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      n[U] a theory of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin and others
      Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce.
      Also called Darwinian theory, it originally included the broad concepts of transmutation of species or of evolution which gained general scientific acceptance when Charles Robert Darwin published On the Origin of Species, including concepts which predated Darwin's theories, but subsequently referred to specific concepts of natural selection, the Weismann barrier or in genetics the central dogma of molecular biology.
      While the term has remained in use amongst scientific authors when referring to modern evolutionary theory, it has increasingly been argued that it is an inappropriate term for modern evolutionary theory.
      For example, Darwin was unfamiliar with the work of Gregor Mendel, and as a result had only a vague and inaccurate understanding of heredity.
      Social Darwinism is a modern name given to various theories of society that emerged in the United Kingdom, North America, and Western Europe in the 1870s, and which are claimed to have applied biological concepts of natural selection and survival of the fittest to sociology and politics.
      Social Darwinists generally argue that the strong should see their wealth and power increase while the weak should see their wealth and power decrease.
      adj of or relating to acoustic frequencies above the range audible to the human ear
      Compare supersonic and ultrasonic.
      Ultrasound is sound with a frequency greater than the upper limit of human hearing (greater than 20 kHz). Ultrasonic is an adjective referring to ultrasound.
      Ultrasound can be used for medical imaging, detection, measurement and cleaning.
      Ultrasonics is the application of ultrasound.
      Ultrasonic devices are used to detect objects and measure distances.
      Ultrasonic imaging (sonography) is used in both veterinary medicine and human medicine.
      Bats use a variety of ultrasonic ranging (echolocation) techniques to detect their prey. They can detect frequencies beyond 100 kHz, possibly up to 200 kHz.
      v[T] consider as separate and not related
      If you dissociate yourself from something or someone, you say or show that you are not connected with them, usually in order to avoid trouble or blame.
      They called on all Syrians and civil society organizations to publicly dissociate themselves from the human rights violations committed by the Syrian regime.
      If you dissociate one thing from another, you consider the two things as separate from each other, or you separate them.
      It is ironic that the same wife, who wants her husband to dissociate from his parents in the name of clinging to her, would have her own mother in her home at every excuse.
      Darwin possessed the ability to dissociate himself sufficiently from his own emotions to enable him to make use of the most readily available resources.
      Treating the sample with a detergent may be required to dissociate the residual DNA from the sample matrix.
      n[UC] a sudden change in attitude or behaviour for no obvious reason, impulse, whim ¶ the tendency
      We were dependent upon the caprice of wind and current; we went whither those irresponsible forces listed.
      Their goods are taken, their children forcibly stolen, their women carried away, entirely at the caprice of the white men.
      When a man's own will, passions, and caprice, are to be made the rule of law, society is in a most perilous and ruinous state.
      A capriccio or caprice (sometimes plural: caprices, capri or, in Italian, capricci), is a piece of music, usually fairly free in form and of a lively character.
      adj mentally confused or behaving strangely, because of old age
      You mustn't forget that Saudi is ruled by a senile old man, no longer perhaps in his right senses, certainly exposed to any prince whispering frightening stories in his ear.
      The party is 92 years old. It is senile and lethargic.
      My Granny loved babies. Even when she started to get old and senile, the first question Granny she would ask was, "Where's the baby?" or "Whose baby are you again?"
      It will hang in my memory until I become senile and can't remember it any more.
      He was afraid of being old and helpless and senile.
      By 1914, Busbey was beginning to show signs of senile dementia and was soon to be confined in the home of his younger brother, a state senator in Ohio, and thereafter he was sent to a national veterans' home where he died in 1924.
      adj strong and convincing
      But neither of those is a cogent argument for titanium over nanotubes.
      If a statement is cogent, it seems reasonable and correct.
      "First, at all times, I am to be treated as a colleague and an equal. Second, my contributions shall be noted in all published materials. And third, you are never allowed to lecture me on Hinduism or my Indian culture." "I'm impressed, Raj. Those are very cogent and reasonable conditions."
