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      n[U] cruel and unfair treatment of a person or group
      Persecution of Jews has occurred on many occasions and at widely different geographical locations.
      Persecution has been a major part of Jewish history, and it has affected the history and social development of the countries and societies in which the persecution occurred.
      Europe and the Middle East have been chief areas of persecution throughout the ages.
      South African black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela has defended his wife, Winnie, saying she was the victim of "scandalous persecution" by the government.
      adj lacking physical coordination, skill, or grace, awkward
      Do you know why I took all those lessons? See, for the first time I didn't want you to be embarrassed to be seen on the dance floor with some clumsy idiot.
      A spaz is someone who is considered clumsy or inept.
      A lump is someone who is stupid or clumsy.
      A clumsy object is not easy to use and is often large and heavy.
      If you describe something as clunky, you mean that it is solid, heavy, and rather awkward.
      A clumsy action or statement is said or done carelessly or badly, and likely to upset someone.
      This is a clumsy attempt on the part of the Obama Administration to be on both sides of a thorny issue.
      Raj was too busy writing clumsy penis metaphors about Howard's fiancée.
      n[U] pulling sth ¶ the ability of a wheel or tyre to hold the ground without sliding
      A traction engine is a self-propelled steam engine used to move heavy loads on roads, plough ground or to provide power at a chosen location.
      Traction engines tend to be large, robust and powerful, but heavy, slow, and difficult to manoeuvre.
      Traction is defined as: A physical process in which a tangential force is transmitted across an interface between two bodies through dry friction or an intervening fluid film resulting in motion, stoppage or the transmission of power (Copyright: "Mechanical Wear Fundamentals and Testing" by Raymond George Bayer)
      The tires were bald and lost traction on the wet road.
      Winter tyres give increased traction in mud or snow.
      Traction is a form of medical treatment, in which weights and pulleys are used to gently pull or stretch an injured part of the body for a period of time.
      He's injured his back and is in traction for weeks.
      v[T] restrain or suppress
      If you repress a feeling, you make a deliberate effort not to show or have this feeling.
      Paul, Elizabeth's father, had successfully repressed the painful memories of childhood for years.
      If you repress a smile, sigh, or moan, you try hard not to smile, sigh, or moan.
      She looked to him quickly, out of the corner of her eye, and repressed a smile.
      If a section of society is repressed, their freedom is restricted by the people who have authority over them.
      The DPRK government continues to repress unauthorized religious groups, and deal harshly with those who engage in religious activities it deems unacceptable.
      Compare depress, oppress, repress, and suppress.
      n[C] a nerve ending that reacts to changes and stimuli
      In a sensory system, a sensory receptor is a sensory nerve ending that responds to a stimulus in the internal or external environment of an organism.
      The sensory receptors involved in taste and smell contain receptor molecules that bind to specific chemicals
      In biochemistry and pharmacology, a receptor is a protein molecule usually found embedded within the plasma membrane surface of a cell that receives chemical signals from outside the cell.
      When such chemical signals bind to a receptor, they cause some form of cellular/tissue response, e.g. a change in the electrical activity of the cell.
      Compare receiver and receptor.
      adj ≠transparent ¶ difficult to understand
      The 2009 vintage is intense, opaque purple in your glass. The bouquet brings black raspberry fruit along with some cherry pie, but it also has notes of vanilla, lavender, and spice.
      Despite the heavy influence from C++/Java, where objects are fairly opaque, PHP often treats objects like fancy hashes.
      If you have dark eyes, you should purchase opaque contact lenses.
      I find her poetry rather opaque.
      I felt his report was deliberately opaque.
      adj terrible
      It was dreadful. I felt terrible about how I acted when you said those wonderful things.
      Celebration was never meant to be played on the bagpipe, so even the best bag pipeplayers in the world would have trouble with that particular song. So of course, for a beginner like Ross, it sounds absolutely dreadful.
      Of course not. This is just Leonard trying to take the focus off that dreadful table by sowing discord in our relationship. He's manipulating you like he always does.
      I've made a dreadful mistake.
      n[C] an area of a city where living conditions are very bad
      A slum is a heavily populated urban informal settlement characterized by substandard housing and squalor.
      While slums differ in size and other characteristics from country to country, most lack reliable sanitation services, supply of clean water, reliable electricity, timely law enforcement and other basic services.
      Slum residences vary from shanty houses to professionally-built dwellings that because of poor-quality design or construction have deteriorated into slums.
      In the south of Mumbai, there are colonial-era buildings and Soviet-style offices. In the east are factories and some slums.
      Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008 British drama film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Simon Beaufoy, and co-directed in India by Loveleen Tandan.
      If you slum it or are slumming (it), you spend time in conditions that you would not normally think were good enough for you.
      While she was studying, Marie had to slum it in a tiny room.
      Marie Skłodowska-Curie was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity.
      Terrible? Hell, I was in Greece! That was a nice hotel! Nice beach, met the nice people. It's not too shabby for Rachel.
      n[C] a young cat
      A kitten or kitty is a juvenile domesticated cat.
      A feline litter usually consists of two to five kittens.
