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      adj based on chance rather than being planned or based on reason
      The report documents "unlawful killings, destruction of property and arbitrary detention and torture and ill-treatment" by the IDF, and states that many of these actions violated human rights and international law.
      By the principles of the American Revolution arbitrary power may, and ought to be, resisted even by arms, if necessary.
      People were subject to arbitrary arrest, imprisonment and often brutal deaths.
      Forgive me for being so blunt, but you're making arbitrary rules and arbitrary lines.
      Why does the referee have to keep this seemingly arbitrary number of game extension time so secret?
      It is nothing more than an arbitrary decision.
      Compare "arbitrary" and "arbitrate".
      v[T] put back, postpone, delay
      phrv ~ to - accept sb's opinion or decision
      The $2 million bonus is deferred until the end of his contract.
      WWF urges Mekong ministers to defer a decision on the dam for 10 years to ensure critical data can be gathered and a decision can be reached using sound science and analysis.
      A deferred tax asset is a balance sheet asset that can be used to reduce a company's future tax liability.
      A deferred tax asset of $100,000 from the previous year could be applied to before-tax income of $250,000 this year, resulting in taxable income of $150,000 ($250,000 - $100,000).
      This will mean that sshd will not verify passwords itself but will defer to the configured PAM modules.
      Intelligent people know when to defer to the educated people's knowledge.
      n[U] a black substance made by burning wood slowly with little air, which can be used as fuel or for drawing
      Charcoal is a light black residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances.
      Charcoal is usually an impure form of carbon as it contains ash; however, sugar charcoal is among the purest forms of carbon readily available, particularly if it is not made by heating but by a dehydration reaction with sulfuric acid to minimize introducing new impurities.
      Charcoal is the traditional fuel of a blacksmith's forge and other applications where an intense heat is required.
      Charcoal burns at intense temperatures, up to 2700 degrees Celsius.
      Charcoal is used in art for drawing, making rough sketches in painting.
      n[C] a weight tied to a cord, used to establish a true vertical or find the depth of water
      v[T] test the verticality or alignment of sth, or determine the depth of sth
      adj exactly vertical
      adv exactly
      A plumb-bob or a plummet is a weight, usually with a pointed tip on the bottom that is suspended from a string and used as a vertical reference line, or plumb-line. It is essentially the vertical equivalent of a "water level".
      The crippling effect of tight waists and long skirts, the heavy weight on the hips, and high heels, all combined to throw the spine out of plumb and lay the foundation for all manner of nervous diseases.
      This occupation gave him his pen name, Mark Twain, from "mark twain," the leadsman's cry for a measured river depth of two fathoms, which was safe water for a steamboat.
      "I plumbed Rachel last night," Ross grinned.
      Kirk and his crew embark on plumbing (succeed in understanding something) the mysteries of the universe, exploring "where no man has gone before."
      If someone or something plumbs the depths of something, they reach the lowest point of it.
      When Emily left Ross, he plumbed the very depths of despair.
      If you say that something plumbs new depths, you mean that it is worse than all the things of its kind that have existed before, even though some of them have been very bad.
      I think The Rocky Horror Picture Show really plumbs new depths of bad taste.
      If you plumb something in, you connect a piece of equipment such as a washing machine to the water supply.
      We employed a plumber to do the plumbing.
      This procedure will in effect "hang the window" and assure that it is both level and plumb.
      Compare these words: perpendicular, plumb, tranverse, and vertical.
      The puck hit Ross plumb on the nose.
      adj not as important as other things or people ¶ connected with the outer edge of a particular area
      n[C] a piece of equipment that is connected to a computer
      His role in the purchase was peripheral.
      He told The Washington Post and The New York Times that Rosenberg passed valuable secrets about U.S. military electronics but played only a peripheral role in Soviet atomic espionage.
      Fathers were thought to be peripheral to the job of parenting because children spent most of their time with their mothers.
      The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is the part of the nervous system that consists of the nerves and ganglia outside of the brain and spinal cord.
      Peripheral vision is a part of vision that occurs outside the very center of gaze.
      A peripheral is a "device that is used to put information into or get information out of the computer."
      A peripheral device is generally defined as any auxiliary device such as a computer mouse or keyboard, that connects to and works with the computer in some way.
      Other examples of peripherals are expansion cards, graphics cards, image scanners, tape drives, microphones, loudspeakers, webcams, and digital cameras.
      n[U] the amount of enthusiasm a person or group of people feel about their situation at a particular time
      Good morale amongst the staff is essential in any service business.
