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      stern
      stə:n
      adj serious, strict, severe, firm
      n[C] the back of a ship
      -
      Rachel's father was stern and hard to please.
      "He will need to face stern legal action," a top board official said.
      Sadly, Penny, this evening, I am the Dark Knight, roaming these mean streets alone. A windbreaker for my cape, and a stern expression for my cowl.
      All right. This is a form indemnifying me from your use of Leonard's bedroom. Sign here, indicating that I tried to stop you and did so using a stern facial expression
      Journalists received a stern warning not to go anywhere near the aircraft carrier.
      Joey is sitting in the bow, staring off into space as to envision his future full of possibilities. Chandler is sitting at the stern, staring into space and is looking at an uncertain future.
      Compare these words: cruel, harsh, severe, stern and tough.
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      doc`u`men`ta`ry
      dɔkju'mentəri
      n[C] a movie or TV program that deals with real people and events
      adj ~ evidence consists of things that are written down
      -
      Planet Earth is a 2006 television series produced by the BBC Natural History Unit.
      Five years in the making, it was the most expensive nature documentary series ever.
      The crew is making a documentary about wild camels.
      There's also an amazing documentary about building a dam on river in South America.
      Real Sex is a documentary television series broadcast on and a production of HBO.
      Las Vegas is famous for its all-you-can-eat buffets (which are common in casinos), as depicted in the documentary film BUFFET: All You Can Eat Las Vegas (2007).
      We have documentary evidence that they were planning military action.
      Whenever possible, interview materials were supplemented by documentary evidence, including regional and national newspapers, official reports and publications, manuals, flyers, correspondence, and photographs.
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      mild
      maild
      adj not strong/severe/large/extreme ¶ gentle ¶ ≠cold
      -
      Next morning, wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
      You can ease this by taking a mild painkiller, by putting a hot water bottle against your tummy or taking a hot bath.
      He can't accept even mild criticism of his work.
      The infection seems quite mild, so he should be better soon.
      Edam is a cheese that is mild and firm.
      I don't like a hot curry - I prefer a mild one.
      The economy will slip into a mild recession.
      He received the mild sentence of a year's probation.
      The movie is rated PG (parental guidance suggested) because it contains some mild language and scenes of sensuality.
      Dr. Green suffered a mild heart attack.
      The mild form of the disease may only show white spots, while the moderate and severe forms are much more disruptive.
      If you have a mild case of stalker, though, he should go away if you ask.
      She's a very mild-mannered person.
      Towards the end of the week the weather turned very mild.
      We had an exceptionally mild winter last year.
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      of`fi`cial`ly
      ə'fiʃəli
      adv publicly and formally ¶ according to information that has been told to the public but that may not be true
      -
      In 1896, the trustees officially authorized the use of yet another new name, Columbia University, and today the institution is officially known as Columbia University in the City of New York.
      The third millennium officially started on 1st January 2001, at Greenwich - Year 2000 was another good excuse for a party, and canny tour operators cashed in twice.
      Nothing has yet been officially announced.
      Officially, the talks never took place.
      Congratulations, you're officially one of us.
      "Yeah, it's officially a bromance (a close non-romantic relationship between two/more men)," said Howard.
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      dig`ni`ty
      'digniti
      n[U] behavior of sb who controls their emotions in a difficult situation ¶ quality that deserves respect
      -
      "All I really wanted was to make it though this evening with a little bit of grace and dignity," said Rachel.
      The family faced their devastated house with dignity.
      Only a truly free person has human dignity.
      "Way to save your dignity my man," said Chandler.
      "What's the winner get?" "Pride and dignity."
      How could you wear something so indecent? Have you no dignity?
      In the OB/GYN clinic, she felt stripped of all her dignity.
      I think patients should be allowed to die with dignity.
      Some husbands still think it beneath their dignity to buy menstrual pads for their wives.
      If someone stands on their dignity, they demand to be treated with proper respect.
      She stands on her dignity and treats the rest of us as servants.
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      pro`gres`sive
      prə'gresiv
      adj happening/developing gradually ¶ supporting ~ social/political change
      -
      The major central banks are committing to a progressive increase in the complexity of global financial markets.
      The chief symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are progressive decline of memory and other higher mental functions.
      A progressive tax is a tax where the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases.
