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W1 British & World English

The twenty-third letter of the alphabet

W2 British & World English

(In tables of sports results) games won

W New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

23rd letter of the alphabet

tungsten British & World English

The chemical element of atomic number 74, a hard steel-grey metal of the transition series. It has a very high melting point (3410°C) and is used to make electric light filaments

W in tungsten British & World English

The chemical element of atomic number 74, a hard steel-grey metal of the transition series. It has a very high melting point (3410°C) and is used to make electric light filaments

w in W1 British & World English

The twenty-third letter of the alphabet

watt British & World English

The SI unit of power, equivalent to one joule per second, corresponding to the rate of consumption of energy in an electric circuit where the potential difference is one volt and the current one ampere

W in watt British & World English

The SI unit of power, equivalent to one joule per second, corresponding to the rate of consumption of energy in an electric circuit where the potential difference is one volt and the current one ampere

tungsten New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

chemical element of atomic number 74

W in west New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

(abbreviation W; capital in reference to Europe and North America, or in contrast with the former communist states of eastern Europe)

W in western New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

(abbreviation W; capital in reference to Europe and North America, or in contrast with the former communist states of eastern Europe)

A/W British & World English

Autumn/winter (denoting or relating to fashion designed for the autumn and winter seasons of a particular year)

b/w British & World English

Black and white (used especially to describe printing, film, photographs, or television pictures)

C & W British & World English

Country and western (music)

C & W New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

country and western (music)

W boson British & World English

Another term for W particle.

W particle British & World English

A heavy charged elementary particle considered to transmit the weak interaction between other elementary particles

Jacobs, W. W. British & World English

(1863–1943), English short-story writer; full name William Wymark Jacobs. He is noted for tales of the macabre such as ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ (1902)

Auden, W. H. British & World English

(1907–73), British-born poet, resident in America from 1939; full name Wystan Hugh Auden. Look, Stranger! (1936) and Spain (1937, on the Civil War) secured his position as a leading left-wing poet. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Age of Anxiety (1947)

Botha, P. W. British & World English

(1916–2006), South African statesman, Prime Minister 1978–84, State President 1984-9; full name Pieter Willem Botha. An authoritarian leader, he continued to enforce apartheid but in response to pressure introduced limited reforms; his resistance to more radical change ultimately led to his fall from power

Grace, W. G. British & World English

(1848–1915), English cricketer; full name William Gilbert Grace. In a first-class career that lasted until 1908, he made 126 centuries, scored 54,896 runs, and took 2,864 wickets. He twice captained England in Test matches against Australia (1880 and 1882)

Handy, W. C. British & World English

(1873–1958), American blues musician; full name William Christopher Handy. He set up a music-publishing house in 1914, and his transcriptions of traditional blues helped establish the pattern of the modern twelve-bar blues

Yeats, W. B. British & World English

(1865–1939), Irish poet and dramatist; full name William Butler Yeats. His play The Countess Cathleen (1892) and his collection of stories The Celtic Twilight (1893) stimulated Ireland’s theatrical, cultural, and literary revival. Notable poetry: The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair (1929). Nobel Prize for Literature (1923)

Davies, W. H. British & World English

(1871–1940), Welsh poet; full name William Henry Davies. He emigrated to the US and lived as a vagrant and labourer, writing The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp (1908) about his experiences

Fields, W. C. British & World English

(1880–1946), American comedian; born William Claude Dukenfield. Having made his name as a comedy juggler he became a vaudeville star, appearing in the Ziegfeld Follies revues between 1915 and 1921. Notable films: The Bank Dick (1940)

Fowler, H. W. British & World English

(1858–1933), English lexicographer and grammarian; full name Henry Watson Fowler. He compiled the first Concise Oxford Dictionary (1911) with his brother F. G. Fowler, and wrote the moderately prescriptive guide to style and idiom, Modern English Usage, first published in 1926

Murnau, F. W. British & World English

(1888–1931), German film director; born Frederick Wilhelm Plumpe. His revolutionary use of cinematic techniques to record and interpret human emotion paralleled the expressionist movement in art and drama. Notable films: Nosferatu (1922), Der letzte Mann (1924), and Sunrise (1927), which won three Oscars

Awdry, Reverend W. British & World English

(1911–97), English author; full name Wilbert Vere Awdry. He was the creator of the Thomas the Tank Engine series of children’s books

Barkley, Alben W. British & World English

(1877–1956), US politician; full name Alben William Barkley. He served as Harry S. Truman’s vice president 1949–53. He also served in the US Senate 1927–49, 1955–56

Bush, George W. British & World English

(B.1946), American Republican statesman, 43rd President of the US 2001–2009; full name George Walker Bush. He is the son of George Bush. One of his first acts as President was to launch a ‘War on Terror’ against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon; he also ordered the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, maintaining that Saddam Hussein was developing chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons

de Klerk, F. W. British & World English

(B.1936), South African statesman, State President 1989–94; full name Frederik Willem de Klerk. As State President he freed Nelson Mandela in 1990, lifted the ban on membership of the ANC, and opened the negotiations that led to the first democratic elections in 1994. Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela (1993)

Griffith, D. W. British & World English

(1875–1948), American film director; full name David Lewelyn Wark Griffith. A pioneer in film, he is responsible for introducing many cinematic techniques, including flashback and fade-out. Notable films: The Birth of a Nation (1915), Intolerance (1916), and Broken Blossoms (1919)

Klerk, F. W. de British & World English

See de Klerk, F. W.

Mason, A. E. W. British & World English

(1865–1948), English novelist; full name Alfred Edward Woodley Mason. Notable works: The Four Feathers (adventure story, 1902) and Musk and Amber (historical novel, 1942)

Said, Edward W. British & World English

(1935–2003), American critic, born in Palestine; full name Edward Wadi Said. He came to public notice with Orientalism (1978), a study of Western attitudes towards Eastern culture. Other notable works: Culture and Imperialism (1993)

Turner, J. M. W. British & World English

(1775–1851), English painter; full name Joseph Mallord William Turner. He made his name with landscapes and stormy seascapes, becoming increasingly concerned with depicting the power of light by the use of primary colours, often arranged in a swirling vortex. Notable works: Rain, Steam, Speed (1844); The Fighting Téméraire (1838)

W's in W1 British & World English

The twenty-third letter of the alphabet

Gilbert, Sir W. S. British & World English

(1836–1911), English dramatist; full name William Schwenck Gilbert. He is best known as a librettist who collaborated on light operas with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan. Notable works: HMS Pinafore (1878), The Pirates of Penzance (1879), and The Mikado (1885)

Tuchman, Barbara W. British & World English

(1912–89), US historian and writer; full name Barbara Wertheim Tuchman. Her many works include The Guns of August (1962), Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911–45 (1971), A Distant Mirror (1978), and The First Salute (1988)

Du Bois, W. E. B. British & World English

(1868–1963), American writer, sociologist, and political activist; full name William Edward Burghardt Du Bois. He was an important figure in campaigning for equality for black Americans and co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909


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