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      flam`boy`ant
      flæm'bɔiənt
      adj brightly colored and easily noticed ¶ showy, very confident and extravagant
      -
      But regardless, we Africans also came to London 2012. And we showed off our beautiful and flamboyant clothes. The worst dressed team has got to be Togo (多哥).
      Liberace is an American pianist and vocalist. He was noted for his virtuosity and flamboyant style.
      Tesla had his flaws. He could be flamboyant and mysterious, and at times too eager to put on a show.
      Can Vijay Mallya afford his flamboyant lifestyle?
      "Homosexuality was illegal in England at the time. It was a criminal offense," Des Keogh reminds us. "But of course Oscar Wilde was such a flamboyant character and he got away with a lot because of his genius and because of his incredible talent at writing and also because of his colourful lifestyle."
      Compare buoyant, flam, and flamboyant.
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      ab`er`ra`tion
      æbə'reiʃən
      n[CU] sth that is not normal or not what you would usually expect
      -
      "I didn't know you ate here," said Leslie. "This is a disturbing aberration," said Sheldon.
      When Newt called gay marriage a "temporary aberration," Gingrich-Jones replied, "I don't think I consider my own marriage an aberration, or that anyone who is in a relationship considers their families to be an aberration."
      Many of us in the orchestra world hoped the Cleveland/Florida debacle was an aberration.
      In optics, chromatic aberration (CA, also called achromatism, chromatic distortion, and spherochromatism) is a type of distortion in which there is a failure of a lens to focus all colors to the same convergence point.
      Chromatic aberration manifests itself as "fringes" of color along boundaries that separate dark and bright parts of the image, because each color in the optical spectrum cannot be focused at a single common point.
      Spherical aberration is an optical effect observed in an optical device (lens, mirror, etc.) that occurs due to the increased refraction of light rays when they strike a lens or a reflection of light rays when they strike a mirror near its edge, in comparison with those that strike nearer the centre.
      Compare abbreviation and ababerration.
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      pe`ri`od`i`cal
      piəri'adikəl
      n[C] a magazine or newspaper, esp on a serious subject, that is published regularly
      -
      Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a published work that appears in a new edition on a regular schedule.
      The most familiar examples are the newspaper, often published daily, or weekly; or the magazine, typically published weekly, monthly, or as a quarterly.
      Other examples are newsletters, literary magazines (literary journals), academic journals, and yearbooks.
      These examples are typically published and referenced by volume and issue.
      "Volume" typically refers to the number of years the publication has been circulated, and "Issue" refers to how many times that periodical has been published during that year.
      For example, the April 2011 publication of a monthly magazine first published in 2002 would be listed as, "Volume 9, Issue 4." (Roman numerals are sometimes used in reference to the Volume number.)
      Periodicals can be classified into two types: popular and scholarly.
      The popular periodicals are magazine and newspapers, like Ebony and Esquire.
      The scholarly periodicals are found in libraries and databases. Examples are The Journal of Psychology and the Journal of Social Work.
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      pock`et`book
      'pɔkitbuk
      n[C] notebook, wallet, handbag/purse, or money supply
      -
      If you find lodging in an apartment or hostel with cooking facilities, it would broaden your cultural horizons immensely to shop in the local markets for fresh foods you can cook on your own. It is a lifesaver on your pocketbook. My wife and I employ this tactic almost always when we travel through the country.
      President Obama and the Democrats won on pocketbook issues - people who receive government assistance voted to protect their pocketbooks.
      According to the newspaper, rising electricity prices in Victoria - resulting in a slew of management fees - are fattening the pocketbooks of energy retailers in Singapore and Hong Kong.
      As an investor in a social business, I expect my investment money to come back to me, but the real reason for my investment is to see that it benefits society, as opposed to my pocketbook.
      In the 1970s, inflation hit consumers hard in the pocketbook.
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      pi`ous
      'paiəs
      adj strongly believing in religion, and living in a way which shows this belief
      -
      Zia's frenzied attempts to be a pious and righteous Muslim.
      They were leading a very plain and pious life.
      If you describe what someone says as pious talk, words etc, you mean that they are trying to sound good or moral but you do not believe that they are sincere or will really do what they say.