      The term "progressive" refers to the way the tax rate progresses from low to high, with the result that the average tax rate is less than the highest marginal tax rate (the tax percentage on the highest dollar earned).
      This liberal progressive administration does not like military or local P.D. They want just federal agents, like TSA (Transportation Security Administration).
      Virtually all slowly progressive diseases are also chronic diseases in terms of time course; many of these are also referred to as degenerative diseases.
      Not all chronic diseases are progressive: a chronic, non-progressive disease may be referred to as a static condition.
      Some progressive diseases can be halted and reversed by treatment. Many can be slowed by medical therapy.
      The progressive or continuous form of a verb is used for showing that an action is continuing. In English it consists of the verb 'be' followed by the present participle.
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      dis`charge
      dis'tʃa:dʒ
      v[IT] allow/force sb to leave ¶ perform a duty ¶ pay what you owe ¶ send out liquid, gas, electric current etc ¶ relieve of a burden or of contents, unload
      also a noun
      -
      Patients were discharged from hospital because the beds were needed by other people.
      Hospitals now tend to discharge patients earlier than in the past.
      Nurses visit the mother and baby for two weeks after their discharge from the hospital.
      The child was taken to the hospital but was later discharged.
      The members of the jury were discharged by the judge.
      After being discharged from the military, Elvis Presley went back to singing and starring in movies.
      She undertook to discharge all the responsibilities of a trustee.
      The house will be sold to discharge the debt.
      The wound is discharging pus.
      The sewage which directly discharged into the sea seriously harmed a lot of birds and animals.
      Thousands of fish were killed as a result of a discharge of poisonous chemicals from a nearby restaurant.
      A policewoman accidentally discharged her weapon.
      The police stated that some fifty rounds had been discharged.
      Lightning is caused by clouds discharging electricity.
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      dissolve
      di'zɔlv
      v[IT] become part of liquid, or make sth do this ¶ remove/destroy ¶ disappear, fade away ¶ come to an end, or end sth
      -
      Dissolve the salt in a little boiled water.
      Salt dissolves in water.
      Dissolved oxygen are found in freshwater.
      Helen still could not dissolve the nagging lump of jealousy in her chest.
      The monarch had the power to dissolve parliament.
      The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.
      If you dissolve into or dissolve in tears or laughter, you begin to cry or laugh, because you give way to emotion.
      Susan dissolved into tears at the mention of Tanya's name.
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      bold
      bəuld
      adj confident and brave ¶ clearly visible ¶ written or drawn in a very clear way ¶ printed using darker or thicker letters
      -
      The wine made Ross bold enough to approach her and introduce himself.
      It was a bold move, and one that could and did shake up the industry a bit. Amazon, the publishers contend, had established a monopoly on e-books, and was selling their wares at overly discounted prices.
      Someone who is as bold as brass is very confident and not worried about how other people will respond or about being caught.
      He's wearing a shirt with bold black-and-white stripes.
      She paints with bold strokes of the brush.
      The headwords in this dictionary are in bold type.
      The most common methods in Western typography fall under the general technique of emphasis through a change or modification of font: italics, boldface and small caps.
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      fran`chise
      'fræntʃaiz
      n[C] permission given by a company to sb who wants to sell its goods/services ¶ a business/service run under ~ ¶ a professional sports team
      n[U] the right to vote in elections
      v[T] grant a ~ to
      -
      Franchise generally means a right or privilege.
      Franchising is a business method that involves licensing of trademarks and methods of doing business, such as: chain store, an exclusive right, media franchise, or rail franchising in Great Britain.
      A businessperson may purchase the rights to a franchise such as Taco Bell, which gives him/her the rights to a proven system of operation and a trademark, and thus offering customer's assurance that the meal will be as expected.
      A television franchise is a right to operate a television network.
      In sport, franchise is a term for a team in the type of professional sports league organization most commonly found in North America.
      In professional sports, a franchise player is an athlete who is not simply the best player on their team, but a player that the team can build their "franchise" (team) around for the foreseeable future.
      Catering in the schools is run on a franchise basis.
      They had to get it from the local franchise holder.
      Women were not given the franchise in Britain until the twentieth century.
      Revis will be entering the final year of his contract in 2013 and can't be franchised by the Jets.
      In 1957, the Colonel's hard work on the road begins to pay off and there are 190 KFC franchisees and 400 franchise units in the U.S. and Canada.
