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Thread: Daily Word List from TestFunda - 5 new words a day

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    Post Daily Word List from TestFunda - 5 new words a day

    Vocabulary Flashcards | Vocabulary Test
    harbinger [ HAHR-bin-jer ]
     noun, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     (n.) someone or something that indicates or announces what is to come
    (tr. v.) to indicate the approach of
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The by elections in August could well prove to be the harbinger of the voters mood before the assembly elections early next year.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The significance of Mr Besley's vote is that it could prove a harbinger of the MPC's stance when it next meets, in August.
    The Economist, Monetary policy:A warning vote , Jul 24th 2008
     
    domineer [ dom-uh'-NEER ]
     intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (tr.v.) to dominate over, tyrannize, rule over or bully
    2. (intr.v.) to tyrannize or arrogantly rule over
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He domineered the entire discussion.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The family Wittgenstein has been due a group biography for some time: of eight children to a domineering Viennese industrialist, most suffered psychological problems.
    Telegraph, Chistmas books: biography, by Tim Martin, 28 Nov 2008
     
    admonitory [ ad-MON-i-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     expressing a warning
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     His admonitory words fell on deaf ears.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The Football Association are to have a quiet, admonitory word with Chelsea about the pursuit of Steven Gerrard while the Liverpool midfielder was away on England duty at Euro 2004.
    Telegraph, Chelsea warned for overtures, By Henry Winter and Mihir Bose, 01 Jul 2004
     
    tarnished [ TAHR-nish-d ]
     noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (tr. v.) to make the sheen of something dull
    2. to defame or spoil
    3. (intr. v.) to lose its sheen
    4. (intr. v.) to become sullied
    5. (n.) the state of being dull
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The antique flower vase was tarnished with age.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The gold medal is very tarnished at this stage.
    BBC, O'Connor's medal is 'tarnished', 10 November 2004,
     
    flay [ fley ]
     transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. to whip or lash
    2. to take the skin off in strips
    3. to fleece or strip of money or goods
    4. to scold or criticize with scathing severity
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     In the old days punishment was so severe that people who stole food were flayed in public.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     This populism ignores the fact that few householders, however protective of their possessions, want a license to flay, torture, spit-roast or feed to the cats any malefactor with designs on their flat-screen televisions.
    The Telegraph, Suddenly, grumpy old Gordon Brown doesn't look such a lost cause, Mary Riddell, 1 February 2010.
     

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    acquiesce [ ak-wee-ES ]
     verb ]
     MEANING :
     to agree without protest; to consent or comply tacitly
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The essence of military training is for a young cadet to be able to acquiesce to commands made by a superior officer.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Though adhering to that ideal brought the roof crashing down during the team's Spanish period, McLaren were delighted to acquiesce.
    The Telegraph, Heikki Kovalainen to be a McLaren team player, By Kevin Garside, 09 Jan 2008
     
    acrimonious [ ak-ruh'-MOH-nee-uh's ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     bitter, caustic, or sharply resentful in language, behaviour or nature
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The acrimonious debate between the two candidates kept the viewers glued to their television sets.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The prolonged and often acrimonious discussions over Barry's move are still developing on Wednesday.
    CNN, Goalkeeper Cavalieri on way to Liverpool, July 9, 2008
     
    apprehensive [ ap-ri-HEN-siv ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. anxious, afraid, uneasy or fearful
    2. discerning or cognizant
    3. quick to understand, learn or apprehend
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     She was an apprehensive child, prone to panic attacks.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The first anniversary of 11th September finds many New Yorkers feeling apprehensive.
    BBC, New York's mixed emotions, By Peter Gould, BBC News Online in New York, 10 September, 2002
     
    prerogative [ pri-ROG-uh'-tiv ]
     noun, adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) a privilege or an exclusive right
    2. (n.) immunity granted to a sovereign government or its representative
    3. (adj.) having or exercising a privilege
    4. (adj.) pertaining to or existing by virtue of an exclusive right
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     It was the prerogative of the Chief Executive Officer to veto any motion even though it was supported by the board of directors.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Mr Zuma's own office has previously put out a statement declaring that it was the "president's prerogative to choose which of his wives - or all of them, should he so decide - will accompany him on official or public engagements."
    The Telegraph, Jacob Zuma brings his latest wife Thobeka to Britain to meet the Queen, Laura Roberts, 2 March 2010.
     
    annuity [ uh-NOO-i-tee, uh-NYOO-i-tee ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. the annual payment of an allowance
    2. a contract by which one receives fixed payments on an investment for a lifetime
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     They assured him that after he retired he would receive an annuity for the rest of his natural life.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     "When you have an annuity and you sell it, there are a lot of penalties that the insured incurs, and the first time you buy an annuity, the agent makes a very nice commission," Atterholt said.
    CNN, Mystery pilot, financial manager known as smooth operator, 13 January 2009.
     

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    opalescent [ oh-puh'-LES-uh 'nt ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     showing a display of lustrous, rainbow like colours like that of the opal
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The opalescent colours in the pamphlet attracted the attention of many.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Opalescent plastic could prove both pretty and handy
    Economist, Materials science: Opal fruits Aug 2nd 2007
     
    elation [ i-ley-shuh' n ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     exhilaration, euphoria, joy or a feeling of pride
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     A sense of elation was felt by the villagers.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     It is a show of patriotism in a vicarious way,which leads to a sense of elation.
    The Times of India, Cricket offers respite from daily chores, Tina Parekh & Prathima Nandkumar, 16 March 2003
     
    adorn [ uh'-DAWRN ]
     transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. to beautify, ornament, embellish or add beauty to
    2. to decorate or enhance with ornaments
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Her room was adorned with fresh flowers in various colours and settings.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Wealthy ancient Romans were the first to adorn their homes and public buildings with coloured marbles.
    BBC, Roman 'marbles' go on display, By David Willey Rome correspondent, 3 October, 2002
     
