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      shear
      ʃiə
      v[IT] cut or break sth ¶ cut the wool off a sheep
      also a noun
      -
      When the warm days of summer came along, everyone sheared the sheep.
      Eggs are collected, sheep are shorn for their wool, fields are ploughed and maintained for strawberries in the summer, pumpkins in the fall, and small gardens are harvested for produce.
      It is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair shorn or shaved.
      On examining the engine, he discovered that the propeller pin had sheared off.
      The automatic assumption that Russia shorn of its expansionist communist ideology should pick up where the czars left off just prior to the Bolshevik Revolution is therefore a curious one.
      A shear stress is defined as the component of stress coplanar (lying or occurring in the same plane) with a material cross section.
      Compare "shear" and "sheer".
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      sock`et
      'sɔkit
      n[C] an electrical outlet ¶ a place where you can fit a light bulb ¶ a hollow part of a structure into which sth fits
      -
      It should take no longer to charge via a wall socket than by the computer.
      Most bulbs are used in a socket which provides mechanical support and electrical connections.
      In newer cars, the socket often ships with a plastic dummy plug, without the lighter heating element due to declining popularity of smoking.
      Connectors consist of plugs (male-ended) and jacks (female-ended).
      A CPU socket or CPU slot is a mechanical component(s) that provides mechanical and electrical connections between a microprocessor and a printed circuit board (PCB).
      In anatomy, the orbit is the cavity or socket of the skull in which the eye and its appendages are situated.
      The lay term for dental alveoli is tooth sockets.
      A network socket is an endpoint of an inter-process communication flow across a computer network.
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      im`pris`on
      im'prizən
      v[T] put sb in a prison, confine
      -
      They began to imprison them and torture them with beatings, hunger and thirst, even leaving them exposed on the sun-baked ground when the heat was most intense.
      The United States imprisons more people per capita than any nation in the world.
      In July 1943, Allied troops landed in Sicily. Mussolini was overthrown and imprisoned by his former colleagues in the Fascist government.
      Do you feel imprisoned, controlled, unable to take action on your own behalf?
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      par`ti`tion
      pa:'tiʃən
      n[CU] a wall or screen that separates one part of a room from another ¶ the action of separating a country into two or more countries
      v[T] divide sth into parts
      -
      Partitions between flats were made of lightweight materials.
      The Partition of India was the partition of the British Indian Empire that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan (it later split into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh) and the Union of India (later Republic of India) on 15 August 1947.
      Korea was partitioned by the United States in 1945.
      I partitioned off part of the living room to make a study.
      Folding screens can be set up to partition a large room and change the interior features of the space.
      Disk partitioning is the act of dividing a hard disk drive (HDD) into multiple logical storage units referred to as partitions, to treat one physical disk drive as if it were multiple disks, so that a different file system can be used on each partition.
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      ex`em`pli`fy
      ig'zemplifai
      v[T] be a typical example of sth ¶ give an example of sth
      -
      These kinds of deals exemplify the tyranny Big Oil exercises over our government, and underscores why the President needs to threaten a veto.
      For me, no-one exemplifies this better than Eleanor Roosevelt.
      The largest eruption of the 20th Century inspired a large amount of research on the connection between volcanic eruptions and the Earth's atmosphere in the 12 years since that eruption, as exemplified by the chapters in this book.
      Exemplifying the situation is Inner Mongolia, where land affected by salinization along the Yellow River increased by 10,000 hectare per year between the 1960s and 1980s.
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      plight
      plait
      n[s] a difficult and sad situation
      -
      Instead of emphasizing the plight of illegal immigrants, Romney focused on the consequences illegal immigration has for U.S. jobs.
      The current plight of civilians in Syria is undoubtedly a serious problem, but a military intervention to topple the regime is certainly not the best way to address it.
      Not only is such a scenario an economic plight, as graduates earn less than they might have expected, it is frequently a moral one too, as ever-increasing number of young people are left despondent about their chances for the future and depressed about the three years' investment of time and money in their recent past.
      The young country finds itself in a desperate plight, scarred by ethnic conflicts, humanitarian crisis and the loss of its principal source of income.
