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n[C] sb who is kept as a prisoner by an enemy so that the other side will do what the enemy demands
Hostage means someone who is seized by a criminal abductor in order to compel another party such as a relative, employer, law enforcement, or government to act, or refrain from acting, in a particular way, often under threat of serious physical harm to the hostage(s) after expiration of an ultimatum.
A person who seizes one or more hostages is known as a hostage-taker.
An acute situation where hostages are kept in a building or a vehicle that has been taken over by armed terrorists or common criminals is often called a hostage crisis.
The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States.
President Jimmy Carter called the hostages "victims of terrorism and anarchy," adding that "the United States will not yield to blackmail."
If someone is taken hostage or is held hostage, they are captured and kept as a hostage.
The terrorists are holding three western tourists hostage.
The hijackers took the stewardesses on board the plane hostages.
Three American tourists are reported to have been kidnapped by political extremists.
If you say you are hostage to something, you mean that your freedom to take action is restricted by things that you cannot control.
Our country must not be held hostage to our past.
v[T] divide things into groups ¶ make information secret
The books in the library are classified by subject.
"Smart? I'd have to lose 60 IQ points to be classified as 'smart'," said Sheldon.
Classified ads are small advertisements placed in a newspaper etc by people wishing to buy or sell something, employ somebody, find a job etc.
Craigslist is a classified advertisements website.
Would you classify J. K. Rowling's novels as serious literature or as mere entertainment?
Classified information, documents etc are ones which the government has ordered to be kept secret.
"What's classified?" "Howard's space toilet. I'll tell you later."
The British government has classified the results.
adj fully grown or developed mentally or physically ¶ having achieved one's full potential ¶ (of thought etc) careful and thorough ¶ due for payment
v[IT] become ~, or make sth do this
When a child or young animal matures, it becomes an adult.
Humans take longer to mature than most other animals.
If you describe someone as mature, you think that they are fully developed and balanced in their personality and emotional behavior.
If someone matures, they become more fully developed in their personality and emotional behavior.
Sheldon matured a lot in the last couple of years.
Rachel's more mature than the other girls in her class.
She is very mature for her age.
Girls are said to mature faster than boys.
Most girls are sexually mature by about 14 years of age.
When something matures, it reaches a state of complete development.
The human brain isn't fully mature until about age 25.
Mature apple trees are typically 20 feet tall.
The mature bull weighs about two thousand pounds.
If something such as wine or cheese matures or is matured, it is left for a time to allow its full flavor or strength to develop.
Mature cheese or wine has been left for a time to allow its full flavor or strength to develop.
Unlike wine, brandy matures only in wood, not glass.
The cheese is smoked and then left to mature for two years.
A mature bond or policy is ready to be paid.
If an investment matures, the person who owns it receives back the money they invested and the interest it has earned after a fixed period of time.
If you say that someone is mature or of mature years, you are saying politely that they are middle-aged or old.
A mature/adult student is a person who begins their studies at university or college a number of years after leaving school, so that they are older than most of the people they are studying with.
n[C] a chemical substance in food that is necessary for good health ¶ a pill containing ~
A vitamin is an organic compound and a vital nutrient that an organism requires in limited amounts.
An organic chemical compound (or related set of compounds) is called a vitamin when the organism cannot synthesize the compound in sufficient quantities, and must be obtained through the diet; thus, the term "vitamin" is conditional upon the circumstances and the particular organism.
For example, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is a vitamin for humans, but not for most other animal organisms.
Supplementation is important for the treatment of certain health problems, but there is little evidence of nutritional benefit when used by otherwise healthy people.
Each vitamin is given a name using a letter of the alphabet, for example vitamin C which is found in many fruit and vegetables.
A vitamin deficiency is a medical condition caused by lack of vitamins.
Vitamin deficiency can cause illnesses such as scurvy and rickets.
Pork is rich in vitamin B1.
Butter, margarine, and oily fish are all good sources of vitamin D.
Most foods contain vitamin E.
n[CU] a statement about what you think will happen, or the act of making such a statement
A prediction or forecast is a statement about the way things will happen in the future, often but not always based on experience or knowledge.
While there is much overlap between prediction and forecast, a prediction may be a statement that some outcome is expected, while a forecast is more specific, and may cover a range of possible outcomes.
A "prediction" may be contrasted with a "projection", which is explicitly dependent on stated assumptions.
In fantasy literature, predictions are often obtained through magic or prophecy, sometimes referring back to old traditions.
