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      n[C] a piece of very tight underwear that women wore in the past ¶ a long strip of cloth worn tied around the waist ¶ sth which surrounds sth else
      v[T] surround
      A girdle is an undergarment made of elasticized fabric and worn mainly by women.
      It is a form-fitting foundation garment that encircles the lower torso, perhaps extending below the hips, and worn often to shape or for support.
      It may be worn for aesthetic or medical reasons. In sports or medical treatment, a girdle may be worn as a compression garment.
      The word girdle originally meant a belt. In modern English, the term is most commonly used for a form of women's foundation wear that replaced the corset in popularity, and which was in turn to a large extent surpassed by the pantyhose in the 1960s.
      It is a globe of gold surrounded by a cross girdled by a band of diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphire and pearls with a large amethyst at the summit.
      adj showing that sth is likely to be successful
      This is a very auspicious day. Go and do it, especially before sundown.
      Today is an auspicious day in the annals of spaceflight.
      Is this coming year an auspicious time to take a risk, or should I wait?
      This is an auspicious occasion for initiating ideas and beginning new projects.
      From its auspicious start as the brainchild of internet giant Google, Android has matured into a well-rounded, extremely capable smartphone operating system.
      adj very sad and upset
      I am grieved tonight, though - not because "my guy" didn't win but because I see abortion rolling on unabated in our nation.
      We reported in disbelief, and grieved, the attack on the United States on 9/11/01.
      Sigurd was so grieved and his heart so swelled in his breast that it burst the steel rings of his shirt of mail.
      I am so grieved, so thank you for the encouragement and reminder of what our mission has always been.
      adj slow and awkward because of great weight ¶ boring, very serious, and seeming to progress very slowly
      The ponderous stone fell harmless to the ground, for the leap of Regan far exceeded the strength of the furious hag.
      Kung Fu Panda had a rather slow and ponderous manner.
      To my surprise, the particularly innovative Apple did not appoint its first female director until the beginning of 2008. These changes come at their ponderous pace in the United States despite pervasive governance reform.
      There is no place here for ponderous bureaucracy.
      He made a movie that is so long, ponderous and pretentious that only the select few can watch it.
      n[C] a narrow or busy section of road where the traffic often slows down and stops ¶ a problem that delays progress
      "On Thursday, the president will reiterate his administration's commitment to expediting the construction of a pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf of Mexico, relieving a bottleneck of oil and bringing domestic resources to market," a White House official said.
      The nation's ports have become a bottleneck in international trade.
      Western DNA can be traced back to 7 females and is known as the Near Extinction Bottleneck.
      The bottleneck was caused by a volcanic winter resulting from the super-eruption of Toba in Sumatra.
      adj continuing without stopping, endless
      This theory, espoused in the 1940s by the economist Joseph Schumpeter and later touted by former Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan, holds that business must exist in a state of ceaseless revolution.
      The tyrannical monarch of Qin, the most powerful of six Chinese states, has embarked on a campaign to unite the regions into one empire. An almost ceaseless slaughter prevails. The other kingdoms resist his efforts, and the king of Qin has been the object of various assassination attempts.
      Molecules of a gas undergo ceaseless virtually random motion, and spread into the available volume.
      In the kinetic theory of gases, there are certain constants which constrain the ceaseless molecular activity.
      adj based on the number ten
      n[C] a ~ number
      The decimal numeral system (also called base ten or occasionally denary) has ten as its base. It is the numerical base most widely used by modern civilizations.
      Decimal notation often refers to a base-10 positional notation such as the Hindu-Arabic numeral system or rod calculus; however, it can also be used more generally to refer to non-positional systems such as Roman or Chinese numerals which are also based on powers of ten.
      A decimal number, or just decimal, refers to any number written in decimal notation, although it is more commonly used to refer to numbers that have a fractional part separated from the integer part with a decimal separator (e.g. 11.25).
      A decimal may be a terminating decimal, which has a finite fractional part; a repeating decimal, which has an infinite (non-terminating) fractional part made up of a repeating sequence of digits; or an infinite decimal, which has a fractional part that neither terminates nor has an infinitely repeating pattern.
      Decimal fractions have terminating decimal representations, whereas irrational numbers have infinite decimal representations.
      Compare binary, octal, decimal, and hexadecimal.
      adj never making mistakes ¶ certain to work or have the effect you intended
      Compare fallacy and infallible.
      Fingerprints offer an infallible means of personal identification.
      The Qur'an is from God, an Infallible and Omnipotent being.
      They did not necessarily believe that Stalin was an infallible leader, but nor did they tear down his portraits.
