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n[C] a boat or ship used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water
also a verb
A ferry (or ferryboat) is a boat or ship (a merchant vessel) used to carry (or ferry) primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water.
Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services.
A passenger ferry with many stops, such as in Venice, Italy, is sometimes called a water bus or water taxi.
The Staten Island Ferry shuttles commuters between Manhattan and Staten Island in New York City.
Hong Kong has the Star Ferry carry passengers across Victoria Harbour and various carriers carrying travellers between Hong Kong Island to outlying islands like Cheung Chau, Lantau Island and Lamma Island.
It's just a two hour ferry ride to Nova Scotia.
I think they're taking the ferry out to some Italian place on Staten Island.
Monica spent her life ferrying the kids to and from school.
n[CU] the hard hollow stem of some plants, for example bamboo or sugar
also a verb
Sucrose is a sugar, the organic compound commonly known as table sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar or, usually, just sugar.
Sugarcane belongs to the grass family; it is the world's largest crop by production quantity.
In North America, a walking cane is a walking stick with a curved top much like a shepherd's staff, but shorter.
Thus, although they are called "canes," they are usually made of material heavier than cane, such as wood or metal.
Sometimes I see her seated in a cane chair.
A cane is a stick that was used in the past by teachers to hit children with as a punishment.
Suppose he returns with a cane, or some weird kinky implement?
Corporal punishment was much less routine in the girls' institutions, where caning was permitted only on the hands, and not at all for girls over 15.
v[T] say, or make a sound
adj used for emphasis
I had scarcely uttered the words before Helen burst into laugh.
He bent his head and uttered a groan.
Joey left the apartment without uttering a word.
Thus their assertion is utter nonsense.
What a complete and utter bunch of nonsense.
I have utter contempt for him.
Kate is in the kitchen, and she's staring at me with a look of complete and utter consternation on her face.
n[UC] the crime of murder
Of the 124 people accused of homicide in 2011/12, 115 were men and only nine were women.
Apparently, only around one in 50 people convicted of homicide were actually hanged at this time, the majority serving a prison sentence.
Sipowicz arrives on the scene of a homicide where Shannon and Laughlin are both present.
"Oh, I know a guy in homicide (the police department that deals with homicide) up there," said Gary.
Compare these words: genocide, herbicide, homicide, pesticide, and suicide.
n[U] the process by which you reach a conclusion
Reason or "reasoning" is associated with thinking, cognition, and intellect.
Logic is the study of reasoning.
A deduction is also the conclusion reached by a deductive reasoning process.
Inductive reasoning contrasts strongly with deductive reasoning in that, even in the best, or strongest, cases of inductive reasoning, the truth of the premises does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion. Instead, the conclusion of an inductive argument follows with some degree of probability.
Abductive reasoning, or argument to the best explanation, is a form of inductive reasoning.
Analogical reasoning is reasoning from the particular to the particular.
Flawed reasoning in arguments is known as fallacious reasoning.
n[UC] a chemical substance used to kill pests, esp insects
Pesticides are substances meant for attracting, seducing, destroying, or mitigating any pest.
Pesticides are a class of biocide.
Pesticides are used to kill mosquitoes that can transmit potentially deadly diseases like West Nile virus, yellow fever, and malaria.
One study found that not using pesticides reduced crop yields by about 10%.
Scientists estimate that DDT and other chemicals in the organophosphate class of pesticides have saved 7 million human lives since 1945 by preventing the transmission of diseases such as malaria, bubonic plague, sleeping sickness, and typhus.
The book demonstrated that DDT and other pesticides had been shown to cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds.
In 2006 and 2007, the world used approximately 5.2 billion pounds of pesticides, with herbicides constituting the biggest part of the world pesticide use at 40%, followed by insecticides (17%) and fungicides (10%).
n[C] a metal structure which holds wood or coal in a fireplace
v[IT] rub food against a rough or sharp surface to break them into small pieces ¶ make an unpleasant sound by rubbing, or make sth do this ¶ talk in a low rough voice ¶ annoy
A grate is a frame of iron bars to hold fuel for a fire.
A grate may also refer to a covering of a drain, also called a grating.
A grater (also known as a shredder) is a kitchen utensil used to grate foods into fine pieces.
I got a box grater from IKEA.
I always grate the zuchinni into a tea towel and then squeeze out the extra liquid before using.
Don't grate the chair against the floor.
"You're an idiot," he grated harshly.