      Confidence and high morale are crucial drivers of creative achievement.
      An optimistic attitude can help build morale in your employees.
      The Afghan Taliban said the death of bin Laden would only boost morale of insurgents battling the US and its NATO allies.
      It's hard to maintain morale when work isn't going smoothly.
      He will restore morale among the troops and initiate a winning strategy.
      adj relating to the performing of plays ¶ exaggerated in order to attract attention or create a particular effect
      In a theatrical agent's office, a man tells the agent that he has an amazing act called'' Jack the Talking Dog''.
      Mike somehow manages to fit in a theatrical career.
      The festival is an extremely social and theatrical event, with drama, dance, and cultural performances held throughout the country.
      A roadshow theatrical release (known also as reserved seat engagement) was a term in the American motion picture industry for a practice in which a film opened in a limited number of theaters in large cities for a specific period of time before the nationwide general release.
      This time, Olivia emitted a theatrical sigh.
      In a theatrical gesture, Benjamin Netanyahu (Israeli Prime Minister) held up a cartoon-like drawing of a spherical bomb and drew a red line below the fuse, alleging that it shows Iran before it "completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment to make a bomb".
      v[IT] make sth sharper or stronger ¶ improve
      Rachel just sharpened her pencil this morning.
      It's a globe, and a pencil sharpener.
      Months of violence sharpened the divisions and achieved partition.
      His ears were sharpened by the intensity of his emotion.
      The park is a great place for skiers and snowboarders to sharpen their skills and enjoy winter sports without leaving the city.
      v[IT] remove cream, scum, etc from the surface of a liquid etc ¶ move quickly and lightly over a surface ¶ scan
      Skimmed/skim milk is made when all the cream is removed from whole milk.
      Bring to a boil. Skim the fat that rises to the surface.
      Turn heat down to medium low so that stock maintains low, gentle simmer. Skim the scum from the stock with a spoon or fine mesh strainer.
      I can see boats skimming along the ocean, their crisp white sails contrasting the beautiful blue of the Hauraki Gulf.
      Stone skipping/skimming is a pastime which involves throwing a stone with a flattened surface across a lake or other body of water in such a way that it bounces off the surface of the water.
      Every year since 1997, competitors from all over the world have taken part in the World Stone Skimming Championships in a disused quarry on Easdale Island, using stones made from Easdale slate.
      Some of the sections I really enjoyed and others I skimmed over.
      If someone skims off the best part of something, or money which belongs to other people, they take it for themselves.
      Professional sport skims off all the best players.
      A city council member was caught skimming funds from the transportation budget.
      n[UC] loyalty and support for a person, group, idea, or country
      I pledge allegiance to the Georgia flag and to the principles for which it stands: Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation.
      We owe our ultimate allegiance to God.
      Since it's still mandatory to swear allegiance to the Queen, many would-be Canadians who take offence to this clause refuse to take the oath and become citizens.
      Originally a Catholic church, it switched allegiance from the Pope to Henry VIII during the Reformation.
      n[UC] a copy of sth, or the act of copying sb/sth
      Toddlers learn by imitation.
      Google Play in the UK is a pale imitation of iTunes.
      Joey did a good imitation.
      She wore an imitation fur coat.
      n[C] a thick flat piece of stone, wood etc
      Joey had a slab of meat in his mouth.
      The standard test for bounce is to drop a tennis ball from a certain height onto a hard surface such as a slab of concrete and then measure how high it bounces.
      The Pacific Ocean sits on a huge slab of rock called the Pacific plate.
      It was carved from a single slab of granite.
      Ridges of muscle on his stomach rose under his skin like divisions on a slab of chocolate.
      The most popular item on the menu is the pineapple bun served with a slab of butter inside.
      n[UC] combination ¶ the production of a substance from simpler materials after a chemical reaction ¶ the production of sounds, music or speech by electronic means
      Maxwell's brilliant synthesis of the experimental results of Faraday and others strongly suggested that the speed of light should be the same for all observers.
      This concept is the synthesis of a number of ideas about managerial learning brought together and popularized by Peter Senge and others in their books about the Fifth Discipline.
      Dynamo is the first production system to use the synthesis of all these techniques.
      It helps decrease the rate of decay of cartilage, stimulates the synthesis of new collagen and hyaluronic acid (a lubricant in joints).
