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      adj thin, slender ¶ weak and likely to change
      The connection between GBS and aspirin is tenuous at best since almost everyone who has flu-like symptoms will be administered or will self-administer a painkiller of some kind such as aspirin.
      I quite agree this is a tenuous link in the very shaky chain.
      As the range of information, context and users of Internet searches has grown, the relationship between the search query, search interest and user has become more tenuous.
      However, a tenuous connection or remote consequences do not suffice.
      You know, I'm in such a good mood, I'm actually finding your tenuous grasp of the English language folksy and charming today.
      n[UC] sudden noisy activity
      'Cause it's always something, you know, like with Monica's new job, or the whole Ross's birthday hoopla (boisterous, jovial commotion or excitement).
      We want candy! We want candy now! (And other general commotion sounds.)
      "Hold on. Wil and Amy had an argument?" "Yes, quite the kerfuffle (fuss, commotion).
      Luckily some of us heard the commotion, woke up, and chased them away.
      I didn't really get what all the commotion was about.
      Firefighters in a cherry picker gently edged toward the beast for fear it would strike, so it was no doubt to their great relief that the tiger causing the commotion was actually a soft toy.
      n[C] a serious book or article about a particular subject
      A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject.
      The Art of War (Chinese: 孫子兵法) is an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu, a high-ranking military general, strategist and tactician.
      It was during his convalescence that he decided to compile a treatise on the system or approach to martial arts that he was developing; he called it Jeet Kune Do.
      The Parson's Tale seems, from the evidence of its prologue, to have been intended as the final tale of Geoffrey Chaucer's poetic cycle The Canterbury Tales.
      The "tale", which is the longest of all the surviving contributions by Chaucer's pilgrims, is in fact neither a story nor a poem, but a long and unrelieved prose treatise on penance.
      A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism is a two-volume treatise on electromagnetism written by James Clerk Maxwell in 1873.
      Compare dissertation, treatise, and treaty.
      n[C] an introduction at the beginning of a book or speech ¶ an event that happens before a more important event
      also a verb
      In the preface to the French edition of the Principles of Philosophy, Descartes uses a tree as a metaphor for his holistic view of philosophy.
      The following is an excerpt from the preface of the first edition: Women excel in the art of cooking.
      The chief editor of OED3, John Simpson, has explained in his Preface to OED Online that the revisers' intention is to quote from a wider range of sources during the course of their revision, the implication being that OED3 will correct the first edition's biases in favour of male-authored over female-authored, and literary over non-literary sources, and against the eighteenth century.
      I'd like to preface this by saying I've fallen into every one of these categories before.
      Before I begin, I would like to preface this piece by first saying that I am not a dietitian or nutritionist.
      Every chapter in the book is prefaced by an excerpt from a fictional book called 'How to Be an American Housewife'.
      Each chapter of the book is prefaced with a quote from Darwin.
      v[IT] move quietly and cautiously
      also a noun
      If an animal or a person prowls around, they move around quietly, for example when they are hunting.
      If an animal is on the prowl, it is hunting.
      If a person is on the prowl, they are hunting for something such as a sexual partner or a business deal.
      What's that noise? Is it a thief prowling in the grounds of the house?
      Calm down, Helen, it's just wild animals prowling in the forest.
      Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.
      Fluffy Meowington is on the prowl near the fish bowl.
      There have been reports of a creep prowling in the neighborhood, yelling "Hot girl! Hot girl!".
      The mind is like a junkie - on the prowl for its next hit of peacefulness by looking to satisfy a desire.
      n[U] quiet, serious thinking about sth
      Contemplation means "to admire something and think about it."
      In a religious sense, contemplation is usually a type of prayer or meditation.
      Contemplation was an important part of the philosophy of Plato; Plato thought that through contemplation the soul may ascend to knowledge of the Form of the Good or other divine Forms.
      In Islamic tradition, it is said that Muhammad, would go into the desert, climb a mountain known as Mount Hira, and seclude himself from the world. While on the mountain, he would contemplate life and its meaning.
      And I appreciate your effort, but upon contemplation, I decided I was being selfish. So, I cancelled our dinner reservations and came up with an even better way to celebrate Valentine's Day.
      adj forming or capable of forming
      He grew up in Mumbai and spent most of his formative years there.
      When we walk into our potential home, we try to picture where the Christmas tree would go, or whether the fireplace is wide enough to pose in front of for a family portrait, or whether a teenage daughter would be able to survive the fall when sneaking out of a second-storey bedroom in the middle of the night.