    arcane [ ahr-KEYN  ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. understood by only a few
    2. mysterious or secret
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Even the cleverest of students experience some difficulty when dealing with arcane terminology during the first term.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     There are numerous different referencing systems in use across the disciplines and the conventions may sometimes appear arcane.
    The university of Oxford, Academic good practice,
     
    hull [ huhl ]
     noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) the hollow frame or lower portion or bottom of a ship
    2. (n.) the husk or dry outer covering of
    3. (n.) the calyx of certain fruits
    4. (tr. v.) to shell or remove the outer covering of
    5. (intr. v.) to drift on water without sails or engine (of a boat)
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The shipyard had received an order from a leading shipping company to build a double hulled super tanker.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     He told CNN that Maersk has already introduced "double-hull vessels" which make spilling of oil more difficult.
    CNN, Can shipping go green? Anouk Lorie, 11 December 2009.
     

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    anosmia [ an-OZ-mee-uh', -OS- ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     loss or absence of the sense of smell
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Certain intranasal gels marketed as remedies for the common cold can also be a cause of anosmia.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The likelihood of recovery from anosmia depends on what has caused it, as well as any treatment.
    BBC News, Sense and scent ability, By Claire Heald
     
    appease [ uh'-PEEZ ]
     transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. to pacify, soothe or calm by giving in to one's demands
    2. to assuage, allay, satisfy or relieve
    3. to concede in a conciliatory effort
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He appeased his boss by working on weekends.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Congress is slightly more focused on rural and social issues, but both are constrained by the need to appease local interests.
    Telegraph, India's election delivers investors much needed stability, By Una Galani, breakingviews.com, 18 May 2009
     
    supplicate [ SUHP-li-keyt  ]
     intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (tr. v.) to pray for in a fervent manner
    2. (intr. v.) to make a fervent prayer
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He claimed to be an atheist but when he was having bad luck he would supplicate for a change in fortune.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     God the Exalted has mercy upon the living who supplicates for the dead.
    The Telegraph, Sacred mysteries, Christopher Howse, 25 January 2003
     
    averse [ uh'-VURS  ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. strongly opposed
    2. disinclination
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Though he propagated that honesty was the best policy he was not averse to lying in order to save his skin.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Councils are not averse to the idea that there should be a right of appeal if responsible dog owners feel hard done by when a dog control order is put in place.
    BBC, Walking bans 'risk dog welfare', 12 October 2009.
     
    bloated [ BLOH-tid ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. swollen or distended by fluid or gas
    2. obese or much larger than required
    3. conceited or vain
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He felt bloated after consuming several portions of watermelon.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The European Union has criticised the UK and other European nations for having "optimistic" growth assumptions and bloated deficits.
    BBC, EU attacks 'optimistic' economic outlooks, 17 March 2010.
     

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    florid [ FLAWR-id, FLOR- ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. ornate; flowery
    2. ruddy; having a rosy blush
    3. (archaic) healthy
    3. (obsolete) covered with or abounding in flowers
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     His stout physique, florid complexion and benign disposition bespoke of an inner contentment rarely seen these days.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The knob is a dome of bald rock and florid rhododendrons crowning Roan Mountain that thrusts into the blue Tennessee sky like a giant granite egg.
    National Geographic, One Day at a Time on the Five-Million-Step Program , June/July 2004
     
    contumacious [ kon-too'-MEY-shuh' s, -tyoo'- ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     rebellious, obstinate, insubordinate or disobedient
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The contumacious student was punished.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Without the disciplining presence of the two heavyweights, contumacious councillors busied themselves with procedural obstruction and shouting "corruption" at each other
    Economist, Tehran's dirty municipal politics, Jan 23rd 2003
     
    finicky [ FIN-i-kee ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. fussy, meticulous, particular or fastidious
    2. requiring precision
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He was a finicky eater.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Farmer was occasionally finicky.
    Economist, Pluck a flamingo, Dec 18th 2008
     
    ambush [ AM-boo'sh  ]
     noun, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) the act of waiting in hiding to attack by surprise
    2.(n.) an unexpected attack made from a concealed place
    3. (n.) a concealed trap
    4. (tr. v.) to attack from a concealed place
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Insurgents laid an ambush at the canyon to intercept the armoured vehicles carrying munitions for the government forces.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     He had agreed to a fight one boy at his school after lessons, but was ambushed by the gang as they met on the school's tennis courts.
    The Telegraph, School where pupil brain damaged suffered race riots, Caroline Gammell, 20 October 2009.
     
    slag [ slag ]
     noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) cinder or the fused and vitrified matter separated during the process of smelting or obtaining metal from its ore
    2. (n.) leftover waste after the re-sorting of coal
    3. (tr. v.) to convert into dross or cinder
    4. (tr. v.) to remove the dross or cinder formed during the metal making process
    5. (intr. v.) to form dross or cinder
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Slag from the smelter was sent to the cement factory to be used as raw material in the making of cement.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     A 50-foot high pile of slag was left over from 74 years of making nails, wire and fencing from scrap metal.
    The Telegraph, Abandoned US steel mill is sign of the times, Mira Oberman, 15 December 2009.
     