      My laptop contained four out of the five gedankenexperiments necessary for a cogent restatement of the quantum measurement problem.
      In none of them can I find a cogent reason for why I should prefer Milliband to Brown or why more people might vote for Milliband than might vote for Brown.
      v[I] secrete or produce saliva
      Compare drool and salivate.
      Rabid raccoons may behave aggressively, salivate heavily, or have paralyzed hind legs.
      Pavlov noticed that the dogs in his laboratory salivated not only when they ate their food, but also before they had taken a bite.
      The thought of all that delicious cheese cake made Rachel and Chandler salivate.
      There are thousands of news outlets who would have salivated at the idea of running this story over the years if she were the least bit credible.
      adj directed downward ¶ low in spirits, depressed
      Compare downcast, outcast, and overcast.
      Raw terror and cruel punishment bring absolute and unquestioning obedience in the convent to every rule and order, no matter how unreasonable or trivial. When we finished dressing, we would march on tiptoes, with downcast eyes, to report to the Mother Superior.
      The camera lingers on Anna, her eyes downcast , her face sad and reflective.
      At times, he looked downcast. He spoke haltingly and without conviction.
      adj slow or late in happening or arriving
      Compare in time, on time, retard, and tardy.
      Grouchy was said to be a great General but he was out of his depth as a Marshal. He showed little initiative and was tardy in his pursuit of the Prussians, giving them time to regroup.
      The Kremlin was tardy in extending its congratulations to Barack Obama, waiting until after midday in Moscow.
      The Ministry of Health has been tardy in its response, ever since it has been apparent that we have an epidemic.
      Sorry for the tardy response, I've been travelling with limited internet access.
      There are concerns that the tardy progress in literacy in the last few decades may lead to a reversal in literacy levels.
      n[C] a painted model, usu of a person, which in the past was fixed to the front of a ship ¶ a leader who has no real power or influence, puppet
      A figurehead is a carved wooden decoration found at the prow of ships largely made between the 16th and 20th centuries.
      Mariners were a superstitious bunch, and they believed that a woman on board a ship would always bring bad luck.
      They made one exception: wooden women are allowed, but only if they are nailed to the bow as a figurehead.
      Pirate ships of the 18th century were known to have colorful figureheads.
      The Black Pearl's figurehead shows a beautiful woman, a graceful black angel, with an outstretched left arm and a bird, a black dove, about to take flight from her hand; this symbolized Jack's goal for freedom.
      In politics, a figurehead is a person who holds de jure an important (often supremely powerful) title or office yet de facto executes little actual power, most commonly limited by convention rather than law.
      Commonly cited figureheads include Queen Elizabeth II, who is Queen of sixteen Commonwealth realms and head of the Commonwealth, but has no power over the nations in which she is not head of state and does not exercise power in her own realms on her own initiative.
      Other figureheads are the Emperor of Japan, the King of Sweden, or presidents in some parliamentary republics, such as the President of India, President of Israel, President of Bangladesh, President of Greece, President of Germany, President of Pakistan, and the President of the People's Republic of China (without CPC General Secretary post).
      adj bitter and sharp in language or tone
      An acrimonious meeting or discussion is one in which people argue a lot and get very angry.
      An acrimonious situation is unpleasant because people feel angry toward each other.
      Mr Brabeck-Letmathe weighed in to the increasingly acrimonious debate over food price inflation to condemn politicians around the world who seem determined to blame financial speculators instead of tackling underlying imbalances in supply and demand.
      The mother and father were going through a rather acrimonious divorce and in an Italian Family Law Court they were awarded joint custody of the four girls.
      After the acrimonious split in 1988, Emmett went solo and released 17 albums.
      Compare acid, acrid, and acrimonious.
      adj fairly good, but not excellent ¶ that can be passed, traversed, or crossed
      The printer you've got probably does a passable job with text, and may even be capable of photo printing, but the chances are significantly lower that you've got a 3D-capable printer.
      It's not a Samsung Galaxy S III, but the quality is passable.
      At our school, the lunches are passable.
