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      adj infertile ¶ lacking in imagination or new ideas or energy
      Mules are usually sterile.
      Male workers were made permanently sterile by this pesticide.
      My office is sterile, with no artwork on the walls.
      Something that is sterile is completely clean and free from germs.
      Richard rinsed Monica's eye with sterile water.
      I put my contact lenses in sterilizing solution every night.
      n[U] ≠sincerity
      Hypocrisy is the claim or pretense of holding beliefs, feelings, standards, qualities, opinions, behaviors, virtues, motivations, or other characteristics that one does not actually hold.
      Hypocrisy is not simply failing to practice those virtues that one preaches.
      Recent studies in psychology have identified the evolutionary bases and the mental mechanisms of hypocrisy, tracing its roots to adaptations that serve contradictory functions in the human brain, and to cognitive biases and distortions that predispose humans to readily perceive and condemn faults in others, while failing to perceive and condemn faults of their own.
      I think what most upsets me about it, Mother, is the hypocrisy. Doesn't this contradict all the religious rules you've been espousing your whole life?
      There's one rule for her and another rule for everyone else and it's sheer hypocrisy.
      v[IT] make sth happen faster or sooner, speed up ¶ hurry ¶ go somewhere quickly
      If you hasten an event or process, often an unpleasant one, you make it happen faster or sooner.
      The government made a plea for international aid to hasten the disarmament of more than 16,888 rebels.
      If you hasten to do something, you are quick to do it.
      Rachel and Tag hastened away to the office.
      If you hasten to say something, you quickly add something to what you have just said in order to prevent it being misunderstood.
      I hasten to add that I do NOT recommend trying this yourself!
      n[C] emissary
      An envoy is a representative of a government who is sent on a special diplomatic mission.
      Long before the Tang and Song dynasties, the Chinese had sent envoys into Central Asia, India, and Persia, starting with Zhang Qian in the 2nd century BC.
      Since the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD), the Chinese also became heavily invested in sending diplomatic envoys abroad on maritime missions into the Indian Ocean, to India, Persia, Arabia, East Africa, and Egypt.
      During the Mongol Empire (1206–1294) the Mongols created something similar to today's diplomatic passport called paiza.
      The paiza were in three different types (golden, silver, and copper) depending on the envoy's level of importance. With the paiza, there came authority that the envoy can ask for food, transport, place to stay from any city, village, or clan within the empire with no difficulties.
      In April 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte negotiated the sale of the Louisiana Territory with the envoys of President Thomas Jefferson.
      American and Iranian midlevel envoys, including the American ambassador to Iraq, Ryan C. Crocker, have met episodically.
      Compare these words: ambassador, consul, diplomat, emissary, and envoy.
      v[T] deliberately avoid sb/sth
      Chicago decided to shun the use of chemicals like Roundup (brand-name of an herbicide) in public spaces.
      Rachel's rather popular at school, shuns the boys who chase after her.
      I can not be a part of any group that shames, shuns, scorns, and rejects anyone that doesn't conform.
      Mr. Heathcliff shunned meeting us at meals.
      A poor man is shunned by all his relatives.
      adj brief
      Instead of seeing each other for fleeting moments in the mornings and evenings, the family starts to spend their days together
      Life is very short and fleeting, and I value my happiness enough to eradicate the negative energy.
      Fame is fleeting, isn't it?
      Every now and then, he gives a fleeting thought to opening a second restaurant.
      v[I] spread through sth and be present in every part of it
      As we age wisdom should permeate every aspect of our lives.
      Heinberg explains how fossil fuels, primarily oil, permeate every aspect of our modern culture - from agriculture to cities and a long-term perspective.
      It's the evil that permeates our bones and enabled young children to torture animals without warning, and nudges otherwise calm men to enter a battlefield and kill.
      This was very well written! I read it out loud and the words permeated deep within my soul.