His words grate on my ears.
n[C] a document signed by many people that asks sb in authority to do sth ¶ an official document asking a court to take legal action ¶ a formal prayer to God or request to sb in authority
also a verb
A petition may be oral rather than written, and in this era may be transmitted via the Internet.
We the People is a section of the whitehouse.gov website, launched September 22, 2011, for petitioning the current administration's policy experts.
A group was started on Facebook, petitioning against applications that require you to invite friends and asking for the ability to block all applications.
Other types of petitions include those that sought to free Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment by the former apartheid government of South Africa.
The petitions had no legal effect, but the signatures of millions of people on the petitions represented a moral force that may have helped free Mandela and end apartheid.
In response, one California Target employee has drawn up a petition on Change.org asking the company to "take the high road and save Thanksgiving."
In the largest petition drive (an attempt to get a lot of people to sign a petition) in the nation's history up to that time, the League collected nearly 400,000 signatures on petitions to abolish slavery and presented them to Congress.
Petition can also be the title of a legal pleading that initiates a legal case.
Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Thursday that he intends to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court within 90 days to appeal the 8-7 split ruling by the federal appeals court to overturn the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative.
In 1935, the residents of New Bella Bella were petitioning for a post office to be established at Martin's store on Campbell Island.
v[T] make all the things of one particular type have the same features or level of quality
A standardized test is a test that is administered and scored in a consistent, or "standard", manner.
Standardized tests are designed in such a way that the questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent and are administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner.
Standard scores are also called z-values, z-scores, normal scores, and standardized variables; the use of "Z" is because the normal distribution is also known as the "Z distribution".
In other words, it's trying to standardize the features among the browsers.
In 1832, Congress directed the Treasury Department to standardize the measures used by customs officials at U.S. ports.
Traditionally diamonds and gemstones were weighed against these seeds until the system was standardized, and one carat was fixed at 0.2 grams.
n[U] the state of having wealth or good fortune
Prosperity is the state of flourishing, thriving, good fortune and / or successful social status.
Prosperity often encompasses wealth but also includes others factors which can be independent of wealth to varying degrees, such as happiness and health.
Economic growth is often seen as essential for economic prosperity, and indeed is one of the factors that is used as a measure of prosperity.
The Legatum Prosperity Index is an annual ranking, developed by the Legatum Institute, of 142 countries.
We find this important for the happiness and prosperity of local people.
In ecology, prosperity can refer to the extent to which a species flourishes under certain circumstances.
n[C] the smallest amount of a substance that can take part in a chemical reaction ¶ a very small amount of sth
The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons.
The electrons of an atom are bound to the nucleus by the electromagnetic force.
An atom is classified according to the number of protons and neutrons in its nucleus: the number of protons determines the chemical element, and the number of neutrons determines the isotope of the element.
It's made of a calcium atom, a carbon atom, and three oxygen atoms.
For us music is like a post, an instagram or a tweet. An atom of your social expression.
v[IT] make sth seem better,larger,worse etc than it really is
It's impossible to exaggerate the importance of this book about one of the most serious problems of our time: the worldwide abuse and exploitation of men.
There's no need to exaggerate; why give your critics ammunition when you don't have to?
It is probably impossible to exaggerate how deeply Europe was traumatized by the Great War, and how fearful it was of further conflict.
Sometimes it is easy to exaggerate when applying rouge, whether this is because of the quality of the brush or light make-up which is rarely customized.
It is difficult to exaggerate the seriousness of the situation.
n[C] a small beam or glow of light, esp reflected light
also a verb
If an object or a surface gleams, it reflects light because it is shiny and clean.
I can see more gleaming chains and cuffs. There is no bedding... just a mattress covered in red leather and red satin cushions piled at one end.
You can refer to the light reflected from something as a gleam.
The gleam of gold holds the eye, and watching the pile grow larger is nearly irresistible.
If your eyes gleam, they look bright and show that you are excited or happy.
He kneels up between my legs, and very slowly he pulls my panties off, staring down at me, his eyes gleaming.
Elliot is tall with wide shoulders, curly blonde hair, and light, wickedly gleaming eyes.
A gleam of something is brief show of some quality or emotion.
"No Anastasia, I'm not." He raises his eyebrows, a cool gleam in his eyes.
"I look forward to it, Miss Steele." I visualize the wicked gleam in his gray eyes.
"A gleam in the eye" is something that is being planned or thought about, but does not yet exist.
Ocean energy stayed in the speeches, a gleam in the eye of a small group of developers scattered around seafront nations.
