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      op`ti`mum
      'ɔptiməm
      adj best or most suitable within a range of possibilities
      -
      You're right, you're right. This is about your positions. Now, what I saw in the closet is not the optimum position for conceiving a child, although it might feel good.
      You know you need your sleep in order for your cognitive processing to perform at optimum levels.
      Biologically speaking, Howard is perfectly justified in seeking out the optimum mate for the propagation of his genetic line.
      We would all like to choose the optimum time for the life changing events of our lives but that isn't the way it works.
      To check if the optimum amount of water has been added, open the bread machine lid at the start of the kneading cycle to see the dough forming.
      Compare optimistic, optimal, and optimum.
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      pam`per
      'pæmpə
      v[T] look after sb very kindly
      -
      If you pamper someone, you make them feel comfortable by doing things for them or giving them expensive or luxurious things, sometimes in a way which has a bad effect on their character.
      If you like to pamper yourself with champagne and bubble baths, you will love the divine bathrooms in the over-water bungalows.
      Every woman loves to be pampered and showered with gifts, every woman wants to look good, buy a beautiful dress, taken out for lunch or dinner, and wants to flaunt the nice things you bought for her to her friends but you sure need money to do all that.
      A pamper party (or pampering party) is a female-oriented party where each guest receives beauty and massage treatments and generally spends time indulging and pampering themselves.
      Pamper parties are usually held in the hostess's home although they are sometimes offered by spas and salons.
      Pamper parties are usually considered to be a healthy indulgence so in addition to pampering treatments, the hostess usually provides healthy snacks, fruit juices and smoothies.
      Pampers is a brand of baby products marketed by Procter & Gamble.
      Compare gratify, indulge, and pamper.
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      fore
      fɔ:
      adj towards or in the front
      -
      The fore parts of a ship, plane, or animal are the parts at the front.
      A fool always rushes to the fore.
      Economic concerns have risen to the fore.
      In the 1850's he again came to the fore in the dispute over the issue of whether church property was to be controlled by lay trustees or by the clergy, clashing with the Know-Nothing State Senator Erastus Brooks.
      Software engineers are moving to the fore in the war on cancer, designing programmes that sift genetic sequencing data at lightning speed and minimal cost to identify patterns in tumors that could lead to the next medical breakthrough.
      If someone or something comes to the fore in a particular situation or group, they become important or popular.
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      fraud`u`lent
      'frɔ:dʒələnt
      adj intended to deceive people to gain money etc
      -
      The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them.
      You must not use our website in any way which is unlawful, illegal, fraudulent or harmful, or in connection with any unlawful, illegal, fraudulent or harmful purpose or activity.
      Any fraudulent, abusive or otherwise illegal activity may also be grounds for termination of your account, at our sole discretion, and you may be reported to appropriate law-enforcement agencies.
      Some of the bigwigs of the fraudulent MLM racket are also accused of taking sexual advantage from the female members with various types of false promises.
      Compare big, bigwig, fat cat, VIP, and wig.
      ICG reserves the right to refuse awarding any prize to a person who is determined to have violated an ICG rule as outlined above, gained unfair advantage in participating in the promotion, or obtained a winner status using fraudulent means.
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      blight
      blait
      n[sU] a serious disease affecting plants ¶ sth that damages or spoils sth else
      v[T] spoil or damage
      -
      Blight refers to a specific symptom affecting plants in response to infection by a pathogenic organism.
      It is simply a rapid and complete chlorosis, browning, then death of plant tissues such as leaves, branches, twigs, or floral organs.
      Accordingly, many diseases that primarily exhibit this symptom are called blights.
      The Great Famine was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration in Ireland between 1845 and 1852.
      During the famine approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland, causing the island's population to fall by between 20% and 25%.
      The proximate cause of famine was a potato disease commonly known as potato blight, which ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s.
      The conduct of FMG is a blight on the history of relations between corporate and Aboriginal Australia.