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    fallible [ FAL-uh-buh' l ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. (of persons) very likely to make a mistake or be misled
    2. likely to be erroneous, faulty or false
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Since we humans are fallible, we have not yet succeeded in building a perfect world.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The final Test in Adelaide (next week) will be a cliffhanger because the Indians have now smelt blood and know this Australian team is fallible.
    Khaleej Times, Controversies got to Aussies: Inzy, 20 January 2008
     
    alleviate [ uh'-LEE-vee-eyt ]
     transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     to relieve, assuage or mitigate esp. pain
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Headaches are alleviated by painkillers.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     A therapy that boosts the creation of neurons may alleviate some memory problems.
    CNN, How memories form, fade, and persist over time, By Elizabeth Landau CNN, January 28, 2009
     
    succor [ SUHK-er ]
     noun, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) help or assistance
    2. (n.) a person who gives help
    3. (tr. v.) to help
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He was a kind man and would always succor the needy.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     DeLay runs a tightly ordered House, where conquered Democrats are not offered succor.
    CNN, Inside Politics: Robert Novak: Criminalized politics, 14 October 2004
     
    anthropoid [ AN-thruh'-poid ]
     noun, adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. (adj.) resembling the outward appearance of humans
    2. (adj.) apelike or characteristic of an ape
    3. (n.) an ape belonging to the Pongidae family
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The students were told to study the anthropoid fossils in the laboratory and then write a thesis on evolution.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Researchers from the University of Oslo have suggested the specimen, which was found 95 per cent complete, may be the root of anthropoid evolution, when primates were first developing the features that would evolve into our own.
    The Telegraph, Ida the 'missing link': fossil of man's earliest ancestor goes on display, 26 May 2009.
     
    ineffectual [ in-i-FEK-choo-uh'l ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. insufficient to produce a desired or satisfactory result
    2. pointless or futile
    3. powerless, impotent or useless
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The ineffectual action taken by the government in dealing with unruly and antisocial elements was deplored by people.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Right now the weak and ineffectual Afghan government is in no position to negotiate with the Taliban, other than to make significant concessions of either territory or principle, or both.
    CNN, Commentary: Deals with Taliban could be dangerous, Peter Bergen, 9 March 2009.
     

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    hector [ HEK-ter ]
     noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) a bully
    2. (intr. v.) to dominate or intimidate in a loud manner
    3. (tr. v.) to behave like a bully
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Politicians who hector each other in the "Big Fight" on NDTV make for amusing viewing.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The amusing conservatives who hector one another on Rupert Murdoch's Fox News were shouting a little louder yesterday morning.
    The Herald, The anti-war candidate may yet be belligerent, by IAN BELL, July 23 2008
     
    chastise [ chas-TAHYZ, CHAS-tahyz ]
     transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. to condemn, rebuke or criticize severely
    2. to discipline by severe punishment
    3. (archaic.) to make pure
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The teacher chastised the student for his shabby work.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     If he was the only one doing it then I would chastise him but I'm afraid he's not the only one doing it.
    BBC, Holloway column, 9 February 2007
     
    forte [ fawrt, fohrt, FAWR-tey ]
     noun, adjective, adverb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) an area or field in which one excels, accomplishes a lot or which one finds as one's strong point
    2. (n.) the strongest part of the blade of a sword which is between the middle and the hilt
    3. (n.) a chord, note or passage played loudly and forcefully
    4. (adj.) forceful or loud
    5. (adv.) loudly or in a forceful way or manner
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Astronomy was his forte.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     With visualization as Manish's forte, Manish styles for various Indian glossies and also designs clothes for Indian celebrities.
    The Times of India, The design merchants, 2 Aug 2002
     
    antidote [ AN-ti-doht ]
     noun, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) a remedy that can be used to counteract or neutralize the harmful effects of poison
    2. (n.) one that relieves or neutralizes the harmful effects of another
    3. (tr.v.) to counteract or neutralise by means of an antidote
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Bezoar is considered to be an antidote to most poisons.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     People's lives are so complicated, driven and busy; gardens are an excellent antidote and should be celebrated as such.
    Telegraph, Garden visiting does us all a power of good., Ursula Buchan, 02 Jun 2009
     
    apt [ apt ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. prone, likely or inclined
    2. appropriate, suitable or fitting
    3. intelligent or quick to understand, apprehend or learn
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     It is an apt conclusion to the crisis.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The Wat Pa Laung Ta Bua Yannasampanno Forest Monastary, also known by the apt nickname Tiger Temple, in Kanchanburi, Thailand, is home to 34 tigers.
    abcNEWS, Tiger Temple of Thailand, December 17, 2008
     

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    errant [ ER-uh' nt ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. given to travelling; roving, esp. in search of an adventure
    2. straying from the proper course or accepted standards
    3. moving about without an aim or direction
    4. notorious; characterised by wrong behaviour
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The popular and endearing "Sindbad the sailor" fables are about an errant sailor from Baghdad who voyages on all the seven seas and amasses a fortune.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     When I nail into vulnerable areas like door jambs, I use shims to protect the trim from errant hammer marks.
    Reader's Digest,The Family Handyman, Protection Against Hammer Marks, Craig Gennesey, September 2000
     
    daunt [ dawnt, dahnt ]
     transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. to intimidate, horrify or frighten
    2. to dishearten or discourage
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He was daunted by the enormity of the task before him.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The first 20 overs with an SG ball by genuinely fast bowlers can daunt any batting line-up of the world.
    The Times of India, Pacers will hold key for Pakistan, Rashid Latif, 21 February 2005
     
    agile [ AJ-uh' l, AJ-ahyl ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. nimble or marked by swift, easy grace
    2. acute, sharp or swift mentally
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He was well known for his agile mind and fast reflexes.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The distinctive swimming technique of a bony fish is being used to develop agile, propellerless submarines.
    BBC, Robot fins to propel submarines, 31 July 2007
     
    turquoise [ TUR-koiz, -kwoiz ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a mineral greenish-blue in colour and used as a gem
    2. a greenish-blue colour
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He presented his girlfriend with a beautiful, turquoise necklace on her birthday.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Pilgrims journey overland from the remotest regions of Tibet to congregate here, in a colorful parade of striped aprons, yak-skin boots, bowler hats, silver, turquoise and agate beads.
    CNN, Tibet: A Land of Yaks and Yore
     
    exorcise [ EK-sawr-sahyz ]
     transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. to command or force to depart or to expel by incantation or prayer
    2. to free a person who is possessed from an evil spirit
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He told the couple that their house was haunted and that he knew someone who would exorcise the demon for a small fee.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     He claims the book, which he wrote in a shed at the bottom of his garden, has been cathartic - it has been his only therapy apart from some marriage-guidance counselling - but it is obvious that he still has demons to exorcise, not least the alter ego he calls Gollum, after the warped, hobbity character in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.
    The Telegraph, Brian Moore: the abuse and abandonment that shaped rugby's Pit Bull, Elizabeth Grice, 2 January 2010.
     

