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      adj loud and harsh, shrill ¶ aggressive and determined
      People are put off by his strident voice.
      Fuelled by an electorate that is becoming increasingly aware of its democratic rights and an active online media, the political discourse in Malaysia has become louder and more strident in the last four years.
      The Obama camp insisted that Romney's remark showed the former Massachusetts governor was embracing "the most strident voices in his party."
      Bob has been one of Gillard's most strident critics before and after - he has written many articles decrying her.
      The history will record that the tragedy of our time is not the strident clamor of bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
      v[T] make sb nervous and confused by making them hurry or interrupting them
      also a noun
      If she's a first time mum she may be flustered and emotional.
      The Mayor looked a bit flustered by the line of questioning before inviting his former leadership rival to help provide Council with some clarity.
      Noise didn't fluster him; he could sit among a lot of men and write as calmly as if he were alone.
      The King and Queen of Fairyland are all in a fluster. Jack Frost is up to his old tricks and has kidnapped the Christmas elves. Without the elves to make the presents and decorate the trees, there won't be any Christmas this year.
      The mortar shells directed by Chao Chang-cheng exploded right among the enemy. The heavy machine-guns rat-rattled. 'Come on! Give it to them hard!' Shouts arose from the slope. The enemy scattered in a fluster, running for their lives.
      adj capable of floating ¶ happy and confident
      Mangrove tree seeds are buoyant and adapted to disperse in water.
      Archimedes reasoned that the buoyant force on an object must be equal to the weight of fluid that object displaces.
      People are buoyant in the Dead Sea.
      Cork is very buoyant.
      Salt water is more buoyant than fresh water.
      What a change in her - once buoyant, now subservient.
      The explanation for this buoyant mood in Canada goes straight to our DNA as Canadians -- the satisfaction we take in the simple pleasures of peace, order and good government.
      We have a buoyant economy, low inflation, and low unemployment.
      Buoyant prices etc tend to rise.
      There's an old deposit that was mined back in the late 60s and early 70s, when copper prices were quite buoyant.
      A buoyant economy is a successful one in which there is a lot of trade and economic activity.
      This more buoyant market will see the amount of housing wealth held by the over 55s increase by 16 per cent - to 1.65 trillion by 2017.
      n[C] sb who has extremely strong beliefs, esp religious or political beliefs, and is too eager to make other people share them
      Peddled by hard line nationalists and religious zealots , such leaflets usually repeat the canards that local Muslims are disrespecting Burmese women and insulting Buddhism.
      The violence, fueled mostly by religious zealots , reflects the tension between Muslims and the secular West that followed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
      Nigeria is home to millions and millions of religious zealots.
      The Zealots were originally a political movement in 1st century Second Temple Judaism which sought to incite the people of Judaea Province to rebel against the Roman Empire and expel it from the Holy Land by force of arms, most notably during the First Jewish–Roman War (66-70).
      Compare zealous, zealot, and zealotry.
      n[U] a layer of a dirty or unpleasant substance that forms on the surface of a liquid
      n[pl] nasty, unpleasant people
      It is like trying to remove the green scum of algae on top of a pond.
      But most say that algae - single-celled pond scum - comes closer than any other plant because it grows in wastewater, even seawater, requiring little more than sunlight and carbon dioxide to flourish.
      Soap scum is an informal term for the white solid that results from the addition of soap to hard water.
      They are so pathetic and lower than the scum of the earth that they can't win an election honestly.
      Saudi sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudayyis, imam of the principal mosque in the holiest city in Islam, Mecca, said in a sermon that Jews are "the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs."
      Compare scum and slum.
      n[UC] a request for help, esp from a god ¶ a prayer
      The pro-government newspaper Zaman reported Monday that the Erdogan government was considering the invocation of a 1998 agreement with Damascus to legitimize an armed intervention in Syria.
      Chrtien became a trusted advisor to Trudeau during the 1970 October Crisis when he encouraged the invocation of the War Measures Act and the use of Federal power to protect the stability of the country.
      On August 30, 2012, Dan Nerren, a member of the Humanist Association of Tulsa, delivered a secular invocation to open a meeting of the City Council of Tulsa.
      The hymns should reflect such themes as the invocation of the Holy Spirit, the communion of saints, hope in the Resurrection.
      v[I] (time) pass
      An oxygen cylinder should be hydrostatically tested on refilling if five years have elapsed since the previous test.
