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      n[U] condition of being forced to work for others and having no freedom
      Forms of sentence involving penal labour have included penal servitude and imprisonment with hard labour.
      The land became Pharaoh's, and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other.
      Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
      If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace.
      n[U] the quality that some atoms have of producing energy ¶ the energy produced by atoms in this way
      Radioactive decay, also known as nuclear decay or radioactivity, is the process by which a nucleus of an unstable atom loses energy by emitting ionizing radiation.
      Radioactivity was discovered in 1896 by the French scientist Henri Becquerel, while working on phosphorescent materials.
      At first, it seemed as though the new radiation was similar to the then recently discovered X-rays. Further research by Becquerel, Ernest Rutherford, Paul Villard, Pierre Curie, Marie Curie, and others showed that this form of radioactivity was significantly more complicated.
      A systematic search for the total radioactivity in uranium ores also guided Pierre and Marie Curie to isolate two new elements: polonium and radium.
      The dangers of ionizing radiation due to radioactivity and X-rays were not immediately recognized.
      n[U] the art of public speaking ¶ a Christian room for prayer
      Daniel Webster was famed for his oratory skills.
      Hitler discovered a powerful talent for oratory as well as giving the new Party its symbol - the swastika - and its greeting "Heil!".
      His intelligence and scholarship, as well as his gift of oratory, gained for him the confidence of King Henry of Castile.
      Tiberius had distinguished himself as a citizen for his oratory skills, as a soldier and a public official.
      As the boycott continued during 1956, King gained national prominence as a result of his exceptional oratorical skills and personal courage.
      adj expressing very strong opinions about things
      If you are opinionated, try not to force your opinions on your date.
      Ryan Ward is a passionate and opinionated sportswriter that has dedicated himself to his craft over the past three years.
      The truth is that people here are often opinionated, brash, and hostile to ideas they dislike.
      He is extremely opinionated and feels that everyone who doesn't agree with him is an idiot.
      adj taking a lot of time and effort
      It's nice that you take the time to do this laborious work. Thank you.
      I embarked on the laborious, tedious and almost impossible task of applying for help. When I'd call each department for clarification, I'd get a different response depending on who I was speaking with on any given day.
      Finally, after weeks of laborious searching, a young man nineteen years of age was selected as a model for the portrayal of Christ.
      The labor of the bakers is among the hardest and most laborious imaginable, because it has to be performed under conditions injurious to the health of those engaged in it.
      n[U] extreme beliefs or behavior, esp in connection with religion or politics, extremism
      The Western media rarely report on the fanaticism and hate behind the terrorists.
      The Essenes were similar to the Zealots in their fanaticism, but they believed that God, not human armies, would soon overthrow the forces of evil and vindicate the true Israel.
      This attitude at the time led to Montanism, a new heresy that came from Phrygia, long a region of religious fanaticism.
      The problem is when the objective becomes a fanaticism that blocks common sense and reality.
      v[IT] overturn or be overturned
      Search efforts aboard the capsized Costa Concordia resumed Wednesday, even as the official overseeing the operation acknowledged for the first time it would take a miracle to find any more survivors.
      Dean Ferro, 18, drowned after his canoe capsized.
      If your wake causes a canoe or rowboat to capsize, you are responsible.
      It was regularly used by ship builders to ensure the ship would not capsize.
      n[s] beginning
      There have been biblical scholars questioning the authenticity of the so-called Jesus box from the get-go.
      It's obvious Perry wasn't their candidate from the get-go.
      The bill was unconstitutional from the get-go.
      Google+ was a bad idea from the get-go.
      "We were on the chopping block from the get-go," recalls Adam Baldwin, "so we all knew we had o make the best show we could because we didn't know how long we were going to be around."
      v[T] publicly criticize sb/sth by making jokes about them
      also a noun
      A parody (also called spoof, send-up or lampoon), in use, is a work created to imitate, make fun of, or comment on an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of satiric or ironic imitation.
      National Lampoon was a ground-breaking American humor magazine which ran from 1970 to 1998.
      The Harvard Lampoon is an undergraduate humor publication founded in 1876 by seven undergraduates at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
      It is a know public fact that the Mayor of this city was lampooned, vilified, demeaned and slandered for protecting the public interest.
