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      vain
      vein
      adj useless, fruitless, futile ¶ too interested in your own appearance or achievements
      idm in ~ - without success
      -
      He even ran down the alley to the front of the house in a vain attempt to find the man I had addressed.
      Year after year was spent in the vain hope of his recovery.
      Because Chandler is very vain about his appearance, and has a high voice, a lot of people were sure he was gay.
      The couple tried in vain to make it work for a few months before she filed for the inevitable divorce in April, 2010.
      Compare these words: avail, cocky, conceited, vain, and vein.
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      mit`i`gate
      'mitigeit
      v[T] make sth less severe, alleviate, ease
      -
      In order to mitigate the crisis, we need to restructure our infrastructure.
      If there are settings that can mitigate the eye strain, I will appreciate it.
      The introduction of competitive math tournaments to a certain extent mitigates the loneliness of this pursuit, but at a price: The cut-throat pressure of math teams tends to alienate those young men and women who prefer a more supportive environment.
      The famine in Somalia could have been mitigated if the United Nations had dispatched relief experts months ago instead of relying on a small crew of junior staff members in the country, a senior UN official has said.
      These mitigating facts are crucial to remember when talking about income inequality.
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      so`li`cit
      sə'lisit
      v[IT] ask sb for money, help, or information ¶ offer to have sex with sb in exchange for money ¶ provoke or incite sb to do sth wrong or illegal ¶ try to sell sth by visiting people and persuading them to buy it
      -
      A baby elephant can solicit the help of its herd by screaming or making certain sounds.
      The Institute has commenced activities to solicit the support of companies and institutions to purchase its recycled school bags for children in deprived communities under the Ghana School Bag (GSB) Initiative.
      We do not knowingly collect or solicit personal information from anyone under the age of 13 or knowingly allow such persons to register for the Services.
      He was eventually convicted and sentenced for seven years for soliciting murder and racial hatred.
      No soliciting is allowed in the townhouses, apartments or villas.
      I used to own a retail store which had a "no soliciting” sign on the front door. Of course, cocky jerks would still come in and try to sell me their irrelevant products.
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      stel`lar
      'stelə
      adj relating to the stars ¶ excellent, outstanding
      -
      How far away in light years is our nearest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri? About 4.243 light years.
      Stellar evolution is the process by which a star undergoes a sequence of radical changes during its lifetime.
      Intel had a less than stellar performance in the third quarter.
      He became her mentor and helped launched her stellar career.
      Compare these words: aqua, azure, celestial, and stellar.
      The Alliance to Restore the Republic (commonly known as the Rebel Alliance, and, informally, as the Rebellion) is an interstellar faction of the fictional universe of Star Wars.
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      bench`mark
      'bentʃma:k
      n[C] sth which can be measured and used as a standard that other things can be compared with, yardstick
      also a verb
      -
      By 11.10 am in New York, the benchmark S&P 500 index had risen 1.8 per cent to 1,428.52.
      In DNS Benchmark, click the Nameservers tab and the Add/Remove button.
      Roy Hodgson believes a new benchmark has been set for the players and he now expects them to maintain that standard.
      At the end, we can query a benchmarked function as to how long it takes.
      We benchmarked our site against Google and did fairly well.
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      slip`per`y
      'slipəri
      adj smooth, wet, or oily and is therefore difficult to walk on or to hold ¶ difficult to deal with ¶ not to be trusted, unreliable
      -
      The floor is wet and slippery.
      My hands are slippery with blood and scales.
      Sustainability is a slippery concept that can be viewed from several perspectives.
      He may have been as slippery as an eel and an outright crook, but you had to give him credit for one thing - the man knew how to lie.
      A slippery slope is a course of action that is difficult to stop once it has begun, and can lead to serious problems or disaster.
      Are you concerned that it's a slippery slope to mandatory monitoring?
      Compare these words: crafty, cunning, diplomatic, shrewd, slippery, sly, sneaky, tactful, and weasel.