      If you describe someone's words as pious, you think that their words are full of good intentions but do not lead to anything useful being done.
      Accepting his love for us should free us to love others, not in pious words but in actual deeds.
      A pious hope/wish is something that you want to be true or to happen, but that is very unlikely.
      Such statements are often no more than a pious hope.
      Compare hypocritical, pious, and sincere.
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      zig`zag
      'zigzæg
      n[C] a pattern that looks like a line of z's joined together
      also a verb
      -
      A zigzag is a pattern made up of small corners at variable angles, though constant within the zigzag, tracing a path between two parallel lines; it can be described as both jagged and fairly regular.
      From the point of view of symmetry, a regular zigzag can be generated from a simple motif like a line segment by repeated application of a glide reflection.
      Lightning and other electrical hazards are often depicted with a zigzag design, with long downward strokes and short backward ones.
      A carpenter's folding ruler is a zigzag.
      Zigzags are a basic decorative pattern used on pottery, and are often seen in the cuts which separate pieces of ravioli pasta.
      At the Children's Book Festival in March, a queue zigzagged across the forecourt of the State Library.
      Steps zigzagged up the cliff to the watchtower above.
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      mo`men`tous
      məu'mentəs
      adj very important, serious
      -
      If only I had some cake or something to celebrate this momentous occasion.
      The financial crisis of 2007-8 was a truly momentous event.
      The killing of Osama bin Laden was a momentous day for all Americans and the world, and Governor Romney congratulated the military, our intelligence agencies, and the President.
      Since there has been so much said about 2012 being a momentous year for mankind, a lot of writers of dubious repute have been churning out books, presenting their own interpretations of what could be the "end of the world".
      Right now I am facing a momentous decision.
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      head-on
      heda:n
      adj with the front end foremost
      adv with the head or front first
      -
      A head-on crash is one in which two vehicles traveling in opposite directions hit each other.
      She thought she was going to die when one of her Ugg boots became trapped under the brake pedal - causing a head-on smash.
      If two vehicles crash etc head-on, the front part of one vehicle hits the front part of the other.
      As they were approaching an on-coming truck, a car pulled out from behind it to overtake it, and the vehicles collided head-on.
      If you deal with a problem head-on, you deal with it in a very direct way.
      Once again, I chose to confront the issue head-on.
      If two people or teams meet head-on in an argument, competition etc, they compete against each other and try to win in a very determined way.
      There's every chance that taking that approach, imposing discipline, is likely to set up the teenager to resist. This is inviting a head-on confrontation.
      If you move head-first in a particular direction, your head is the part of your body that is furthest forward as you are moving.
      If you do something head-first, you become involved in it too quickly, without having time to think about it carefully.
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      sar`cas`tic
      sa:'kæstik
      adj saying things that are the opposite of what you mean
      -
      Sarcasm is when someone says something, but means something else. They mean either the opposite of what they said, or that they disagree with what they just said.
      Sarcasm is different from lying because when a person is being sarcastic, the person listening is supposed to understand that the person speaking does not mean what they just said.
      If someone says something sarcastic, it is usually said in a tone of voice that tells the person listening that they are being sarcastic.
      If the person's tone of voice is normal when they say something sarcastic, this is called "deadpan" or "dry humor".
      "Okay. Um, how about this? You know how you're always trying to learn about sarcasm?" "No." "No?" "I was being sarcastic."
      "Just to be clear here. You're asking for my assistance." "Yes." "And you understand that will involve me telling you what to do?" "I understand." "And you're not allowed to be sarcastic or snide to me while I'm doing so." "Okay." "Good. Let's begin with the premise that everything you've done up to this point is wrong."
      You can imagine the sarcastic comments this provoked.
      Don't read the title with a sarcastic tone, read it with a curious tone!
      Rude, invasive customs officers always making sarcastic remarks, and always with a "suspicious" attitude towards everyone.
      The word, "sarcasm ", comes from the Greek σαρκασμός (sarkasmos) which is taken from σαρκάζειν meaning "to tear flesh, bite the lip in rage, sneer".
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      con`strict
      kən'strikt
      v[IT] become smaller or narrower,or make sth do this ¶ limit an action or behavior
      -
      We were all taught that steroids constrict blood vessels.