      The plight of the large, growing underclass is a blight on our country.
      The satellite record has been blighted by the failure of a sensor.
      The south of Somalia has been blighted by the factional infighting which in turn has helped cause widespread lawlessness and poverty.
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      in`ces`sant
      in'sesənt
      adj continuing without stopping
      -
      Ok, well, alright, who-who thinks the food is fine, the music was fine, but your evening was ruined by this incessant poll taking?
      His incessant whining would most certainly spoil everyone else's day.
      "Isn't that terrific? He is such a good friend. You know what the best thing about friends is?" "They don't talk incessantly for no particular reason?"
      This passage means that, if one does not believe in the Lotus Sutra but instead turns against it, one will immediately destroy the seeds for attaining Buddhahood in this world. After death, one will fall into the hell of incessant suffering.
      We write this report amid the sounds of incessant bombings, which have continued all day yesterday and throughout the night.
      Compare ceaseless, constant, continual, endless, incessant, infinite, nonstop, perpetual, and uninterrupted.
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      ut`ter`ance
      'ʌtərəns
      n[C] sth you say, or the action of saying sth
      -
      Terror is expressed by many kinds of monkeys by the utterance of shrill screams.
      Why is every utterance of the Pope considered to be worthy of worldwide attention and respect?
      But I still hesitate and feel awkward at the utterance of that phrase, no matter how well-meaning the intent.
      These absurd expressions sometimes have an original meaning. "Diddle-diddle," for example, means to make music without the utterance of words.
      After finishing the utterance, close the lips gently, with the tip of the tongue touching the palate.
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      lab`y`rinth
      'læbərinθ
      n[C] maze ¶ a system or process that has a lot of very complicated details
      -
      In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos.
      In colloquial English, labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze, but many contemporary scholars observe a distinction between the two:
      Maze refers to a complex branching (multicursal) puzzle with choices of path and direction.
      A single-path (unicursal) labyrinth has only a single path to the center.
      A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not difficult to navigate.
      Along the way he discovers a labyrinth of cover-ups and a conspiracy fuelled by dirty money, blackmail and deadly ambition.
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      jade
      dʒeid
      n[U] an ornamental rock
      -
      Chinese Jade refers to the jade mined or carved in China from the Neolithic onward.
      Although deep and bright green jadeite is better known in Europe, for most of China's history, jade has come in a variety of colors and white "mutton-fat" (羊脂) nephrite was the most highly praised and prized.
      Most Chinese jade today is extracted from the northwestern province of Xinjiang.
      By the Han dynasty, the royal family and prominent lords were buried entirely ensheathed in jade burial suits sewn in gold thread, on the idea that it would preserve the body and the souls attached to it.
      Jadeite, for instance, was first known as 翡翠 (feicui, "kingfisher jade").
      The jade radical appears in other words to denote "precious" or "treasured": the simplified characters 宝 and 宝宝 are "treasure" and "baby", respectively.
      A Chinese radical (Chinese: 部首; literally: "section header") is a graphical component of a Chinese character under which the character is traditionally listed in a Chinese dictionary.
      Master Shifu, a red panda, Oogway's student, the trainer and master of Po and the Furious Five, as well as Tai Lung, is a martial expert of the Jade Palace.
      Compare emerald, jade, granite, and marble.
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      gnaw
      nɔ:
      v[IT] chew
      -
      If people or animals gnaw something or gnaw at it, they bite it repeatedly.
      The puppy was gnawing on a bone.
      When he had reached a point of such hunger that he was ready to gnaw on a table leg.
      Rats and mice are well known to gnaw on cables causing short circuits, pipes causing floods, and eating our food causing health risks.
      Babies like to gnaw hard objects when they're teething.
      If a feeling or thought gnaws at you, it causes you to keep worrying.
      The feeling that I've forgotten something has been gnawing at me all day.