      Compare permeate and pervade.
      v[T] kill sb, esp by hanging them, even though they have not been proved guilty of any crime
      Lynching, also known as Lynch law, is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging or other ways of execution.
      A lynch mob is an angry crowd of people who want to kill someone without a trial, because they believe that person has committed a crime.
      Captain William Lynch (1742–1820) was a man from Pittsylvania County, Virginia, who claimed to be the source of the terms "lynch law" and "lynching".
      He is not the William Lynch who allegedly made the William Lynch speech in 1712, as the date on this apocryphal speech precedes Lynch's birth by thirty years.
      The term "Lynch's Law" was used as early as 1782 by a prominent Virginian named Charles Lynch to describe his actions in suppressing a suspected Loyalist uprising in 1780 during the American Revolutionary War.
      In 1811, Captain William Lynch claimed that the phrase "Lynch's Law", by then famous, actually came from a 1780 compact signed by him and his neighbours in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to uphold their own brand of law independent of legal authority.
      All persons involved are lynched.
      Compare boycott, lynch, and sandwich.
      n[UC] carbohydrate ¶ a substance that is mixed with water and is used to make cloth stiff
      v[T] make cloth stiff using ~
      Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds.
      It is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is contained in large amounts in such staple foods as potatoes, wheat, maize (corn), rice, and cassava.
      Pure starch is a white, tasteless and odorless powder that is insoluble in cold water or alcohol.
      Dissolving starch in warm water gives wheatpaste, which can be used as a thickening, stiffening or gluing agent.
      Mr. Bing, you look so sexy in your starched office shirts.
      n[sC] a loud unpleasant noise ¶ a dishonest or illegal activity that makes money ¶ an oval-shaped bat with strings across it
      The old machine used to make an awful racket.
      The prison uprising began last afternoon shortly after around 300 STF personnel together with the prison officials carried out a raid after authorities received information of a major drug racket and other illegal activities being conducted within the prison premises.
      Then, in 2000, Estrada was accused of profiting from an illegal gambling racket.
      The whole patent situation is little more than a legal protection racket, they are allowing patents for things that are ridiculously obvious to anyone in the field, and patents aren't supposed to be obvious.
      Compare blackmail, carjack, hijack, kidnap, and racket.
      A racket, or racquet, is a piece of equipment used to play tennis, badminton, squash, racquetball and other sports.
      Li-Ning Woods N90 is a racket designed based on racket specification of the Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion, Lin Dan.
      "Yeah, well, you don't have your racket." "No, no I don't, because it's being restrung, somebody was supposed to bring me one." "Yeah, well you didn't call and leave your grip size."
      v[T] manufacture ¶ invent or produce sth false in order to deceive
      I don't think Iran will cross any overt "red lines" in the next four years, meaning that it isn't going to try to fabricate or test a nuclear weapon or start enriching uranium to 90%.
      It has towns and villages fabricated to resemble actual villages located in Southwest Asia.
      The FBI and DEA fabricate evidence, steal from suspects and use murder to close their bad cases.
      Did you, in any way, fabricate those photographs?
      Americans were murdered, and Obama fabricates a total lie, and the media say little or nothing about it.
      adj uncertain about what to do or say
      If you are hesitant about doing something, you do not do it quickly or immediately, usually because you are uncertain, embarrassed, or worried.
      The client was hesitant at first and asked for a meeting with me to discuss our recommendations.
      They admitted they had been hesitant to do so before, but now they would.
      Do they seem hesitant to take on the job?
      If you've been hesitant to go camping, fear not.
      Compare hesitant and reluctant.
      adj sad and without hope ¶ very bad
      I lived in that dismal hole, almost deprived of light and air, with no space to move my limbs, for nearly seven years... Yet I would have chosen this, rather than my lot as a slave.
      Your lot is your work, duties, social position etc, especially when they could be better.
      Turning my ex-wedding dress into cash had been a dismal failure.
      So Bernanke talked about the dismal state of the economy, and he insisted that QE works.
      The Dutch striker was criticized a lot for his dismal performance in the match.