      The ambitiously-named Penang Rojak (RM5.00/USD1.70) was passable, but the few cuts of cucumber, turnip and raw mangoes, with barely a piece of prawn cracker did not do justice to the famous Malaysian fruit salad.
      In Town Center itself, the roads and side walks are passable. In places, one can actually see the asphalt/brick surface.
      Route is passable, but challenging; we lost the trail a few times, but eventually found it. Trekking poles are a must.
      adj various, miscellaneous
      "All and sundry" means everyone without discrimination.
      African Instituted Churches' door is open to all and sundry.
      Do not talk about your tax affairs to all and sundry. The Revenue does act on 'tip offs' from disgruntled staff, partners and business associates.
      I am a very open person, very accommodating to all and sundry, including the opposition.
      We have a huge welfare state, that is a magnet to all and sundry in the world.
      n[C] a very large animal with very thick grey skin and one or two horns on its nose
      The word 'rhinoceros' is often abbreviated as 'rhino'.
      White rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, Indian rhinoceros, Javan rhinoceros, and Sumatran rhinoceros are all rhinoceroses.
      There are legends about rhinoceros stamping out fire in Malaysia, India, and Burma. There are no recent confirmations of this phenomenon. However, this legend has been reinforced by the film 'The Gods Must Be Crazy', where an African rhinoceros is shown to be putting out two campfires.
      To have the hide of an elephant or rhinoceros is to be very difficult to upset because you do not care what people say about you.
      adj going from one place to another in a way that is longer than the most direct way
      Compare circuitous and roundabout.
      The filler neck on most vehicles has to wend its way in a circuitous route from the side of the vehicle to the fuel tank.
      Through circuitous and unexpected circumstances, she eventually became a journalist and then a freelance writer.
      Villagers had to make a long circuitous journey to cross the river by bridge or tackle the dangerous river crossing in dugout canoes.
      They reached India in a circuitous way through Central Asia, Bactria and Afghanistan and into the plains of the Punjab.
      n[U] movement or the ability to move
      Compare locomotion and locomotive
      There are two types of locomotion: continuous and successive. The former is circular motion, whereas the latter is all other types of locomotion.
      "Q: Can I walk?" "A: Yes. Any form of locomotion: running, walking or crawling is acceptable." "Q: How long can I spend at the Aid Stations?" "A: As long as you want."
      Snakes have bodies and methods of locomotion perfect for situations where limbs would be a disadvantage.
      Apes, on the other hand, have long fingers for grasping branches and locomotion.
      v[T] defeat sb completely
      Compare thrash and trounce.
      The San Antonio Spurs trounced the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs.
      France trounced Germany by five goals to one in the qualifying match.
      WorldNetDaily (WND) reported February 14 that the Israeli air force had trounced a U.S. fighter force from the USS Theodore Roosevelt in a mock battle.
      President Barack Obama would be delighted with a repeat of 2008, when he trounced Sen. John McCain with almost 100 electoral votes to spare.
      adj showing care and helpful attention to sb
      The sales person who assisted me was very solicitous and helped me figure out the dressing room situation.
      Beware of overly friendly or solicitous people that you meet.
       Gilles and Catherine are a delightfully affectionate couple, solicitous of each other's welfare, hugely admiring of each other's art.
      Unlike Clinton, who was solicitous of every conceivable interest group, Obama was selective.
      n[C] a social system or state controlled by religious leaders
      Compare aristocracy, autocracy, bureaucracy, democracy, meritocracy, plutocracy, technocracy, theocracy, and theology.
      Theocracy is a form of government in which clergy have sovereignty over a territory and official policy is either governed by officials regarded as divinely guided, or is pursuant to the doctrine of a particular religion or religious group.
      In a pure theocracy, the civil leader is believed to have a personal connection with the civilization's religion or belief. For example, Moses led the Israelites, and Muhammad ruled the early Muslims.
      Theocracy is distinguished from other, secular forms of government that have a state religion, or are influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held "By the Grace of God".