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    frump [ fruhmp ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. an unattractive, drab woman or girl
    2. an old-fashioned, staid person
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     German Chancellor Angela Merkel may come across as a bit of a frump with her dowdy attire and hair style but she is one of the most respected heads of state Germany has ever produced.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The band, whose website defines a frump as "an unappreciated woman", describes itself an "all-mum garage band" and "group of women who need to make some noise".
    The Telegraph, 'Mom rock' will teach the punks a thing or two, By Catherine Elsworth, 18 Jul 2005
     
    emollient [ i-MOL-yuh' nt ]
     noun, adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. (adj.) having a softening, soothing or relaxing effect esp. on one's skin
    2. (adj.) mollifying or reducing another's harshness
    3. (n.) a lotion, or other agent that makes skin smooth
    4. (n.) an agent that helps by mollifying or assuaging
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Aloe vera has an emollient effect and is frequently used in beauty creams.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Topically, hydrogenated vegetable oil is an amazing skin-softener, emollient, and barrier ingredient.
    CNN, Nine weird ingredients in makeup, By Adrienne Crezo, July 18, 2008
     
    aloof [ uh'-LOOF ]
     adjective, adverb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (adj.) reticent, reserved, remote or distant
    2. (adv.) apart or at a distance
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Her aloof attitude did not make conversation easy.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Many people think of scientists as an aloof bunch, but get them talking about their subject and you can see their eyes light up.
    Telegraph, Let's inspire the next generation of scientists, By Maggie Aderin-Pocock, 13 Mar 2009
     
    blight [ blahyt ]
     noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (tr. v.) to have an injurious effect or to ruin
    2. (intr. v.) to suffer from a withering disease
    3. (n.) a plant disease that results in wilting and dying of the affected parts of the plant
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The doctor warned him to cut down on his cigarette smoking as it would blight his health.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Street Pride aims to help community volunteers take an active role to prevent local roads, squares and precincts being blighted by intrusive fixtures and other debris.
    The Telegraph, Prince of Wales backs civic campaign to tidy Britain's streets, Alastair Jamieson, 26 October 2009.
     
    cavil [ KAV-uh'l ]
     noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (tr. v.) to quibble about or raise inconsequential or frivolous doubts or objections
    2. (tr. v.) to make petty objections or point out sham or minor discrepancies
    3. (intr. v.) to raise trivial objections or unnecessarily find fault with
    4. (n.) a frivolous and irritating objection
    3. (n.) the act of making a frivolous objection
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The little boy grumbled that he could never please his parents as they cavilled about everything he did.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
      Purists who shudder at the historical doubtfulness of the Uzbek-Timur connection may also cavil at the Tajiks' claims.
    BBC, Tajiks row with Uzbeks over ancient empire, 7 November 1997.
     

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    chattel [ CHAT-l ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a slave or bondman
    2. an object or article among one's movable personal property
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The chattel followed his overlord to London.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     They had occupied his people's land, and in his words made them a "race of no rights beyond those of chattel."
    CNN, Mugabe: Africa's 'lasting connection'?, By CNN's Charlayne Hunter-Gault, March 13, 2002
     
    gaunt [ gawnt ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. thin, bony, haggard or emaciated
    2. desolate, barren, grim or bleak
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He had a gaunt face with a pale complexion.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     What remains is the immensity of the sky, gaunt slopes scrubby with thistles and wild grasses, the roar of glacial torrents in dark ravines, and the powerful pull of the first gods ever feared by men.
    National Geographic, Once upon a time in Turkey and Georgia, blood sacrifice to the gods really mattered. People still live that way along this isolated stretch of Black Sea coast., By Erla Zwingle
     
    ambrosial [ am-BROH-zhuh' l ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. divine or fit for worthy of the Gods
    2. extremely pleasant, delicious or fragrant
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The critics praised the ambrosial food.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Go and plunge yourself into the calm sea of spiritual solitude, and wash your soul in the nectar of ambrosial meditation.
    The Times of India, SACRED SPACE: Spiritual Solace, 24 Mar 2005
     
    vacillation [ vas-uh'-LEY-shuh'n ]
     noun, intransitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) movement which is not steady
    2. (n.) the state of hesitation or indecision
    3. (intr. v.) to sway from one side to another
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     After days of fearful vacillation, he finally decided to stand witness against the mafia.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     After years of vacillation, Philip II of Spain, the most powerful monarch in the world had embarked finally on war with Elizabeth.
    BBC, A Short History of Ireland, 5 October 2009
     
    rakish [ REY-kish ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. dashing, jaunty or stylish
    2. suggestive of speed or having a trim, streamlined appearance
    3. dissolute, immoral or having the character of a rake
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The girls were not impressed by his outlandish costume and psychedelic hat which he wore at a rakish angle.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The Merry Muses of Caledonia finds Burns at his bawdiest, and he was often plagued by romantic, financial and rakish complications.
    BBC, Robert Burns 1759-1796,
     

