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      me`di`o`cre
      mi:di'əukə
      adj second rate
      -
      In a mediocre play, Joseph Tribbiana was able to achieve brilliant new levels of... continued on page 153...(turns it) sucking.
      "Hot nanny and me against the world. This is the kinda stuff great novels are made of." "Great novels?" "Fine... mediocre porn."
      I'm taking a sabbatical because I won't kowtow to mediocre minds.
      "Let me explain. You see, I'm a superior genetic mutation, an improvement on the existing mediocre stock." "And what do you mean, 'mediocre stock'?" "That would be you."
      In school, Leonard had done mediocre work.
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      proc`la`ma`tion
      prɔklə'meiʃən
      n[CU] an official announcement, or the act of making a ~
      -
      After the proclamation of independence of the State of Israel, the armies of five Arab countries, with the support of the Arabs of Palestine under British mandate, had invaded the new State.
      Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916.
      On 15 November the Victorian government issued a proclamation of outlawry and offered rewards of 500 for each of the gang, alive or dead.
      After being driven from their ancestral lands in present-day Nova Scotia and southern New Brunswick, Acadians, both those who escaped the expulsion and those who came back later from their exile, set out to find a new place to stay after the Royal Proclamation of 1764.
      He made a proclamation that a soldier who brought a live captive would be rewarded with two silver tankahs and one who brought the head of a dead one would get one silver tankah.
      Three days later, Lincoln issued a proclamation that an insurrection existed, and he called out 75,000 men to put it down.
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      clinch
      klintʃ
      v[IT] fix (a nail or rivet) firmly in place by hammering sideways the end that sticks out ¶ finally agree on sth or get sth after trying very hard
      n[C] the position of two people who are holding each other tightly, when fighting or showing affection
      -
      But it was the state of Ohio that clinched the race for the President.
      Connor Barth kicked two field goals for Tampa Bay, including a 45-yarder that clinched the game.
      I recently exchanged my gas-guzzler for a venerable VW Golf, and the thing that clinched the deal was that the Golf had a dual CD/cassette player.
      If an event, situation, process etc clinches it, it makes someone finally decide to do something that they were already thinking of doing.
      If you nail something, you succeed in getting it, after a lot of time or effort.
      If two people clinch, they hold each other's arms tightly.
      "Top of the morning to you. You've reached Maggie McGeary. Leave a message after the wee little beep." "It's pretty convincing, huh? And here is the clincher. A lock of Maggie's flaming auburn hair." "Where did you get that?" "From an orangutan in the primate lab."
      Guess who caught Ross and Rachel in a clinch?
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      o`blit`er`ate
      ə'blitəreit
      v[T] remove all signs of sth, either by destroying or covering it completely
      -
      But Tony said the mining industry would be obliterated by the tax.
      Otherwise she would have travelled back in time a few seconds, met her younger self, and been obliterated by the energy discharge.
      Meanwhile, the wealth of African-American families has been virtually obliterated by the latest financial crisis.
      These three children stand surrounded by the debris of their former home, a few hours after it was reportedly obliterated by a Hellfire missile fired from a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) drone in the early hours of August 23 2010.
      If a nuclear war breaks out all living things will be obliterated from the face of the earth.
      The view was obliterated by the fog.
      Nothing could obliterate the memory of those tragic events.
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      swerve
      swə:v
      v[I] change direction suddenly
      -
      She hangs up, closes her phone, turns around and puts it in her bag which is in the back of the car. While doing this and not looking at the road, she turns the steering wheel by accident, which makes the car swerve.
      It seems Susie dashed out onto Route 44, and a driver swerved to avoid her and thought he had, so he kept going.
      In mid-September he was a passenger in a car that swerved off the road to avoid a deer.
      I drove us back, gripping the wheel, white-knuckled and cursing as I skidded and swerved through the slush.
      Politicians often swerve from policy and principle.
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      ad`mi`ra`ble
      'ædmərəbəl
      adj deserving to be admired or respected
      -
      The two achievements are equally surprising and equally admirable.
      "We're not quitting on Leonard." "I understand. And your loyalty is admirable."
      "Amy, I was very impressed to see that Bernadette got her PhD." "It's indeed admirable. Although, it is microbiology."
      A catch is someone that is worth having, especially an attractive or admirable marital partner.
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      do`min`ion
      də'minjən
      n[U] control or authority
      n[C] an area that is ruled by a person or government ¶ the power or right to rule people or control sth
      -
      Adam was given dominion over the animals and He was given the right to name them.
      God came down from heaven in the person of Jesus Christ to die on the cross to deliver us from the dominion of darkness.
      Dominions were semi-independent polities that were nominally under the Crown, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the later part of the 19th century.