The data can be used to make useful economic predictions.
The results of the experiment confirmed the predictions.
The prediction turns out to be correct.
Contrary to almost all predictions, however, the government did not fall.
n[C] a room or area in a building that is under the level of the ground
A basement or cellar is one or more floors of a building that are either completely or partially below the ground floor.
Basements are typically used as a utility space for a building where such items as the boiler, water heater, breaker panel or fuse box, car park, and air-conditioning system are located; so also are amenities such as the electrical distribution system, and cable television distribution point.
The canteen is down in the basement.
Our kitchenware department is in the basement.
It made me feel better keeping a corded phone in my basement for emergencies.
My basement flooded this weekend.
We are so in luck! Treeger said we could have all this cool stuff from the basement.
The room in the basement. Sheldon enters, takes out a box, takes a beanbag from the box, then starts playing keepie uppie.
v[T] take/get sth out, usu with effort or by force ¶ remove a substance from sth which contains it, obtain ¶ select and present a piece of writing etc from a book etc
n[CU] the substance/writing
You'll have to have that tooth extracted to prevent recurrent trouble.
The dentist opened a drawer and extracted a file.
Ross extracted the cork from the Champagne bottle.
The oil which is extracted from olives and sunflower seeds is used for cooking.
Chandler crushed the pulp to extract the juice.
They used to extract iron ore from this site.
If you extract information or a response from someone, you get it from them with difficulty.
They used torture to extract information.
If you say that someone extracts something, you disapprove of them because they take it for themselves to gain an advantage.
They aim to extract the maximum political benefit from the scandal.
The teacher extracted passages for the students to translate.
I've only seen short extracts from the film.
The cream contained extracts of several plants.
n[C] home, house, dwelling
n[U] the state of living somewhere ¶ legal permission to live in a country
Hi Geller-Bing residence. How can I help?
Please state your occupation and place of residence.
She took up residence (start to live somewhere) in Paris in 1999.
After many years of residence in Paris, she returned home.
Rome is her main place of residence now.
Windsor is open to visitors when the Royal Family is not in residence.
10 Downing Street is the British Prime Minister's official residence.
Foreign visitors are only allowed one month's residence.
20,000 refugees had entered the country and had applied for permanent residence.
The proposal would grant US residence to them.
Halls of residence, dormitory, or residence hall, are buildings with rooms or flats, usually built by universities or colleges, in which students live during the term.
The university has thirty halls of residence for its postgraduate students.
Students must remain in residence during term.
Residency is usually, but not always, a stage of graduate medical training. A resident physician or resident or resident medical officer is a person who has received a medical degree who practices medicine usually in a hospital or clinic.
v[T] pull/drag sth with effort/force
n[C] the amount of fish caught ¶ a large amount of illegal or stolen goods ¶ the act/distance etc
Rescue workers attached the men to ropes before hauling them to safety.
When I shout, give a haul on the rope.
A crane had to be used to haul the car out of the river.
If you haul yourself, you move somewhere using a lot of effort.
Monica hauled herself painfully up the stairs.
I'm sure that the club can haul themselves further up the league.
He was hauled before the board of directors and fired.
"To haul ass" means to hurry.
I figure I'm better off staying with the kid than hauling my ass back and forth on the ferry.
"To haul/rake someone over the coals" is to speak to someone severely because they have done something wrong.
He was hauled over the coals for being late.
"To haul in" is to earn a lot of money.
The cell phone company boasted about hauling in over $4 billion in its first year.
A long/slow haul is something that takes a lot of time and effort.
At last they've won their freedom but it's been a long bitter haul.
The long-haul (traveling a long distance, especially by air) flight from Newark to Singapore is really exhausting.
The fishermen had a good haul.
A haul of stolen underwear has been seized by police officers.
The thief got away with a record haul of $3.14159265 million.
Alice was standing in the street, seemingly oblivious to the rain.
Rachel was seemingly calm when she left to take the pregnancy test.
She remains confident and seemingly untroubled by her recent problems.
She has moved to Greece, seemingly to enjoy a slower style of life.
Seemingly, the dogs had been living on their own for months.
A seemingly harmless game between the guys and the girls escalates into a full-blown contest to see which pair knows more personal data about the other.
adj involving the use of your hands, blue-collar ¶ operated by people, ≠automatic
n[C] a book giving instructions for doing sth
Computer-controlled robots are taking over manual jobs in many industries.
Making small models requires manual skill.
Great manual dexterity (skill in using your hands) is required to perform the technique.