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    aegis [ EE-jis ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. protection; support: under the imperial aegis
    2. Classical Mythology. the shield or breastplate of Zeus or Athena, bearing at its centre the head of the Gorgon.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The GATT talks, held under the aegis of the WTO, promises the world a more equitable trading regime between the developing and developed countries.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Kirsti Paakkanen, a stalwart of Finland's advertising world, was persuaded out of retirement to buy Marimekko from Amer for a song and under her aegis the company prospered, tapping new export markets.
    The Independent, How to dress like Jackie O, Susie Mesure, 23 March 2008
     
    heretic [ n. HER-i-tik; adj. HER-i-tik, huh'-RET-ik ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     a person who holds controversial beliefs, especially contrary to religion, profession etc.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Joan of Arc was unjustly accused of being a heretic and, as a result, was burnt at the stake.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     In 1633 the astronomer was tried as a heretic and forced to recant his theory that the Earth revolved around the sun.
    ABC NEWS, Vatican: It's OK to Believe in Aliens, By ARIEL DAVID, May 13, 2008
     
    cuisine [ kwi-ZEEN ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a manner, style or quality of preparing or cooking food
    2. food that has been prepared
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The choice of cuisine was unique.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     In the tradition of Julia Child, another impressive voice for French cuisine wants to help home cooks pull off great food.
    abcNEWS, Joel Robuchon Brings French Cooking Home, By J.M. HIRSCH AP Food Editor, December 26, 2008
     
    curator [ kyoo'-REY-ter, KYOO' R-ey- ; KYOO' R-uh-ter ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a manager, superintendent or a person in charge
    2. on who is a legal guardian of a person who is a minor, lunatic or is incompetent in some other way to take care of his/her property
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The curator of the museum was a respected man.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     A curator checks artifacts at the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad on March 17, 2008.
    National Geographic, Iraq Museum Still Too Damaged to Reopen, January 7, 2009
     
    adulteration [ uh'-duhl-tuh'-REY-shuh'n ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. the process of making something impure by adding something inferior or extraneous or spurious to it
    2. one that is impure or adulterated
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Adulteration of food products is a punishable offence.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The U.S. attorney's office announced Robert Ray Courtney, 48, of Kansas City, and the pharmacy he owns, Research Medical Tower Pharmacy, were each charged with eight counts of tampering with consumer products, six counts of adulteration of a drug and six counts of misbranding of a drug.
    CNN, Pharmacist faces 20 counts of drug tampering, By Terry Frieden CNN Washington Bureau, August 24, 2001
     

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    flummox [ FLUHM-uh' ks ]
     transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     perplex; confound; confuse
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     In cricket, the reverse sweep is often employed by the batsman in order to flummox the bowler.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Benneteau, who reached the quarters here two years ago, repeated the trick in the second, breaking Federer's serve at 5-4 with a crosscourt backhand to flummox the advancing Swiss.
    ABC News, Federer Fends off Brave Benneteau Challenge, By Miles Evans, June 2, 2008
     
    ardor [ AHR-der ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. passion, fervour or fiery intensity
    2. zeal or enthusiasm
    3. fiery glow
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The ardour of the UEFA fans is unmatched.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Los Angeles is historically friendly to incumbents, but Hahn's supporters have less ardor than his opponents, so a high turn-out election should benefit them, not him.
    abcNews, The Note: 'Both Hopeful and Precarious', By MARK HALPERIN, MARC AMBINDER and LISA TODOROVICH, March 8, 2005
     
    amulet [ AM-yuh'-lit ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a good luck charm
    2. an object worn by an individual that is supposed to ward off evil
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Most of the villagers believed that they would become victims of the evil eye if they did not wear an amulet.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The key to this adventure is a mysterious amulet (isn't it always?) that will make the vampires human again if they can hold it up to the night sky as a comet passes by the moon.
    CNN, 'The Little Vampire' never comes to life, Paul Clinton, 27 October 2000.
     
    august [ AW-guh'st ]
     noun, adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. (adj.) having great prominence and importance
    2. (n.) the eighth month of the year
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     All the peasants bowed upon seeing the august personage of the king.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Soon, other august noblemen were introduced to Lady Caroline, and it was not long before her dance card was filled (the last set reserved for her husband).
    Chapter 5, France/Belgium/Bavaria - February 1815.
     
    hubbub [ HUHB-uhb ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. an uproar or confusion caused by many voices
    2. tumult
    3. loud noises or din
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The group discussion turned out to be a regular hubbub with each candidate trying to shout down the others.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Within minutes of filling in my registration forms there was a hubbub at the door and David Cameron, Andrew Lansley and the rest of the shadow health team accompanied by senior Royal Marsden staff arrived in the room.
    The Telegraph, Was Mo Mowlam right to have lied about her cancer? Linda McDougall, Jenni Murray and Dr Sarah Burnett, 19 January 2010.
     

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    bailiwick [ BEY-luh'-wik ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. the area or district of jurisdiction of a bailiff or a bailie
    2. one's area of specialization, interest or authority
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The Key West islands were Ernest Hemingway's bailiwick.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     As we neared Chawton (the home of Austen), a compelling signpost dramatically proclaimed the bailiwick as Jane Austen's country.
    The Hindu, Magazine Columns, Literary trail
     
    apostate [ uh'-POS-teyt, -tit ]
     noun, adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) one who has forsaken or abandoned one's religion, faith, party or cause
    2. (adj.) pertaining to or characterised by apostasy
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He was termed an apostate, for having forsaken his religion and his family in order to remarry.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The attacks began Saturday after a prominent Egyptian media commentator denounced a Baha'i activist in a television appearance as an "apostate" and called for her to be killed.
    abcNews, Groups: Villagers Attack Homes of Baha'is in Egypt, By MAGGIE MICHAEL Associated Press Writer, April 2, 2009
     
    valiant [ VAL-yuh'nt  ]
     noun, adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. (adj.) possessing courage
    2. (adj.) marked by bravery
    3. (n.) a courageous person
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The novel was about the crusades and the valiant battles that were fought by the knights.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Barbara and I were deeply saddened to learn Ted Kennedy lost his valiant battle with cancer.
    CNN, Obama calls Kennedy 'greatest U.S. senator of our time'
     
    furor [ FYOO'R-awr ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a general disorder or general commotion
    2. violent anger
    3. a public outburst of excitement or ecstasy or a state of intense enthusiasm
    4. a craze or fad. (Also, especially British, furore)
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The poison pen letters circulating the campus created a furor among the students and had to be suppressed.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The ongoing foreclosure spectacle in the US, and the public furor it has stoked, probably won't help Mozilo's case.
    The Telegraph, Wheels of justice could grind Countrywide's Mozilo, Robert Cyran, 15 May 2009.
     