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      mas`ter`piece
      'ma:stəpi:s
      n[C] a creation that has been given much critical praise
      -
      In painting, the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1503–1506, is the archetypal masterpiece.
      Painting The Century: 101 Portrait Masterpieces 1900–2000 was an international exhibition held at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2000–2001 that exhibited a painting representing each year of the 20th century.
      The Virtual Collection of Asian Masterpieces (VCM) shares 2,200 Masterpieces of Asian culture online.
      Masterpiece and masterwork are synonyms.
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      phys`i`o`log`i`cal
      fiziə'lɔdʒikl
      adj relating to the way that the body of a living thing operates
      -
      Physiology (from Ancient Greek, meaning "nature, origin", and "study of") is the scientific study of function in living systems.
      A sub-discipline of biology, its focus is in how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system.
      Given the size of the field it is divided into, among others: human physiology, animal physiology, plant physiology, cellular physiology, microbial physiology, bacterial physiology, viral physiology.
      The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, awarded since 1901 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
      Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a famous Russian physiologist.
      The study of the human body involves anatomy and physiology.
      The physiological changes that people experience due to stress are intended to prepare a person to physically resolve dangers, problems, or challenges in the short-term time range.
      The physiological effects are significant and numerous.
      Gender identity is independent from physiological processes such as menstruation.
      I think the stress affects physical health through psychological and physiological responses.
      At the base of this hierarchy come basic physiological needs such as the need to eat and breathe, and safety requirements such as shelter and security of resources.
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      reap
      ri:p
      v[T] cut and collect a grain crop ¶ get sth as a result of sth that you do
      -
      "You reap what you sow" (also "As you sow, so shall you reap") means that everything that happens to you is a result of your own actions.
      It was Martin and Chretien who reaped the benefit but it was established under the era of Mulroney.
      A reaping-hook is a sickle.
      In English, Death is often given the name "the Grim Reaper" and, from the 15th century onwards, came to be shown as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood.
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      col`lide
      kə'laid
      v[I] strike violently against sth or each other ¶ disagree strongly, clash
      -
      But after only a few minutes of driving he collided with a BMW.
      He was on duty when his unmarked police vehicle and a semi-trailer collided in the intersection of 64 Avenue and 148 Street in Newton.
      At least 25 persons were injured when two passenger buses collided head-on (when they were moving directly towards each other).
      Istanbul is a spectacular city where the east and west collide.
      Guess who the university is sending to Switzerland to attend a conference and see the CERN supercollider on February 14?
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      screech
      skri:tʃ
      v[IT] make a loud high unpleasant sound, scream, shriek
      also a noun
      -
      Marcel makes a screeching noise.
      Monica and Chandler are eating lunch, when they start to hear a horrible screeching noise.
      Phoebe screeches to a halt, Joey and Chandler are thrown into the Plexiglas wall in the cab.
      When you screech something, you shout it in a loud, unpleasant, high-pitched voice.
      I heard a screech of car brakes.
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      tar
      ta:
      n[U] a thick black sticky liquid that becomes hard when cold ¶ a sticky substance that forms when tobacco burns
      v[T] cover sth with ~
      -
      Tar can be produced from coal, wood, petroleum, or peat.
      The La Brea Tar Pits are a group of tar pits around which Hancock Park was formed, in urban Los Angeles.
      A tar pusher is a laborer who works in road mending, roofing, or some other field that consists of placing asphalt or tar on a horizontal surface.
      Synthetic particulate filters may remove some of the tar before it reaches the smoker.
      Tarring and feathering is a form of public humiliation, used to enforce unofficial justice or revenge.
      It was used in feudal Europe and its colonies in the early modern period, as well as the early American frontier, mostly as a type of mob vengeance (compare Lynch law).
      Maybe it's Sergeant Sagittarius coming back to flirt some more! Perhaps he didn't tarnish the badge enough.
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      lapse
      læps
      n[C] a short period when you fail to do things well or properly ¶ a failure to do sth you should do ¶ a period of time between two events
      v[I] come to an end ¶ go/get into ¶ (of time) pass
      -
      The consequences of a momentary lapse in concentration when driving can be devastating to road users and pedestrians.