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      con`jure
      'kʌndʒə
      v[IT] make sth appear by magic, or as if by magic ¶ ask the spirit of a dead person to appear ¶ evoke
      -
      Mr. Geller could conjure coins from behind people's ears.
      In an instant, Liu Qian had conjured Dong Qing out of his robe.
      Every day Remy will be conjuring up delicious dishes in Gusteau's restaurant.
      The Shadow Man conjured up some voodoo spirits (The Princess and the Frog).
      If you conjure up a memory, picture, or idea, you create it in your mind.
      Ratatouille always conjures up images of Anton Ego's childhood.
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      a`bound
      ə'baund
      v[I] exist in very large numbers
      -
      Forum threads abound on the Internet where people claim it works with other devices, and they just haven't been added to the official list.
      Such examples abound in the country.
      Vacant parking spaces abound all over the city through the day, but only if you live there and have a permit can you park.
      Bed and Breakfast Inns and camping abound in the region.
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      pub`li`cize
      'pʌblisaiz
      v[T] make sth known to the public, advertise
      -
      During a highly publicized interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jackson finally told the world that the reason his skin had changed from black to white was not because of "bleaching," but because he had a skin disorder known as vitiligo.
      When the WEP security flaws started to become widely publicized, the network security environment was changing rapidly.
      Besides their well publicized support for Mitt Romney, they also devoted considerable funds to an array of Republicans who endorse their right-wing, pro-settler Israeli politics.
      The other form of combat present in the game is the much publicized naval warfare.
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      in`clu`sive
      in'klu:siv
      adj having the total cost ¶ including a wide variety of people, things etc
      -
      I flew from Shenzhen and have recently searched flights going for about 590 each way, inclusive of tax.
      All course rates are fully inclusive of meals and training materials.
      Rush hours are 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday inclusive.
      The interval of numbers between a and b, including a and b, is often denoted [a, b]. The two numbers are called the endpoints of the interval.
      To indicate that one of the endpoints is to be excluded from the set, the corresponding square bracket can be either replaced with a parenthesis, or reversed.
      If you describe a group or organization as inclusive, you mean that it allows all kinds of people to belong to it, rather than just one kind of person.
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      sea`soned
      'si:zənd
      adj ~ food has salt, pepper etc added to it ¶ ~ wood has been prepared for use by drying ¶ experienced in a particular activity or job
      -
      Seasoning is the process of adding salt, herbs, or spices to food to enhance the flavor.
      The legs are salted and seasoned with herbs, then are slowly cooked in a bath of their own fat.
      Seasoned wood is lighter than green, and banging two pieces together can produce a type of popping sound rather than a dull thud.
      He's a seasoned journalist who has seen many things in many places.
      Most seasoned travelers know that their watches and belt buckles can set off airport metal detectors.
      Compare "cure" and "season".
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      de`ceased
      di'si:st
      adj dead, esp recently
      -
      Unfortunately, some money the deceased girl's brother stole winds up in their possession and numerous ill-tempered people are on their trail.
      Clay figurines are part of Egyptian burial rites and serve the deceased in the next world.
      Then later in the season, we find out that he had a deceased wife that had never, ever been mentioned in the plot before.
      Relatives also tidy the gravesites of deceased family members, including snipping weeds, making repairs and painting.
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      snag
      snæg
      v[IT] catch or tear sth on sth rough or sharp ¶ succeed in getting sth difficult to get
      n[C] an object or a part of an object that is rough or sharp and may cut sth ¶ a tear, hole or loose fibre in a piece of clothing or cloth caused by a sharp or rough object ¶ a problem or disadvantage
      -
      At first, the woman thought she had snagged her leg on a rock or a piece of floating wood.
      How do you help keep pantyhose from running/snagging?
      I snagged an 8GB model two minutes after the Nexus 4 went on sale.
      In forest ecology, a snag refers to a standing, dead or dying tree, often missing a top or most of the smaller branches.
      If your favorite sweater has sprouted a big hole, you should take it to a professional for reweaving. But if it's got nothing more than a small snag or unraveling thread, you can keep the sweater from unraveling further with this simple repair.
      The opening ceremony also ran into a snag.