      Yet a gnawing feeling lurked in the corner of Ben's mind.
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      re`fute
      ri'fju:t
      v[T] deny or rebut
      -
      If you refute an argument, accusation, or theory, you prove that it is wrong or untrue.
      If you refute an argument or accusation, you say that it is not true.
      Women, huh? Can't live with them, can't successfully refute their hypotheses.
      No. The problem is, she laid out a series of logical arguments that I couldn't refute.
      Doug Cotton is talking complete rubbish totally refuted by the evidence.
      He also refuted claims that an overseas company is being allowed to exploit Australian waters.
      Compare disprove and refute.
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      land`slide
      'lændslaid
      n[C] a geological phenomenon that includes a wide range of ground movements ¶ the winning of an election with an extremely large number of votes
      -
      A landslide, also known as a landslip, is a geological phenomenon that includes a wide range of ground movements, such as rockfalls, deep failure of slopes and shallow debris flows.
      Although the action of gravity is the primary driving force for a landslide to occur, there are other contributing factors affecting the original slope stability.
      Typically, pre-conditional factors build up specific sub-surface conditions that make the area/slope prone to failure, whereas the actual landslide often requires a trigger before being released.
      The big earthquake of 1906 set off dozens of large landslides in the Santa Cruz Mountains, some of which claimed human lives.
      The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains.
      The mine experienced a massive landslide in April 2013 and a smaller slide in September 2013.
      It was a landslide victory for the PNP led by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson.
      Obama enjoyed a landslide victory over Romney.
      When the Labour Party won a landslide victory in the 1945 General Election, the new prime-minister, Clement Attlee appointed Bevin as his Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
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      de`tour
      'di:tuə
      n[C] a way of going from one place to another that is not the shortest or usual way ¶ diversion route
      v[IT] make a ~
      -
      If you make a detour on a journey,you go by a route which is not the shortest way,because you want to avoid something such as a traffic jam,or because there is something you want to do on the way.
      We had to make a detour round the floods.
      We took a detour to avoid the town center.
      We had to detour roadworks.
      A detour or diversion route is a route around a planned area of prohibited or reduced access, such as a construction site.
      On multi-lane highways (e.g. freeways, expressways, city streets, etc.), usually traffic shifts can be utilized in lieu of a detour as turn lanes can often be congested with detours.
      When controlled-access highways undergo reconstruction, both sides are often reduced to one lane.
      In some cases, traffic may be shifted onto one half, making it a temporary two-lane freeway corridor.
      Other cases include treating the street as a temporary one-way street in areas in which several nearby parallel streets are available as a detour for the opposing side.
      I make a detour to chuck another log into the fire and I wonder of the last of the zucchinis will be ruined by the frost tomorrow.
      We took a detour to Eugene to visit the kind folks.
      Yesterday Jasper took us on a detour from our usual route through the bush to a large open area.
      So off we go, taking a detour through the Flinders Ranges and taking the scenic route around Wilpena Pound.
      On a trip to Richmond we detoured to Sorell so I could visit the cemetery there again.
      Compare detour, diversion, and shortcut.
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      chief`ly
      'tʃi:fli
      adv maily
      -
      On Tuesday, Microsoft was overtaken by IBM in market value for the first time in 15 years, chiefly because of its static shares. Apple roared past it last year to become the world's most valuable tech company.
      He spent more than a year in Europe, chiefly in Paris.
      Developed countries, chiefly the U.S., are using the power of their monopoly Internet companies and other kinds of strategic advantages to shape the Internet as per their narrow interests - economic, political, security and cultural.
      Our skin plays a particular role in regulating heat loss, chiefly by the control of perspiration (our own evaporative cooling) and blood flow to the skin.
      Compare chiefly, completely, entirely, mainly, mostly, primarily, totally, and wholly.
