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      v[IT] undersell or undermine
      If you undercut someone or undercut their prices, you sell a product more cheaply than they do.
      Big supermarkets can undercut all rivals, especially small high-street shops.
      Online bookstores can undercut retailers by up to 30%.
      If you undercut something, you weaken or damage it or to cause it to fail.
      He suspected it was an attempt to undercut his authority.
      Some members of the board were trying to undercut the chairman's authority.
      v[T] cause to sleep or rest, soothe or calm ¶ calm by deception
      n[C] a quiet period during a very active or violent situation ¶ a situation in which there is not enough success or activity
      If someone or something lulls you, they cause you to feel calm or sleepy.
      The motion of the car almost lulled me to sleep.
      If you are lulled into feeling safe, someone or something causes you to feel safe at a time when you are not safe.
      Earthquakes here are rare and this has lulled people into a false sense of security.
      When we're halfway to Pasadena, there's a lull in the conversation.
      Allowing a long lull in the conversation will make things feel awkward.
      Palestinian militant groups agree to a tahediyeh - a lull in the fighting.
      The lull before the storm is a short period of time when things are calm that is followed by a lot of activity, noise, or trouble.
      n[CU] ≠descent ≠rise ≠fall
      An ascent is an upward, vertical movement.
      At the age of 15, in 1945, he completed the ascent of Mount St Helens: "Step by step, breath by breath."
      An ascent is an upward slope or path, especially when you are walking or climbing.
      There is one steep descent into a river valley with an old water mill, followed by a steep ascent out of the valley.
      An ascent is an upward journey, especially when you are walking or climbing.
      Then we start a steep ascent to the top of one of the highest passes in the Cordillera Mountains.
      The ascent of a person to a more important or successful position is the process of reaching this position.
      The proceedings against Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia in the War Crimes Tribunal, have revealed that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) played a role in his ascent to power.
      adj worried and embarrassed about how you look or what other people think of you
      "I promise, I'm good, I'm not gonna laugh anymore. OK put your hands back there." "No see now, now I can't 'cause uh, I'm feeling too self-conscious." "Come on touch my butt."
      I just think I'd feel really self-conscious, you know? Like I was on display or something.
      "Why won't you let me massage you?" "Well it's... I mean I was just-I'd be self-conscious. You're my friend; I'd be naked." "Monica! We lived together for years! I've seen you naked!"
      I hear myself being weird and then I get self-conscious about how weird I'm being and I stammer like I'm lying.
      He also made me so self-conscious about my less-than-perfect walk that I stopped dancing for many years.
      Self-conscious art, writing etc shows that the artist etc is paying too much attention to how the public will react to their work.
      n[CU] a large reptile with a hard skin, a long body and tail, and very big tapering jaws ¶ the skin of this animal
      Crocodiles are large aquatic reptiles that live throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia.
      Although they appear to be similar to the untrained eye, crocodiles, alligators and the gharial belong to separate biological families.
      The saltwater crocodile, also known as saltie, estuarine or Indo-Pacific crocodile, is the largest of all living reptiles, as well as the largest terrestrial and riparian predator in the world.
      The males of this species can reach sizes up to 6.7 m (22 ft) and weigh up to 2,000 kg (4,400 lb).
      If someone sheds crocodile tears, they seem sad, sorry, or upset, but they do not really feel this way.
      If someone is crying crocodile tears, their tears and sadness are not genuine or sincere.
      n[C] a military force consisting of a group of aircraft or ships
      A squadron was historically a cavalry sub unit.
      A squadron in air force, army aviation, or naval aviation is mainly a unit comprising a number of military aircraft and their aircrews, usually of the same type, typically with 12 to 24 aircraft, sometimes divided into three or four flights, depending on aircraft type and air force.
      A squadron, or naval squadron, is a significant group of warships which is nonetheless considered too small to be designated a fleet. A squadron is typically a part of a fleet.
      The 81st Fighter Suadron just got back from Afghanistan.
      At the end of 1915 the squadrons on the war front increased from 14 to 23.
      adj strange or difficult to explain
      n[C] sb who is gay
      Frodo got a queer feeling as he threw another faggot on the fire.
      Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say No when they mean Yes, and drive a man out of his wits for the fun of it.
      It has passionately fought for the rights of queer people everywhere.
      I am a queer woman with attractions to both men and women.
      If you queer the pitch (for someone), you spoil their plans or their chances of getting something.
      v[I] have a prickling, stinging sensation
      also a noun
      Paresthesia (British English paraesthesia), is a sensation of tingling, tickling, pricking, or burning of a person's skin with no apparent long-term physical effect.
      The most familiar kind of paresthesia is the sensation known as "pins and needles" or of a limb "falling asleep".
      If a part of your body tingles, it stings slightly, for example because it is very cold or hot.
      The slap he gave her made her buttock tingle.
      When you tingle with an emotion, such as excitement or fear, you feel it very strongly.
      She was tingling with excitement.
      v[I] stick out from somewhere
      He managed to hang on to a piece of rock protruding from the cliff face.
      The air-conditioner does not protrude into the alley.
      Kevin, so sullen his bottom lip was practically protruding, reluctantly reached out his hand to take the one Jack offered.
      The steerer tube must not be so long as to protrude from the top of the stem, preventing the headset from being tightened, but also must be long enough to allow for enough clamping contact with the stem.
      CityJet does not accept responsibility for any damage caused to or as a result of damage caused to items that protrude from luggage such as wheels.
      I put a sterile drape in place such that only the injured finger protruded through a hole in the center of the drape.
      They had protruding jaws with large back teeth.
      In fact, the lack of protruding dials and buttons is one of the biggest differences between this and its non-Android cousin, the WB850F.
      Compare bulge, project, and protrude.
      adj continuing only for a short time ¶ remaining in a place only a brief time
      also a noun
      "Boy, your heart's racing. I must've really gotten you going." "Well, it's partly you. Partly my transient, idiopathic arrhythmia."
      These side effects are usually transient, and may dissipate with time.
      The human body is transient and mortal while the human soul is permanent and immortal.
      Sydney has a more transient population than Melbourne so finding share accommodation here is easier.
      The RAF presence has led Carterton to have a more transient population than most similar towns.
      n[U] the support given to an organization by sb ¶ the power of a person to give sb an important job or position
      Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another.
      In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes and the wealthy have provided to artists such as musicians, painters, and sculptors.
      In some countries the term is used to describe political patronage, which is the use of state resources to reward individuals for their electoral support.
      Some patronage systems are legal, as in the Canadian tradition of the Prime Minister to appoint senators and the heads of a number of commissions and agencies; in many cases, these appointments go to people who have supported the political party of the Prime Minister.
      As well, the term may refer to a type of corruption or favoritism in which a party in power rewards groups, families, ethnicities for their electoral support using illegal gifts or fraudulently awarded appointments or government contracts.
      Patronage (clientela) was the distinctive relationship in ancient Roman society between the patronus (plural patroni, "patron") and his clients (plural clientes, "client").
      Although typically the client was of inferior social class, a patron and client might even hold the same social rank, but the former would possess greater wealth, power, or prestige that enabled him to help or do favors for the client.
      Compare patron, patronage, and patronize.
      v[T] make sb very angry
      These systematic killings served only to enrage the Bengalis, which ultimately resulted in the secession of East Pakistan later in December, 1971.
      This story upsets and enrages me on so many levels.
      At last, enraged by Maria's continued resistance to his sinful advances, Serenelli murdered the saint.
      Russian opposition activists remain enraged by the sentencing.
      Compare enrage and inflame.
      v[T] choose not to demand sth in a case
      If you waive your right to something, for example legal representation, you choose not to have it or do it.
      He waived his right to a lawyer.
      He waived his right to appeal against the verdict.
      She waived her right by signing the contract.
      If someone waives a rule, they say that people do not have to obey it in a particular situation.
      Excess baggage fees can not be waived.
      Museum entrance fees have been waived.
      Comapre forgo, give up, relinquish, and waive.
      n[C] crowd
      also a verb
      He made his way slowly through the throng.