"Gleam" is used especially of smooth clean surfaces that shine.
"Glisten" is used of wet or oily surfaces that shine.
"Glitter" means to shine brightly with many small flashes of light.
"Glow" means to shine with a warm soft steady light. It is often used of things that give off heat.
Basically, "gleam" and "glimmer" are synonyms.
n[C] a straight line that crosses a circle through the center, or the length of the line
In geometry, the diameter of a circle is the longest chord of the circle.
Both definitions are also valid for the diameter of a sphere.
The length of a diameter is also called the diameter.
The crater is 320 feet deep and 1,280 feet in diameter.
The main housing of the combustor (grey) is a piece of steel pipe 100mm in diameter and 250mm long.
n[C] a large flat shellfish
The word oyster is used as a common name for a number of different families of saltwater clams, bivalve molluscs that live in marine or brackish habitats.
Some kinds of oysters are commonly consumed, cooked or raw, by humans as a delicacy.
Some people say that oysters are aphrodisiac.
Other kinds, such as pearl oysters, generally not eaten by humans, are harvested for the pearl produced within the mantle.
If you say that the world is someone's oyster, you mean that they can do anything or go anywhere that they want to.
Oh, here's a fun fact, ketchup started out as a general term for sauce, typically made of, uh, mushrooms or fish brine with herbs and spices. Some popular early main ingredients included blueberry, anchovy, oyster, kidney bean and grape.
"The world is my oyster" means "One rules the world; One is in charge of everything."
n[U] the scientific study of the stars and planets
Astronomy (from Greek "law/culture of the stars") is one of the oldest sciences.
Astronomy is a natural science which is the study of celestial objects (such as stars, galaxies, planets, moons, and nebulae), the physics, chemistry, and evolution of such objects, and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth, including supernovae explosions, gamma ray bursts, and cosmic microwave background radiation.
A related but distinct subject, cosmology, is concerned with studying the universe as a whole.
Astronomy should not to be confused with astrology, the belief system which claims that human affairs are correlated with the positions of celestial objects.
During the 20th century, the field of professional astronomy split into observational and theoretical branches.
Astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs can still play an active role, especially in the discovery and observation of transient phenomena.
A planetarium is a theatre built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation.
Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe.
Astrology is the study of the positions of the stars and the movements of the planets in the belief that they influence human affairs.
v[T] rub and press sb's body with your hands to reduce pain in the muscles and joints ¶ rub a substance into the skin, hair, etc
also a noun
Ross, what are you massaging an old man for?
Monica gave Chandler a gentle shoulder massage.
I personally use a blend of 75% castor oil and 25% coconut oil. I massage it into my skin, but I use a very little bit (little less than dime-sized amount).
Phoebe has moved in and has a massage client on her table she's set up in the living room.
My massage client, Arthur. His daughter called and said that some guy that worked for me gave him a really weird massage this afternoon.
A massage parlor is a business where customers can receive a massage.
If you say that someone massages statistics, figures, or evidence, you are criticizing them for changing or presenting the facts in a way that misleads people. You can also use "cook the books."
Leonard had to massage Sheldon's ego when Denis Kim invalidated his work.
v[I] rule as king, queen, emperor etc
also a noun
Queen Elizabeth I reigned over England and Ireland.
She reigned from 1558 to 1603.
If you say that a person reigns in a situation or area, you mean that they are very powerful or successful.
The orchestra reigned over tango throughout the 1930s and into the 1940s.
So the reigning champion (the most recent winner of a competition) is out and Williams will now face either Tamira Paszek or Victoria Azarenka in the semi-finals.
If someone or something reigns supreme, they are the most important part of a situation or time.
One area that open source reigns supreme is Linux on servers.
If a feeling or quality reigns, it exists strongly for a period of time.
We sat down to table and during the meal a solemn silence reigned.
I have been thinking lately of average German citizens during Hitler's reign of terror.
Reins are items of horse tack, used to direct a horse or other animal used for riding or driving.
Compare reign and regime.
n[CU] a hard but easily broken material made by firing clay and similar substances ¶ things made from such a material ¶ the art
A ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling.
The earliest ceramics made by humans were pottery objects.
The word "ceramic" comes from Greek "of/for pottery".
The blade of a ceramic knife will stay sharp for much longer than that of a steel knife, although it is more brittle and can snap from a fall onto a hard surface.
Ceramic brake disks for vehicles are resistant to abrasion at high temperatures.
In art history, ceramics and ceramic art mean art objects such as figures, tiles, and tableware made from clay and other raw materials by the process of pottery.