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      in`verse
      in'və:s
      adj reversed in order, nature, or effect
      n[C] the complete opposite of sth
      -
      If there is an inverse relationship between two things, one of them becomes larger as the other becomes smaller.
      It can also be observed that there is an inverse relationship between the number of homicides by rifles and those by handguns.
      Extinction rate is calculated as the inverse of the longevity.
      There is often an inverse relationship between the power of the tool and how easy it is to use.
      There are great people here both men and women, and the inverse is also true, inevitably there are bad men and women too.
      There is an inverse correlation between religious faith and education levels in nations.
      In mathematics, the additive inverse of a number a is the number that, when added to a, yields zero.
      In mathematics, a multiplicative inverse or reciprocal for a number x, denoted by 1/x, is a number which when multiplied by x yields the multiplicative identity, 1.
      In mathematics, an inverse function is a function that "reverses" another function: if the function f applied to an input x gives a result of y, then applying its inverse function g to y gives the result x, and vice versa. i.e., f(x) = y if and only if g(y) = x.
      A function f that has an inverse is said to be invertible.
      In mathematics, the inverse trigonometric functions are the inverse functions of the trigonometric functions (with suitably restricted domains). Specifically, they are the inverses of the sine, cosine, tangent, cotangent, secant, and cosecant functions.
      Compare denominator, inverse, numerator, quotient, and remainder.
      In physics, an inverse-square law is any physical law stating that a specified physical quantity or intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of that physical quantity.
      The density of flux lines is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source because the surface area of a sphere increases with the square of the radius.
      Gamma correction is the practice of applying the inverse of the monitor transformation to the image pixels before they're displayed.
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      sol`ace
      'sɔlis
      n[U] comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or distress
      -
      I can only hope you take solace in the fact that you've been better than many expected in your first six games.
      When Claire, his wife, companion and soulmate of 55 years, died in 2010, Des said he had made her a promise: that he would return to the studio. He kept that promise. In the depths of grief I expected him to find solace in the cold, unemotional mathematics of the geometry that featured so strongly in his early abstract work.
      I do find solace in the fact that the next time I see a Muslim holding his Qur'an aloft as evidence of Allah's blueprint for humanity, I can ask him one simple question, the same question historians are now asking, "Where, indeed is the evidence for that which they believe?"
      One day when you are grey and old, you will realise you made a mistake. you will seek solace in your money (if you still have any), in your medals (if you have any), but you will always know deep down, you made the wrong choice.
      Like most people fighting depression, it was the solace of his family which helped most.
      Craig was a credible man of action in Casino Royale, and its follow-up, Quantum Of Solace, has even more action.
      Quantum of Solace is the 22nd James Bond film. In the film, Bond seeks revenge for the death of his lover, Vesper Lynd, and is assisted by Camille Montes, who is plotting revenge for the murder of her family.
      Compare consolation and solace.
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      re`pel
      ri'pel
      v[IT] drive, push or keep sth away ¶ make sb feel horror or disgust
      -
      If one thing repels another, an electrical or magnetic force pushes them away from each other.
      Similar poles of magnets repel each other, and opposite poles attract.
      Generally, self-defence applies when people use only as much force as is reasonably necessary in the circumstances in order to protect themselves against an assault.
      That means that if someone has attacked you, you can use force to repel the attack, but you can't use any more force than is necessary to repel the attack.
      When an army repels an attack, they successfully fight and drive back soldiers from another army who have attacked them.
      If something repels you, it is so unpleasant that you do not want to be near it, or it makes you feel ill.
      The smell of tuna repelled Rachel.
      Skin So Soft (an Avon cosmetic product) is also said to repel mosquitoes (=keep away).
      What is it about me? Do I not look fun enough? Is there something repellant about me?
      You know he could've gotten me a VCR, he could've gotten me a set of golf clubs, but no, he has to get me the woman repeller, the eyesore from the Liberace house of crap.
      I have to do something to repel this woman! Wait a minute, you guys repel women all the time.