      They have included Canada, Australia, Pakistan, India, Malta, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State.
      The Balfour Declaration of 1926 recognised the Dominions as "autonomous Communities within the British Empire" and, in the decades afterward, the dominions each became fully sovereign from the United Kingdom.
      Compare dominion and realm.
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      con`vent
      'kɔnvənt
      n[C] a place where nuns live
      -
      A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers/sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion.
      The terms "convent" or "nunnery" almost invariably refers to a community of women in modern English usage, while "monastery", "priory" or "friary" is used for men; but in historical usage they are often interchangeable.
      After her time at Saint Thomas More had ended, she was transferred to a convent in Michigan where she cares for the elderly nuns in residence.
      A former nun leaves the convent to become a governess for the seven children of a wealthy, Austrian widower who has grown into a cold disciplinarian.
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      splen`dor
      'splendə
      n[CU] the impressive beauty of sth, brilliance
      -
      We marvelled at the splendor of the scenery.
      Enjoy a flavour of palatial living in Bangalore, bask in the splendor of the Maldives, do business in style in Washington DC or sample the delights of a traditional British afternoon tea.
      Popularly known as the "Hill Capital of Sri Lanka", Kandy is an epitome of splendor and magnificence, oozing out the legends, traditions, and folklore of the Sri Lankan kings.
      We took our starting photo at the base of the pyramids and then stopped at the Sphinx to admire its splendor.
      The palace rose up before Jasmine and Aladdin in all its splendor.
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      ex`trav`a`gant
      ik'strævəgənt
      adj using or spending too much ¶ extreme, unusual, or unreasonable
      -
      "How much did you pay for that?" "Well, it was a little extravagant, but I got a pretty good deal."
      "They were $30, I think. They were not extravagant," she recalls.
      Michael, you work in the pit of despair, to fund the extravagant lifestyle of wife and three daughters.
      I don't live an extravagant lifestyle. It's an everyday thing for me to carry tea bags in my backpack, skip lunch, wear shoes that I've had for two years, and buy clothes at the Salvation Army.
      Cut to Joey watching TV in the corner. He makes an extravagant gesture of disappointment.
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      gen`try
      'dʒentri
      n[pl] people who belong to a high social class
      -
      Gentry are "well-born, genteel and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past.
      Gentry, in its widest connotation, refers to people of good social position connected to landed estates, upper levels of the clergy, and "gentle" families of long descent who never obtained the official right to bear a coat of arms.
      In the United Kingdom, the term often refers to the social class of the landed aristocracy or to the minor aristocracy whose income derives from their large landholdings.
      Landed gentry is a largely historical privileged British social class, consisting of land owners who could live entirely off rental income.
      Compare aristocracy, gentry, and nobility.
      If you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you were born into a rich family.
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      sym`me`try
      'simitri
      n[sU] the fact that sth has two halves that are exactly the same ¶ the quality of being similar or of balancing each other
      -
      Symmetry (from Greek συμμετρία symmetria "agreement in dimensions, due proportion, arrangement") in everyday language refers to a sense of harmonious and beautiful proportion and balance.
      In mathematics, "symmetry" has a more precise definition, that an object is invariant to a transformation, such as reflection but including other transforms too.
      Although these two meanings of "symmetry" can sometimes be told apart, they are related, so they are here discussed together.
      This article describes symmetry from three perspectives: in mathematics, including geometry, the most familiar type of symmetry for many people; in science and nature; and in the arts, covering architecture, art and music.
      The opposite of symmetry is asymmetry.
      She certainly has the symmetry and low body fat that western culture deems desirable.
      Did you enjoy the humorous footnote where I illustrate mirror symmetry by likening it to the Flash playing tennis with himself?
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      spade
      speid
      n[C] a digging tool or a playing card
      -
      A spade is a tool primarily for digging or removing earth and spreading soil.
      With a metal tip, a spade can both break and move the earth in most situations, increasing efficiency.
      People typically use the term shovel interchangeably with spade—but, strictly speaking, shovels generally are broad-bottomed tools for moving loose materials, whereas spades tend to have a flat bottom edge for digging.
      The most common spade is a garden spade, which typically has a long handle, is wide, and is treaded (has rests for the feet to drive the spade into the ground).
      In gardening, a spade is a hand tool used to dig or loosen ground, or to break up lumps in the soil.
      A small, narrow one-hand shovel for gardening is called a transplanter.
      Small and/or plastic toy versions of the same tool are used to dig sand castles on a beach or in a sand-box.
      The kids took their buckets and spades to the beach.
      There was a garden spade in the shed.
      Lynette Scavo's kids are digging a trench in the lawn with spades.
      The four French playing cards suits used primarily in the English-speaking world: spades (♠), hearts (♥), diamonds (♦) and clubs (♣).