      In 1964, Kentucky Fried Chicken has more than 600 franchised outlets in the United States, Canada and the first overseas outlet, in England.
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      prod`uc`tiv`i`ty
      prɔdʌk'tiviti
      n[U] quality of being productive ¶ rate at which goods/services are produced
      -
      The size of the crop depends on the productivity of the soil.
      Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.
      Smokers were 28 percent more likely to suffer from a drop in productivity than nonsmokers.
      In adults, it causes fatigue and lost productivity.
      To boost productivity, some managers take extreme measures.
      Employees who exercised only occasionally were 50 percent more likely to report having lower levels of productivity than employees who were regular exercisers.
      I don't believe it's key, or even relevant, to improving productivity.
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      tilt
      tilt
      v[IT] move into a sloping position, or make sth do this
      n[s] sloping position
      -
      If you tilt an object or if it tilts, it moves into a sloping position with one end or side higher than the other.
      She tilted the bowl to pour the mixture out.
      He tilted his chair backwards and put his feet up on his desk.
      If you tilt part of your body, you move it slightly upwards or to one side.
      If you tilt your head to the left, and relax your eyes, it kind of looks like an old potato.
      Come on! You're just tilting! (to Ross) Her legs are fine!
      The tilt of something is the fact that it tilts or slopes, or the angle at which it tilts or slopes.
      The table has a definite tilt at this end.
      He positioned the photo at a slight tilt.
      If an opinion or situation tilts, or if something tilts it, it changes so that people start to prefer one person, belief, or action to others.
      This huge supply of labor has tilted the balance of power from labor towards capital.
      A tilt is a preference for one person, belief, or action over others.
      The state is also home to around 100,000 Mormons who are likely to tilt towards Romney.
      A tilt is is a medieval sport in which two mounted knights with lances charged together and attempted to unhorse one another.
      Tilting at windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies. The word "tilt", in this context, comes from jousting.
      The phrase derives from an episode in the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
      It produces 1600 Megawatts of power at full tilt (at full speed, as fast as possible).
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      di`lem`ma
      di'lemə
      n[C] a situation in which you have to make a difficult decision
      -
      For British Muslims who are keen to follow Islam, this poses a dilemma.
      His sudden policy shift puts Romney in a dilemma by placing him under pressure to make a choice between further alienating Latino voters and alienating conservatives.
      Many women are faced with the dilemma of choosing between work and family commitments.
      If you are on the horns of a dilemma, you have to choose between two things, both of which are unpleasant or difficult.
      The bee is caught on the horns of a dilemma. Should it attack the enemy, even though it then risks its own life?
      Great news, Leonard. I've solved my Penny gift dilemma.
      Penny, please, I'm on the horns of a relationship dilemma.
      Emma! Your name poses a dilemma.
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      jerk
      dʒə:k
      v[IT] move very suddenly, or make sth do this ¶ pull sth suddenly and roughly
      n[C] a quick sudden movement ¶ a strong sudden pull ¶ sb who does stupid, annoying, or unkind things
      -
      The train stopped and I jerked awake.
      We were in public when he bent down to kiss me on the forehead and I actually jerked back because it was in public.
      She suddenly jerked away from the curtain.
      Wilson jerked his head to indicate that they should move on.
      Joey jerked the fishing-rod out of the water.
      Striking the tendon below the patella (knee cap) gives rise to a sudden extension of the leg, known as the knee-jerk.
      The disease causes sudden jerky movements of the hands and legs.
      She pulled the bush out of the ground with a sharp jerk.
      You stupid jerk! You've just spilled hot coffee all down my new pants!
      To jerk out is to say something in a quick and awkward way because one is nervous.
      To jerk around is to waste someone's time or deliberately make things difficult for them.
      To jerk off is to masturbate (touch or rub someone's sexual organs in order to give them sexual pleasure).
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      cos`tume
      'kɔstjum
      n[C] clothes that actors wear in a movie etc ¶ clothes that are typical of a particular place or of a period in history
      -
      For the dress rehearsal, the cast will be in full costume.
      Joey removes the coat to reveal an elf costume.
      People wore historical costumes for the parade.
      I find it rather insulting when migrants suggest or imply that Australia is lacking in culture simply because we do not have an obvious symbol of our culture, such as national costume or food.
      Folk costume (also regional costume, national costume, or traditional garment) expresses an identity through costume, which is usually associated with a geographic area or a period of time in history.