      Most times it's just a temporary lapse and the child will return to normal.
      If the language was generally closer to fluent, the occasional lapse would seem more comprehensible.
      But come on, we're friends. Friends overlook each other's minor lapses.
      The young couple's lives were forever altered due to a moment's lapse in judgment.
      When suffering from absent-mindedness, people tend to show signs of memory lapse and weak recollection of recently occurring events.
      The conversation lapsed, and Mary saw Katharine looking out into the room rather moodily with closed lips, the desire to talk about herself or to initiate a friendship having, apparently, left her.
      If you stop paying premiums, your policy will automatically lapse after 30 days.
      The United States lapsed into a vicious Civil War during the 1860s.
      A few days later, his mother collapsed and lapsed into a coma.
      He lapsed into unconsciousness and was listed in critical condition.
      And then, right there in his grandmother's arms, Sheldon lapsed into a full-scale psychological meltdown.
      Occasionally she lapsed into her native German.
      Time-lapse photography is a technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much lower than that used to view the sequence. When played at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing.
      Slow motion (commonly abbreviated as slowmo) is an effect in film-making whereby time appears to be slowed down.
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      con`serve
      kən'sə:v
      v[T] use as little of sth as possible so that it lasts a long time, save ¶ preserve
      n[C] jam
      -
      You must conserve your energy.
      We're in the middle of a water crisis, we must conserve water!
      We must conserve the environment to save our country and the planet.
      A conserve, or whole fruit jam, is a jam made of fruit stewed in sugar.
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      ag`o`ny
      'ægəni
      n[CU] physical or mental pain
      -
      Leonard, there's no reason to feel uncomfortable just because we've seen each other's faces and naked bodies contorted in the sweet agony of coitus.
      The man's face is twisted in agony.
      Compare these words: agony, anguish, distress, torment, and torture.
      An agony column is an advice column, or a column of a newspaper that contains advertisements of missing relatives and friends.
      An advice column is a column in a magazine or newspaper written by an advice columnist (colloquially known in British English as an agony aunt, or agony uncle if the columnist is a male).
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      cul`mi`nate
      'kʌlmineit
      v[I] end with a particular result, conclude
      -
      This starts with building better test collections but ultimately must culminate in studies that demonstrate explicit value for these tools.
      The festival culminates with the burning of a giant human shaped statue.
      His investigative work culminated in the one-hour NBC Dateline special entitled, " Black Box Mystery: The Crash of the Concorde, " revealing for the first time what really happened when the supersonic aircraft crashed outside of Paris in 2000.
      This movie shows his early life culminating in his election to the papacy in 1978.
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      tame
      teim
      adj ≠wild ¶ willing to do what other people ask ¶ dull and disappointing
      v[T] domesticate ¶ make sth tame or easy to control
      -
      Aslan is not a tame lion.
      He found the sheep abandoned and brought it up as a pet. It lives in his house and is very tame.
      On the whole, with the exceptions of red or black rain warnings or the occasional typhoon, most Hong Kong storms are quite tame.
      In 1822, he and his tame mechanic had put together the first Difference Engine, a clock-like assembly of interlocking cogs able to calculate squares and solve quadratic equations.
      We had a good time, but it was really pretty tame.
      Good luck taming that wild stallion.
      They were fired and an 1800-man force of "Specials" was hired to tame the strike.
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      rep`er`toire
      'repətwa:
      n[C] all the plays, pieces of music etc that a performer or group knows and can perform ¶ all the things that a person is able to do
      -
      Sam Cooke added the song to his nightclub repertoire.
      He and the other musicians will largely stick to the standard jazz repertoire.
      When I try to introduce new things to our sex repertoire, she gets evasive.
      But that does mean I've not explored every trick in my phone's repertoire.
      Compare "portfolio" and "repertoire".
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      ban`dage
      'bændidʒ
      n[C] a long thin piece of cloth that you wrap around an injured part of your body
      v[T] tie or cover a part of the body with a ~
      -
      A bandage is a piece of material used either to support a medical device such as a dressing or splint, or on its own to provide support to the body.