      We could now move the Jack of Clubs onto the Queen of Spades.
      They had financial trouble in spades (=to a great degree).
      If you say that someone calls a spade a spade, you mean that they speak clearly and directly about things, even embarrassing or unpleasant things.
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      hu`mid
      'hju:mid
      adj containing or characterized by a high amount of water or water vapor
      -
      New York is very hot and humid in the summer.
      Tokyo is extremely humid in mid-summer.
      Sound travels faster in humid air than dry air.
      I can tell books that have come from humid places - these have a musty richness in the scent of their pages.
      Weather that is sultry is hot with air that feels wet.
      A stuffy room is too warm and has an unpleasant smell because there is no fresh air in it.
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      math`e`ma`ti`cian
      mæθimə'tiʃən
      n[C] sb who studies or teaches mathematics
      -
      A mathematician is a person with extensive knowledge of mathematics who uses this knowledge in their work, typically to solve mathematical problems.
      Mathematics is concerned with numbers, data, quantity, structure, space, models and change.
      Mathematicians usually cover a breadth of topics within mathematics in their undergraduate education, and then proceed to specialize in topics of their own choice at the graduate-level.
      Mathematicians involved with solving problems with applications in real life are called applied mathematicians.
      Leonhard Euler was a pioneering Swiss mathematician and physicist.
      Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz was a German polymath and philosopher.
      Sir Isaac Newton PRS MP was an English physicist and mathematician.
      The President of the Royal Society (PRS) is the elected director of the Royal Society of London who presides over meetings of the society's council.
      A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the voters to a parliament.
      Archimedes of Syracuse was an Ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer.
      Euclid, sometimes called Euclid of Alexandria to distinguish him from Euclid of Megara, was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "Father of Geometry".
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      where`a`bouts
      weərə'bauts
      n[pl] the place or area where sb/sth is
      adv used to ask in what general area sb/sth is
      -
      Whereabouts in London are you from?
      Whereabouts in Paris do you live?
      Whereabouts is your office?
      The present whereabouts of the painting is unknown.
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      ket`tle
      'ketl
      n[C] a vessel for heating water ¶ a large pot
      -
      A kettle, sometimes called a tea kettle or teakettle, is a type of pot, typically metal, specialized for boiling water, with a lid, spout and handle, or a small kitchen appliance of similar shape that functions in a self-contained manner.
      Kettles can be heated either by placing on a stove, or by their own internal electric heating element in the appliance versions.
      In the latter part of the 19th century, electric kettles were introduced as an alternative to stove top kettles.
      A stovetop kettle is a roughly pitcher-shaped metal vessel used to heat water on a stovetop or hob.
      A fish kettle is a kind of large, oval-shaped kettle used for cooking whole fish.
      Owing to their necessarily unwieldy size, fish kettles usually have racks and handles, and notably tight-fitting lids.
      If you say that something is a different kettle of fish, you mean that it is very different from another related thing that you are talking about.
      She enjoys public speaking but being on TV is a different kettle of fish.
      "The pot calling the kettle black" is used humorously to say that you should not criticize someone for something, because you have done the same thing or have the same fault.
      Susan filled the kettle and put it on.
      She made herself a sandwich while she waited for the kettle to boil.
      The kettle started to sing.
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      pang
      pæŋ
      n[C] a sudden feeling of pain, sadness etc
      -
      A pang of guilt struck her suddenly as she realised the extent of her manipulation.
      I've never felt a pang of regret.
      A pang of jealousy woke in him, but he let it go as quickly as it came.
      I felt a little pang of sadness that she lies there so unloved.
      My husband sleeps like the dead. He can be in bed for five minutes and then I hear snoring. I feel a pang of envy coming on!
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      scoff
      skɔf
      v[IT] make fun of ¶ eat greedily
      -
      They scoffed at Rachel's hat, not realizing how stylish it was.
      As for you folks who scoff at the his story, shame on you.
      It's easy to scoff when you haven't tried it yourself.
      Joey scoffed three hamburgers and a large order of fries.
      Rachel's trifle was so good that Ross scoffed the lot (the whole of an amount or number of things, people etc).
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      ex`pend
      ik'spend
      v[T] use or spend a lot of energy etc in order to do sth
      -
      Within the space, kids 18 months to 8 years old expend energy and let their imaginations spill into reality as they crawl through the equipment's twists and turns and soar down its slides.
      A moderately active person with a BMR of 1,500 would expend 2,325 calories simply to maintain current weight based on activity.
      Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the minimal rate of energy expenditure per unit time by warm-blooded animals at rest.
      She expended an enormous amount for skin creams.
      Sheldon expended a lot of time in the preparation of his speech.