      One theory is that stress hormones constrict blood vessels.
      Stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine are released by the body in situations that are interpreted as being potentially dangerous.
      Caffeine, nicotine, and other substances can constrict blood vessels and thus diminish vascular headaches.
      A little bit of coffee protects against heart disease, but in excess coffee can raise blood cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and constrict blood vessels around the heart, thereby aggravating heart conditions.
      Spencer shows how despite the increased educational opportunities from 1944 and full employment in the 1950s, female career choices were constricted by the seemingly universal opinion that woman's place would be in the home, an expectation much confirmed by a younger age of marriage and motherhood.
      Doesn't matter whether you're a man or a woman, you're going to find your life constricted by the choices you make and the responsibilities you assume.
      A boa constrictor is a large snake that is not poisonous, but kills animals by crushing them.
      Compare constrict, restrict, and strict.
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      down`fall
      'daunfɔ:l
      n[s] a sudden loss of power, status, or success ¶ thing that causes this
      -
      This would eventually lead to the downfall of the Soviet Union during President George H. W. Bush's term.
      "I'll get to it later" has led to the downfall of many a good employee.
      Pol Pot killed millions and no-one did anything because no-one wanted to violate Cambodian sovereignty. It was only when he provoked Vietnam that he met his downfall.
      I have heard many theories about what caused (or contributed to) Anne 's downfall. I am sure this 1536 miscarriage did contribute, Henry must've thought his history with Catherine was repeating itself.
      Vanity is their downfall.
      When people think of accountants, they normally think about baddies such as Enron chief financial officer Andrew Fastow and his part in its downfall.
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      lim`bo
      'limbəu
      n[U] an intermediate or uncertain state
      -
      With no way of challenging ASIO's decision, these refugees are left in limbo, unable to return home or enter Australia.
      Out-of-contract Collingwood defender Luke Rounds is in limbo after being told the club has made no decision on his future.
      These 3 transactions were all stuck in limbo because no one was willing to budge on their price in order to sell their place and let the dominos fall.
      The future of more than 160 foundry workers remains in limbo.
      In the theology of the Catholic Church, Limbo (Latin limbus, edge or boundary, referring to the "edge" of Hell) is a speculative idea about the afterlife condition of those who die in original sin without being assigned to the Hell of the Damned.
      Limbo is a traditional popular dance contest that originated on the island of Trinidad.
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      sear`ing
      'siəriŋ
      adj extremely hot
      -
      To sear something means to burn its surface with a sudden intense heat.
      I type this article on the top deck of the Khalidiya Sheraton, Abu Dhabi, in searing hot 43 degrees heat.
      It's a searing hot, humid day and you just reached the turn drenched with sweat.
      Searing is used to indicate that something such as pain or heat is very intense.
      The searing hot of these peppers seems to seep into everything.
      A searing speech or piece of writing is very powerful and critical.
      Angelina Jolie's Searing Speech Reminds the World Who Is Really to Blame for Rape
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      per`mis`si`ble
      pə'misibəl
      adj allowable
      -
      If something is permissible, it is considered to be acceptable because it does not break any laws or rules.
      When testifying, it is permissible to talk of things you observed first-hand.
      The fact that it is permissible to marry a young girl does not mean that it is permissible to have intercourse with her; rather that should not be done until she is able for it.
      It is not permissible for a Muslim man to date a non-mahram woman and go out with her.
      It is not permissible for the Muslim to swallow blood, whether it is a little or a lot.
      It is not permissible for the women to reveal the face and hands in public.
      He believes that murder is permissible in the pursuit of a higher purpose.
      The retroactive application of legislation is permissible under certain circumstances.
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      im`per`fec`tion
      impər`fekʃən
      n[CU] a fault or bad quality ¶ a small mark or damaged area
      -
      The fewer the imperfections found, the rarer and more valuable the diamond becomes.
      It can also helps in lessening the imperfection of skin which is generally caused due to aging.
      Because we can not confront the imperfection of our own bodies, and the possibility that we too can be incapacitated through pain, we treat the disabled person as fundamentally other.
      For anyone seeking sources of imperfection, may I suggest a mirror.
