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      com`bat
      'kɔmbæt
      v[T] try to stop sth bad from happening or getting worse
      n[CU] fight, esp during a war
      -
      Efforts to combat terrorism have not been without controversy.
      To combat inflation, the government imposed strict controls on foreign currency.
      Troops then leaped onto the enemy ship and engaged in fierce hand-to-hand combat.
      Over 16 million men had died in combat.
      Our losses were 23 aircraft lost in aerial combat, eighty lost in ditching.
      The military is about to allow women into combat.
      Soldiers who lose limbs in combat do receive compensation.
      'Close Combat' is the name of a series of real-time tactical (RTT) computer games by Atomic Games.
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      con`test
      'kɔntest
      n[C] a competition, esp one in which people's skill in a particular activity or sport is tested ¶ a struggle to gain control or power
      v[T] take part in a competition, election etc ¶ formally say that you do not accept sth or do not agree with it
      -
      A beauty pageant or beauty contest is a competition that mainly focuses on the physical beauty of its contestants.
      Miss Congeniality is a 2000 comedy film starring Sandra Bullock.
      It is clear that the game will be a close contest.
      Datuk Lee Chong Wei has injured his leg and is now out of the contest.
      Lin Dan is the best rider here, no contest.
      The contest was too one-sided to be exciting.
      Be no contest is used to say that one side in a competition is so much stronger or better than the other that it is sure to win easily.
      The Labor party has decided to expand the number of people who will be eligible to vote in the party's leadership contest (when two politicians compete to become the leader of their party).
      A third candidate has entered the contest for the Republican nomination.
      Peter plans to contest the Ultimate Fighting Champion title again next year.
      His brothers are contesting the will.
      To plead no contest is to state that you will not offer a defense in a court of law for something wrong you have done.
      A key impetus for the contests was Noah Webster's spelling books. Now the key reference for the contests is the Merriam-Webster unabridged dictionary.
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      ex`clu`sive
      ik'sklu:siv
      adj limited to a particular person or group ¶ not including ¶ very expensive, and therefore available only to people who are rich or of a high social class ¶ published or reported by only one newspaper, magazine, television station etc
      n[C] a story which is ~
      -
      Phoebe, relax; it's okay. I mean we never said this was exclusive.
      "What if we're friends who don't see other people?" "You mean like exclusive friends?"
      Our hotel has exclusive access to the beach.
      All prices are exclusive of VAT (value added tax) and carriage charges and are subject to change without prior notice.
      The owners of the golf club are determined to keep it exclusive.
      The school is expensive and necessarily exclusive.
      Tune in to our exclusive coverage of Wimbledon.
      In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more.
      An exclusive is an important or exciting story that is printed in only one newspaper.
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      burst
      bə:st
      v[IT] break open or apart suddenly, or to make sth do this
      v[I] feel a strong emotion/desire to do sth
      n[C] an occasion when sth ~ ¶ a sudden increase in sth, esp for a short period
      -
      That balloon will burst if you blow it up any more.
      Balloons make me nervous - I hate it when they burst.
      If a dam bursts, or if something bursts it, it breaks apart because the force of the river is too great.
      The dam burst under the weight of water.
      If a river bursts its banks, the water rises and goes on to the land.
      I was bursting for a pee today, and I gave in and went for one behind a bush in a field.
      When a door or lid bursts open, it opens very suddenly and violently because someone pushes it or there is great pressure behind it.
      The door bursts open, and Joey and Phoebe rush in.
      To burst into or out of a place means to enter or leave it suddenly with a lot of energy or force.
      The Coma Guy's Room, Monica bursts in, closely followed by Phoebe. There is no sign of Coma Guy. His bed is empty.
      If you burst into tears, laughter, or song, you suddenly begin to cry, laugh, or sing.
      Fun Bobby waves and then bursts into tears.
      You're right, I'm sorry. (Burst into song and dances out of the door.) "Once I was a wooden boy, a little wooden boy..."
      The two cars burst into flames soon after the crash/collision.
      He managed to scramble out of the vehicle as it burst into flames.
      If someone bursts out laughing, crying, or making another noise, they suddenly start making that noise.
      (Joey bursts out laughing again) I can't believe you didn't know it was a line!
      Rachel throws the alcohol in the fire. A burst of flames shoots up from it.
      She seemed so happy; I couldn't burst her bubble so soon.
      I'm looking forward to writing here again (and already bursting with ideas on how to make this blog better).