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      ses`a`me
      'sesəmi
      n[U] a plant that produces seeds and oil used in cooking
      -
      Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed.
      Sesame oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds.
      Sesame oil is a source of vitamin E.
      Vitamin E is an antioxidant and has been correlated with lowering cholesterol levels.
      Sesame oil also contains magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin B6.
      "Open Sesame" is a magical phrase in the story of Ali Baba.
      Sesame Street is a long-running American children's television series.
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      as`cend
      ə'send
      v[IT] rise, go/climb up ¶ get a more important job or position
      -
      We watched as the plane ascended.
      Without a word,he began to ascend the stairs.
      The road ascends steeply from the harbor.
      The number of women decreases as you ascend the professional hierarchy.
      But she eventually ascended to the position of chief executive.
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      re`hearse
      ri'hə:s
      v[IT] practise or make people practise a play etc ¶ practise sth that you plan to say to sb
      -
      Ross and Chandler are rehearsing a Greek play.
      Great, we rehearse on Tuesdays at your place.
      Don't worry, it's written in your vernacular. So shall we rehearse?
      Today we spent two hours rehearsing for a dance.
      I began to rehearse what I would do and what she probably would do if we broke up.
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      rem`i`nis`cent
      remi'nisənt
      adj reminding you of sb/sth ¶ full of thoughts of the past
      -
      "Yesterday Once More" by the Carpenters is so reminiscent of my adolescence.
      Such a dedicated endeavor is reminiscent of the Apollo Program.
      Kate Middleton's dress is reminiscent of the one that Grace Kelly wore during her wedding.
      Koalas eat so many of these leaves that they take on a distinctive odor from their oil, reminiscent of cough drops.
      He is in a reminiscent mood, talking to a group of journalists.
      A reminiscent smile lit his face.
      If something rings a bell, it reminds you of something, but you cannot remember exactly what it is.
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      fas`ten
      'fæsən
      v[IT] firmly close/attach ¶ become closed or attached ¶ do up
      -
      A diaper is a piece of soft cloth or soft paper that is put between a baby's legs and fastened around its waist to hold liquid and solid waste.
      A suspender or a garter is a short piece of elastic hanging from a piece of women's underwear that can be fastened to her stockings to prevent them from falling down.
      A bayonet is a long, sharp knife that is fastened onto the end of a rifle and used as a weapon in battle.
      A fly is the opening at the front of a pair of pants that is fastened with buttons or a zipper.
      If you zip something, you fasten it using a zip.
      If you buckle something, you fasten it with a buckle.
      A court shoe or a pump is a shoe with a low-cut front and usually without a fastening.
      A shoelace is a thin cord or strip of leather used to fasten shoes.
      A hinge is a piece of metal fastened to a door, lid etc that allows it to swing open and shut.
      If you bolt a door or window, you fasten it by sliding a bolt across.
      If a door or window bolts, it's able to be fastened in this way.
      If you bolt something to something else, you fasten them together with a bolt.
      A clamp is a tool used for holding or fastening two things together firmly.
      Clip-ons are things fastened with a clip.
      If you nail something, you fasten it with nails.
      If you hammer up something, you fasten it using hammer and nails.
      If you tape something, you fasten it with sticky tape.
      I haven't fastened my seat belt yet.
      Ross's apartment, his doorbell is ringing and he's running to answer it while fastening his pants.
      If you fasten your eyes or gaze on someone or something, you look at them for a long time.
      If you fasten (your attention) on someone or something, you give particular attention to them.
      If you fasten onto someone, you follow them and stay with them, especially when they do not want you to.
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      hus`tle
      'hʌsəl
      v[IT] make sb move quickly by pushing them roughly ¶ hurry in doing sth or going somewhere ¶ do sth with a lot of energy and determination ¶ force sb to make a decision before they are ready or sure ¶ sell or obtain sth, often illegally ¶ work as a prostitute
      also a noun
      -
      The mayor was hastily hustled out of the area by his bodyguards.
      At 6:39 a.m. I hustled in to the new CBC radio studio on Victoria Street.
