stalemated, with the both of them pointing their weapons at each other, Ian couldn't afford to drop his guard.
  • That does not mean, of course, we can drop our guard or fail to take every measure necessary to protect the public.
  • The minister even drops his guard and lapses into English.

drop a hint (or drop hints)

Let fall a hint or hints, as if casually or unconsciously: he was dropping hints that in the future he would be taking a back seat in politics
More example sentences
  • Then she drops a hint about where the transport expansion will be.
  • In his journal Neil drops a hint about a visit to Holland in April.
  • Now that I think about it, maybe she was dropping a hint.

a drop in the bucket (or British ocean)

A very small amount compared with what is needed or expected: the $550 million is likely to be a drop in the bucket
More example sentences
  • Even so, the amount of money is still a drop in the bucket when compared to the size of the growing global mental health epidemic.
  • Although she was pleased with the £25 increase in child benefit, she felt it was a drop in the ocean when compared to childcare costs and the expense of rearing children.
  • Still, it's a drop in the bucket when you compare it to the overall budget.

drop someone a line

Send someone a note or letter in a casual manner: drop me a line at the usual address
More example sentences
  • So if you're interested and in town over the festive period then drop me a line and I'll send you details.
  • And when he dropped me a line about it, my reaction was the same.
  • Thank you if you've ever commented or dropped me a line about something - it's always hugely appreciated, and shows I must be doing something right.

drop names

see name-dropping.
More example sentences
  • A respected writer and academic, he drops names like confetti, judges everyone, hates to lose at anything and has an arrogance that knows no bounds.
  • Initially, the characters seem a drawback, particularly Ford, a one-note hustler always dropping names on his cellphone as he walks the streets of New York.
  • One makes a point of talking really fast, using big words, and dropping names of academic writers in a field he's studied and knows you haven't.

drop one's serve

(In tennis) lose a game in which one is serving.
More example sentences
  • He overcame dropping his serve in the opening game of the first set to break the Italian seventh seed twice to take the set.
  • She lost concentration in the fifth game to drop her serve again.
  • Serena, who returned from eight months off in March after knee surgery following her Wimbledon win, looked in form despite dropping her serve once in the fourth game of the second set against her 51st-ranked opponent.

drop a stitch

Let a stitch fall off the end of a knitting needle.
More example sentences
  • She ruined the scarf she was knitting after dropping a stitch in fright.
  • She shuttles back and forth from the personal to the political, without dropping a stitch.
  • She frequently dropped a stitch and her clumsy, fluttering hands always became entangled with the yarn till she ended up with an endless row of impossible knots.

drop one's trousers

Deliberately let one’s trousers fall down, especially in a public place.
More example sentences
  • Fame has lost its meaning in the world we live in: you can be famous for dropping your trousers outside Buckingham Palace.
  • The meeting, attended by most of the pubs in the town, also heard that the teenagers reacted violently when challenged and had been seen dropping their trousers at passing motorists.
  • He threatened to urinate over the police, but instead resorted to dropping his trousers and showing his behind.

have the drop on

informal Have the advantage over: if your enemy gets the drop on you he can kill you
More example sentences
  • It will stop some crimes and deter others, but the risk would still be very high, especially since the fare will often have the drop on the driver.
  • We have been the first in so many categories because we have always had the drop on style.
  • We can handle one gunman when we have the drop on him.

a drop too much

informal Enough alcohol to make one drunk: you drive, because he has taken a drop too much
More example sentences
  • A sleepless night, a touch of fever or a drop too much whisky are all it takes to bring impossible demons grinning and howling from the void.