      Compare abysmal, dismal, and dismay.
      n[C] a circle of light around the head of a holy person in religious paintings ¶ a circle of light or sth bright
      She is seated on a throne, her right hand bearing a sceptre, her left hand resting on an orb. On her head is a crown encircled by a golden halo. The Infant Christ sits on her knees, His right hand raised in blessing, His left hand pointing towards the orb.
      A halo of dust settled on everything around us as the vehicle stopped.
      Western larch crowns the park's lake and river corridors with a golden halo in mid- to late October.
      Halo is a best-selling military science fiction first-person shooter video game franchise created by Bungie and now managed and developed by 343 Industries, a subsidiary of Microsoft Studios.
      The series centers on an interstellar war between humanity and a theocratic alliance of aliens known as the Covenant.
      n[s] a departure of a large number of people
      The Book of Exodus is the second book of the Hebrew Torah and the Christian Bible, describing The Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.
      Passover is the celebration of the exodus from Egypt.
      Before the mass exodus of the middle class, the majority of Americans lived in or near areas inhabited by the poor.
      By Wednesday and Thursday, the exodus had begun. So many people were pouring into train stations in Bangalore and Chennai that the Railways Ministry later added special services to certain northeastern cities.
      v[IT] hit a person or animal hard many times as a punishment ¶ defeat sb thoroughly in a game or sports competition ¶ move from side to side in a violent or uncontrolled way
      Jane Eyre used to get thrashed for all kinds of minor offences.
      After the detour to Ohio, the 49ers moved on to New York where they thrashed the Jets 34-0.
      In the 1970s the Americans thrashed the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong, drove them way back in the hills with tremendous casualties.
      "Does what always have to be sharks?" "Honey, look, we can do something else, do you want me to get into the tub and thrash?"
      v[IT] gradually disappear or waste, or make sth do this
      Penny wound down the car windows to dissipate the smell.
      Little by little, the smell was dissipated by the breeze.
      Sheldon was dissipating his time and energy on too many different things.
      As he thought it over, his anger gradually dissipated.
      His anger dissipated as the situation became clear.
      adj producing or reflecting bright light
      Blacklight ink or blacklight-reactive ink is ink that glows under a black light, a source of light whose wavelengths are primarily in the ultraviolet.
      The paint may or may not be colorful under ordinary light. It is also known as luminous paint or fluorescent paint.
      And uh, while Daryl Hannah is beautiful in a conventional way, you are luminous with a kind of a delicate grace. Then, uh, that-that-that's when you started yelling.
      I read an article about Japanese scientists who inserted DNA from luminous jellyfish into other animals, and I thought, "hey, fish nightlights."
      I was working with luminous fish, and I thought, hey... "loom." Mom, what are you doing here?
      There is a luminous fish in a fish tank on the nightstand.
      Don't you worry about the residual radium from the luminous dials?
      Wait. Not yet. We still have to go over safety procedures. Now, the apartment has three emergency exits located here, here, and here. In the event of a power outage, luminous paint will guide you to the nearest exit.
      adj expressed or considered in numbers
      Having a numerical value for your health doesn't change what your health is.
      The corresponding numerical data are given in Table IV and Figure 5.
      In accordance with international law, Russia has violated nothing, as the NATO-Russia Basic Act of 1997 states that the parties are notified officially if the numerical strength exceeds more than 10 thousand servicemen (in the Caucasus-2012 maneuvers there are eight thousand military personnel involved), and the maneuvers will be conducted not only away from the borders of the NATO countries, but at a distance of 200 km from the border of Georgia.
      In short, Democrats have the numerical advantage in the vote count.
      I was hired in as a first-level supervisor, and handed the Numerical Analysis Unit of the Aircraft Gas Turbine Development Department.
      n[U] an extremely valuable, silvery-grey metal
      Platinum is a chemical element with symbol Pt and atomic number 78.
      Its name is derived from the Spanish term platina, which is literally translated into "little silver".