      If more than 90 days have elapsed since the date of the event, a $20.00 fee is required.
      Exactly one year has elapsed since the onset of the financial crisis and the passage of the bailout bill.
      Put on a pair of oven gloves when the appropriate amount of time has elapsed.
      Ambulance response time is currently defined as the elapsed time from the notification of the ambulance crew by the dispatcher to the arrival of the crew at the scene.
      adj liking sth very much ¶ in love with sb
      She was so enamored with their work that she re-recorded the entire album from scratch.
      I couldn't understand why these people were so enamored with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
      King Louis XIII was so enamored of the brandy coming out of the region that he insisted that what he referred to as "the king of all brandies" deserved its own special designation, resulting in its new given name of Cognac.
      I first became enamored with space exploration after seeing a rocket launch when I was around nine years old.
      Twenty five years ago, I became enamored of the emerging new technology of personal computers.
      v[IT] feed on the flesh of dead decaying animals ¶ through waste for things that can be used or eaten
      Scavenging is both a carnivorous and a herbivorous feeding behavior in which the scavenger feeds on dead animal and plant material present in its habitat.
      Well-known scavengers of animal material include vultures, burying beetles, blowflies, yellowjackets, and raccoons.
      Many large carnivores that hunt regularly, such as hyenas, but also animals rarely thought of as scavengers, such as lions and wolves, will scavenge if given the chance.
      The plover is a small scavenging bird that eats extra food from between the teeth of crocodiles.
      In the 1950s, Louis Binford suggested that early humans were obtaining meat via scavenging, not hunting.
      Scavenger appears as an occupation in the 1911 Census of England and Wales.
      This job title was used to describe someone who cleans the streets and removes refuse, generally a workman (a modern-day garbage collector, janitor, or street cleaner) employed by the local public health authority.
      A scavenger hunt is a party game in which the organizers prepare a list defining specific items, which the participants – individuals or teams – seek to gather all items on the list – usually without purchasing them – or perform tasks or take photographs of the items, as specified.
      Scavenger hunts at Harvard were really tough. I always got stuck on the first challenge, trying to find someone to be on a team with me. I guess that story's more sad than funny.
      adj too strong to be defeated, destroyed, or changed
      The coup regime has shifted from arguing it was invincible to "now talking about how they are willing to die in the government palace before handing over power".
      General Marshall told FDR that the harbor was invincible and a most unlikely target.
      Franklin Delano Roosevelt, commonly known by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States.
      We were sure that ours was a nation of the ballot, not the bullet, until the murders of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
      We were taught that our armies were always invincible and our causes were always just, only to suffer the agony of Vietnam.
      The Invincible class was a class of light aircraft carrier operated by the Royal Navy.
      The Invincible Iron Man is an Eisner Award-winning comic book series written by Matt Fraction with art by Salvador Larroca, published by Marvel Comics and starring the superhero Iron Man.
      An invincible belief, attitude etc is extremely strong and cannot be changed.
      Compare invincible and invulnerable.
      In Latin, vincere means conquer.
      n[pl] severe pains
      A throe is a severe pang or spasm of pain, as in childbirth.
      Most of the people who were in Pompeii when the fourth pyroclastic surge hit died instantly or slowly suffocated to death.
      In Herculaneum, the death throes are much simpler, as most people were found during excavations either on the beach or inside the boat houses.
      Located in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows in 79 AD.
      If someone is in the throes of something, they are in the middle of a very difficult situation.
      Saudi Arabia is in the throes of a crisis, but its elite is bitterly divided on how to escape it.
      At the time, he was in the throes of writing Lamb, and had been instructed by his publisher to keep the project hush-hush, lest a bad B movie rendition torpedo the whole thing.
      Dennis Kennedy listed his technology trends for 2008, including the possible death throes of e-mail.
      adj strange and unusual
      A return at his age wouldn't be all that outlandish , considering that Jamie Moyer returned from elbow ligament replacement surgery to start for the Colorado Rockies this season.
      The inclusion of football in the Olympics seems outlandish and ridiculous now, especially since sports like softball and baseball have been axed recently, while rugby will finally be included on a trial basis in 2016.
      As the years wore on, theories about Hitler's fate grew increasingly outlandish. By the 1970s, some cranks were even speculating that Hitler was in fact living on the Moon, biding his time on a Nazi lunar base built in the 1950s.
      Do you actually think things through before you make these outlandish claims?