      Eleven days before Halloween; all the good costumes are gone?
      No, that was his costume. See, he's actually an orthodontist, but he came as a regular dentist.
      A swimming/bathing costume is the same as a swimsuit.
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      drown
      draun
      v[I] die from being under water for too long
      v[T] kill sb by pushing them under water ¶ cover or be covered, esp with a liquid
      -
      When I was younger I nearly drowned in a swimming pool (had to be rescued by a rather attractive lifeguard) and ever since then I've had issues about swimming.
      Only Rose DeWitt-Bukater and other 704 people were rescued; Jack Dawson and 1522 drowned or froze to death in the icy water.
      He was drowned at sea.
      The Egyptians were to be drowned in the Red sea.
      It is called "drowned" because the sandwich is submerged totally or partially in a sauce made primarily of a dried chili pepper.
      If something drowns a sound, it is so loud that you cannot hear that sound properly.
      A train blew its whistle and drowned his voice.
      Many countries are drowning in debt.
      To drown your sorrows is to drink a lot of alcohol in order to forget your problems.
      If someone looks like a drowned rat, they're very wet, especially because they have been in heavy rain.
      Compare drown and submerge.
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      mys`te`ri`ous
      mi'stiəriəs
      adj hard to explain/understand ¶ keeping things secret
      -
      If you find this mysterious, re-read the rest of this how-to repeatedly until you understand it before posting anything at all.
      An Enigma machine was any of a family of related electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines used in the twentieth century for enciphering and deciphering secret messages; it's enigmatic (mysterious and difficult to understand).
      "The curtain rises on a mysterious new era, the Monday 7:00 reasoning show," said Detective Conan (Meitantei Conan/名探偵コナン).
      "Our mysterious visitor is between forty and fifty years of age," said Holmes.
      Monica's being very mysterious about her Christmas presents.
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      sup`ple`ment
      'sʌplimənt
      n[C] sth added to sth else to improve/complete it ¶ a separate part of a newspaper/magazine, or an additional part at the end of a book ¶ extra amount of money paid for an additional service etc
      v[T] add to or complete sth with sth else
      -
      You can use this as supplements to English courses.
      The doctor said I should be taking vitamin supplements.
      The doctor suggested supplementing my diet with vitamin A.
      So I take a vitamin supplement every day.
      The newspaper publishes a sports supplement every Sunday.
      There is a supplement to the dictionary containing new words.
      "Phoebe, the money I get from teaching the piano is a useful supplement to my ordinary income," said Mike.
      Chandler supplements his regular salary by writing stories.
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      in`her`it
      in'herit
      v[IT] receive money, property etc from sb when they die
      v[T] have the same character/appearance as one's ancestors ¶ have responsibility for a situation that sb has started and left for you to deal with ¶ get sth from sb who lived in your house or did your job before
      -
      A year ago, I inherited my mother's old Presto brand pressure cooker. My wife uses it once in a while to make Chinese pig's feet.
      Mike Brown inherited the team from his father, and many Brown family members are employed there.
      In other words: I inherited a very crappy situation and improved it! Don't blame me for the job losses, blame my predecessor who turned the state into a basket case.
      He inherited his father's bad temper and his mother's good looks.
      Because coat thickness is a genetically inherited trait, eventually, through natural selection, the population of animals on the cooler side may develop thicker coats.
      I have a pink bathroom that I inherited when my husband and I purchased our 1950's rancher in suburban New Jersey.
      Mr. Heckles' apartment, the gang is looking over Monica and Rachel's inheritance.
      Compare heritage, inherit, legacy, and will.
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      sec`u`lar
      'sekjulə
      adj not connected with religious affairs
      -
      Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the Bible as literally as possible for one full year.
      As far as Iraq goes, a secular Baathist dictatorship is hardly a hotbed of Sunni theological rancor.
      Religions can still have a say in discussion of purely secular matters.
      So long as they campaign concerning secular matters, and so long as they do not discriminate on religious grounds, most atheists are quite happy to see them have their say.
      A secular priest lives among ordinary people, rather than with other priests in a monastery.
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      rap
      ræp
      n[CU] a quick sharp hit/knock ¶ a sudden short noise, esp one made by hitting a hard surface ¶ a type of music with a strong rhythm in which the words are spoken
      also a verb
      -
      The art form can be broken down into different components, as in the book How to Rap where it is separated into "content", "flow" (rhythm and rhyme), and "delivery".