      But when you look out the kitchen window at the home where one of Canada's most infamous serial killers spent his formative years, it can really trash a fantasy.
      Then came the 1920s, a decade of building upon the formative years that had brought into being the third most populous province in the Dominion.
      It looks at the formative years of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, when he was just a junior hacker working away on a Commodore 64 in his mom's basement.
      The Dublinia exhibition covers the formative period of Dublin's history from the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in 1170 to the closure of the monasteries in the 1540's.
      This experience of rural life was a formative influence.
      Consequently, the formative stage of Islam was not within the lifetime of Muhammad but evolved over a period of 300 years.
      The formative phase of the historic Bengali language movement took place in two stages.
      n[pl] a grass-like cereal plant
      While oats are suitable for human consumption as oatmeal and rolled oats, one of the most common uses is as livestock feed.
      Oats are generally considered "healthy", or a health food, being touted as nutritious.
      The established property of their cholesterol-lowering effects has led to acceptance of oats as a health food.
      Oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain, resulting in slower digestion, a feeling of satiety and suppression of appetite.
      After reports of research finding that dietary oats can help lower cholesterol, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule that allows food companies to make health claims on food labels of foods that contain soluble fiber from whole oats (oat bran, oat flour and rolled oats), noting that 3.0 grams of soluble fiber daily from these foods may reduce the risk of heart disease.
      Oats, after corn (maize), have the highest lipid content of any cereal.
      Oat protein is nearly equivalent in quality to soy protein, which World Health Organization research has shown to be equal to meat, milk and egg protein.
      The protein content of the hull-less oat kernel (groat) ranges from 12 to 24%, the highest among cereals.
      Rolled oats are traditionally oat groats that have been de-husked, steamed and then rolled into flat flakes under heavy rollers before being stabilized by being lightly toasted.
      Oatmeal, also known as white oats, is ground oat groats, or a porridge made from oats (also called oatmeal cereal or stirabout).
      Oatmeal can also be steel-cut, crushed, or rolled.
      If a man sows his wild oats, he has sex with many different women, especially when he is young.
      n[C] a temporary cessation or suspension of hostilities
      A ceasefire (or truce) is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions.
      British and German officers after arranging the German handover of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and the surrounding area, negotiated during a temporary truce, April 1945
      The Olympic Truce is a tradition originating from Ancient Greece that dates back to 778 BC in the 8th century BC.
      A Truce (Ancient Greek: ékécheiria, meaning "laying down of arms") was announced before and during the Olympic Games to ensure the host city state (Elis) was not attacked and athletes and spectators could travel safely to the Games and peacefully return to their respective countries.
      It also actively sought to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas in 2008.
      Vanessa, trust me, I've tried to call a truce. I invited Xavier and Tard Boy onto my radio show.
      n[C] a statement that is accepted as true, that forms the basis of a theory, etc
      v[T] claim or imagine that sth is true or that it exists
      An axiom or postulate is a premise or starting point of reasoning.
      As classically conceived, an axiom is a premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy.
      Axioms and postulates are the basic assumptions underlying a given body of deductive knowledge.
      At the foundation of the various sciences lay certain additional hypotheses which were accepted without proof. Such a hypothesis was termed a postulate.
      The root meaning of the word 'postulate' is to 'demand'; for instance, Euclid demands of us that we agree that some things can be done, e.g. any two points can be joined by a straight line, etc.
      The classical approach is well-illustrated by Euclid's Elements, where a list of postulates is given (common-sensical geometric facts drawn from our experience), followed by a list of "common notions" (very basic, self-evident assertions).
      Probably the oldest, and most famous, list of axioms are the 4 + 1 Euclid's postulates of plane geometry.
      Season 1, episode 5: The Hamburger Postulate; I like the hamburgers where we usually have hamburgers. You can't make the assumption that I'll like the hamburgers here.
      Well, I would postulate she's escaping into the online world to compensate for her sexual frustration.
      Simple extrapolation. In the three years that I've known you, you were single for two. During that time, I saw 17 different suitors. If we work backwards, correcting for observation bias and postulate an initial dating age of 15...
      "It's a game we invented. It's called Counterfactuals." "We postulate an alternate world that differs from ours in one key aspect and then pose questions to each other."
      In 1964, Dr. Peter Higgs, accomplished self-promoter and physicist, he wrote a paper postulating the existence of a subatomic particle called the Higgs boson.