Porcelain (also known as China or Fine China) is a ceramic material made by heating materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 °C (2,192 °F) and 1,400 °C (2,552 °F).
adj concerned with reducing suffering and improving the conditions that people live in
Last week, humanitarian operations were disrupted on at least two days in Damascus, and similar difficulties were experienced by staff working in Aleppo.
The agency is calling on countries in the region to strengthen burden-sharing in the face of this growing humanitarian emergency.
The Marine Corps used its resources to provide vital humanitarian aid.
In its most general form, humanitarianism is an ethic of kindness, benevolence, and sympathy extended universally and impartially to all human beings.
Humanitarianism can also be described as the acceptance of every human being for plainly just being another human, ignoring and abolishing biased social views, prejudice, and racism in the process, if utilized individually as a practiced viewpoint, or mindset.
n[C] a twisted mass of sth such as hair or thread ¶ a state of confusion or disorder ¶ a fight or argument
also a verb
The tangle of wires coming from the power supply can be intimidating at first.
As she passed a tangle of bushes to her left, something dark on the ground made her slow her steps.
Whatever kind of tangles or trauma you face at the moment, he wants to help you, support you, strengthen and sustain you, so that you come through.
I was with my girlfriend and I wasn't about to get into a tangle with 4 or 5 scumbags and end up getting stabbed with a syringe or whatever.
We are wet mouths and tongues, tangled hair, and moving hips.
This tiny little devil could tangle with a polar bear and win the fight.
Tangled is a 2010 American computer animated musical fantasy-comedy film.
My fishing line got entangled among the weeds.
Compare entangle and tangle.
adj having or showing strong feelings of enthusiasm, feelings of sexual love or of anger etc
Chandler and Nina are locked in a passionate embrace.
Richard and Monica hug and it turns into a passionate kiss.
The doors slide open revealing a young couple in a passionate clinch inside.
He's so passionate, mesmerizing; I can't take my eyes off him.
Leslie is a passionate and impulsive woman.
You are an amazing man. You're gentle, passionate. And, my God, you are such a good listener.
v[T] cause disorder
An Anne Arundel County judge yesterday acquitted criminal defense lawyer William H. Murphy Jr. of all charges that he disrupted a District Court commissioner's office, then resisted arrest.
Once again, his life was disrupted.
The skirmish disrupted the peace that had settled over the countryside.
Daily life in southern Israel has been severely disrupted.
What do you suppose he's doing here? Besides disrupting the local gravity field.
Compare these words: disrupt, interrupt, and interject.
v[T] give sb more control over their own life or situation ¶ give lawful power or authority
This realization empowered me to make the difficult decisions needed to positively change my life.
We have built a strong team that is diverse and inclusive, and an environment where team members are encouraged and empowered.
Our reform of healthcare will empower millions of seniors to control their personal healthcare decisions, unlike Obamacare that empowered a handful of bureaucrats to cut Medicare in ways that will deny care for the elderly.
Point out where in the Constitution of the United States it says that the Federal Government is empowered to give money to ANYONE who has not performed a service and deserves to be compensated.
(The guys enter dressed as female superheroes. Howard is Batgirl, Sheldon is Wonder Woman, Leonard is Supergirl and Raj is Catwoman.) "I don't know about you, but I feel empowered," said Raj.
v[I] burn brightly and strongly, or shine brightly
also a noun
Within minutes the whole building was blazing.
The sun blazed down from a clear blue sky.
His gray eyes blaze with excitement.
Why does he have such an unnerving effect on me? His overwhelming good-looks maybe? The way his eyes blaze at me?
He said the fire fighters brought the blaze (big dangerous fire) under control in the morning.
Ten immigrant men crowded into a flat in an old house died of smoke inhalation before fire crews arrived to fight the blaze, which was caused by faulty wiring.
Encouraged by his inspiriting companion, the Mole roused himself and dusted and polished with energy and heartiness, while the Rat, running to and fro with armfuls of fuel, soon had a cheerful blaze (a fire burning with strong bright flames) roaring up the chimney.
The last week of September Yellowstone was a blaze of color.
The project had received millions of dollars in funding and a blaze of publicity.
If guns blaze, they fire bullets quickly and continuously.
If we interfere, go in guns blazing for "freedom", then this whole process would just be seen as a continuation of western imperialism.
If someone blazes a trail, they do something important that no one has done before.
Doris Sams blazed a trail as the first superstar female baseball players in the 1940s.