      What can be done is manage it to an acceptable level. Imperfection is part of nature.
      Other aesthetic elements are incompleteness, asymmetry, and imperfection.
      Gradually she began to notice one or two little imperfections in his character.
      She won't tolerate imperfection in her own or anyone else's work.
      Compare blemish, flaw, and imperfection.
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      balm
      ba:m
      n[UC] an oil with a nice smell that you rub on sore skin to make it feel better ¶ sth that gives you comfort
      -
      Lip balm or lip salve is a wax-like substance applied topically to the lips of the mouth to moisturize and relieve chapped or dry lips, angular cheilitis, stomatitis, or cold sores.
      Lip balm often contains beeswax or carnauba wax, camphor, cetyl alcohol, lanolin, paraffin, and petrolatum, among other ingredients.
      The primary purpose of lip balm is to provide an occlusive layer on the lip surface to seal moisture in lips and protect them from external exposure.
      Lip balm can be applied where a finger is used to apply it to the lips, or in a lipstick-style tube from which it can be applied directly.
      I like your idea of religion as a comfort - as a balm for the chaos of the world.
      Singing has always been a balm to her soul, a comfort in troubling times for many, many years.
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      shoal
      ʃəul
      n[C] a large number of fish swimming as a group ¶ a sandbank or reef creating shallow water, esp where it forms a hazard to shipping
      also a verb
      -
      It's like trying to predict the movements of a shoal of fish or a flock of geese.
      In the Middle Ages, shoals of sturgeon were to be found in the Thames, Seine, Po, and Ebro rivers and the upper stretches of the Danube.
      In biology, any group of fish that stay together for social reasons are shoaling, and if the group is swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner, they are schooling.
      About one quarter of fishes shoal all their lives, and about one half of fishes shoal for part of their lives.
      A shoal, sandbank, sandbar (or just bar in context), or gravelbar, is a characteristically linear landform completely within or extending into a body of water. It is typically composed of sand, silt, and/or small pebbles.
      Shoals are characteristically long and narrow (linear) and develop where a stream, river, or ocean current promotes deposition of sediment and granular material, resulting in localized shallowing (shoaling) of the water.
      Shoals can appear as a coastal landform in the sea, where they are classified as a type of ocean bank, or as fluvial landforms in rivers, streams, and lakes.
      Consequently, as the tsunami's speed diminishes as it travels into shallower water, its height grows.
      Because of this shoaling effect, a tsunami, imperceptible at sea, may grow to be several meters or more in height near the coast.
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      pol`y`es`ter
      pɔli'estə
      n[U] a type of artificial cloth
      -
      Industrial polyester fibers, yarns and ropes are used in tyre reinforcements, fabrics for conveyor belts, safety belts, coated fabrics and plastic reinforcements with high-energy absorption.
      Polyester fiber is used as cushioning and insulating material in pillows, comforters and upholstery padding.
      Polyesters are widely used as a finish on high-quality wood products such as guitars, pianos and vehicle/yacht interiors.
      Polyester fabrics can provide specific advantages over natural fabrics, such as improved wrinkle resistance, durability and high color retention.
      Polyester fibers are sometimes spun together with natural fibers to produce a cloth with blended properties.
      Polyester dryes faster than nylon and cotton.
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      up`roar
      'ʌprɔ:
      n[sU] a lot of noise or angry protest about sth
      -
      Lord Voldemort is alive and the wizard community is in an uproar.
      The universal response in the United States to the uproar over the anti-Muslim video is that the Muslim world will just have to get used to freedom of expression.
      The proposal caused an uproar in the French Cabinet of which Churchill wrote "Rarely has so generous a proposal encountered such a hostile reception."
      I really don't understand the uproar that Nintendo have copied the 360 controller.
      When iOS6 was released last week, the 'big news' was Apple's decision to drop Google Maps. In the uproar that followed, iOS6's privacy features received little fanfare, despite undergoing a major overhaul.
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      pro`cure
      prə'kjuə
      v[T] obtain sth, esp sth that is difficult to get ¶ find prostitutes for clients
      -
      Margaret and Kiloran managed to procure a guitar for me to play.
      The first step in making pemmican is to procure a moose, or other large animal.