    sluice [ sloos ]
     noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) an artificial channel fitted with a gate for conducting and regulating the flow of water
    2. (n.) a channel or drain for surplus water
    3. (n.) a stream of surplus water
    4. (tr. v.) to drain the water from
    3. (tr. v.) to flush or cleanse with a rush of water
    4. (intr. v.) to flow through
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     When the water in the dam reached the overflow mark they opened all the sluices for the water level to subside.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The EA are very concerned that large rafts of weed could block sluice gates and weirs.
    The Telegraph, Punting in Cambridge threatened by river weed, 22 March 2010.
     

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    eschew [ es-CHOO ]
     verb ]
     MEANING :
     to avoid or keep away from, esp. from wrongdoings or evil; to shun
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     All religions advise their people to eschew wickedness and evil from their daily lives.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     If this was not enough, the PMO statement, talking about the meeting of Left leaders with PM, went to the extent of indirectly advising the Left parties to "eschew the temptation of politicising the misery of the people". This is the first time in four years that PMO has reacted so bitterly.
    The Times of India, Left fumes at PMO tough talk, 26 Apr 2008, TNN
     
    eloquence [ EL-uh-kwuh ns ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a discourse or speech that is forceful and persuasive in nature
    2. fluent, articulate and apt use of a language
    3. the quality of powerful, forceful or persuasive expression
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Her eloquence was admired by her followers.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The Madison papers have very few moments of eloquence."
    abcNEWS, Lynne Cheney Plans James Madison Biography, December 16, 2008
     
    hallow [ HAL-oh ]
     transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. to make pure or holy, to sanctify or consecrate
    2. to revere or venerate
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The priest hallowed the room by sprinkling holy water.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Approaching a challenge "because it is there" is also the atti-tude of a witness, so hallowed in Zen.
    The Times of India, Embrace your challenges, Simanta Mohanty, 10 January 2009
     
    apotheosis [ uh'-poth-ee-Oh-sis, ap-uh'-Thee-uh'-sis ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. deification or elevation or exaltation to a divine stature
    2. quintessence, epitome or glorified example
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Their love story became the apotheosis for generations to come.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The policy reached its apotheosis in the scandal that became known as the Iran-Contra affair.
    BBC, Critics question Reagan legacy, By Richard Allen Greene BBC News Online, 9 June, 2004
     
    adhere [ ad-HEER ]
     intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (intr. v.) to stick fast by suction or glue
    2. (intr. v.) to be committed to
    3. (intr. v.) to perform or execute without any change of plan
    4. (tr. v.) to cause to stick fast
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The posters did not adhere to the boards because the workers had used substandard glue for the pasting work.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Most lawyers expect the court to rule that the treaty adheres to the Czech constitution.
    The Telegraph, Czech court delays Lisbon Treaty decision until November 3, 27 October 2009.
     

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    paroxysm [ PAR-uh' k-siz-uh 'm ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a sudden fit, outburst or spasm of action or emotion
    2. an attack, intensification or recurrence of a certain disease
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     People thought him to be weird because of his fits of paroxysms.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     America was still reeling from the 1960s, a paroxysm of a decade that, among so many other things, had significantly diminished citizens' faith that their government would be on the side of the angels.
    abcNews, Deep Throat: Beyond the Man, the Icon Lives On, By TED ANTHONY AP National Writer, December 19, 2008
     
    picaresque [ pik-uh'-RESK ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. characteristic of a form of prose related to the adventures of a fictional, rogue-like hero in spain
    2. rascally, devilish or pertaining to rogues
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     A picaresque is an intricate part of the plot of any romance novel.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     A heartwarming picaresque set in Mumbai, it is based on the novel Q&A by Vikas Swarup and adapted by Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty).
    Telegraph, Slumdog Millionaire: Dev Patel hits the jackpot, By Tim Burrows, 01 Dec 2008
     
    prophylactic [ proh-fuh'-LAK-tik, prof-uh'- ]
     noun, adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. (adj.) protective or preventive esp. against a disease
    2. (n.) a vaccine, drug or preventive treatment
    3. (n.) a contraceptive mechanism or device
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The prophylactic medication was ineffective as the virus spread to epidemic proportions.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     In premenopausal women taking steroids for SLE, the researchers conclude, bone mineral density can be preserved or increased with prophylactic therapy.
    The Times of India, 'India at par with Aus in crisis', 22 Mar 2004
     
    retaliate [ ri-TAL-ee-eyt ]
     intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (tr.v.) to return or repay esp. something evil with something evil
    2. (intr.v.)to exact revenge or reciprocate evil with evil
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The union leader retaliated by asking the mill workers to go on strike.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The cross-border developments came as North Korea said it would retaliate if a "satellite" launch from its northeastern coast were intercepted, with the communist nation saying interference would "mean a war."
    BBC News, Merthyr FC's temporary reprieve, 20 February 2009
     
    amalgamate [ uh'-MAL-guh'-meyt ]
     intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (tr.v.) to mix, combine or blend together
    2. (tr.v.) to mix with mercury
    3. (intr.v.) to coalesce, merge or unite
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     All data has to be amalgamated, then studied, to reach a valid conclusion.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The Australian institute has just completed an atlas of sea temperatures over the past decade and amalgamated it with historical data to show 2002 was the warmest year for water temperatures off northeast Australia since 1870.
    CNN, Global warming threat to Barrier Reef, July 25, 2002
     