      It was the Greek astronomer, Ptolemy, who postulated that the Earth was at the centre of the universe.
      However, the Spider-Man lyrics posit that Spider-Man does whatever a spider can.
      adj very common or strongly established in a place or situation
      Violence against women is endemic in our society. Women are often subject to brutality. The traumas of incest, rape, and other forms of physical and emotional abuse make women feel powerless in a man's world.
      In spite of the conflicting views expressed, all agree that corruption is endemic in Nigeria and drastic measures need to be implemented.
      Enright goes on to say drug taking is endemic in every real sport.
      70 animals and 700 plants are endemic to NE Queensland.
      Workplace bullying is endemic.
      Hundreds of endemic species are now endangered, mostly because their habitats have been lost.
      It's not an endemic problem - plenty of LED projects look great and show no signs of premature problems.
      In the United States this is an endemic problem because GM ingredients have been a standard norm in the diets of millions of people.
      Genetically modified foods (or GM foods) are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering.
      Compare endemic, epidemic, indigenous, native, and pandemic.
      adj prudent and thrifty in management, not wasteful or extravagant
      Economic and Economical are two words in the English language that should be used with an understanding of the difference between them.
      The word economic refers to the 'monetary' or 'financial' situation or condition of a person or a country for that matter.
      On the other hand, the word economical refers to 'the expenditure’ factor involved in the making of products or service.
      The economic condition of the country is good.
      From the above sentences, the use of the word economic gives an idea related to the monetary situation and financial status of the country.
      The word economical is mainly used to speak about something that is related to saving money.
      This engine is the best you can find. It is economical. You can travel more miles with it.
      Here, by using the word economical to describe the engine, the speaker is telling that this particular engine saves money.
      It is interesting to note that the word economical is sometimes used in reference to 'not conceding' something as in the sentence 'the bowler was very economical'.
      In a match, what matters like money is the scoring. By not giving the opposite team the opportunity to score more, the bowler has saved points for his own team. So, he was economical.
      The word economical has also been used as a good literary term for euphemism. For example, the phrase 'economical with the truth' is a popular usage of the word. This means someone is lying.
      n[U] the sport of fighting with a light thin sword
      Contemporary fencing is the modern state of the western art of combat with the small sword.
      It is also called olympic fencing, and began in Italy in the 18th century.
      Modern fencing uses three weapons, and is divided respectively into three competitive scenes: foil, sabre (spelled "saber" in the United States) and épée.
      Competitive fencing is one of five activities which have been featured in every one of the modern Olympic Games, the other four being Athletics, Cycling, Swimming, and Gymnastics.
      Wheelchair fencing is governed by the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation that is a federation of the International Paralympic Committee, and is one of the sports in the Summer Paralympic Games.
      Fences, or materials such as wire, stakes, and rails that are used to make fences, are called fencing.
      v[T] attack with bombs, shells, or missiles ¶ attack with persistent questions, abuse etc
      By morning the camper was being bombarded by clumps of wet snow falling from the branches.
      We are bombarded with environmental toxins from the air that we breathe, water that we drink and foods that we eat.
      In the last week we have been bombarded with images and news stories on the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.
      Musa Ibrahim, the Libyan government spokesman, spent another day being bombarded by questions from journalists about the precise whereabouts of Gaddafi.
      They were compelled to live under difficult conditions, while being bombarded by constant harassment, personal and tribal threats, all forms of abuses, arbitrary arrests, injustice, gross violations of human rights, etc.
      We are bombarded with advertising nearly all day, every day.
      When people are bombarded with commercials, greeting cards, and movies showing perfect families and friendships, they may start to question the quality of their own relationships.
      April Twelve, Eighteen hundred sixty one, 4:30 A.M. on Tuesday, the United States garrison at Fort Sumter was fired upon. It is now under bombardment by... (Monica answers the door)
      Bombastic language contains long words that sound important but have no real meaning.
      Of course, he got to do it on Uncle Sam's nickel, because he was also strafing German troop trains at the time.
      n[U] similarity in form or character, agreement
      In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of July 31, 2012 and July 31, 2011 and the related results of its operations and its cash flows for the year ended July 31, 2012 and the period from April 6, 2010 (inception) through July 31, 2012 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
      For Stoicism (禁欲主义), the state of being in conformity to or in harmony with nature is virtue.