      Look, we do not repel women, OK? That is completely untrue.
      I see what happened. It's because I was trying to repel you. Right? Believe me, you'd feel a lot different if I turned it on.
      Joey has been trying to repel Janine and sees it's not working to his liking so he's confronting her about the sexual tension.
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      flair
      fleə
      n[U] an attractive, skillful, or interesting way of doing sth, talent ¶ distinctive elegance or style
      -
      Blair was a fine storyteller with a flair for rendering ancient tales relevant and appealing to modern audiences.
      The author certainly has a flair for conveying information effectively and efficiently.
      Last year Tonga's rugby players impressed World Cup audiences with their skills and flair.
      He lacks the style and panache of Eric Cantona, the flair and power of Cristiano Ronaldo, or the flawless technique of Paul Scholes.
      "I've seen old pictures of you. You were never a fat kid." "No, I was svelte as a gazelle. A gazelle blessed with a flair for storytelling."
      Compare flair, flare, glare, and stare.
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      trough
      trɔf
      n[C] a long narrow open container that holds water or food for animals ¶ ≠peak
      -
      A manger, or trough, is a feeder that is made of carved stone, wood, or metal construction and is used to hold food for animals (as in a stable).
      A manger is also a Christian symbol, associated with nativity scenes where Mary, forced by necessity to stay in a stable instead of an inn, used a manger as a makeshift bed for the baby Jesus.
      That night, Jesus was born. There was no crib, so they laid baby Jesus in a manger, a feeding trough for animals.
      A watering trough (or artificial watering point) is a man-made or natural receptacle intended to provide drinking water to animals, livestock on farms or ranches or wild animals.
      If people have their noses in the trough, they are involved in something which they hope will get them a lot of money or political power.
      A crest is a point on the wave where the displacement of the medium is at a maximum. A trough is the opposite of a crest, so the minimum or lowest point in a cycle.
      In geology, a trough generally refers to a linear structural depression that extends laterally over a distance, while being less steep than a trench.
      The Trough is a 6-mile long wooded gorge carved by the South Branch Potomac River (SBPR) and situated in the Allegheny Mountains of Hampshire and Hardy Counties, West Virginia, USA.
      A trough is an elongated region of relatively low atmospheric pressure, often associated with fronts.
      A trough of low pressure over hilly areas will bring heavy thunderstorms overnight.
      In economics, a trough is a low turning point or a local minimum of a business cycle.
      Inflation fell to a trough of 3.3%.
      The stock market fell by 48% from peak to trough.
      Investing small amounts regularly is a good way of smoothing out the peaks and troughs of the stock market.
      Compare although, borough, bough, breakthrough, cough, dough, enough, plough, rough, thorough, though, through, tough, and trough.
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      en`croach
      in'krəutʃ
      v[I] cover more land gradually ¶ take another's possessions or rights gradually or stealthily
      -
      What do you think Ricky over here would do if an interloper encroached on his territory?
      We and other defenders of internet freedom will be at the ITU meeting but the authoritarians will be there in force too. They want to encroach on the territory of the free.
      You could see his hackles rise every time, especially if Morrison tried to encroach on foreign affairs.
      How will you prevent the urban decay prevalent in other projects from encroaching on the Green Park project?
      The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and Jewish religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives.
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      bla`tant
      'bleitənt
      adj describing sth bad that is done in an open or very obvious way
      -
      This is flatly counterfactual. A blatant lie.
      They must think we were born yesterday; it is a blatant lie.
      The effort was "a blatant attempt to bamboozle Michiganders into protecting the selfish interests of a single family."
      It's a blatant attempt to divert attention away from the real problems.
      The colonial settlements in the Occupied Territories are a blatant violation of international law and specifically of the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949.
      Do you think we do not notice you are removing all agencies who monitor pollution of our land, sea and air, muzzling scientists and the press and showing a blatant disregard for MP's of the Opposition Parties in Parliament?
