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      n[C] sb who is not willing to believe that people have good, honest, or sincere reasons for doing sth
      Cynicism is an attitude or state of mind characterized by a general distrust of others' motives believing that humans are selfish by nature, ruled by emotion, and heavily influenced by the same primitive instincts that helped humans survive in the wild before agriculture and civilization became established.
      A cynic may have a general lack of faith or hope in the human species or people motivated by ambition, desire, greed, gratification, materialism, goals, and opinions that a cynic perceives as vain, unobtainable, or ultimately meaningless and therefore deserving of ridicule or admonishment.
      A common misapplication of this attitude involves its attribution to individuals who emote well-thought-out expressions of skepticism.
      Such miscategorization may occur as the result of either inexperience and/or a belief system in which the innate goodness of man is considered an important tenet or even an irrefutable fact.
      Thus, contemporary usage incorporates both a form of jaded prudence and (when misapplied) realistic criticism or skepticism.
      The term originally derives from the ancient Greek philosophers, the Cynics, who rejected all conventions, whether of religion, manners, housing, dress, or decency, instead advocating the pursuit of virtue in accordance with a simple and idealistic way of life.
      Some would say our city got its mojo back that day. The cynics, those who boo a sunrise, would counter by grumbling about crumbling infrastructure, hallway medicine and blah, de blah, blah.
      v[T] give a flower or plant pollen so that it can produce seeds
      For instance, red flowers with a long, thin, tube-like shape are pollinated by hummingbirds, which are attracted to red and suck out nectar with long thin beaks.
      The trees themselves, sometimes as tall as 130 feet, are pollinated by bats.
      Leeks are pollinated by honey bees.
      Many of the indigenous insects (Barry the Bee is one of them) are needed to pollinate the local plants.
      Bee Movie is a 2007 American computer animated family comedy film.
      adj extremely bad
      Compare atrocious, awful, brutal, contemptible, cruel, dreadful, horrible, ruthless, savage, terrible, vile, wicked, and wretched.
      The writing in this article is atrocious.
      The food is atrocious and bland.
      'Mud Bath' - a superb photo essay of a rugby union game played in atrocious conditions.
      It carries out the most atrocious crimes against civilians.
      Madam Bethel McKenzie called on democratic governments to condemn the atrocious acts against two Azerbaijani journalists.
      adj ambiguous, or difficult to understand or explain clearly or easily
      If you are equivocal, you are deliberately unclear in the way that you give information or your opinion.
      Information that is equivocal is difficult to understand or explain because it contains different parts which suggest that different things are true.
      Alan Greenspan gives equivocal support to Social Security privatization.
      People usually respond to my equivocal non-forecast with a resigned sigh: "I was hoping you'd be able to reassure me."
      adj easy to recognize as being different from sth else
      I like the idea of $1 and $2 coins - that are easily distinguishable from quarters or any other currency we have right now.
      Buy ropes of two colours that are easily distinguishable. Your climbing partner isn't colour blind by any chance?
      Mangrove trees are distinguishable by their long, gnarled, twisted roots.
      In the Swahili language, the pronouns are the same for all the genders - he, him, she, and her are not distinguishable in Swahili - same words, prefixes, affixes and suffixes are used.
      They were also easily distinguishable as fake because they only had printing on one side of the bills.
      adj using money carefully and wisely
      His father was a shrewd, thrifty, good-natured Dutchman, who kept the village tavern and worked a small farm.
      Frugality is the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the use of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste.
      The Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) is one of four USDA-designed food plans specifying foods and amounts of foods to provide adequate nutrition.
      It is used as the basis for designing Food Stamp Program benefits. It is the cheapest food plan and is calculated monthly using data collected for the consumer price index (CPI).
      A savings and loan association (or S&L), also known as a thrift, is a financial institution that specializes in accepting savings deposits and making mortgage and other loans.
      Compare swift and thrifty.
      adj feeling tired and not interested in things
      A child who is neglected may be at risk of injury or harm owing to inadequate supervision. They may also be constantly tired, hungry, listless, or have medical conditions related to poor hygiene or experience a failure to thrive.
      Animals can be bored, depressed and listless. In short, zoo animals become institutionalised, helplessly dependent on humans. In their restricted zoo-world many animals succumb to ailing mental health and
      go mad.
      Some are young and active, others grizzled, listless and battered.
      One evening, the prince lay awake and listless. He went out to the garden where he thought he could sleep in the fresh night air.
      adj blameworthy
      Alas, governments are as culpable as bankers.
      To this extent, all Greeks are culpable for the current mess the country is in.
      Police have since opened a case of culpable homicide.
      Culpable homicide is a specific offence in various jurisdictions within the Commonwealth of Nations which involves the illegal killing of a person either with or without an intention to kill depending upon how a particular jurisdiction has defined the offence.
      A culpable action is one that is considered criminal.
      adj a ~ surface is curved inwards in the middle ≠convex
      A lens with two concave surfaces is biconcave (or just concave). If one of the surfaces is flat, the lens is plano-convex or plano-concave depending on the curvature of the other surface.