      To survive, kittens need the care of their mother for the first several weeks of their life.
      Kittens are highly social animals and spend most of their waking hours playing and interacting with available companions.
      The young of big cats are called cubs rather than kittens.
      Kittens open their eyes about seven to ten days after birth.
      At first, the retina is poorly developed and vision is poor.
      Kittens are not able to see as well as adult cats until about ten weeks after birth.
      A pussy is a a cat, or a woman's vagina.
      People sometimes call a cat by saying 'Puss'.
      "Puss in Boots" is a European literary fairy tale about a cat who uses trickery and deceit to gain power, wealth, and the hand of a princess in marriage for his penniless and low-born master.
      If someone has kittens, they are very nervous, worried, or upset.
      n[C] a small job that involves going to collect or deliver sth
      Oh, Emily's got you running errands, you know, picking up wedding dresses... (Laughs and makes like Indiana Jones and his whip) Wah-pah!
      Gunther left work in the middle of the day to do a personal errand and left you in charge when you've been working here for two days? That's not, that's not right.
      I'm gonna run a couple of errands and I will see you at dinner.
      Oh, I have a ton of errands to run. I need to make copies of my headshot, send them off to agents and sign up for a new acting class.
      n[C] an organism that is microscopic
      The oral and fecal samples had the highest microbe diversity, whereas the vaginal samples had the lowest.
      In a petrie dish, she would be the microbe that gets devoured first.
      Researchers also detected antibiotic-resistant microbes and E.coli (大肠杆菌) in the soda samples.
      Scientists at the USGS are examining the air in Africa and in the Caribbean to determine what kinds of nutrients, microbes, and contaminants are traveling across the ocean.
      n[CU] a group of people who have the same job or interest ¶ group of male students at a university who form a social club ¶ a feeling of friendship between members of a group
      A fraternity (Latin frater: "brother") is a brotherhood, although the term sometimes connotes a distinct or formal organization and sometimes a secret society.
      A fraternity (or fraternal organization) is an organized society of men associated together in an environment of companionship and brotherhood dedicated to the intellectual, physical, moral, religious, and/or social development of its members.
      Fraternities and sororities (from the Latin words frater and soror, meaning "brother" and "sister" respectively) are fraternal social organizations for mostly undergraduate students.
      The term refers mainly to such organizations at colleges and universities in the United States, although it is also applied to analogous European groups also known as corporations.
      There are also many fraternities and sororities in the Philippines due to its close association with the United States since 1898.
      In modern usage, the term "Greek letter organization" is often synonymous in the United States, with the terms "fraternity" and "sorority".
      Kappa Delta Kappa (ΚΔΚ) Sorority, also known as KDK, was created on November 22, 1938, at Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA (Pennsylvania).
      Rachel Karen Green was a Kappa.
      v[IT] find out sth
      It is also important to ascertain whether the research has been complete. For example, Coca Cola did a great deal of research prior to releasing the New Coke, and consumers seemed to prefer the taste.
      When excess gas is sensed in the rectum, a signal is sent to the brain, which ascertains if it's a good time to release the gas.
      The casualties can not be ascertained and probably never will, accurately.
      Best Customer Service: Buying a printer from Staples and the salesman ascertaining my needs and then encouraging me to buy the most suitable (not most expensive).
      Police had ascertained that the dead woman knew her killer.
      n[C] a straight line between the center of a circle and any point on its edge ¶ the length of this line
      In geometry, the radius of a circle or sphere is the shortest connection between the center and the boundary.
      It is half of the diameter.
      The radius of this wheel is 20 inch; it has a radius of 50.8 cm.
      The station, shopping center and school lie within a one-km radius of the house.
      We think the stars with the largest radii are the red hypergiants.
      v[IT] plant or scatter seeds on a piece of ground ¶ cause a bad emotion or condition to begin somewhere
      n[C] an adult female pig
      These fields used to be sown with oats.
      We'll sow this field with barley.
      Sow the seeds quite thinly.
      If a man sows his wild oats, he has sex with many different women, especially when he is young.
      Now that you've sown doubts in my mind, I'll never again be sure I can trust him.
      He cleverly sowed doubts into the minds of his rivals.
      Compare boar and sow.
      adj willing to consider new ideas or listen to sb else's opinions
      I teach children and I notice that when I smile they are so much more receptive to me and the whole class has a more positive vibe to it.
      Exploring nature with your child is largely a matter of becoming receptive to what lies all around you.
      We of all people should be receptive to learning from our mistakes and improving.
      Compare narrow-minded, open-minded, and receptive.
      If someone who is ill is receptive to treatment, they start to get better when they are given treatment.
      adj needing and wanting a lot of love and attention ¶ having very little food or money
      She's needy, she's vulnerable.
      "You don't think that makes me seem a little..." "...desperate, needy, pathetic?"
      I hate dogs. They are needy, they are jumpy, and you can't tell what they are thinking, and that scares me a little bit.
      I have no problem with truly needy people who can not work.