      Eventually, I was able to procure a small boat.
      AECL emerged as the only compliant bidder in the process; however the AECL bid price exceeded the province's target. Ontario then sought to finalize a deal with the company to procure the units at an acceptable price.
      Just a few things you may need tonight. There's, uh, baby oil, condoms and, uh, a little something I procured from the school of pharmacology. They say it is to Viagra as Viagra is to a green M&M.
      Compare pimp and procurer.
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      ver`te`brate
      'və:tibrit
      n[C] a creature that has a backbone
      -
      Vertebrates represent the overwhelming majority of the phylum Chordata, with currently about 64,000 species described.
      Vertebrates include the jawless fish and the jawed vertebrates, which includes the cartilaginous fish (sharks and rays) and the bony fish.
      A bony fish clade known as the lobe-finned fishes includes the tetrapods, which are divided into amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds.
      The word vertebrate derives from the Latin word vertebratus (Pliny), meaning joint of the spine.
      All basal vertebrates breathe with gills.
      The central nervous system of vertebrates is based on a hollow nerve cord running along the length of the animal.
      Vertebrates originated about 525 million years ago during the Cambrian explosion, which saw the rise in organism diversity.
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      vac`cin`ate
      'væksineit
      v[T] protect sb/sth against a disease by injecting vaccine, immunize
      -
      There is now also a pertussis vaccine formulation available for teenagers and adults, and it is recommended that all adolescents, people planning a pregnancy or who have just had a baby, and adults who work with young children should be vaccinated against this serious disease.
      It is now recommended that all babies and adolescents be vaccinated against hepatitis B.
      I pity those who refuse to vaccinate their children - they don't know what they're doing.
      I personally know of 5 families who chose not to vaccinate their kids and all, like our daughter, lead strong, healthy and vibrant life.
      Please have your dog vaccinated against rabies.
      Have you been vaccinated against measles?
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      a`ver`sion
      ə'və:ʃən
      n[CU] hatred
      -
      If you have an aversion to someone or something, you dislike them very much.
      Sheldon has an aversion to crowds, and he doesn't like to be touched.
      They have an aversion to publishing clear rules that can be fairly enforced because they don't want to be bound by them if the rules get in the way of making money.
      Egoism is the immediate result of Avidyā. It fills us with desires and aversions, and veils the spiritual vision.
      Avidyā is commonly translated as "ignorance" or "delusion".
      It's hard to quantify risk aversion, but one survey of Canadian and U.S. executives commissioned by Deloitte in 2011 found that even though Americans were more pessimistic in their economic outlook they were more likely than their Canadian counterparts to invest in that environment.
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      in`un`date
      'inəndeit
      v[T] flood or swamp
      -
      If an area of land is inundated, it becomes covered with water.
      When the dam broke it inundated large parts of the town.
      If the river bursts its banks the fields will be inundated.
      Most major roads in Manila were inundated by knee-to-waist-deep floodwaters.
      If you say that you are inundated with things such as letters, demands, or requests, you are emphasizing that you receive so many of them that you cannot deal with them all.
      Between 1980 and 1983, the Star Wars fandom was inundated with stories speculating on how - or if - Han Solo might be thawed out of the carbonite in which he'd ended The Empire Strikes Back.
      There is a threat at this day and age by the NPP to inundate the four bread basket regions of Ghana with genetically modified crops.
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      stren`u`ous
      'strenjuəs
      adj requiring great effort, or making great efforts
      -
      As an individual gets older, he starts to lose his ability to perform strenuous activities such as running or swimming.
      As with any sport involving strenuous exercise, older participants should see their physician before beginning.
      Throwing your back out (hurting your back) could be pulling a muscle due to strenuous activity.
      Always stretch before any strenuous physical activity.
      I've been making a strenuous effort to lose weight.
      Umbrella Rock, a rock formation that provides a natural umbrella, is a 45 minute hike through beautiful forest. A more strenuous hike, we recommend the hike to Umbrella Rock to be done in the morning or late afternoon.
      It's very strenuous for those kids who have never done it before.
      The job involves strenuous work and long hours.
      Today I had a very strenuous day of interviewing, exacberated by a loan officer who I perceived to be innately mendacious.
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