      A concave mirror, or converging mirror, has a reflecting surface that bulges inward (away from the incident light).
      Concave mirrors reflect light inward to one focal point.They are used to focus light.
      Unlike convex mirrors, concave mirrors show different image types depending on the distance between the object and the mirror.
      In mathematics, a concave function is the negative of a convex function.
      n[C] who lives alone and avoids other people
      A recluse is a person who lives in voluntary seclusion from the public and society. The word is from the Latin recludere, which means "shut up" or "sequester."
      Historically, "recluse" referred to a hermit's total isolation from the world.
      Famous recluses have included Stanley Kubrick, Howard Hughes, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and, most notoriously, Greta Garbo.
      Greta Garbo was a Swedish film actress and an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods.
      From the early days of her career, Garbo avoided industry social functions, preferring to spend her time alone or with friends. She never signed autographs or answered fan mail, and rarely gave interviews.
      adj between the planets
      An interplanetary spaceship left Earth in 2007. Propelling itself gently and patiently through the solar system with a blue-green beam of xenon ions, it gradually spiraled away from the sun.
      PSI scientists are involved in numerous NASA and international missions, the study of Mars and other planets, the Moon, asteroids, comets, interplanetary dust, impact physics, the origin of the solar system, extra-solar planet formation, dynamics, the rise of life, and other areas of research.
      Radioisotope generators may be used for interplanetary missions and other missions leaving the gravity field of the Earth.
      There is a lot of interplanetary matter which has never coalesced into large solid bodies.
      n[U] strong enthusiasm or devotion, zeal
      No one can forget the raucous ardor with which Howard Dean, punching the air and bellowing like a rutting stag.
      When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped.
      If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.
      Now when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity.
      They the English have no ardour for gratuitous quarrels; they do not fire up like a turkey-cock or a Frenchman, at sight of a red rag.
      v[T] gain an advantage over sb using tricks or clever plans
      In the story, Fantastic Mr. Fox had outwitted three mean and wealthy farmers for years.
      Outstanding! The little varmint has been outwitted. The squirrel repellent device should be patented.
      Osama bin Laden outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus.
      They tend to think it's a competition to outwit the interviewer. The reality is that employers have neither the time nor inclination to play games with you, especially when hiring.
      adj difficult or impossible to control or restrain
      As a youth, Solo was an irrepressible explorer and troublemaker.
      Although he appeared a man of irrepressible spirit he had his low periods too.
      Once on the barge, I have to fight an almost irrepressible urge to snuggle up to the guy next to me and go to sleep.
      Riley is a strong actor and is able to convey the irrepressible desire for adventure lurking beneath the character's skin.
      n[C] a lump of dirt ¶ a stupid person
      Amongst the relics here are bones of St Felix and a clod of earth stained with Christ's blood.
      Now they have control over the whole region of Jingzhou, save this small clod of earth called Maicheng. Cao Cao is at hand with five hundred thousand troops, and we can not stand against the two mighty forces. I say we must not move.
      Heading out into the field, Audsley picks up a clod of dirt. As it crumbles in his hand, he explains why this 15-square-mile pocket of land is the priciest in the state. "This is a very loamy soil," he said.
      In 1976, after President Gerald Ford was labeled a clod and a bungler, especially after his disastrous appearance in a "debate" with Carter, he lost the election.
      v[IT] do sth that is not allowed by a law, custom, or religion
      The serpent deceives Eve. Adam and Eve transgress the Divine command, and fall into sin and misery.
      She was atypical of many black middle-class women in that she was willing to transgress the boundaries of the bourgeois household to become an outspoken activist publicly fighting for social justice.
      He who transgresses the words of the scribes sins more gravely than the transgressors of the words of the law.
      "Transgressing the boundaries of "pure photography," his eclectic practice has helped usher in alternative approaches to the medium.
      n[C] wrong use of a name, word or description
      The term "colorblindness" is actually a misnomer. People think you're living in a black-and-white TV show and that's not true.
      "Silent movie" is a misnomer since the movies usually had a musical accompaniment.
      Nuclear waste is nothing more than a misnomer. It is actually potential energy waiting to be reprocessed.
      I think the word "pension reform" is a misnomer. It's basically a pay cut.
      n[U] a red or pink powder
      also a verb
      Rouge is the French word for "red".
      Rouge, also called blush or blusher (UK), is a cosmetic typically used by women to redden the cheeks so as to provide a more youthful appearance, and to emphasize the cheekbones.
      If a woman or an actor rouges their cheeks or lips, they put red powder or cream on them to give them more colour.
      Historically, rouge was used as early as in ancient Egypt. It was also applied on the lips, the way lipstick would be used today.
      In some times and places, both men and women wore rouge, such as during the Regency period in England.
      In Britain's Victorian Age, when wearing makeup was associated with low morals, ladies resorted to pinching their cheeks (and biting their lips) to make them appear red instead.