      There is no point in expending any more money on Penny's car.
      Compare expend, expenditure, and expense.
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      muz`zle
      'mʌzəl
      n[C] snort ¶ sth placed an animal's snort to prevent it biting ¶ open end of a gun
      v[T] put a ~ on an animal ¶ gag
      -
      The muzzle of an animal such as a dog is its nose and mouth.
      A muzzle is a device that is placed over the snout of an animal to keep it from biting or otherwise opening its mouth.
      Muzzles can be primarily solid, with air holes to allow the animal to breathe, or formed from a set of straps that provides better air circulation and allow the animal to drink, and in some cases, eat.
      The muzzle of a firearm is the end of the barrel from which the projectile will exit.
      Precise machining of the muzzle is crucial to accuracy, because it is the last point of contact between the barrel and the projectile.
      If gaps exist between the muzzle and the projectile, escaping propellant gases may spread unevenly and deflect the projectile from its intended path.
      A muzzle-loading rifle is a gun in which the projectile and propelling charge is loaded through the muzzle, in contrast to a breech loading rifle.
      Muzzle velocity is the speed a projectile has at the moment it leaves the muzzle of the gun.
      Muzzle velocities range from approximately 120 m/s to 370 m/s in black powder muskets, to more than 1,200 m/s in modern rifles.
      Dogs may need to be muzzled and kept on a short leash or in a closed container.
      The data-antagonistic Harper government has so muzzled federal scientists that an editorial in the prestigious Nature magazine demanded that it was "time for the Canadian government to set its scientists free."
      The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled, public opinion silenced, business prostrated, homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished, and the land concentrating in the hands of capitalists.
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      e`col`o`gist
      i'ka:lədʒist
      n[C] a scientist who studies ecology
      -
      Ecology is the scientific analysis and study of interactions among organisms and their environment, such as the interactions organisms have with each other and with their abiotic environment.
      Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution, amount (biomass), number (population) of organisms, as well as competition between them within and among ecosystems.
      Ecosystems are composed of dynamically interacting parts including organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment.
      What do you do as an ecologist?
      "People were surprised to discover that chimpanzees make tools," said Alex Kacelnik, a behavioral ecologist at Oxford University, referring to the straws and sticks chimpanzees shape to pull termites from their nests.
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      sug`ges`tive
      sə'dʒestiv
      adj making you think of sex ¶ making you think of or remember sth ¶ giving signs or evidence of sth
      -
      Due to the observational nature of the present study's design, its conclusions are not definitive. However, they are suggestive of a protective effect of diabetes medicines on nerves.
      It is not supported by a microscopic examination, but the X-ray is very suggestive of a malignant tumor.
      Wearing a beautiful white gown, suggestive of a wedding dress, Taylor descended an elegant staircase as she began her performance.
      There can be a sense of emptiness suggestive of the transient nature of life.
      Pelvic pain is more suggestive of an infection maybe even PID (Pelvic inflammatory disease).
      A female skater reported "sexually suggestive comments, insults, propositions or threats" by coaches or instructors at different locations, including her own coach, beginning when she was 18.
      Furthermore, there was suggestive evidence that treatment with bupropion (Zyban), a smoking cessation drug, in those individuals with the genetic variant, was far less effective.
      Compare evocative, seductive, and suggestive.
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      glean
      gli:n
      v[IT] gather grain left behind by reapers ¶ find out information slowly and with difficulty
      -
      There is something to glean from this, which I picked up from a financial analysis out of a major brokerage firm.
      It will ask your permission to glean your location from GPS, then it asks your gender and email address.
      The other interesting thing I gleaned from the story in my local newspaper is that all of the agency founders are paying more attention to what's happening in the digital domain.
      If you avoid these talks, your child won't learn your values about sex, but will develop his own from what he gleans from friends and the media.
      "Can I help you?" "Yes. According to information I gleaned from Yelp, you had great success when a santeriasuzy37 brought you a pair of leather slacks stained with chicken blood. I believe I may have a similar problem. This cushion experienced a nude revenge wiggle."
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      cor`rob`o`rate
      kə'rɔbəreit
      v[T] strengthen or support with other evidence, make more certain, confirm
      -
      The estimate of 135,000 is roughly corroborated by the "Auschwitz death books."
      This hypothesis is corroborated by the recent excavations that discovered a wide spread of huts throughout the main valley along with its lateral ones.
      The fact that the victims had last been alive on the Saturday was corroborated by a witness who claimed to have seen the woman and her two children that morning.
      The prosecution yesterday called a new witness to corroborate the evidence of its main witness in the trial of the three police officers charged with the murder of two abducted men.
      I hope some sort of video will be leaked or released to corroborate the claims.
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