      One commenter said, "It's an algorithm. Get over yourself." Typical, orthodox devotion to the Almighty Google Algorithm and its Infallible Wisdom.
      n[C] a child of one's spouse by a previous union
      The term "relative" means any of the following persons. Your child, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild).
      The first scripted interracial kiss in American TV history happened on Star Trek, in the episode "Plato's Stepchildren" between Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura.
      She currently lives in Los Angeles with her partner Matthew Carnahan, her stepson Emmitt and daughter Makena Lei.
      She would give them beautiful dresses but none to her stepdaughter who had only to wear the castoff clothes of the other two.
      v[T] make dirty or impure
      n[C] a narrow passage, esp through mountains
      Racially motivated rape, the intention of which is to defile the women of the enemy, is as old as warfare.
      The teacher stripped her naked and defiled her for hours before he released her at about 7 p.m.
      Defile is a geographic term for a narrow pass or gorge between mountains or hills.
      In a traditional military formation, soldiers march in rank (the depth of the formation) and files (the width of the formation), so, if a column of soldiers approach a narrow pass the formation must narrow which means that files on the outside must be ordered to the rear (or to some other position) so that the column has fewer files and more ranks.
      n[U] the skill of a craftsperson or artisan, craftsmanship
      We didn't buy clothes with poor quality material or workmanship.
      He is all too aware that his prices are more than twice what other tailors in Naples charge, so the workmanship in his suits must be the absolute best.
      They all wore crowns of dark red gold of very beautiful workmanship, set with diamonds.
      Stunning entertainment center. Fine Italian workmanship. Gepeto, $5,000? Are you insane?
      adj not having sex with anyone, or only having sex with one's spouse ¶ not showing sexual feelings ¶ simple and plain in style
      A chaste life for a man is not prejudicial to health.
      It's against the law for a man to seduce "a chaste woman by means of temptation, deception, arts, flattery or a promise of marriage."
      Even within her marriage, she remains chaste and untouched.
      Kissing, what kind of kissing? Cheeks? Lips? Chaste? French?
      adj having self-confidence and smooth sophisticated manners
      Someone who is suave is polite, confident, and relaxed, sometimes in an insincere way.
      Europeans can be so annoying. Not only are they suave and sophisticated, with their man scarves and their designer stubble and their Dolce&Gabbana and heels, but they're linguistically gifted as well. They each speak at least two languages.
      It's not overtly sexual or crude, rather suave and convincing.
      In those days I was young, suave and devilishly handsome.
      adj too confident, in a way that shows a lack of respect for other people
      Hey uh, I don't mean to be presumptuous but I have these two tickets to the ballroom dancing finals tomorrow night if you wanna go?
      Would I be presumptuous to state that we have been in a Bull Market now for some time?
      Would it be presumptuous to ask about his plans?
      In The Times today some columnist remarked that Neil Armstrong was a man of zero personality which sounded highly presumptuous to me.
      adj easily deceived or duped
      Don't be so stupid and gullible.
      Come on folks! Stop being so gullible. Think on your own.
      The public is gullible and the cable networks know it.
      Some people will be gullible enough to fall for those arguments.
      BBC is somehow an evil organisation deliberately trying to brain-wash the gullible public.
      adj capable of producing poison, poisonous ¶ full of hatred or anger
      Australia has more species of venomous snakes than any other continent.
      Sea snakes are extremely venomous, but not prone to wasting their venom on items that they can not eat.
      Catfish pulls out three barbed spines from its back and side fins. They are venomous and cause severe pain.
      A bite from this highly venomous spider can kill a human in two hours.
      Many of the venomous attacks are spearheaded by his hand-picked, US connected anti-China MP (Member of Parliament), in an organised manner.
      adj impossible to reconcile, incompatible
      By 500 BC, we have two sects of Jews who have irreconcilable differences in theology because the Samaritans rewrote history into a lie.
      It would be wrong to perceive the aspirations of Quebecers as irreconcilable with the needs and fundamental rights of the English-speaking community.
      The Jew Maurice Samuel well explained this irreconcilable conflict between the seed of Cain and the children of Adam.
      Despite the irreconcilable contradictions in these accounts, both conclude that Rann's life as a hackney coachman did not earn him enough money to fund his womanising and that thus he turned to crime.
      n[UC] a method of encryption ¶ sb who has no power or is of no importance ¶ zero
      In cryptography, a cipher (or cypher) is an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption—a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure.
      In non-technical usage, a 'cipher' is the same thing as a 'code'; however, the concepts are distinct in cryptography.
      The German military used the Enigma cipher machine during WW2 to keep their communications secret.
      One white contestant doesn't like "curry", the word clearly a cipher for "Indians".
      "Reagan was a cipher,'' General Haig said with evident bitterness.