Phrasal verbs

drop back/behind

Fall back or get left behind: the colt was struggling to stay with the pace and started to drop back
More example sentences
  • At the end of the first lap the 2004 champion was in 20th place, 15.9 seconds behind the leader and dropping back as traffic slowed him.
  • A few others were behind us, but they were dropping behind farther with every step.
  • Button is dropping back from Alonso's Renault and is now 5.7 seconds behind the Spaniard.
Synonyms
fall back/behind, get left behind, lag behind; straggle, linger, dawdle, dally, hang back, loiter, bring/take up the rear, dilly-dally

drop by/in

Call informally and briefly as a visitor: they would unexpectedly drop in on us
More example sentences
  • If you follow this system of preparation and daily quick cleaning, you will always have a clean bathroom that is ready for when an unexpected visitor drops by.
  • Visitors drop by, and they leave this place with new ideas about what they can do themselves.
  • How do they like to communicate - by e-mail, voicemail or an informal chat when you drop by their office?

drop into

1Call casually and informally at (a place): he’d actually considered dropping into one of the pickup bars
More example sentences
  • For further information, drop into the Youth Information Centre, Newtown, Castlebar.
  • Visitors are actually advised not to drop into the Eden Project if it is raining!
  • Further information can be had by calling 843525 or by dropping into the centre and talking to any of the leaders.
2Pass quickly and easily into (a habitual state or manner): she couldn’t help dropping into a Brooklyn accent
More example sentences
  • In the beginning, when we entered the room for the first morning sit, we might sense the utter stillness of the place, before dropping into our habitual world of thoughts.
  • He drops back into his native Aussie in times of stress.
  • He questions Winters ceaselessly and Dick can't help dropping into officer mode to meet him blow for verbal blow.

drop off

Fall asleep easily, especially without intending to: struggle as she might, she kept dropping off
More example sentences
  • Help your baby feel safe and secure with plenty of loving attention throughout the day so she can drop off more easily.
  • I turned over, punched the pillow into a new comfort zone, and dropped off just about instantly.
  • Every time he dropped off for a snooze she'd set the doll to screech and stick it near his ear.
Synonyms
fall asleep, doze (off), nap, catnap, drowse
informal nod off, drift off, snooze, take forty winks

drop out

1Cease to participate in a race or competition.
More example sentences
  • He was so upset that he hatched a devious scheme to get the first five qualifiers to drop out of the race.
  • ‘When you've been winning it really hurts to drop out of one competition, but there's other things for us to concentrate on,’ he said.
  • She thought about dropping out of the heptathlon with two events remaining because of a foot injury.
2Abandon a course of study: kids who had dropped out of college
More example sentences
  • By this time of course, I had dropped out of high school.
  • She dropped out of the course because she could not afford to pay the £16,000 annual fees.
  • I decided I was learning more about the design of the future in my day job so I dropped out of the course after a year.
3Reject conventional society to pursue an alternative lifestyle: a child of the sixties who had temporarily dropped out
More example sentences
  • This is one of the book's best sections because of its quiet reflections on the possibility of actually dropping out of society and embracing a new way of living.
  • Apparently it's quite the thing to drop out of society for months and take to the rivers and byways.
  • Some however for whatever reason just decide to drop out of society and choose to live on the streets.
4 Rugby Restart play with a drop kick.
More example sentences
  • Having withstood early pressure and a strong downfield wind, Newbridge used the ball well early on but two basic drop out re-start errors saw them fall behind.
  • It was, however, Keighley who finished the game on top, forcing play to the try line with a long drop out from the restart.
  • RI took the lead with a Mathew Yates penalty and when Tim Nash scored an opportunist try straight from a drop out RI looked good for their 10-0 advantage.
4.1Score a drop goal.
More example sentences
  • A quick 22 drop out was followed by a quick tap penalty.
  • Stephan Minogue's attempted penalty from halfway narrowly missed and was touched down for a 22 drop out.
  • Armoy retained possession from the 22 drop out and their out-half spotted a gap in the Newry back line.

Derivatives

droppable

adjective
More example sentences
  • With the amount of money office workers spend on their cars alone, a couple thousand dollars more for a droppable, dishwasher-safe laptop is a no-brainer bargain in total cost of ownership.
  • To expedite the shipment of fuel, 200 liter containers were prepared at some depots in advance, and droppable fuel tanks were prepared in the event that fuel would have to be air-lifted.
  • We worked fast, but the droppable radio didn't work.

Definition of drop in:

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Word of the day impudicity
Pronunciation: ˌɪmpjʊˈdɪsɪti
noun
lack of modesty