      A very fine powder of ferric oxide is known as "jeweler's rouge", "red rouge", or simply rouge. It is used to put the final polish on metallic jewelry and lenses, and historically as a cosmetic.
      Rouging refers to a form of corrosion found in stainless steel.
      n[U] tedious, menial, or unpleasant work
      It's tempting to protect our teens from the drudgery of chores and other work.
      The overwhelming majority of human beings born in India are staring at a life of drudgery and servitude.
      Life in Goldenbridge was full of drudgery. Children went from chores to the classroom to bead making without respite until bead making was discontinued in the mid-1960s.
      Livestock can also underpin sustainable crop production through provision of manure, which can help maintain soil fertility, and provision of draught power, which frees people, especially women, from some of the drudgery associated with preparing and cultivating land and enables more land to be cropped more efficiently and effectively.
      n[C] a type of animal that has a soft body without bones, usu covered by a hard shell
      The molluscs or mollusks compose the large phylum of invertebrate animals known as the Mollusca.
      Cephalopod molluscs, such as squid, cuttlefish and octopus, are among the most neurologically advanced of all invertebrates—and either the giant squid or the colossal squid is the largest known invertebrate species.
      The three most universal features defining modern molluscs are a mantle with a significant cavity used for breathing and excretion, the presence of a radula, and the structure of the nervous system.
      A striking feature of molluscs is the use of the same organ for multiple functions.
      Molluscs have, for centuries, also been the source of important luxury goods, notably pearls, mother of pearl, Tyrian purple dye, and sea silk. Their shells have also been used as money in some preindustrial societies.
      Mollusc species can also represent hazards or pests for human activities. The bite of the blue-ringed octopus is often fatal, and that of Octopus apollyon causes inflammation that can last for over a month.
      adj careful about paying attention to every detail ¶ careful to be honest and do what is right
      The paper gave the impression that the authors had been scrupulous in documenting the patients' cases.
      Hospital staff must be scrupulous about their own hand hygiene.
      They are very scrupulous about abstaining from pork or any of its by-products.
      Like any market, there can be scrupulous and unscrupulous participants.
      The origin is based on the slogan, "Our Scrupulous Attention to Detail Will Lead to High Quality" and is applied to all product development.
      n[UC] difference of opinion, disagreement, discord
      Perhaps the situation in Corinth was conducive to this sort of dissension. Its population was cosmopolitan.
      There is a tumult of debate, discussion and dissension.
      Internal dissension and factionalism has caused much damage to the movement.
      She tried to create dissension among her opponents.
      adj made of lead ¶ dark gray in color, dull ¶ without energy or feeling
      Was Lincoln murdered "by the leaden bullet" at the orders of the Jesuits?
      Flakes fell softly from a leaden sky while deep, sonorous church bells chimed out across the valley.
      Beneath a leaden sky on a bitter morning on the outskirts of Kabul, hundreds of Afghan army recruits are marching to the sound of a drum.
      Outrageous as it was to open a leaden coffin, to see if a woman dead nearly a week were really dead, it now seemed the height of folly to open the tomb again, when we knew, from the evidence of our own eyesight, that the coffin was empty.
      As he stood at the window of his room and looked out at the leaden sea, the rain had started, heavy raindrops drumming on the corrugated iron.
      With leaden feet which stumbled in a sudden darkness that overwhelmed me I groped my way back to the empty house.
      The boy's eyelids were leaden with sleep.
      v[T] rape ¶ give sb great pleasure
      In the first episode of the first season, Edmund's mother, upon hearing that Henry Tudor has won the battle of Bosworth resigns herself to being ravished by the conquering troops.
      Rather than be ravished by Gus, Flora willingly jumps to her death.
      A large proportion of the gay community in Jamaica is homeless and living in poverty and being ravished by HIV.
      She was once a ravishing (delightful or enchanting, lovely) beauty with a figure to kill however most men were scared of her bad temper.
      n[C] a garden plant with large brightly coloured flowers
      Chrysanthemums, sometimes called mums or chrysanths, are flowering plants of the genus Chrysanthemum in the family Asteraceae.
      They are native to Asia and northeastern Europe. Most species originate from East Asia and the center of diversity is in China.
      The chrysanthemum is one of the "Four Gentlemen" (四君子) of China (the others being the plum blossom, the orchid, and bamboo).
      A chrysanthemum festival is held each year in Tongxiang, near Hangzhou, China.
      The "golden flower" referred to in the 2006 movie Curse of the Golden Flower is a chrysanthemum.
      "Chrysanthemum Gate" (菊花门), often abbreviated as Chrysanthemum (菊花), is taboo slang meaning "anus" (with sexual connotations).
      Chrysanthemum is particularly significant during the Double Ninth Festival.
      "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture" is an influential 1946 study of Japan by American anthropologist Ruth Benedict.
      Chamomile or camomile is the common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae that are commonly used to make herb infusion to serve various medicinal purposes.