      The synthesis of insulin contributes as the milestone of the development of the whole human race.
      Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech. A computer system used for this purpose is called a speech synthesizer, and can be implemented in software or hardware products.
      A text-to-speech (TTS) system converts normal language text into speech; other systems render symbolic linguistic representations like phonetic transcriptions into speech.
      n[C] a meal at which people serve themselves from a table and then move away to eat ¶ a place in a railway station etc where you can buy and eat food or drink ¶ sideboard
      v[T] knock or push sb/sth roughly from side to side
      Souplantation is a United States-based chain of buffet-style restaurants.
      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).
      There was a seafood buffet you won't believe. I had clams, mussels, oysters, cracked crab, snow crab, king crab, lobster, shrimps and prawns.
      You don't have buffets in India?
      In Sweden, a traditional form of buffet is the smörgåsbord, which literally means table of sandwiches.
      The terminal at the airport is open all year round whilst the airport is in operation. It has a buffet, toilets, as well as access to wheelchairs upon request.
      A buffet car is a passenger car of a train, where snacks and beverages can be bought at a counter and consumed.
      A sideboard is an item of furniture traditionally used in the dining room for serving food, for displaying serving dishes such as silver, and for storage.
      As the aircraft was making its takeoff from runway 24 at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, the pilots felt a buffeting vibration.
      Phoebe Buffay was weary of being buffeted by life; she was a flower buffeted by the rain and wind.
      Warren Edward Buffett is an American business magnate, investor and philanthropist.
      n[C] a narrow box-shaped bag or case used mainly for carrying papers and other documents and equipped with a handle
      Lawyers commonly use briefcases to carry briefs to present to a court, hence the name.
      Businesspeople and other professionals also use briefcases to carry important papers and, today, laptop computers.
      Ross enters carrying a briefcase. "In this briefcase I carry actual scientific facts. A briefcase of facts, if you will. Some of these fossils are over 200 million years old."
      Oh, excuse me. I forgot my briefcase.
      Chandler got Rachel Green a briefcase and had "R.G." put on it. Ross Geller's initials are also "R.G."
      Phoebe enters wearing a business suit and carrying a briefcase.
      Compare these words: backpack, briefcase, handbag, portfolio, purse, rucksack, suitcase, and trunk.
      v[IT] feel unable to breathe, or to make sb unable to breathe, suffocate ¶ stop a feeling from being expressed, suppress ¶ ≠encourage, repress
      Both women cope with the stifling heat of the Mississippi summer by wearing wigs when their own hair goes limp in the humid air.
      He had tried to stifle the victim's screams with a pillow.
      She stifled a yawn and turned to the Colonel.
      Penny stifled an urge to punch Sheldon.
      I can't believe you're trying to stifle me! When just 14 hours ago we figured out that that is exactly what my mother was trying to do to me!
      When oppressors stifle free speech, they're not simply stopping people from speaking their minds, they're preventing the transmission of facts that can unbalance their power.
      You're mandating people buy it. It will stifle innovation and competition in health care.
      Too many levels of management stifle creativity and slow down the decision-making process.
      Higher taxes stifle economic growth.
      Compare these words: smother, stale, and stifle.
      v[IT] suggest a possible explanation for sth
      Archaeologists hypothesize that these artifacts were either votive objects offered to the gods and/or decorated statuary of particular deities.
      This article hypothesizes that individuals' environmental attitudes depend not only on their knowledge, interests, emotions, and values but also on the social context in which they live.
      A once-popular hypothesized evolutionary mechanism was orthogenesis, in which change in organisms was due not to natural selection, but to internal directional trends within a lineage.
      That is science. Testing, hypothesizing, trying everything you possibly can.
      n[pl] field glasses
      Binoculars, field glasses or binocular telescopes are a pair of identical or mirror-symmetrical telescopes mounted side-by-side and aligned to point accurately in the same direction, allowing the viewer to use both eyes (binocular vision) when viewing distant objects.
      Unlike a monocular telescope, binoculars give users a three-dimensional image: for nearer objects the two views, presented to each of the viewer's eyes from slightly different viewpoints, produce a merged view with an impression of depth.
      Most early binoculars used Galilean optics; that is, they used a convex objective and a concave eyepiece lens.
      An improved image and higher magnification can be achieved in binoculars employing Keplerian optics, where the image formed by the objective lens is viewed through a positive eyepiece lens (ocular).