      Bandages are available in a wide range of types, from generic cloth strips to specialized shaped bandages designed for a specific limb or part of the body, although bandages can often be improvised as the situation demands, using clothing, blankets or other material.
      Also known as a cravat bandage, a triangular bandage is a piece of cloth put into a right-angled triangle, and often provided with safety pins to secure it in place.
      A tube bandage is applied using an applicator, and is woven in a continuous circle.
      If you scrape your knee, a camp counselor can help you get it cleaned up and bandaged.
      Compare these words: Band-Aid, bandage, bondage, cast, gauze, and splint.
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      knob
      nɔb
      n[C] round handle ¶ lump ¶ penis
      -
      He stopped with his hand on the door knob.
      To lock door, push the pin next to door knob. To unlock, pull the pin.
      Slide the knob as far as it will go to the right and then tighten the knob.
      Serve with a knob of organic butter and toasted nuts and seeds.
      This makes him look like a knob.
      "You're fat and lazy." "And the same to you, with knobs on!"
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      blis`ter
      'blistə
      n[C] a swollen area on your skin that is full of a clear liquid and is caused by being burned or rubbed ¶ a swelling on the surface of metal, rubber, painted wood etc
      also a verb
      -
      A blister is a small pocket of fluid within the upper layers of the skin, typically caused by forceful rubbing (friction), burning, freezing, chemical exposure or infection.
      Most blisters are filled with a clear fluid called serum or plasma.
      However, blisters can be filled with blood (known as blood blisters) or with pus (if they become infected).
      Blister pack is a term for several types of pre-formed plastic packaging used for small consumer goods, foods, and for pharmaceuticals.
      This and a bunch of bubble wrap and some of it is not even popped!
      The cells of the cornea - the transparent outer layer of the eye - will blister and crack when overexposed to UV light, much like a normal sunburn.
      I wear sandals but not if I have to walk a lot because they give me blisters.
      My day had been long and my feet were blistered from all the miles I had walked.
      In addition to his many insults, the most famous of Haddock's expressions relate to any of a number of permutations of two phrases: "Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles!" and "Ten thousand thundering typhoons!"
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      con`vene
      kən'vi:n
      v[IT] arrange a formal meeting, or gather for a meeting
      -
      At a conference convened by the U.N., a provisional government was established under President Hamid Karzai.
      When the Constitutional Convention convened in 1787, Houston presented his credentials as one of Georgia's delegates.
      Dr. Monson convened the epidemiology sessions and Dr. Cleaver convened the biology sessions.
      The Legislature generally convenes twice a week.
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      in`fa`mous
      'infəməs
      adj notorious
      -
      There is a Saudi terrorist who is infamous for financing terrorism around the world.
      The Bermuda Triangle is infamous for making everything from cargo ships to airplanes disappear.
      The name 'Jack the Ripper' has become the most infamous in the annals of murder.
      In one infamous case, a company fired workers who were paid $18 an hour and offered to re-hire them at $8 an hour.
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      cra`ter
      'kreitə
      n[C] the round open top of a volcano ¶ a large round hole in the ground caused by an explosion
      -
      An impact crater is an approximately circular depression in the surface of a planet, moon or other solid body in the Solar System, formed by the hypervelocity impact of a smaller body with the surface.
      A volcanic crater is a circular depression in the ground caused by volcanic activity.
      A subsidence crater is a hole or depression left on the surface of an area which has had an underground (usually nuclear) explosion.
      The crater is 320 feet deep and 1,280 feet in diameter.
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      re`gi`men
      'redʒimin
      n[C] a plan, a regulated course such as a diet, exercise or medical treatment, designed to give a positive result
      -
      A low-salt diet is a regimen.
      A course of penicillin is a regimen.
      More and more people in the US receive acupuncture treatments as part of their regular health regimen.
      In economic statistics, a regimen refers to the selected goods and/or services priced for the purpose of compiling a price index. The most well known example is the consumer price index.
      Compare these words: regime, regimen, regiment, and reign.
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