      Someone who raps performs rap music.
      "I can't rap," said Rachel.
      The genre of "Baby Got Back" is comedy hip hop and dirty rap.
      If you rap on something or rap it, you hit it with a series of quick blows.
      Don't rap the table with your pen!
      Angrily Rachel rapped on Chandler and Joey's door.
      There was a rap at/on the door.
      A rap or charge is a statement in a court of law that someone has committed a particular crime, or the punishment for committing it.
      Snoop Dogg is a headliner, a rapper whose street credibility includes his time as a member of L.A's Crips gang and despite his acquittal on a murder rap in 1996, he's an alumni of California's prison system.
      If someone in authority gives you a rap on the knuckles, they criticize you or blame you for doing something they think is wrong.
      That is a rap on the knuckles and will be understood as such by those who can decode the language of British officialdom.
      If you rap someone for something, you criticize or blame them for it.
      The rap about someone or something is their reputation, often a bad reputation which they do not deserve.
      If you take the rap, you are blamed or punished for something, especially something that is not your fault or for which other people are equally guilty.
      He was left to take the rap for Victor's murder.
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      spec`trum
      'spektrəm
      n[C] a complete range of sth
      -
      The colors of the spectrum - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet - can be seen in a rainbow.
      Beyond the red end of the visible light spectrum is infrared.
      Ultraviolet is so-named because the spectrum consists of electromagnetic waves with frequencies higher than those that humans identify as the color violet.
      Vast amounts of energy, from X-rays right through the spectrum down to radio waves, are escaping into space.
      A spectrometer is an instrument used to measure properties of light over a specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, typically used in spectroscopic analysis to identify materials.
      See, by attaching RFlD tags to my clothing, it will enable my laptop to read and identify the items with this wand. I will then cross-reference them against destination, anticipated activity spectrum, weather conditions, duration of trip, etc.
      The courses cover the full spectrum of levels.
      He has support from across the whole political spectrum.
      The two speakers were chosen to represent opposite ends of the spectrum.
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      prop`o`si`tion
      prɔpə'ziʃən
      n[C] statement ¶ suggestion/proposal ¶ sb/sth that you have to deal with
      v[T] suggest to sb that they have sex with you
      -
      Most people accept the proposition that we have a duty to protect endangered animals.
      I have a business proposition to put to you.
      Even among seasoned mountaineers Pinnacle Ridge is considered quite a tough proposition.
      Aristotelian logic identifies a proposition as a sentence which affirms or denies a predicate of a subject.
      An Aristotelian proposition may take the form "All men are mortal" or "Socrates is a man."
      A proposition is a generic term for a theorem of no particular importance.
      She was propositioned several times in the course of the evening.
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      skull
      skʌl
      n[C] the bones of the head
      -
      "I just came by to pick up my skull. Carol borrowed it for a class, and I have to get it back to the museum." "What's it look like?" "Kinda like a big face without skin."
      "Phoebe, skull?" "Oh, yeah, it's my mom's. It's not my mom. It belonged to my mom."
      As I recall what Rachel said, was she had never notice the shape of your skull before.
      The soldiers discovered a pile of human skulls and bones.
      "What happened with the contacts?" "One of them's upstairs. The other one sort of slipped back into my skull."
      The guys are watching Avatar in 3D. All are wearing 3D glasses except Raj. "Didn't it look like that spear was gonna go right through your skull?" asked Howard.
      The disease had reduced her to a skeleton.
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      trip`le
      'tripəl
      adj consisting of three things/parts ¶ three times as much or as many
      v[IT] increase by three times as much, or make sth do this
      -
      Intel Core i7 chips use triple channel memory.
      The triple jump is an athletic event in which competitors have to jump as far as they can, and are allowed to touch the ground once with each foot in the course of the jump.
      The number of one-parent U.S. households reached 10.1 million in 1991, nearly triple that of 1971.
      Our electric bills and gasoline bills will double or triple, and we can count on our income taxes being reduced to match?
      Not only do we triple our investment, but also our impact.
      There's a sale on triple-A (AAA, 7#) batteries.
      Speaking of good news, somebody just hit 100 Twitter followers. Triple digits, I'm not gonna lie, feels pretty good.
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