      Violent protests and clashes broke out on Pakistan's "Day of Love for the Prophet Muhammad," declared in response to a U.S.-made film and French cartoons lampooning the Islamic prophet.
      n[U] an area of soil which has been specially prepared for planting seeds in ¶ conditions that allow sth to develop, esp sth bad
      A seedbed or seedling bed is the local soil environment in which seeds are planted.
      Often it comprises not only the soil but also a specially prepared cold frame, hotbed or raised bed used to grow the seedlings in a controlled environment into larger young plants before transplanting them into a garden or field.
      A seedling bed is used to increase the number of seeds that germinate.
      The soil of a seedbed needs to be loose and smoothed, without large lumps.
      These traits are needed so that seeds can be planted easily, and at a specific depth for best germination.
      Seedbed preparation in farm fields often involves secondary tillage via harrows and cultivators.
      Seedbed preparation in gardens often involves secondary tillage via hand tools such as rakes and hoes.
      adj describing work that is boring, tiring and given a low social value
      n[C] sb who does ~ work
      Blindness kept them out of school so they did menial tasks on the farm.
      Menial work, such as working in a fast food joint, or as a janitor, or as an unarmed security guard, or bussing tables/dishwasher in a restaurant, or working with a lawn care or roofing outfit, etc are not the greatest for the spirit.
      The African Americans were forced to do menial labour for very poor wages in the southern states.
      Is it because she's uneducated, trapped in a menial service position?
      "So, Mr. Cooper, you're looking for a job." "A menial job. Like yours." "Why, thank you for noticing. I'm Menial Employee of the Month. Do you have a particular field in mind?"
      I guess we do need someone over here to do the menial chores.
      v[T] go up to sb and speak to them, esp in a way that is rude or threatening ¶ solicit for sex
      As I took these photos I was quickly accosted by two salespeople inside, and three plain clothes security guys outside.
      I was walking down the street when I was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless woman who asked me for a couple of dollars for dinner.
      A 21-year old Temple student and friend were accosted by a 15-year old armed robber and two accomplices about 2:00am near the university.
      I accosted him there and asked if he'd seen my application, which he apparently hadn't.
      v[T] tear or break sth violently into pieces
      The lion rent its prey to pieces.
      Firemen had to rend her free of the burning car.
      Her screams would rend the heart of any man.
      With one stroke of his sword, Prince Charming rent the ogre's helmet in two.
      n[U] a sexual act in which a man puts his penis into another person's anus
      Sodom and Gomorrah have become synonymous with impenitent sin, and their fall with a proverbial manifestation of God's wrath.
      Sodom and Gomorrah have been used as metaphors for homosexuality and vice viewed as a deviation.
      The story has therefore given rise to words in several languages, including the English word sodomy, used in sodomy laws to describe a sexual "crime against nature" consisting of anal and/or oral sex, either homosexual or heterosexual.
      The British English term buggery is very close in meaning to the term sodomy, often used interchangeably in law and popular speech.
      v[T] feel hatred and disgust for sb/sth, detest
      I also abhor the term babysitting when a father looks after their kids.
      And I abhor the Apps that publish anything you read or any song to which you listen.
      Dishonesty is the trait that I abhor the most in people.
      And the Lord saw it, and abhorred them, Because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.
      adj making sb look or seem bad or unattractive
      Sweaters with stripes are unflattering to the wearer because they can make her look fatter than she actually is.
      Brand tweets a rather unflattering picture of a make-up free Perry before swiftly removing it from the social networking site.
      A gentleman like me never makes unflattering comments about a lady's appearance.
      Well um, you know, these movies are offensive and uh, degrading to women and females. And uh, and the lighting's always unflattering. And, Monica, help me out here.
      It's okay. I'm glad this happened. I can stop pretending that some beautiful girl and her cute-in-the-right-light friend wanna hang out with me.
      adj trying to control other people in an unpleasant way, domineering
      I was worried his teachers might think I was being an overbearing mother.
      The reporters applied other buzz words: 'overbearing parents hampering child's growth.'
      This could trigger a counter response by those fed up with an overbearing government presence.
      Rather than vying for attention and appearing as an overbearing presence they work to achieve a balanced and calming effect.
      Compare dictatorial and overbearing.
      adj morally wrong ¶ sexually unacceptable or unnatural
      Our minds shall not be perverted, we will not utter evil words, we shall abide cherishing thoughts of good, with minds full of goodwill and with no hatred in our heart.