      Porro prism binoculars are named after Italian optician Ignazio Porro who patented this image erecting system in 1854 and later refined by makers like the Carl Zeiss company in the 1890s.
      Binoculars have a focusing arrangement which changes the distance between ocular and objective lenses.
      Since a typical binocular has 6 to 10 optical elements with special characteristics and up to 16 air-to-glass surfaces, binocular manufactures use different types of optical coatings for technical reasons and to improve the image they produce.
      n[U] the study of human activity in the past
      Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity in the past, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts (also known as eco-facts) and cultural landscapes (the archaeological record).
      Archaeology studies human prehistory and history from the development of the first stone tools in eastern Africa 4 million years ago up until recent decades.
      One of the first sites to undergo archeological excavation was Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments in England.
      Indy may be a horrible archeologist, but he’s a great diplomat for archeology.
      Lara Croft is an English archaeologist.
      Paleontology is the scientific study of life existent prior to, but sometimes including, the start of the Holocene Epoch (about 11,700 years ago).
      Alan Grant and Ross Geller are paleontologists.
      n[CU] uncontrolled and excited activity or emotion, which is often violent or frightening
      The Knights of the Teutonic Order were a military religious order founded in the twelfth century on the frenzy of the Crusades.
      With the frenzy of activity around the dam, crime has risen substantially.
      It was the mysterious "Face on Mars" that sparked a frenzy of speculation which was to last two decades.
      This week the news has been in a frenzy in regards to the return of Conrad Black to Canada.
      Technology media have been whipped into a frenzy speculating about what new and exciting features the iPhone 5 will carry when it is rolled out in September or October.
      The Hedge Fund Managers go into full feeding frenzy and buy CDS against anything that lends money and then begin using Naked Shorts to make sure the ratings drop on the Investment Banks making their CDS explode in value.
      Compare these words: craze, frenzy, and mania.
      v[IT] cut sth off sth ¶ end a relationship with sb
      I crept out my sister by telling her about the human head living for 18 seconds after being severed from the body.
      He built victory pillars with the severed heads of the infidels.
      While other political journalists are reporting from the skirmish lines, amid the blood and severed limbs, James is on a strategic ridge several kilometers back, coolly surveying the scene through binoculars and taking in the broader implications.
      He forced others to kill their own parents to sever ties with their families before being recruited into his cut-throat Lord's Resistance Army.
      The 1692 Charter, which is still in force today, established the College's independence, severing the link with Trinity College Dublin.
      v[IT] meet and spend time with people in a friendly way ¶ train sb to behave in a way that is acceptable in the society
      Penny, wouldn't you prefer to socialize with Tom, who is a sexually passive outdoorsman?
      It has become a day to socialize with friends, neighbors, and relatives, scarf down burgers, hotdogs, and potato salad.
      The toys and games parents select for children are often unconsciously intended to socialize them into the appropriate gender roles.
      Girls receive dolls in an attempt to socialize them into future roles as mothers.
      adj practicable
      A review may suggest that the project is not economically feasible and that its further consideration would be a waste of time.
      Such a project was already technically feasible and could be accomplished within six years of gaining approval from politicians and funding bodies.
      As Europe continues with its economic struggles, it is not politically feasible to force 27 EU members to revise or even abolish the legislation.
      The cost of setting up a separate distribution network is not financially feasible.
      n[CU] chemist's, drugstore ¶ dispensary ¶ the study of how to prepare medicines and drugs
      Phoebe will go to Frank's pharmacy.
      Pharmacists may also be small-business proprietors, owning the pharmacy in which they practice.
      In the United States and Canada, drug stores commonly sell not only medicines, but also miscellaneous items such as confectionary, cosmetics, office supplies, and magazines, as well as refreshments and groceries.
      Pharmacies within hospitals differ considerably from community pharmacies.
      Pharmacy is the science and technique of preparing as well as dispensing drugs and medicines.
      The Walgreen Company (Walgreens) is the largest drug retailing chain in the United States.
      n[C] an outline or silhouette
      Rachel wanted to run her fingers over the smooth angular contours of Joshua's face.
      The 1967 Arab-Israeli war created the contours of today's Middle East.
      In cartography, a contour line (often just called a "contour") joins points of equal elevation (height) above a given level, such as mean sea level.
      A contour map is a map illustrated with contour lines.