      The Wednesday Market is the clothes and textiles market. It's very busy with lots of hustling and bustling going on.
      Taxis, beggars, vendors and shopkeepers hustle for business late into the night.
      Escape from the hustle and bustle of the 21st century to the romance and adventure of the 17th century.
      If one person tussles with another, or if they tussle, they get hold of each other and struggle or fight.
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      not`with`stand`ing
      nɔtwiθ'stændiŋ
      adv,prep in spite of, despite, however, nevertheless
      -
      The defendant is liable for manslaughter notwithstanding the fact that the victim consented to the injection.
      Notwithstanding anything contained in section 56, no prescribed authority or authorized testing station shall grant a certificate of fitness to a motor vehicle in contravention of the provisions of any notification issued under sub-section (1).
      I have experienced cycles of frustration and confusion with eclipse and its complexity as well as a handful of other IDEs, Visual Studio notwithstanding.
      The notice shall be so given notwithstanding that the person has ceased to be a substantial shareholder before the expiration of the period referred to in subsection (3) of this section.
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      guild
      gild
      n[C] an organization of people who do the same job or have the same interests
      -
      A guild is an association of artisans or merchants who control the practice of their craft in a particular town.
      The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a professional association, trade union, a cartel, and a secret society.
      In the film and television industry, guild membership is generally a prerequisite for working on major productions in certain capacities.
      The Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America, East, Writers Guild of America, West and other profession-specific guilds have the ability to exercise strong control in Hollywood as a result of a rigid system of intellectual-property rights and a history of power-brokers also holding guild membership (e.g., DreamWorks founder Steven Spielberg was, and is, a DGA member).
      These guilds maintain their own contracts with production companies to ensure a certain number of their members are hired for roles in each film or television production, and that their members are paid a minimum of guild "scale," along with other labor protections.
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      pe`ri`od`ic
      piri'ɔdik
      adj happening regularly
      -
      The periodic table is a tabular arrangement of the chemical elements, organized on the basis of their atomic number (number of protons in the nucleus), electron configurations, and recurring chemical properties.
      In 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Council established the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a mechanism that assesses the degree to which each of the 192 UN member states are fulfilling their international human rights obligations.
      A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract.
      A surplus in a pension fund may be discovered when the periodic reports of the plan's status are prepared.
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      tal`ly
      'tæli
      n[C] a record or count of a number of items
      v[T] calculate a total number
      v[I] match up
      -
      Cultures using Chinese characters tally by forming the character 正, which consists of five strokes.
      Tally marks, also called hash marks, are a unary numeral system. They are a form of numeral used for counting.
      They are most useful in counting or tallying ongoing results, such as the score in a game or sport, as no intermediate results need to be erased or discarded.
      However, because of the length of large numbers, tallies are not commonly used for static text. Notched sticks, known as tally sticks, were also historically used for this purpose.
      That number roughly tallies with those previously released by the publisher.
      This tallies with the price information on Apple's site.
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      e`quate
      i'kweit
      v[T] consider that two things are equal, equivalent, or connected
      -
      During the Ryder Cup weekend, however, it will be charging $315 per night for the same double room. That equates to a 279% increase.
      Why does green and lush equate to a good quality golf course?
      In its broadest sense, privacy is equated with the right to enjoy private space, to conduct private communications, to be free from surveillance and to respect the sanctity of one's body.
      Most people equate poverty with misery.
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      lit`eral
      'litərəl
      adj the ~ meaning of a word is its most basic meaning ¶ a ~ translation translates each word exactly
      -
      If that was slang, I'm unfamiliar with it. If it was literal, I share your aversion to soiled hosiery.
      "I've got a ripe bamboo in my chest." is a literal translation.
      Five-year-olds are inherently literal-minded, but even teenagers can misread metaphors.
      All right, that was Kenneth with his much too literal rendition of "I touch myself". Coming up next we've got Monica singing "Delta Dawn".
      Okay, literal goose bumps. Look.
      Compare these words: figurative, free, literal, and metaphorical.
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