      Stoics were concerned with the active relationship between cosmic determinism and human freedom, and the belief that it is virtuous to maintain a will that is in accord with nature.
      The new Airport, the first on the Chinese mainland designed and build in conformity to the hub airport mode, is now the largest, best equipped and most modernized civil air terminal in China.
      The newly updated fact sheet dispels the myths about Canada's Plant Breeders' Rights Act, and the work to bring Canada into conformity with the latest international convention.
      First, the central government will be obliged to guarantee the uniform implementation of WTO regulations across the country, which is essential for maintaining the conformity of China's foreign trade, intellectual property rights protection and foreign investment regulation with WTO regulations and China's commitment to the international society.
      The Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment, SWEDAC is a Swedish public authority, responsible to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
      n[U] a grain that is used to make food, beer, and whisky
      Barley, a member of the grass family, is a major cereal grain. It was one of the first cultivated grains and is now grown widely.
      Barley grain is a staple in Tibetan cuisine and was eaten widely by peasants in Medieval Europe.
      Barley has also been used as animal fodder, as a source of fermentable material for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods.
      Barley grains are commonly made into malt in a traditional and ancient method of preparation.
      In a 2007 ranking of cereal crops in the world, barley was fourth both in terms of quantity produced (136 million tons) and in area of cultivation (566,000 square kilometres or 219,000 square miles).
      Barley bread is a type of bread made from flour of the grain of the barley plant. In the British isles it is a bread which dates back to the Iron Age.
      Roasted barley tea is called mugicha (麦茶?) in Japanese, dàmàichá (大麦茶) or màichá (麦茶 or 麥茶) in Mandarin Chinese, and boricha (보리차) in Korean.
      Barley water is a popular traditional soft drink in Britain.
      Barley water has been used as a first baby food, before feeding with barley mush. It is also used as a home remedy for cystitis.
      Rye bread is a type of bread made with various proportions of flour from rye grain.
      v[T] make an accusation against
      The party may not use the document at the trial, except to impeach the testimony of a witness or with leave of a judge.
      Nixon resigned on Aug. 9, 1974, ahead of the House voting to impeach him with likely conviction to follow in the Senate.
      I believe congress will try to impeach Obama before Romney is inaugurated.
      In 1998, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton.
      Johnson was the first president of the United States to be impeached.
      1876 - Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat Custer at Little Big Horn River, Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates the telephone, House of Representatives impeaches Secretary of War, William Belknap for receiving bribes for sale of trading posts in Indian Territory.
      n[U] the formal rules for polite behavior in society or in a particular group ^
      Etiquette is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.
      The French word étiquette, literally signifying a tag or label, was used in a modern sense in English around 1750.
      From the 1500s through the early 1900s, children learned etiquette at school. Etiquette has changed and evolved over the years.
      It was Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield who first used the word 'etiquette' in its modern meaning, in his Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman.
      By the Victorian era, etiquette had developed into an exceptionally complicated system of rules, governing everything from the proper method for writing letters and using cutlery to the minutely regulated interactions between different classes and gender.
      James Gillray caricatured the lack of etiquette in a group of men leering at women and crowding them off a pavement.
      Compare etiquette, exquisite, and protocol.
      adj extremely savage, fierce
      John Kelly gives the reader a ferocious, pictorial account of the horrible ravages of the plague.
      He sent Lieutenant Maynard to deal with Blackbeard and, after a ferocious battle, the famous pirate was killed.
      Saint George had a ferocious battle with the dragon and then knighted it for bravery.
      The Germans decided to launch a ferocious attack on Rotterdam that would have such an impact, that the government of Holland would initiate a surrender.
      In reality, the density of killing in Cambodia was about 7 times more ferocious than in Bangladesh.
      They come in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
      n[U] a dark brownish red color
      v[T] leave sb in a place that they cannot escape from
      Maroon is a dark brownish red which takes its name from the French word marron, or chestnut.
      The Oxford English Dictionary describes it as "a brownish crimson or claret color."
      In the RGB model used to create colors on computer screens and televisions, maroon is created by turning down the brightness of pure red to about one fifth.
      In The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, the serial killer Dr Hannibal Lecter has eyes that are described as being "maroon" brown, and are noted to often appear to glow red.
      The distinctive maroon beret has been worn by airborne forces around the world since 1942.
      Maroon is the official school color of The University of Chicago.
      Whilst hiding he comes across Ben Gunn - an ex-pirate who was marooned on the island three years ago by his crew mates.