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      grad`u`al
      'grædʒuəl
      adj happening slowly over a long period ≠sudden, steep
      -
      Losing weight is a slow, gradual process.
      There has been a gradual improvement in our sales figures over the last two years.
      As you go further south, you will notice a gradual change of climate.
      Gradually, my ankle got better.
      She gradually built up a reputation as a successful lawyer.
      The bank slopes gradually down to the river.
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      mod`e`rate
      'mɔdərit
      adj not very big or very small etc ≠extreme ¶ staying within limits that are considered to be reasonable by most people
      v[IT] make sth or become less extreme or violent
      n[C] sb whose opinions and actions are reasonable and not extreme
      -
      Cook the spinach over a moderate heat.
      Moderate exercise, such as walking or cycling, is recommended.
      I'm a moderate drinker.
      The union has hired him to moderate the arguments between the faculty and the administration.
      He must learn to moderate his temper.
      The party leader is an extreme left-winger, but his deputy is a moderate.
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      e`lite
      il'i:t
      adj an ~ people or organizations are considered to be the best of their kind
      n[C] a group of people in a society etc who are powerful and have a lot of influence, because they are rich, intelligent etc
      -
      Elite troops were airlifted to the trouble zone.
      Early decision started at most elite colleges in the late 1990s as a way for top students to win admission to their first choice of college without having to go through the longer admissions process.
      A powerful and corrupt elite has bled this country dry.
      Many people believe that private education encourages elitism.
      Many remember education at school as elitist, focusing only on those who were good at it.
      And usually, throughout history, you know, elites are very good at getting someone else to do the dying for them.
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      i`so`late
      'aisəleit
      v[T] separate sb/sth from other people or things ¶ separate a substance from others
      -
      Patients with the disease should be isolated.
      A high wall isolated the house from the rest of the village.
      The village had been isolated by heavy snowfalls.
      Virus particles were eventually isolated from the tissue.
      The US had sought to isolate Cuba both economically and politically.
      If you isolate yourself, or if something isolates you, you become physically or socially separated from other people.
      He was a lighthouse-keeper who led an isolated existence.
      If you isolate an idea, problem etc, you consider it separately from other things that are connected with it.
      Gandhi said that those who isolate religion from politics don't understand the nature of either.
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      mech`a`nism
      'mekənizəm
      n[C] a machine or part of a machine ¶ a method or a system ¶ a part of behavior
      -
      This automatic camera has a special focusing mechanism.
      A bomb has been detonated by a special mechanism.
      There's no mechanism for punishing arms exporters who break the rules.
      The body has defense mechanisms against many diseases.
      When a person is ill, the body's natural defense mechanisms come into operation.
      He's actually rather insecure, and his rudeness is just a defense mechanism.
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      im`port
      'impɔ:t im'pɔ:t
      v[T] buy/bring in products from another country ¶ introduce sth new/different in a place ¶ copy information from one program to another
      also a noun
      -
      China has imported more gold in six months than Portugal's entire gold reserves.
      All the toilet paper she uses is imported from France.
      The fashion for wearing baseball hats was imported directly from the US.
      Firefox enables you to import bookmarks and other information from browsers installed on your computer.
      A restricted import quota was set for meat products.
      Special duties were imposed on imports into the country.
      America has cut its oil imports from the Middle East by 73%.
      China must produce more food to reduce its reliance on imports.
      The industry aims both to increase exports and replace imports.
      The value of annual imports rose rapidly.
      "It's a matter of no great import/importance/significance," said the prime minister.
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      so`lar
      'səulə
      adj relating to the Sun ¶ using the Sun's energy
      -
      As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun.
      The solar system is the sun and all the planets that go round it.
      We have not even begun to tap solar power.
      Solar panels provide a reliable long term solution.
      Only solar power stands out as a way of making electricity without Faraday's discovery.
      Possible energy sources are wind, solar and geothermal.
      Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth.
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      u`til`i`ty
      ju:'tiliti
      n[CU] service such as gas or electricity ¶ the quality of being useful ¶ a small, useful computer program
      -
      Public utilities are services provided by the government or state, such as the supply of electricity and gas, or the train network.
      Does your rent include utilities?
      A sport utility vehicle is a powerful vehicle with four-wheel drive that can be driven over rough ground. The abbreviation SUV is often used.
      A utility room is a room in a house which is usually connected to the kitchen and which contains things such as a washing machine, sink, and cleaning equipment.
      "What are you talking about? 007 has all those gadgets!" "Batman has a utility belt!"
      It's a simple utility that allows you to turn your cell phone into a flashlight/torch.