      In the coming days, weeks and months, many more outlandish statements, about Ojukwu, who can no longer speak for or defend himself, will be made.
      Don't embarrass yourself by saying such silly and outlandish things!
      But with dangerous climate change looming, these outlandish ideas are now being taken far more seriously.
      adj extremely determined
      We earn it by being so resolute in our willingness to keep going and so committed to our vision and our goals that we stop at nothing to realize them.
      We remained resolute and resourceful in an atmosphere of extreme pessimism.
      Md. Humayun Kabir, GM of central bank mentioned that the Bangladesh Bank resolute to entail some service charge in order to recuperate some portion of cost that involves of about 230 million a year to keep the system in operations.
      COBRA (backronym for COmmando Battalion for Resolute Action) is a specialised unit of the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) created to counter the Naxalite problem in India.
      There are lingering uncertainties but resolute action will help to dispel doubts.
      As a resolute Army captain, he safely led his company through the massacre on Omaha Beach.
      v[T] take control or a position of power, esp without having the right to
      While Esau prepared the meal for his father, his younger brother Jacob schemed to usurp the blessing by disguising himself as Esau.
      In the Pride Lands of Africa, the lion lives a carefree life under the motto "hakuna matata" ("no worries"). But Mufasa's younger brother, Scar, usurped the young king, Simba.
      "Americans should be outraged that President Obama is planning to usurp the Constitutional authority of the United States Congress and grant amnesty by edict to 1 million illegal aliens," King said in a statement.
      And everyone, be it a politician, representative of academia or civil society who spoke or raised a voice about political rights or provincial autonomy was considered to be traitor and seen as a person working against the federation.
      The concept was that a strong federation with all powers usurped by the federal government was the only guarantee for a strong Pakistan.
      Prince Hamlet is the title character and protagonist of William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet.
      He is the Prince of Denmark, nephew to the usurping Claudius, and son of King Hamlet, the previous King of Denmark.
      adj very shocking, immoral, or wicked
      Mr. Addison committed the kind of heinous crime for which capital punishment must be available.
      Next to murder, rape has to be the most heinous crime one can commit.
      Sexual assault and harassment are heinous acts.
      If the Americans could deny that they never dropped Agent Orange on the Vietnamese, and could shift the blame of this heinous crime against humanity on to the Russians or the Chinese, they certainly would.
      "What is that?" "This is a list of your heinous acts against Leonard. One of which is certainly the cause of him wetting his bed well into his teens."
      This game is called Traitors. I will name three historical figures, you put them in order of the heinousness of their betrayal. Benedict Arnold, Judas, Dr. Leonard Hofstadter.
      Benedict Arnold was a general during the American Revolutionary War who originally fought for the American Continental Army but defected to the British Army.
      Compare heinous and hideous.
      v[T] inhabit or overrun in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious
      If insects, rats etc infest a place, there are a lot of them and they usually cause damage.
      If things or people you do not want infest a place, there are too many of them.
      Hot-air blowers are incubators and spewers of bacteria and pestilence. Frankly, it'd be more hygienic if they just had a plague-infested gibbon sneeze my hands dry.
      "So I take it you don't wanna help us trim the tree." "I do not. But, if you insist on decorating a spider-infested fire hazard in my home, I would request that you add this. It's a bust of Sir Isaac Newton."
      Sheldon had been riddled with guilt, which is causing Gorn-infested REM sleep.
      n[C] a piece of electrical equipment that makes sound louder
      An electronic amplifier, amplifier, or (informally) amp is an electronic device that increases the power of a signal.
      It does this by taking energy from a power supply and controlling the output to match the input signal shape but with a larger amplitude.
      In this sense, an amplifier modulates the output of the power supply to make the output signal stronger than the input signal.
      An amplifier is effectively the opposite of an attenuator: while an amplifier provides gain, an attenuator provides loss.
      The four basic types of electronic amplifiers are voltage amplifiers, current amplifiers, transconductance amplifiers, and transresistance amplifiers.
      An audio power amplifier is an electronic amplifier that amplifies low-power audio signals (signals composed primarily of frequencies between 20 - 20 000 Hz, the human range of hearing) to a level suitable for driving loudspeakers.
      It is the final electronic stage in a typical audio playback chain.