      When living in a free, perverted and corrupt Western society, the Muslim male youth finds many temptations and tests, as a result of mixing with females, which he must face and overcome.
      Some maverick emperors with a perverted sense of humour made upper-class Romans (of both sexes) fight in the arena.
      Yeah. And you know who should've shut their drapes? It's the perverted old couple two doors over.
      v[IT] relinquish power or responsibility formally
      If a king or queen abdicates, he or she formally gives up power.
      The only sibling of her father King Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 and her father George VI became the King.
      If you say that someone has abdicated responsibility for something, you disapprove of them because they have refused to accept responsibility for it any longer.
      There are some situations when people seem all too willing to abdicate responsibility and simply follow orders.
      n[U] the practice or science of growing flowers, fruit and vegetables
      Horticulture is the branch of agriculture that deals with the art, science, technology, and business of plant cultivation.
      The word horticulture is modeled after agriculture, and comes from the Latin hortus "garden" and cultūra "cultivation".
      Horticulture has a very long history. The study and science of horticulture dates all the way back to the times of Cyrus the Great of ancient Persia.
      Horticulture primarily differs from agriculture in two ways. First, it generally encompasses a smaller scale of cultivation. Secondly, horticultural cultivations generally include a wide variety of crops.
      v[T] disobey sb/sth openly and scornfully
      Compare defy, flout, observe, and respect.
      If the nudists flout the law, they face a $100 fine for a first offence.
      It's normal for teenagers to rebel and start to flout the rules or challenge their teachers.
      They behave as if they own the country, and can flout the constitution to satisfy their egos.
      Argentina is an unremitting debtor, who had flouted international law and just plain common decency to repay money that was loaned to them in good faith.
      n[UC] overflow of fluid from a container ¶ an extra competition held to break a tie.
      It's the melting and runoff of land-based glaciers and ice sheets that really increases water volume in the ocean.
      The main nitrogen polluter is agricultural fertilizer runoff.
      Runoff voting system, also known as the two-round system, is a voting system where a second round of voting is used to elect one of the two candidates receiving the most votes in the first round.
      In stock martket, runoff or run-off is used to describe trades at the end of a session that may not be announced or reported until the start of the next session.
      n[CU] a short form of a word or phrase ¶ the process of abbreviating sth
      Compare abbreviation and acronym.
      An unstable isotope can be called a radioisotope, an abbreviation of the term radioactive isotope.
      C.T.A. is the abbreviation of the Latin word "cum testamento annexo", which means "with the will annexed".
      SELT is an abbreviation of the phrase Secure English Language Test, a term used by the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) to describe the small number of English language tests they will accept as evidence of a visa applicant's English Language proficiency.
      FOREX is the abbreviation for the Foreign Exchange market.
      adj feeling or behaving as if what you say or do is always morally right, and other people are wrong
      But her father, Ed, an insecure, self-righteous bigot, has never forgiven Dixie for ending her marriage and living as a lesbian.
      If anyone wants to see the evil, self-righteous hate spewed by those who claim they are better Christians than the President, take a very good look at the nasty comments here and ask yourselves if you have ever heard anything as vile as some of these comments come from the President.
      He is arrogrant, mean and self-righteous.
      McConnell is a nasty-looking, mean spirited, self-righteous jackass.
      adj causing harm or damage for no reason ¶ behaving in a very immoral way
      Kent Nickerson also brought some model rockets which he fired off. After this wanton destruction, we were all feeling more manly and satisfied.
      The callousness and wanton disregard for human life exhibited by those who did this didn't potray them as novices.
      Extra-judicial assassination - accompanied by the wanton killing of whatever civilians happen to be near the target, often including children - is a staple of the Obama presidency.
      It's a little scary how de-sensitised we've become to wanton violence.
      There are reports that several hundred innocent civilians have been killed in fighting in and around Monrovia and of wanton destruction of property and widespread looting.
      If someone describes a woman as wanton, they disapprove of her because she clearly enjoys sex or has sex with a lot of men.
      A wonton (also spelled wantan, wanton, or wuntun in transcription from Cantonese; Mandarin: húntun) is a type of dumpling commonly found in a number of Chinese cuisines, similar to the Jewish kreplach or Italian ravioli.