      Platinum is a member of the platinum group of elements and group 10 of the periodic table of elements.
      Platinum is the least reactive metal. It has remarkable resistance to corrosion, even at high temperatures, and is therefore considered a noble metal.
      Platinum is used in catalytic converters, laboratory equipment, electrical contacts and electrodes, platinum resistance thermometers, dentistry equipment, and jewellery.
      n[C] a strong pleasant smell
      An odor or odour or fragrance is caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds, generally at a very low concentration, that humans or other animals perceive by the sense of olfaction.
      Odors are also commonly called scents, which can refer to both pleasant and unpleasant odors.
      The terms fragrance and aroma are used primarily by the food and cosmetic industry to describe a pleasant odor, and are sometimes used to refer to perfumes.
      In contrast, malodor, stench, reek, and stink are used specifically to describe unpleasant odor.
      In the United Kingdom, odour refers to scents in general.
      In the United States, odor has a more negative connotation, such as smell, stench, funk, or stink, while scent or aroma are used for pleasant smells.
      n[U] widespread destruction, devastation
      The Douglas A-20 Havoc (company designation DB-7) was an American attack, light bomber, intruder and night fighter aircraft of World War II.
      It served with several Allied air forces, principally the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), the Soviet Air Forces (VVS), Soviet Naval Aviation (AVMF) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom.
      The Mil Mi-28 (NATO reporting name "Havoc") is a Russian all-weather, day-night, military tandem, two-seat anti-armor attack helicopter.
      El Nio has been playing havoc with temperatures.
      Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region.
      n[C] a tropical bird with a curved beak, which is often kept as a pet and can be trained to copy the human voice
      v[T] repeat exactly what sb else says
      Parrots, along with ravens, crows, jays and magpies, are among the most intelligent birds, and the ability of some species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets.
      Parrots are found on all tropical and subtropical continents and regions including Australia and Oceania, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central America, South America and Africa.
      Several parrots inhabit the cool, temperate regions of South America and New Zealand.
      The diet of parrots consists of seeds, fruit, nectar, pollen, buds, and sometimes arthropods and other animal prey.
      The budgerigar, also known as common pet parakeet or shell parakeet and informally nicknamed the budgie, is a small, long-tailed, seed-eating parrot.
      Rio is a 2011 American 3D computer-animated musical adventure-comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and directed by Carlos Saldanha.
      In Brazil, various exotic birds are smuggled out of the country. In Moose Lake, Minnesota, a crate with a male Spix's macaw hatchling falls out of a truck and is found by a little girl named Linda Gunderson (Leslie Mann), who names him Blu (Jesse Eisenberg).
      n[C] a subgroup of a religious, political or philosophical belief system
      The word sect comes from a Latin noun which means a way or road.
      However one worry is that this could happen in Saudi Arabia where the nascent sect of Islam is extreme and directly supportive of Bin Laden.
      They belong to a relatively mild sect of Islam.
      After Yoshimitsu's death, as indicated in his will, the building was converted into a temple of the Zen sect of Buddhism, which is famous for the practice of zazen, or religious meditation.
      adj very easy to notice, obvious
      Conspicuous consumption is the spending of money on and the acquiring of luxury goods and services to publicly display economic power—either the buyer's income or the buyer's accumulated wealth.
      Sociologically, to the conspicuous consumer, such a public display of discretionary economic power is a means either of attaining or of maintaining a given social status.
      Moreover, invidious consumption, a more specialized sociologic term, denotes the deliberate conspicuous consumption of goods and services intended to provoke the envy of other people, as a means of displaying the buyer’s superior socio-economic status.
      While hosiery items don't need a permanent care label, they must have care instructions on a hang tag, on the package, or in another conspicuous place.
      Disclaimers and disclosures must be clear and conspicuous.
      If you say that someone or something is conspicuous by their absence, you are drawing attention to the fact that they are not in a place or situation where you think they should be.