The car comes with either a five-speed manual or an automatic gearbox.
If a machine is on manual, it can only be operated by hand and not automatically.
What does it say in the manual?
The plane comes with a comprehensive 6000-page instruction manual.
adj very detailed and complicated
v[IT] give more details or new information about sth
Monica and Rachel are making the most elaborate plans for the wedding.
The plans looked very elaborate.
You want a plain blouse to go with that skirt - nothing too elaborate.
It's a very elaborate telecommunications network.
She refused to elaborate on her reasons for resigning.
This point will be elaborated further in the next chapter.
You understand the situation; I needn't elaborate any further.
adj ≠obvious ¶ behaving in a clever way and using indirect methods ¶ clever in noticing and understanding things
The photos are similar, but there are subtle differences between them.
Will a more subtle approach work?
Rachel wasn't very subtle about it. She just said she didn't love Ross any more.
What did she mean by that? Was that just a generic platitude, or was that a subtle bid for attention?
"I didn't know you were upset about that." "Really! Did you miss all the subtle indicators, like me saying, 'Howard, I am upset.'"
I'm sorry, was I being too subtle? I meant compared to the real-world applications of neurobiology, theoretical physics is, what's the word I'm looking for? Hmm, cute.
Albert Einstein has a very subtle mind.
v[I] make a continuous sound, like the sound of a bee ¶ move around in the air making the sound ¶ move quickly around a place
n[s] the sound
The intercom buzzed and Chandler pressed down the switch to buzz/let Paul in.
Flies were buzzing around the restroom.
Monica buzzed around serving drinks and chatting with her guests.
I heard a buzz and then saw a plane in the distance.
If your ears or head are buzzing, you can hear a continuous low unpleasant sound.
My head was still buzzing hours after leaving the nightclub.
Reporters were buzzing around, trying to get the full story.
I've finished everything, so I'll buzz off (go away) now.
Just buzz off and leave me alone.
His mind was always buzzing with new ideas.
I'll give you a buzz (call you) tomorrow.
I love cycling fast - it gives me a real buzz (a strong feeling of pleasure or excitement).
I get a real buzz out of cycling.
There were all sorts of rumors buzzing through the office.
v[T] gradually make sb/sth less strong/effective
Badgers had undermined the foundations of the house.
Western intelligence agencies are accused of trying to undermine the government.
Late hours can undermine one's health.
Criticism will never undermine our confidence.
"I'm totally screwed. Ok, they are gonna be hot and heavy on stage every night, and then they're gonna go to their little cast parties and he's gonna try to undermine me," said Chandler.
v[I] be greater in strength/influence ¶ be most common/frequent
If one side in a battle, contest, or dispute prevails, it wins.
The invaders prevailed over the native population.
Don't let emotion prevail over reason.
Virtue will prevail against evil.
Justice will prevail.
If a proposal, principle, or opinion prevails, it gains influence or is accepted, often after a struggle or argument.
If a situation, attitude, or custom prevails in a particular place at a particular time, it is normal or most common in that place at that time.
This attitude still prevails among the middle classes.
If you prevail on someone to do something, you persuade them to do it.
"Excuse me, Dr. Cooper? I'm Ramona Nowitzki. I was at your talk last night. I think you're just brilliant." "That is the prevailing opinion."
adj happening or being done at exactly the same time
Up to two million users can have simultaneous access to the system.
Do you propose a second, simultaneous parallel origin of life?
Television channels have begun to hire staff simultaneous interpreters.
The speeches will be broadcast live, with simultaneous translation into English.
Interpretation or interpreting is the facilitating of oral or sign-language communication, either simultaneously or consecutively, between users of different languages.
Two children answered the teacher's question simultaneously.
All right, one bacon cheeseburger, breaking two Jewish dietary restrictions simultaneously, kudos.
adj affecting or involving a machine ¶ using power from an engine ¶ done without thinking, not original ¶ relating to or produced by physical forces ¶ understanding how machines work
The flight has been cancelled due to mechanical failure.
We produce mechanical parts for jet engines.
Most crops are harvested mechanically nowadays.
'No, the length and girth doesn't matter.' Rachel was asked the same question so many times that the answer became mechanical.
Mechanical translation is better than machine translation. They're both better than mad translation.
Some important mechanical properties are strength, toughness, hardness, plasticity, elasticity, brittleness and ductility.
He's very mechanical so he's sure to know what's wrong.
n[UC] a set of principles or beliefs
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the essence of teachings in a given branch of knowledge or belief system.