      He disappeared into the throng.
      When people throng somewhere, they go there in great numbers.
      Crowds thronged the market place.
      The crowds thronged into the mall.
      Tourists throng the beaches between late June and early August.
      v[I] walk with slow heavy steps
      Slowly we trudge through the thick snow, every single step a struggle.
      I just trudged home in the snow and the tree had finally fallen over from the weight of snow on it's branches.
      They trudged wearily back towards the main road where Pete was going to pick them up.
      Compare stomp, stump, traipse, tramp, trek, and trudge.
      adj containing or having experience of people and things from many different parts of the world
      n[C] sb who is ~
      New York is a highly cosmopolitan city.
      Pascale is a real cosmopolitan.
      The capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires is the ultimate cosmopolitan city.
      The Costa Rica capital of San Jos is by far the largest, most cosmopolitan city in the country.
      Barcelona is probably one of the favourite destinations for tourists, a worldwide known city whose name recalls the awesome art of the architect Gaudi, the celebration of the 1992 Olympic games, and the cosmopolitan atmosphere of its streets.
      Hong Kong's workforce is a cosmopolitan one, comprising of diverse individuals in terms of ethnicity, gender, and age.
      Cosmopolitan is an international fashion magazine for women.
      Also known as Cosmo, its content as of 2011 included articles on women's issues, relationships, sex, health, careers, self-improvement, celebrities, fashion and beauty.
      Published by Hearst Magazines, Cosmopolitan has 64 international editions, is printed in 35 languages and is distributed in more than 110 countries.
      Compare cosmopolitan and sophisticated.
      n[C] a type of priest who told people what would happen in the future or gave them advice from the gods ¶ a message from the gods given by an ~
      An oracle in Greek and Roman polytheism was an agency or medium, usually a priest or a priestess, through which the gods were supposed to speak or prophesize.
      Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece.
      The Pythia, commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi, was the name of any priestess throughout the history of Temple of Apollo at Delphi.
      Oracles were common in many civilizations of antiquity.
      In China, the use of oracle bones dates as far back as the Shang Dynasty, (1600–1046 BC).
      The I Ching, or "Book of Changes", is a collection of linear signs used as oracles that are from that period.
      The Oracle Corporation is an American multinational computer technology corporation headquartered in Redwood City, California, United States.
      Compare guru, oracle, and prophet.
      adj (of air or water) changing direction suddenly and violently ¶ involving a lot of sudden changes, arguments or violence
      Close to the ground the wind is turbulent.
      The flight from Ottawa to Vancouver was turbulent, but I've seen worse.
      Anne Boleyn is linked to the one of most turbulent times in British history.
      The first great English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer lived in a turbulent period of war, plague, social revolt, religious heresy and murdered kings.
      Cuba has had a turbulent and unique history.
      adj hard but easily broken
      A brittle substance or object is hard and can easily break into pieces.
      The grass turns brittle and brown, and it cracks beneath your feet.
      Calcium deficiency can lead to disorders like osteoporosis (brittle bones).
      Brittle bones are defined as bones that have a very high bone mineral density (brittle bone disease).
      Blood vessels become more brittle with age and are not as flexible.
      Brittle is a type of confection consisting of flat broken pieces of hard sugar candy embedded with nuts such as pecans, almonds, or peanuts.
      There's probably a deep reason. Which I'd be happy to discuss with you over some peanut brittle in a can.
      A brittle sound is rather sharp and unpleasant.
      If you describe a situation, relationship, or someone's mood as brittle, you mean that it is unstable, and may easily change.
      Compare crisp and brittle.
      v[IT] cook in a boiling or simmering liquid
      When you poach an egg, you cook it gently in boiling water without its shell.
      Asparagus and crispy fried tomato and poached egg for breakfast and very hot tea.
      If you poach food such as fish, you cook it gently in boiling water, milk, or other liquid.
      When that's done, pour the whole mixture into a covered pan and poach the chicken in the marinate, which will become the dressing.
      If someone poaches fish, animals, or birds, they illegally catch them on someone else's property.
      Deer have been poached here for years.