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      endure
      in'djuə
      v[T] suffer sth unpleasant or difficult over a long period, esp without complaining
      v[I] last for a long time
      -
      We had to endure a nine-hour delay at the airport.
      The company endured heavy financial losses.
      This great nation will endure as it has endured.
      We endure change by using the concept of time.
      These are the stresses we have to endure.
      The smart ones are able to adapt and endure.
      Murdoch believes he has built things that will endure.
      It is not clear how long the compromise will endure.
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      echo
      'ekəu
      n[C] a sound that is heard after it has been reflected off a surface ¶ sth that is very similar to sth that has happened or been said before
      v[I] if a sound ~ or a place ~ with a sound, you hear the sound again
      v[T] repeat words, a quality or situation
      -
      This cave had a good echo.
      He heard nothing but the echoes of his own voice.
      His footsteps echoed.
      Thick carpet would reduce the echo in the hallway.
      The house echoed with the sound of children's voices.
      The article contains echoes of an earlier report.
      "You bet," she said, echoing his words.
      The Victorian theme is echoed in the furnishings.
      The biological sonar, or echolocation, of bats and a few other animals is one of nature's great inventions.
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      e`volve
      i'vɔlv
      v[IT] change/develop gradually over a long period of time
      -
      The modern Commonwealth evolved out of Britain's imperial past over a period of many years.
      The European Union, made up of 27 member countries, evolved out of the European Coal and Steel Community.
      Slowly, these tiny organisms evolved into multi-celled creatures.
      Many Victorians were shocked by the notion that humans had evolved from apes.
      Did the baby-cry meow evolve in domestic cats?
      Bacteria are evolving resistance to antibiotics.
      Life and ecosystem evolve, always have, always will.
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      grill
      gril
      v[IT] cook sth over or under direct heat ¶ expose to great heat
      n[C] a part of a stove which produces strong heat ¶ a flat frame of metal bars on which food can be cooked over a fire ¶ a restaurant
      -
      Preheat the grill to medium.
      Once the charcoal is glowing, place the food on the grill and turning it regularly.
      Grill the bacon until crisp.
      Let's meet in the first-floor grill-room.
      Wu Song was sitting grilling himself in front of a fire when Song Jiang passed by.
      If you grill someone about something, you ask them a lot of questions for a long period of time.
      The police grilled her with non-stop questions for over an hour.
      Her parents would grill her about where she'd been.
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      trig`ger
      'trigə
      n[C] the part of a gun that you pull to fire it
      v[T] make a machine or piece of equipment start to work ¶ make sth happen suddenly
      -
      The burglars fled after triggering the alarm.
      My finger tightened on the trigger as I heard footsteps approaching.
      I took aim and squeezed the trigger.
      But many people did find gold and this triggered off the greatest gold rush the world has ever seen.
      The incident triggered the outbreak of the First World War.
      Stress may act as a trigger for these illnesses.
      Any of those words trigger anything for you?
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      leap
      li:p
      v[I] jump high or a long way ¶ move or do sth suddenly and quickly ¶ increase suddenly and by a large amount
      n[C] also a noun
      -
      Monica leapt to her feet (stood up quickly) and started shouting.
      I leaped out of bed when the fire alarm went off.
      I leapt down the stairs three at a time.
      I leapt from a window in the building and escaped.
      People were forced to leap to safety from the burning building.
      The horse leapt the fence and galloped off down the track.
      He made a flying leap at the ball.
      When his younger sister was being bullied he leapt to her defense.
      She leapt at the chance (accept an opportunity very eagerly) to go to America.
      Sales have leaped 68% this quarter.
      There has been a quantum leap in profits.
      A leap year is a year which has 366 days.
      Compare hop, jump, leap, and skip.
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      burning
      'bə:niŋ
      adj on fire ¶ feeling very hot ¶ very strong, extreme
      adv ~ hot - very hot
      -
      Wow! Have you ever rescued anyone from a burning building before?
      Zelda looked at the chimney sweeper. Her father, the vicar, wouldn't be home for hours. Her loins were burning.
      Helen put her hands to Zelda's burning face.
      A burning ambition, desire, need etc is very strong.
      Peter's burning ambition is to be Ultimate Fighting Champion.
      A burning issue or question is very important and urgent.
      The burning question in this year's debate over the federal budget is: whose taxes should be raised?
      The United States public debt has become a burning issue in this election.
      A Burning Hot Summer is a 2011 drama film directed by Philippe Garrel, starring Monica Bellucci and Louis Garrel.