The Buddhist doctrine can be divided mainly into two aspects: the emancipation of one's own mind from attachment on the one hand and the guiding of others from misery to happiness on the other.
The Monroe Doctrine was a US foreign policy regarding Latin American countries in the early 19th century.
The Truman Doctrine was an international relations policy set forth by the U.S. President Harry Truman in a speech on March 12, 1947.
Military doctrine is the expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battles, and engagements.
The military doctrine of the Russian Federation is one of the main strategic planning documents in Russia and represents a system of officially state adopted views of preparation for the armed protection of Russia.
Compare dogma and doctrine.
n[C] a very upsetting/frightening dream ¶ an extremely difficult/frightening situation
A nightmare is an unpleasant dream that can cause a strong emotional response from the mind, typically fear or horror but also despair, anxiety and great sadness.
A nightmare may contain situations of danger, discomfort, psychological or physical terror.
Ross used to have recurring nightmares that Monica was going to eat him.
You shouldn't have watched that movie - it'll give you nightmares.
I have nightmares about drowning.
My everyday trip to work is a nightmare.
I don't know what to do. What am I gonna do? I mean this is like a complete nightmare.
It's like someone literally wrote down my worst nightmare and then charged me $32 to see it!
You've spoiled everything! It's like a nightmare! My friends and family are out there! How can I face them?!
v[IT] drink in small amounts
n[C] a very small amount of a drink
Carol was sitting at the table sipping her lemonade.
She took a little sip of her drink.
Outside the window, car horns blasted. I sat sipping tea with Ali Mohammad.
The tea is very hot, so sip it carefully.
It's been weeks since Sheldon took that accidental sip of Red Bull.
n[C] a round shape or curve made by a line curling back toward itself
v[IT] make a ~ or make sth into a ~
Lay the two ends of string so they make a loop over each other.
Christmas decorations looped from the ceiling.
Before the 1920s, belts served mostly a decorative purpose, and were associated with the military. Moreover, prior to that trousers did not even have belt loops.
The racket is much more parallel to the direction of the stroke and the racket thus grazes the ball, resulting in a large amount of topspin.
A good loop drive will arc quite a bit, and once striking the opponent's side of the table will jump forward, much like a kick serve in tennis.
A loop is when the pilot pulls the plane up into the vertical, continues around until he is heading back in the same direction, like making a 360 degree turn, except it is in the vertical plane instead of the horizontal.
In telecommunication, loop is sending a signal on a channel and receiving it back at the sending terminal.
In computing, a loop is a set of operations in a computer program that are continuously repeated.
If someone is in/out the loop, they are/aren't part of a group of people who make important decisions.
adj difficult to fight against ¶ very great/large
If something is overwhelming, it affects you very strongly, and you do not know how to deal with it.
Now, I know I've given you a lot of new information and it may seem a little overwhelming.
Rachel, you must get a nanny. You don't know how overwhelming this is gonna be.
But it's all so overwhelming. I don't know where to start.
God, this adoption stuff is so overwhelming.
An overwhelming majority voted against his proposal.
n[C] an extremely small piece of matter ¶ an extremely small amount of sth
Electrons and protons are atomic particles.
A photon is a particle of light.
A quark is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter.
String theory is a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings.
Particle astrophysics is a branch of particle physics that studies elementary particles of astronomical origin and their relation to astrophysics and cosmology.
A particle accelerator is a machine used for research in nuclear physics which can make particles that are smaller than atoms move very fast.
Particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers, PM2.5, tend to penetrate into the gas exchange regions of the lung.
Inhalable particles penetrate no further than the bronchi as they are filtered out by the cilia.
There's not a particle of truth in her story.
v[IT] lose/emit blood ¶ draw blood from
Phoebe throws another jab, and lands it on Joey's nose, causing it to bleed.
"You're bleeding. Your nose is bleeding." "Ok, well, not a problem. We'll just use them to stop the bleeding."
By convention, the length of an individual menstrual cycle in days is counted starting with the first day of menstrual bleeding.
To bleed somebody dry or white is to take all their money, possessions etc.
If you bleed a radiator or a brake, you remove air or liquid from it to make it work correctly.
Wash it in cold water so the colors don't bleed (spread from one area of cloth or paper to another).
If a company or business bleeds red ink, it loses a lot of money rather than making money.
If your heart bleeds for someone who is in trouble, you feel sadness and sympathy for them (often used sarcastically/humorously to mean the opposite).