      I do not exist at all. I am merely a cipher.
      n[C] a mature tropical cyclone
      A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops in the western part of the North Pacific Ocean between 180° and 100°E.
      The Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) for tropical cyclone forecasts is in Japan, with other tropical cyclone warning centers for the northwest Pacific in Honolulu (the Joint Typhoon Warning Center), the Philippines and Hong Kong.
      While the RSMC names each system, the main name list itself is coordinated among 18 countries that have territories threatened by typhoons each year.
      Within the northwestern Pacific there are no official typhoon seasons as tropical cyclones form throughout the year.
      Like any tropical cyclone, there are six main requirements for typhoon formation and development: sufficiently warm sea surface temperatures, atmospheric instability, high humidity in the lower to middle levels of the troposphere, enough Coriolis force to develop a low pressure center, a pre-existing low level focus or disturbance, and low vertical wind shear.
      adj wasteful with money, tending to spend large amounts without thinking of the future, extravagant
      also a noun
      The prodigal (son) is a person who leaves his home or community to lead a life of pleasure or extravagance, but who later regrets this and returns home.
      Remember the prodigal 's father, who had one son still at home, looking expectantly for his other son to return.
      The father of the prodigal son accepted his son and took him back
      Her sister is not too happy to have Faith return home like the Prodigal daughter. But her father is ecstatic to have his little girl back home.
      This is a prodigal and wasteful government.
      v[IT] become or make sth become less tight ¶ gradually become, or make sth become, slower, less active etc ¶
      I started writing a book. Each day I would spend more and more time sitting at my computer smashing out my story and spending too much time sitting on my butt. I started to slacken off and I let my exercise and eating slip.
      A hammer and chisel can be used to slacken the fitting.
      He slackened his grip on his wife's slim waist.
      Most people slacken off at the end of a day's work.
      A bit about Russian uniforms: back in the USSR, they were mandatory everywhere. Right around the time of breakup, there was a general slackening of rules in schools, one of them was that it was no longer mandatory and students promptly started wearing whatever they wanted.
      v[T] forbid, prohibit
      Compare ascribe, circumscribe, describe, inscribe, prescribe, proscribe, scribe, subscribe, and transcribe.
      We understand that none of the speakers belong to any organisations proscribed by the British government.
      Freedom of the press needs to be protected by law, immoral practices of the Tabloids need to be proscribed by it.
      Despite reports that emphasized the harmless effects of smoking marijuana, such as the La Guardia Report published in 1944 by the New York Academy of Medicine, cannabis continued to be proscribed.
      We were in a housing bubble, but that term was proscribed in professional discussions.
      Meanwhile, there are absolutely no plans to proscribe the BNP - an organisation which carries out actual violence within the UK.
      n[C] a narrow crack in the surface of sth
      A crevice is a fracture or fissure in rock.
      Crevice corrosion refers to corrosion occurring in confined spaces to which the access of the working fluid from the environment is limited. These spaces are generally called crevices.
      Examples of crevices are gaps and contact areas between parts, under gaskets or seals, inside cracks and seams, spaces filled with deposits and under sludge piles.
      This photo shows that corrosion occurred in the crevice between the tube and tube sheet (both made of type 316 stainless steel) of a heat exchanger in a sea water desalination plant.
      n[U] the transfer of pollen from the anther to the stigma
      Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred from the anther (male part) to the stigma (female part) of the plant, thereby enabling fertilization and reproduction.
      The study of pollination brings together many disciplines, such as botany, horticulture, entomology, and ecology.
      The pollination process as an interaction between flower and pollen vector was first addressed in the 18th century by Christian Konrad Sprengel.
      It is important in horticulture and agriculture, because fruiting is dependent on fertilization: the result of pollination.
      The study of pollination by insects is known as anthecology.
      Many species of tree depend on the wind for pollination.
      n[C] the French diminutive of rose
      A rosette is a small, circular device that is presented with a medal.
      The rosettes are either worn on the medal to denote a higher rank, or for situations where wearing the medal is deemed inappropriate.
      Rosettes are issued in nations such as Belgium, France, Italy and Japan.
      Rosettes are also sometimes called bowknots, due to their shape.
      Moreover, a large rosette is sometimes pinned onto the ribbon which suspends a medal, usually the Officer (and sometimes Grand Officer)'s badge of certain Orders of Chivalry.
      In botany, a rosette is a circular arrangement of leaves, with all the leaves at a similar height.
      The German art historian Otto von Simson considered that the origin of the rose window lay in a window with the six-lobed rosettes and octagon which adorned the external wall of the Umayyad palace Khirbat al-Mafjar built in Jordan between 740 and 750 CE.