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    apocryphal [ uh'-POK-ruh'-fuh' l ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. spurious; of doubtful authenticity
    2. (often capitalised) of or pertaining to the apocrypha
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The parable of "the Prodigal son," although probably apocryphal teaches us a wonderful lesson of the power of forgiveness.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The story may or may not be apocryphal but it reminds us that countries are created in the hearts and minds of men and women.
    BBC, History, Wales: A Culture Preserved, By Professor Rees Davies
     
    doughty [ DOU-tee ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     valiant, courageous or brave
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The doughty soldier was admired by his juniors.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The scant well-judged comment has come from editorials in three quality broadsheets and the doughty Financial Times.
    The Times of India, Gawp, Gandhis and Garam Dharam, Rashmee Z Ahmed, 2 May 2004
     
    anguish [ ANG-gwish ]
     noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) intense suffering or pain
    2. (tr.v.) to inflict with or cause distress or extreme pain
    3. (intr.v.) to suffer from or endure intense sorrow or pain
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The mental anguish suffered by the POWs continued even after their release.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     New Delhi has warned the Australian government of the "deep anguish" over the attacks, and stated that the lucrative Indian education market could suffer.
    Telegraph, Bollywood star turns down honorary degree after attacks, By Barney Henderson in Mumbai, 31 May 2009
     
    advert [ ad-VURT  ]
     intransitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. to direct attention
    2. focus on
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     After a brief introduction, the Chairman adverted to the main topic of recession and its effect on the company's profitability.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The Commissioner adverted to this issue in his Annual Report for 2001
    Discussion Paper on Refusal of FOI Requests to Ensure "Personal Safety"
     
    uxorious [ uhk-SAWR-ee-uh's ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. affectionately submissive toward one's wife
    2. foolishly doting upon one's wife
    3. characterized by excess devotion to one's wife
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The uxorious husband refused to believe that his wife was anything but perfect in spite of the complaints from the neighbours.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Even the uxorious Ralph Verney, a gentleman whose correspondence has survived, was apparently unfaithful to his wife.
    The Telegraph, We were once just as naughty as the French, Maureen Waller, 31 December 2009.
     

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    hoary [ HAWR-ee, HOHR-ee ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. extremely old, and often impressive and admired
    2. greyish white or white due to age
    3. white or whitish in colour
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     I found an old dog with a hoary muzzle sleeping in my front verandah.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     He used the hoary metaphor of thousands of planes landing safely at the airport every day, but we only hear about the ones with bumpy landings.
    ABC News, Beverley Lumpkin: Halls of Justice, By Beverley Lumpkin, June 22
     
    fractious [ FRAK-shuh' s ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. unruly, troublesome or rebellious
    2. irritable, quarrelsome or peevish
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The fractious child had no friends.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Even in the fractious world of Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China relations, to fix a beauty pageant for patriotic reasons might be a first.
    Telegraph, Hong Kong TV station admits Miss Asia 2008 result altered, By Richard Spencer, 17 Dec 2008
     
    armada [ ahr-MAH-duh' ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a fleet of warships
    2. a fleet of vehicles
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     An armada of trucks laden with cargo was on its way to the port.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The Franco-Spanish armada lost 22 ships, either sunk or captured.
    The Telegraph, Last Union Jack flown at Trafalgar 'must remain in Britain', James Kirkup, 21 October 2009.
     
    poseur [ poh-ZUR ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a person who tries to impress others by putting on a false showy manner or elegance
    2. one who attempts to influence others with an affected pose or stance that is not one's normal behaviour
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The manager of the club recognized him as a poseur and had the bouncers escort him off the premises.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     This city's drug underworld is littered with "poseurs" -- lowlife trigger men pretending they're the real hard cases.
    CNN, Colombian hitmen reveal horror of the kill, Karl Penhaul, 14 October 2009.
     
    perpetuate [ per-PECH-oo-eyt ]
     transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. to save from extinction or prolong the existence of
    2. to cause to continue indefinitely
    3. cause to be remembered
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     It was because the rich nobles knew they were above the law that they could perpetuate injustice in the land.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     But the idea that our spouses should be our best friends is one of those romantic notions that has been perpetuated by our mothers and grandmothers and every movie in the Meg Ryan canon.
    CNN, MWF seeking new BFF, Rachel Bertsche, 25 February 2010.
     

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    ambidextrous [ am-bi-DEK-struh' s ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. able to skilfully use both hands
    2. unusually skilful; versatile; adroit
    3. double-dealing; hypocritical or deceitful
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Being an ambidextrous violinist, Yehudi Menuhin attracted large audiences during his hey day.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     He's also pianistically ambidextrous these days, a big deal for a brilliant artist who lost the use of his right hand in 1965 and only regained it - to a limited degree - about 10 years ago.
    The Sun, Fleisher celebrates 80 years of music, By Tim Smith, Sun Music Critic, July 20, 2008
     
    hovel [ HUHV-uh' l, HOV- ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a small and miserable dwelling
    2. an open shed which is low
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Being a man without means, the best accommodation he could afford in Mumbai was a hovel.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     When your home is a hovel, a neighbour seems an enemy because everybody is fighting for too little space.
    The Times of India, Creating your own space, Vastu Shastra/JUGAL KISHOR, 17 Mar 2002
     
    idée fixe [ ee-dey FEEKS ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     an idea that one has entertained for a long time; a fixed idea; obsession
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The British psychedelic band Pink Floyd's idee fixe of incorporating technology in music was considered ahead of its time.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Again, Berlioz's idée fixe puts in an appearance, with a heart-pounding variation for cellos and basses over which the theme itself floats in fragments.
    BBC, Meet the Phil 2006/07
     