      The Puritan government of Massachusetts in the 1600's and 1700's has been called a theocracy.
      adj ~ food is heavy and makes you feel full very quickly ¶ serious and boring
      We craved sweet and stodgy food and so ordered pizza and ice cream.
      Cut out sweet, stodgy, fatty foods and eat more fresh fruit, vegetables and complex carbohydrates, such as wholegrain bread, wholemeal pasta and brown rice.
      I saw many younger Christians leave the church because it was so stodgy and conservative.
      Conservatives are depicted as stodgy old, backwards thinking men, who want to stifle thought and free speech and want to take away our individual liberties.
      n[U] the belief that there is nothing you can do to prevent events from happening
      Fatalism is a philosophical doctrine stressing the subjugation of all events or actions to fate.
      While the terms are often used interchangeably, fatalism, determinism, and predeterminism are discrete in stressing different aspects of the futility of human will or the foreordination of destiny.
      Italians of all ages feel a weary fatalism after a decade of almost no economic growth.
      Reactions to these alarming reports have varied from fatalism to urgent concern.
      There is a mix of fatalism and ostrich-like denial that is preventing Labour from facing up to its daunting prospects.
      adj dull and boring, 	clichéd
      A trite remark etc is not interesting or original because it is what people usually say in a particular situation.
      Not only is your explanation for the fall of the Roman Empire trite and simplistic, but it has nothing to do with what's happening here today in America.
      At various points in his life, he had: watched a Detroit nightclub performance by a pre-record-deal Madonna and assumed she would never make it big because she couldn't sing worth crap, reviewed and rejected a manuscript submitted to a publishing house entitled Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus because it was trite and misogynistic, and turned down a job with a Japanese company that was working on a major precursor to the public Internet because only losers would talk to people through a computer terminal.
      The final message is a very positive one - let the kids play, let them enjoy themselves and be free and happy. A bit trite and banal?
      I have read the Satanic Verses and found it boring and trite.
      adj having or showing refined manners, smooth elegance and sophistication
      I was in a room full of urbane , sophisticated and anglicized Indo-Canadians who came here with little or nothing but ended up becoming highly successful in whatever they set out to do in Canada.
      Santos, an urbane, affable 60-year-old, was elected last year.
      The communities are small but well knit, educated, urbane and westernised in their outlook.
      I love Lewis when he ceases being Mr. Suave and Urbane.
      n[U] the state or condition of being in the power of another person
      If you say that someone is in thrall to a person or thing, you mean that they are completely in their power or are greatly influenced by them.
      In thrall of the economic crisis, nobody wants to touch this political hot potato.
      But as the evil lord Sauron readies his armies for war, Frodo and Sam continue their lonely journey toward Mordor, guided only by Gollum, a deceitful and tortured creature, helplessly in thrall to the Ring's dark power.
      The average Chinese is now in thrall to the greed of McDonalds and Coca-Cola almost as much as the average American.
      The billionaire investor Warren Buffett recognised that in The New York Times when he scathingly asserted the US Congress is in thrall to the super-rich. Thanks to his clever investment managers he pays only 17.4 per cent in tax - half what his office workers pay.
      v[T] do things in order to make sb like you, esp sb who will be useful to you
      If someone tries to ingratiate themselves with you, they do things to try and make you like them.
      He understood how to ingratiate himself with the natives. He would arrive in some settlement up a river, make a present of a cheap carbine or a pair of shoddy binoculars, or something of that sort, to the Rajah, or the head-man, or the principal trader; and on the strength of that gift, ask for a house, posing mysteriously as a very special trader.
      Being handsome and genteel, he found it no very difficult matter to ingratiate himself with the ladies.
      Be polite, be friendly, but don't be too fawning in trying to ingratiate yourself with her 'besties'.
      Anyhow, with all his attributes, Rasputin managed to ingratiate himself into the royal family of the Romanovs and became a trusted and true friend of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia, and his wife Tsarina Alexandra.
      The person doing the bullying knows whom to target and it usually is someone who is vulnerable and shows their vulnerability.
      Bullies know how to suck up to people who have power and ingratiate themselves with them, so that when they target someone they are more likely to get away with it.