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      cruise
      kru:z
      v[IT] sail/drive along slowly, esp for pleasure ¶ drive/fly at a steady speed ¶ win or achieve sth easily ¶ go around in public places looking for a sexual partner
      also a noun
      -
      Carol and Susan were cruising in the Aegean Sea all winter.
      They cruised up and down the coast road.
      They were cruising along at 15 miles per hour.
      What is the cruising speed of a Boeing 747-400? The long range cruising speed is 907 km/h.
      Rachel was upset that Tag and Joey went cruising.
      Colts cruise to easy one over the Jaguars
      Arsenal cruise to easy win over Napoli
      A cruise missile is a guided missile, the major portion of whose flight path to its target is conducted at approximately constant velocity.
      "Were you, or were you not on a gay cruise?" Joey asked.
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      vi`rus
      'vairəs
      n[UC] a very small living thing that causes infectious illnesses ¶ a program that enters your computer or cell phone and damages or destroys information
      -
      A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms.
      Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea.
      A computer virus is a malware program that, when executed, replicates by inserting copies of itself (possibly modified) into other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of the hard drive; when this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be "infected".
      A mobile virus is malicious software that targets mobile phones or wireless-enabled Personal digital assistants (PDA), by causing the collapse of the system and loss or leakage of confidential information.
      Smallpox, influenza, polio, rabies, and measles are diseases caused by viruses.
      An infected person can pass the virus to others.
      Evidence suggested that the AIDS virus was spreading very quickly among the heterosexual community.
      If you believe you have a virus on your Android phone, you need to take immediate action to remove it.
      Have you been called the Indiana Jones of viruses?
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      sta`tis`tics
      stə'tistiks
      n[pl] collection of information shown in numbers
      n[U] the science
      -
      We no longer keep statistics on former employees.
      The government has released new statistics on the cost of living.
      According to official statistics, the North Korean are very happy.
      According to official statistics, the Japanese work longer hours than workers in most other industrialized countries.
      Statistics show that women live longer than men.
      Someone's vital statistics, especially a woman's, are the measurements of their body at certain points, for example at their chest, waist, and hips.
      The vital statistics of a population are statistics such as the number of births, deaths, or marriages which take place in it.
      He's studying statistics at university.
      'Stats' is an informal abbreviation for 'statistics'.
      Statistics is the study of the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and organization of data.
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      hike
      haik
      n[C] a long walk, esp in the mountains or countryside, taken for pleasure or exercise ¶ a large rise in prices, wages, taxes etc
      v[IT] go for a long walk in the countryside ¶ suddenly increase the amount or level of sth
      -
      My wife and I met on a hike.
      We went for a hike through the woods on Sunday.
      The president has proposed a hike in the minimum wage.
      The union demands an 8% wage hike.
      Several airlines have proposed fare hikes, effective September 1.
      Susan's dream is to hike the Appalachian Trail.
      She hiked the Grand Canyon trails.
      To hike up something is to lift up a piece of your clothing or to increase a price, tax etc by a large amount.
      Hitchhiking (also known as thumbing or hitching) is a means of transportation that is gained by asking people, usually strangers, for a ride in their automobile or other road vehicle.
      Compare backpack, hike, and trek.
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      clus`ter
      'klʌstə
      n[C] a group of things of the same type that are very close together ¶ a group of people, animals all in the same place
      v[IT] come together in a small group or groups
      -
      A cluster bomb contains a large number of smaller bombs that spread out before they hit the ground.
      Cluster bombs open in flight, scattering smaller bomblets.
      Have a look at the cluster of galaxies in this photograph.
      It is perceptible only at the galactic cluster level.
      Reporters clustered around the palace gates for news.
      Shops in China tend to be clustered together.
      The children clustered around their teacher.
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      law`suit
      'lɔ:su:t
      n[C] a claim or problem taken to a court of law
      -
      A lawsuit, or suit, is a problem or complaint that a person or organization brings to a court of law to be settled.
      He's filing lawsuits over a disputed estate.
      He didn't agree to drop the lawsuit.
      His lawyer filed a lawsuit against the company.
      The company faced several lawsuits.
      It planned to defend the lawsuit vigorously.
      Eventually they settled the lawsuit.
      Sometimes, the term "lawsuit" is in reference to a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy.
      The conduct of a lawsuit is called litigation. The plaintiffs and defendants are called litigants and the attorneys representing them are called litigators. The term litigation may also refer to criminal trial.
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