    epilogue [ EP-uh'-lawg, -log ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a speech or poem recited at the conclusion of a play
    2. one who delivers the speech or poem at the end of a play
    3. a short section appended to the conclusion of a piece of literary work like a novel
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The epilogue was set nearly nineteen years in the future.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     This victory is an epilogue in the first half of the season.
    CNN, Mixed reception for microchip ball`, December 17, 2007
     
    expurgate [ EK-sper-geyt ]
     transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. to remove obscene, objectionable or vulgar passages from a book
    2. to purge, cleanse or rid of obscenities or morally offensive things
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The publisher expurgated the book to almost half of what it was before.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     They blamed the mounting frustrations on the failure of the entire political system and on ethical flaws in need of being expurgated root and branch.
    CNN, A witness to history 'Years of Renewal', By Henry Kissinger, April 29, 1999
     

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    discomfit [ dis-KUHM-fit ]
     noun, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (tr.v.) to confuse, embarrass or disconcert
    2. (tr.v.) to frustrate or thwart another's plans
    3. (tr.v.) (archaic) to defeat, conquer or rout
    4. (n.) a defeat
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He was discomfited due to the difficult decision he had to make.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Most discomfiting of all for the generals, Mr Gul is now their commander-in-chief.
    Economist, A new Turkish president, Aug 30th 2007
     
    alcove [ AL-kohv ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a nook, niche or partly enclosed or recession section of a room
    2. a summerhouse
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The wardrobe had been fitted into an alcove.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     The 100-year-old statue of St Methodius had been in an alcove on the outside of Exeter Cathedral.
    BBC, Vandals target cathedral statue, 21 August 2008
     
    arabesque [ ar-uh'-BESK ]
     noun, adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) a posture in ballet where the dancer bends forward with one arm and leg extended forward and the other arm and leg extended backwards
    2. (n.) an ornate, complex design with intricate geometric, floral and foliate figures
    3. (n.) a whimsical, fanciful musical piece esp. one for the piano
    4. (adj.) elaborate or like or characterised by an arabesque
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The ballerina was asked to finish the ballet with an arabesque.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
      The second album with then new guitar virtuoso Mick Taylor, Sticky Fingers absolutely soars with bricklayer-beat drums, arabesque leads and a tight rhythm and bass that holds it all together.
    The Times of India, For those about to rock..., 30 Jul 2007
     
    allure [ uh'LOOR ]
     noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (n.) the power to lure
    2. (n.) enticement
    3. (intr. v.) to be very attractive
    4. (tr. v.) to use something desirable as bait to attract
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     He invested his life's savings in gold bonds because of the allure of the yellow metal.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     There is a natural, joyful allure to this native Bolivian baroque and the school's San Ignacio ensemble has become famous, travelling all over Latin America and Europe.
    BBC, Why Bolivian baroque rocks, Andres Schipani , 30 August, 2009.
     
    axiom [ AK-see-uh'm ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a maxim or universally accepted truth
    2. a principle, rule or law that is established and universally accepted
    3. a postulate or a proposition that is assumed to be true without proof for the purpose of studying the resulting consequences
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     A Russian mathematician devised three axioms that expound the theory of probability.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Within baseball circles there is a common baseball axiom, 'If pitchers weren't so stupid, hitters would never get a hit.'
    CNN, Umpires, pitchers by the book, Todd Leopold, 5 May 2009.
     

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    iconoclast [ ahy-KON-uh'-klast ]
     noun ]
     MEANING :
     1. a person who destroys religious images or objects to their worship
    2. a person who attacks prejudices, beliefs or institutions that are based on superstitions or erroneous rationale
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     Only an iconoclast like Raja Rammohan Roy could have succeeded in abolishing sati from Hindu society.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     A natural-born iconoclast, Fela was a legend in his own lifetime; as infamous for his lifestyle and politics as he was acclaimed for his music.
    National Geographic, Fela Kuti
     
    splenetic [ spli-NET-ik ]
     noun, adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. (adj.) splenetic or pertaining to the spleen
    2. (adj.) spiteful, peevish or ill-tempered
    3. (n.) one who is splenetic in nature
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The meeting between the management and the labourers was marked by disruptions due to the splenetic behaviour of the union leader.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     As if Jacqui Smith didn't have troubles enough at home, she has now put up the back of one of America's most splenetic radio talk-show hosts.
    Economist, The creeps of wrath, May 7th 2009
     
    babble [ BAB-uh'l ]
     noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (intr. v.) to say meaningless and indistinct words
    2. (tr. v.) to speak rapidly and indistinctly
    3. (n.) unclear and meaningless talk
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The toddler babbled in response to questions asked.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Babies this age often begin to babble, squeal, gurgle and laugh.
    CNN, Infant development: What happens from 4 to 6 months? 17 June 2009.
     
    cleave [ kleev ]
     intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
     MEANING :
     1. (tr.v.) to penetrate or pierce
    2. (tr.v.) to divide, disunite or split
    3. (intr.v.) to split or fall apart
    4. (intr.v.) to cling or adhere closely
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The JCB machine cleaved a path through the dense jungle so that a road could be built which connected the two villages.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.
    BBC, Divorce and the Catholic Church, 30 October 2009.
     
    bestial [ BES-chuh'l ]
     adjective ]
     MEANING :
     1. beastly or pertaining to or in the form of a beast
    2. inhuman behaviour
    3. debased or marked by depravity
     USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
     The legend is about a person who assumed a bestial form on the night of the full moon.
     USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
     Fr Murray, a well-known civil rights campaigner, said the treatment of prisoners in the H Blocks was "squalid, cowardly and bestial".
    BBC, Northern Ireland 1979 archives, 30 December 2009.
     

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