      Bose was successful in blocking QSC Audio Products from trademarking the term "PowerWave" in connection with a certain QSC amplifier technology.
      adj showing a lack of respect for God or religious objects, places, or beliefs ¶ not relating to religion
      also a verb
      Comments that are profane, off-topic, or self-promoting in nature will not be published.
      Let me address the sacred and the profane. You can't have one without the other, they are integral parts of life. They make us who we are. Each one of us is a little sinner and a little saint.
      Various Muslim customs recommend days and periods of fasting in addition to Ramadan. Abstain from food, drink, smoking, profane language, and sexual intercourse from before the break of dawn until sunset for the entire month.
      Three-quarters of the graves on the Mount of Olives were defaced or otherwise profaned; tombstones were used in the construction of bunkers and in footpaths leading to latrines.
      Compare mundane, profane, sacred, and secular.
      n[U] the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe
      Astrophysics (from Greek astron, ἄστρον "star", and physis, φύσις "nature") is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, especially with "the nature of the heavenly bodies, rather than their positions or motions in space".
      Dude, I'm an astrophysicist. If there were solar flares, I'd be all up in it.
      My flash drive has my paper on astrophysical probes of M-theory effects in the early universe that I was going to give to George Smoot at the conference.
      Carl Sagan is an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences.
      I had such plans. I had dreams. I was going to be the Indira Gandhi of particle astrophysics.
      What I was going to suggest is if that you're willing to wait until Sunday morning, the Google satellite will be over Pasadena. You can have a wedding photograph from space. I keep telling you, if I wasn't an astrophysicist, I would've been a party planner. It was always a coin flip.
      n[UC] saying a piece of writing aloud from memory
      The meeting was initiated with the recitation of Holy Quran.
      Story-telling and the recitation of historical lore and genealogical connections were part of every family gathering.
      I would like to hear a song and a recitation of your poem in your own voice.
      On that peaceful day, school began, as usual, with a Bible lesson and recitation of the Lord's Prayer in which is said, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
      adj showing no respect
      If you snicker or snigger, you laugh quietly in a disrespectful way.
      I don't mean to be disrespectful, but what the hell are you talking about?!
      As is the tradition, I have prepared a series of disrespectful jokes which generate humor at Howard's expense.
      Sheldon, don't make that noise. It's disrespectful.
      "Matey" is used by men as a very informal or disrespectful way of speaking to another man.
      adj brief, succinct
      It's very well written, concise and clear.
      It was objective, concise , and specific.
      "How long should my cover letter be?" "Keep it short and concise."
      Agencies should express the outputs in clear, concise, commonly used, easily understood, measurable terms.
      A concise edition of a book, especially a dictionary, is shorter than the original edition.
      adj pertaining to ether, the air or the sky
      Ethereal means unrelated to practical things and the real world.
      Someone or something that is ethereal has a delicate beauty.
      Natural light shines down through the dome which gives the space an ethereal quality.
      A slight mist hung in the mild air all day, lending an ethereal quality to the light.
      An ethereal glow appeared to surround her, making her look much more glorious than before.
      There's the lively color of the Saigon River and the ethereal beauty of Halong Bay.
      Time and time again my heart returns to the ethereal beauty of Meconopsis.
      n[C] a large monkey that lives in Africa
      The Guinea baboon is 50 cm (20 in) and weighs only 14 kg (30 lb) while the largest chacma baboon can be 120 cm (47 in) and weigh 40 kg (90 lb).
      All baboons have long, dog-like muzzles, heavy, powerful jaws with sharp canine teeth, close-set eyes, thick fur except on their muzzles, short tails, and rough spots on their protruding buttocks.
      Baboons are terrestrial (ground dwelling) and are found in open savannah, open woodland and hills across Africa.
      Baboons in captivity have been known to live up to 45 years, while in the wild their life expectancy is about 30 years.
      They are considered a difficult prey for the leopard, though, which is mostly a threat to young baboons.
      n[U] great bravery
      Act of Valor is a 2012 American war film directed by Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh, and written by Kurt Johnstad.
      As Act of Valor developed with the SEALs on board as advisors, the filmmakers realized that no actors could realistically portray or physically fill the roles they had written and the actual SEALs were drafted to star in the film.
      The United States Navy's Sea, Air, Land Teams, commonly known as the Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command and United States Special Operations Command.
      He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor and is buried at the Bourne cemetery.
      The poem is dedicated to him for his valor and true friendship.
      Compare courageous, gallant, valiant, valor, and valorous.