      If someone poaches an idea, they dishonestly or illegally use the idea.
      If someone poaches on some else's territory or preserve, they do something that is someone else's responsibility.
      If an organization poaches members or customers from another organization, they secretly or dishonestly persuade them to join them or become their customers.
      n[C] substance added in small amounts for a special purpose
      Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavor or enhance its taste and appearance.
      Some additives have been used for centuries; for example, preserving food by pickling (with vinegar), salting, as with bacon, preserving sweets or using sulfur dioxide as with wines.
      With the advent of processed foods in the second half of the 20th century, many more additives have been introduced, of both natural and artificial origin.
      Oil additives are chemical compounds that improve the lubricant performance of base oil (or oil "base stock").
      The manufacturer of many different oils can utilize the same base stock for each formulation and can choose different additives for each specific application.
      Additives comprise up to 5% by weight of some oils.
      n[U] the study of the nervous system and its diseases
      Neurology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system.
      Neurology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of conditions and disease involving the central and peripheral nervous system (and its subdivisions, the autonomic nervous system and the somatic nervous system); including their coverings, blood vessels, and all effector tissue, such as muscle
      Neurological practice relies heavily on the field of neuroscience, which is the scientific study of the nervous system.
      A neurologist is a physician specializing in neurology and trained to investigate, or diagnose and treat neurological disorders.
      Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist who became known as the founding father of psychoanalysis.
      "I know, but I'm a neurologist. And just to be on the safe side, Dr. Wells wanted a more comprehensive overview of you status, so he sent me." "Dr. Wells is a woman." "That was a test. Good response. All right, full name."
      "Hey, Amy, what brings you to our neck of the woods?" "Your neurology department loaned me a culture of prions for my research on bovine spongiform encephalopathy."
      n[U] the state of being in prison, or the time sb spends there
      Life imprisonment (also known as a life sentence, lifelong incarceration or life incarceration) is any sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime under which the convicted person is to remain in prison for the rest of his or her life or until paroled.
      Life imprisonment can, in certain cases, also be imposed for transportation offences causing death, as a maximum term. Some American states and Canada allow judges to impose life imprisonment for such offences.
      On the original convictions, he was sentenced to imprisonment for 78 months and restitution of $6.1 million.
      He sentenced Jill to two and a half years imprisonment.
      The gang received a total of 307 years imprisonment.
      v[IT] move quickly from side to side or up and down
      also a noun
      If a dog wags its tail, or if its tail wags, the dog moves its tail many times from one side to the other.
      The puppy sat in front of her and she was sure he was saying, 'Yes!' as if he understood.
      Tara leant forward and unclipped his lead. 'There! Good boy.'
      Oscar stood up and wagged his tail.
      Almost immediately he spotted two squirrels chasing each other through a little cluster of trees nearby. 'Woof!' he barked joyfully, 'Woof, woof!' and off he streaked.
      'Oscar come back!' yelled Tara in alarm as she raced after him.
      'Oscar, come here!' But the puppy took no notice.
      He swerved away when she tried to catch him.
      If you wag your finger, you shake it repeatedly and quickly from side to side, usually because you are annoyed with someone.
      After allegations began to emerge, President Clinton wagged his finger and sternly told a national television audience he did not have sex with 'that woman'.
      If you wag your head, you move it from side to side, often because you are unhappy about a situation.
      A wag says or does something clever and amusing (=joker).
      Just as I was about to open the can, I got a finger wag from the store owner. Apparently there's a law stating that you can't drink inside a store after you purchased it.
      Compare lash and wag.
      v[T] treat sb in a deliberately unfair way
      Physicians have been victimized by less-than-scientific, self-serving researchers and politicians who mouth hypotheses as though they were truth and present half-truths which convey misleading conclusions.
      Though just a teenager, Phoolan Devi had been victimized by the caste system her entire life, treated as either a servant or a sex object.
      The national Justice Department survey found that nearly as many inmates were victimized by prison staff as by fellow inmates.
      To reduce the chances that you may be victimized by fraudulent online auction or retail sales schemes, here are two basic tips...