      MP is the abbreviation of Member of Parliament (compare acronym).
      "We're full up." "We really wanna see this. Is there anything you can do?" "Sorry. Fire regulations. Should've gotten here earlier." "This is nothing but a blatant abuse of power by a petty functionary. Explain to me why Wil Wheaton and his lackeys get in and we don't." "'Cause I'm the petty functionary with the clipboard, bitch."
      Compare bald-faced, barefaced, blatant, flagrant, and unashamed.
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      seis`mic
      'saizmik
      adj caused by or relating to earthquakes ¶ very great, serious, or important
      -
      Earthquakes produce two types of seismic waves.
      If it had begun erupting, it could have signaled a tremendous increase in the seismic activity of the area.
      However, in that time we've seen a seismic shift, with competing smartphones offering quality and desirability to match and even surpass the iPhone.
      The news that the CEO would resign set off seismic waves in the business community.
      There would have to be a major change in objective circumstances and particularly a seismic shift in social relations.
      Compare cosmic, seismic, and seismology.
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      tar`nish
      'ta:niʃ
      v[IT] make or become less bright or a different color
      n[U] loss of brightness, dullness of color
      -
      If metals such as silver, copper, or brass tarnish, or if something tarnishes them, they become dull and lose their color.
      The mirror had tarnished quite badly.
      The brasswork needs polishing; it's badly tarnished.
      Gold does not tarnish easily.
      If you say that something tarnishes someone's reputation or image, you mean that it causes people to have a worse opinion of them than they would otherwise have had.
      Maybe it's Sergeant Sagittarius coming back to flirt some more! Perhaps he didn't tarnish the badge enough.
      You guys promised you'd be more careful! I mean, come on! The good Joey name is being dragged through the mud here!
      Compare blemish, sully, taint, and tarnish.
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      folk`lore
      'fəuklɔ:
      n[U] the traditional stories, customs etc of a particular area or country
      -
      Folklore (or lore) consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales, stories, tall tales, and customs included in the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group.
      In usage, there is a continuum between folklore and mythology.
      Stith Thompson made a major attempt to index the motifs of both folklore and mythology, providing an outline for classifying new motifs within which scholars can keep track of all older motifs.
      Hansel and Gretel is a fairy tale of German origin, recorded by the Brothers Grimm in 1812.
      The story of Jahangir and Anarkali is popular folklore in the former territories of the Mughal Empire.
      In addition to the folklore of the Celtic kings - which plays as important a role in Ireland as King Arthur does in England - a number of modern myths and theories have developed around the Hill of Tara.
      Welcome to the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin, home to one of the largest collections of oral and ethnological material in the world.
      The Secret of Kells is a 2009 French-Belgian-Irish animated fantasy film.
      Compare epic, folklore, legend, and lore.
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      quail
      kweil
      n[UC] small bird, similar to a partridge
      v[I] flinch or shrink
      -
      Quail eggs are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world.
      In Colombia and Venezuela, a single hard-boiled quail egg is a common topping on hot dogs and hamburgers, often fixed into place with a toothpick.
      In Vietnam, bags of boiled quail eggs are sold on street stalls as inexpensive beer snacks.
      In Indonesia, small packages of hardboiled quail eggs are often found to be sold by street vendors as snacks.
      Tom quailed. But presently the temptation rose up strong again and the boys agreed to try, with the understanding that they would take to their heels if the snoring stopped. So they went tiptoeing stealthily down, the one behind the other.
      If you take to your heels, you start running away.
      The sun had shifted round, and the myriad windows of the Ministry of Truth, with the light no longer shining on them, looked grim as the loopholes of a fortress. His heart quailed before the enormous pyramidal shape.
      Israel's leaders, now dependent on U.S. arms, quailed before American bullying - something that they did not do in 1967 - and waited for an Arab attack when they could have struck pre-emptively.
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