      Each year, they accept applications from needy families and individuals in the community.
      n[C] a small mistake in a law that allows people to do sth that would otherwise be illegal
      A loophole is an ambiguity or inadequacy in a system, such as a law or security, which can be used to circumvent or otherwise avoid the intent, implied or explicitly stated, of the system.
      Loopholes are searched for and used strategically in a variety of circumstances, including taxes, elections, politics, the criminal justice system, or in breaches of security, or a response to one's civil liberties.
      Loopholes are distinct from lacunae, although the two terms are often used interchangeably.
      In a loophole, a law addressing a certain issue exists, but the law can be legally circumvented due to a technical defect in the said law.
      A lacuna, on the other hand, is a situation whereby no law exists in the first place to address that particular issue.
      Historically, arrow slits were narrow vertical windows from which castle defenders launched arrows from a sheltered position, and were also referred to as "loopholes".
      Thus a loophole in a law often contravenes the intent of the law without technically breaking it, much as the small slit window in a castle wall is a small opening in a seemingly impenetrable defensive measure that lets the defender gain the unfair advantage of being able to fire without easily being fired back upon.
      For example, in some places, one may avoid paying taxes to the jurisdiction by forming a second residence in another location, or a commercial property can be built in a residential zone if it is made also for residential use.
      In 2005 Wal-Mart planned a store in Calvert County, Maryland.
      While a law in the county restricted the size of a retail store to 75,000 square feet (7,000 m2), Wal-Mart considered a plan that would dodge this restriction by building two separate smaller stores.
      Though Wal-Mart later withdrew this controversial plan, the plan highlighted a legal loophole.
      n[UC] achievement
      In that year, 86 percent of adults 25 and over were whites without a four year college degree. By 2007, with the dramatic rise in educational attainment and the decline in the white population, that percentage was down to 48 percent.
      To address the skills gap, the US must boost the educational attainment of current and future workers.
      Above all, it means addressing the income disparities in educational opportunity and attainment.
       A coaching leader balances the attainment of instant targets with longterm aims in direction of the eyesight of the business.
      v[T] make legal or lawful, authorize or sanction by law
      Evidently you think the U.S. is required to accept and legalize every person who ever comes over out border or overstays a visa.
      Connecticut legalizes same-sex marriage.
      A few bishops warned their flocks that voting for candidates who favor legalized abortion or other immoral policies could place their souls in jeopardy.
      Compare criminalize, decriminalize, and legalize.
      v[IT] be enough
      Please let me know, a brief email will suffice.
      A light lunch should suffice me.
      A simple "hello" would have sufficed.
      Suffice it to say or suffice to say is used at the beginning of a statement to indicate that what you are saying is obvious, or that you will only give a short explanation.
      Suffice it to say that Emily and Ross are having marital problems.
      Compare suffice, sufficient, and sufficiency.
      n[U] the system of having a king or queen ^anarychy, hierarchy, theocracy
      n[C] a country that is ruled by a king or queen
      A monarchy is a form of government in which sovereignty is actually or nominally embodied in 1 or several individual(s) reigning until death or abdication.
      They are called the monarchs.
      Forms of monarchy differ widely based on the level of legal autonomy the monarch holds in governance, the method of selection of the monarch, and any predetermined limits on the length of their tenure. When the monarch has no or few legal restraints in state and political matters, it is called an absolute monarchy and is a form of autocracy.
      Cases in which the monarch's discretion is formally limited (most common today) are called constitutional monarchies. I
      The Kingdom of Thailand is a constitutional monarchy.
      n[U] the drug in tobacco that makes people addicted
      In lesser doses (an average cigarette yields about 2 mg of absorbed nicotine), the substance acts as a stimulant in mammals, while high amounts (50–100 mg) can be harmful.
      The nicotine content of popular American-brand cigarettes has slowly increased over the years, and one study found that there was an average increase of 1.78% per year between the years of 1998 and 2005.
      Nicotine liquid can be used in vaporizers or electronic cigarettes along with a wide variety of different flavors.
      The primary therapeutic use of nicotine is in treating nicotine dependence in order to eliminate smoking with the damage it does to health.
      Controlled levels of nicotine are given to patients through gums, dermal patches, lozenges, electronic/substitute cigarettes or nasal sprays in an effort to wean them off their dependence.
      adj having bounds, limited
      They have to make tough decisions with finite resources, and someone made the wrong call.
      The Israelis do indeed have a finite number of aircraft they could commit to bombing Iran.
      A finite verb is a form of a verb that matches the form of other words in a sentence.
      "Am", "is", "are", "was" and "were" are the finite forms of "be"; "be", "being" and "been" are the non-finite forms.
      Compare definite, finite, infinite, and non-finite.
      v[T] provide with food or other substances necessary for life and growth, feed
      Once your body is well nourished by being fed with enough nourishing foods to overcome all the nutrient deficiencies that poor quality foods cause, you will want to exercise.
      The Sun is the source of energy for all life on our planet; it nourishes the plants (the top of the food chain) which are then eaten by animals (vegetarian), which are then eaten by other animals (carnivores).
      To nourish something such as a feeling or belief means to allow or encourage it to grow.
      By investing in education, we nourish the talents of our children.