      Benjamin "Ben" Gunn is a fictional character in the Treasure Island novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson.
      Along the way, Will learns that Sparrow was the Black Pearl's captain until Barbossa led a mutiny ten years earlier and took over the ship, marooning Sparrow on an island.
      The Mysterious Island (French: L'Île mystérieuse) is a novel by Jules Verne, published in 1874.
      An early draft of the novel, initially rejected by Verne's publisher and wholly reconceived before publication, was titled Shipwrecked Family: Marooned With Uncle Robinson, seen as indicating the influence on the novel of Robinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson.
      Compare abandon, cast away, isolate, and maroon.
      adj planned or accomplished together, combined
      Overall, the areas with the greatest increases in bicycle trips have been those making a concerted effort to improve infrastructure conditions that are conducive to making cycling a viable and appealing transportation option.
      In just four short years, iOS devices - iPhone, iPad, and the iPod touch -- have become arguably the world's largest gaming platform. We're talking a quarter of a billion devices sold, the lion's share of which can run any of the tens of thousands of games on the iTunes App Store. All without a concerted effort towards gaming by Apple, which seems content to let the app developers themselves duke it out.
      A concerted campaign involving police and Council local laws officers should be immediately implemented targeting drinking, littering, urinating, vandalism and other anti-social behaviour in public places.
      A concerted campaign was launched in 2003 to raise a memorial in London to this remarkable woman, who in February 2004 was voted the Greatest Black Briton on a national internet poll.
      Back in the 80's, I remember there was a concerted attempt by government to make financial services the main driver of our economy.
      Marriage is under a concerted attack. With two same-sex "marriage" bills in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate, and a vote imminent, the future of marriage could even be decided on the very day of the Rally.
      n[U] use, purpose, advantage, or profit
      also a verb
      If something you do is to no avail or of no avail, you do not succeed in getting what you want.
      If you avail yourself of something, you use it.
      It turned out my CPU fan had just failed and the motherboard was singing a warning for CPU temp out of range. I was completely unaware of this "feature" and believed my machine had become zombied or stoned because I was killing Window process to no avail.
      I have also tried other forms of internet service to no avail.
      The UN requests and resolutions were to no avail.
      I phoned to complain, but to no avail.
      My mum, Christine and I all tried to comfort him, but to no avail.
      The program can be availed of by citizens of all countries recognized by Sri Lanka without regard for religion, race, or gender.
      This information can be availed in the form of various catalogs and vendor sites on the internet.
      adj ≠benign ¶ having a strong desire to do harm
      A tumor can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous, meaning it can spread to other parts of the body).
      Neoplasm (from Ancient Greek νεο- neo- "new" and πλάσμα plasma "formation, creation"), is an abnormal growth of tissue, and when also forming a mass is commonly referred to as a tumor or tumour.
      The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies neoplasms into four main groups: benign neoplasms, in situ neoplasms, malignant neoplasms, and neoplasms of uncertain or unknown behavior.
      Malignant neoplasms are also simply known as cancers.
      In late August we heard that Roy had been rushed to the hospital with a malignant brain tumour, leaving him without the use of his limbs.
      Such an interpretation of Chapter XIII, Verse 18 of the Apocalypse is entirely unfounded and is nothing more than a display of malignant hatred.
      The Book of Revelation, often known simply as Revelation or The Apocalypse, is a book of the New Testament that occupies a central place in Christian eschatology.
      v[T] approve of behavior that most people think is wrong
      Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner.
      Government of Canada does not condone the use of torture.
      The News will not condone personal attacks, off topic posts or brutish language on our site.
      This behaviour is immoral, unethical and should not be condoned.
      It concludes that the ad was "irresponsible and condoned dangerous driving" and thus "must not appear again in its current form".
      Compare censure, condemn, and condone.
      n[C] an environment or a setting
      The woman is Emma Sky, and she is an unlikely figure in the milieu of the generally strait-laced American military.
      It's not just the people Powers describes with vivid detail. The milieu of the Iraq war, the desolation of a desert landscape, the heat, the wind, the sand,- as well as the relationship between the occupying forces and everyday Iraqis, are clearly drawn from personal experience.
      They feel more at home in Vancouver in terms of the social milieu.
      The festival is intended as a showcase of discussion, art, film and performance which has no home in the mainstream cultural milieu.
      The common people of India is not perturbed by reports of growing corruption; he is either too indifferent or has accepted corruption as a part of the India's social and political milieu.