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      n[U] the gradual process of liquid passing through a membrane
      Osmosis is the spontaneous net movement of solvent molecules through a semi-permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, in the direction that tends to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides.
      Osmosis is a vital process in biological systems, as biological membranes are semipermeable.
      Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water purification technology that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove larger particles from drinking water.
      Reverse osmosis can remove many types of molecules and ions from solutions, including bacteria, and is used in both industrial processes and the production of potable water.
      If you learn facts or understand ideas by osmosis, you gradually learn them by hearing them often.
      "Reading and math is amazingly simple to teach compared to learning how to get along with others," said Debra Pepler, a York University professor and psychologist. "We expect children to learn this by osmosis and they don't."
      adj recently designed or produced
      Early American homes were lit by gas, and when that newfangled electricity came on to the scene, many folks still had their gas infrastructure.
      After a dramatic campaign in which he traveled by "newfangled" helicopter all over the state, Johnson defeated Coke Stevenson in the Democratic primary race to be the party's candidate for the Senate seat vacated by Senator W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel.
      Also unfortunately, most of the checkers can not articulate an explanation to the satisfaction of an elderly woman. Management has to be called. Then they write a check and want to stand there for another 3 or 4 minutes complaining about that newfangled technology.
      Over the past six years, the Pentagon has spent over $18 billion trying to find ways to detect and neutralise roadside bombs - the leading killer of US troops in Afghanistan - by investing in everything from better mine detectors to newfangled devices that shoot beams of energy.
      n[C] truth
      Marie Curie had spent her life in a search for scientific verities.
      Machiavelli was focused on human nature and his writings capture eternal verities in the same way that Shakespeare's plays do.
      While I hope that my book is faithful to the verities of the past, I don't think that being a chronicler alone is enough of an aim for a novelist.
      I deny the verity of its premises, and hence conclusions.
      Verity is both a given name and a surname.
      adj spending a lot of time studying and reading
      William was said to have been a studious, if somewhat reserved, young man who lived the life of a well-off family of his time.
      I was by temperament a studious, imaginative and inquiring boy.
      I always enjoyed my work in school and college, I wasn't overly studious, but I was dedicated once I decided to get involved in something.
      Without their support, through payments and kindness, I would not have been able to graduate at the end of 2011. They had helped me to remain studious and hard working.
      He was a sober, studious boy. His classmates point out how often he stands to the side in photos of school excursions or class pictures.
      She was a studious girl whose report cards received from school always described her as a "hard worker".
      adj able to contain a lot
      The capacious and comfortable guest rooms here are designed by master designers.
      There's a 128GB SSD drive shoved inside, which is capacious enough for most of your everyday things.
      Compare capacity, capacious, and spacious.
      The overflow of George Eliot's capacious mind should have spread itself when the creative impulse was spent upon history or biography.
      Christ is not sour towards his people; if anything, his capacious heart beats more strongly than ever with tender love for them.
      adj not finished and therefore not successful
      The only African American involved in the abortive raid who survived was Osborne Perry Anderson.
      The result was an abortive revolt against Britain in 1941.
      Before his abortive attempt to end his life, Henry, whose wife describes him as a "wounded, loving, mercurial man," writes a final letter to his son.
      Temporarily blinded and driven to impotent rage by the abortive November 1918 revolution in Germany as well as the military defeat, Hitler, once restored, was convinced that fate had chosen him to rescue a humiliated nation from the shackles of the Versailles Treaty, from Bolsheviks and Jews.
      v[T] bring back swallowed food into the mouth ¶ repeat sth you have heard or read without really thinking about it or understanding it
      Compare regurgitate, ruminate, and vomit.
      Regurgitation is the expulsion of material from the pharynx, or esophagus, usually characterized by the presence of undigested food or blood.
      Regurgitation is used by a number of species to feed their young.
      Some birds and animals regurgitate food to feed their young.
      This is typically in circumstances where the young are at a fixed location and a parent must forage or hunt for food, especially under circumstances where the carriage of small prey would be subject to robbing by other predators or the whole prey is larger than can be carried to a den or nest.
      Regurgitation (insufficiency) is blood flow in the opposite direction from normal, as the backward flowing of blood into the heart or between heart chambers.
      We have to dig below the surface and not simply regurgitate what the first person tells us.
      What I try not to do is simply regurgitate a blow-by-blow account of what someone has talked about.
      He tries to get students to think critically, not just regurgitate facts.
      adj accepting things without complaining
      It was expected that fathers would be stoical and keep their emotions in, while mothers would weep uncontrollably.
      We're deluding ourselves if we believe the young will simply continue to be stoical and deferential to authority.
      How very British, after all, that the whole thing was carried off with such aplomb yesterday in the pouring rain, with the stoical British - in their macs, cagoules and even camping out overnight under their umbrellas - refusing to allow the weather to dampen their enjoyment and determination to celebrate.
      To the outside Richard was calm, strong and stoical, in control, but she knew how heartbroken he was inside.
      adj growing thickly and strongly ¶ pleasantly dense or full
      Luxuriant plants, trees, and gardens are large, healthy, and growing well.
      If you describe someone's hair as luxuriant, you mean that it is very thick and healthy.
      One was short and stocky, powerfully muscled, broad shouldered, robust of limbs, the head squat, the hair black and luxuriant , the mustache heavy, the eyes bright and penetrating, and his whole personality stamped with that southern-blooded zest that, in France, typifies the people of Provence.
      The rivulet was hidden by the luxuriant vegetation of the banks.
      He found on Martha's Vineyard "an abundance of trees and vines of luxuriant growth."
      These islands were luxuriant tropical rain forest surrounded by the original white beach, turquoise blue water.
      English oak, with its luxuriant foliage, provides excellent shade.
      n[U] laughter, or a feeling of fun
      This sent shockwaves of hilarity through the population.
      What is all the hilarity about?
      The Beatles spent the next few hours in hilarity, looked upon with amusement by Dylan.
      Two young kiddies ask their parents how they were made. Hilarity ensues when the parents try to avoid the truth and end up telling their impressionable children they came from giant eggs.
      n[C] an increase in the level of sth
      Facebook shares sagged $2.07 or 9.1 per cent in heavy trading Monday to close at $20.79, bringing to an abrupt halt an upturn in the stock off its low of $17.55.
      Economic performance in September showed an upturn in several indicators including PMI finished goods inventory, volume of primary commodity imports, and property sales.
      It says the economic upturn will remain both fragile and incomplete as long as the jobs crisis continues.
      The economic upturn has also led to an evident rise in construction in Brazil.
      Michael Pascoe has another perspective on the recent upturn in consumer confidence.
      "Downturn" and "upturn" are antonyms.
      n[C] a person or animal that lives in a particular place
      On the 20th began the exodus of the inhabitants. They poured out along the main road to the west through Vlamertinghe.
      For 60 years, the Zionist regime has driven millions of the inhabitants of Palestine out of their homes.
      There is no care for our mother Earth, or its inhabitants except where it benefits the few as it is raped and profaned.
      We have roughly 5.5 million inhabitants, including citizens and noncitizen residents.
      Legend has it that Chicken was named because the original inhabitants could not decide on the spelling of Ptarmigan, a bird similar to the grouse.
      adj having or consisting of various kinds or forms, diverse
      The sentence structure is more varied and there are some advanced vocabulary.
      My interest are so varied and unfocused I probably can't be considered an expert on any one topic.
      Among a range of varied and entertaining options for travelers to Baltimore, the National Aquarium is one of the most popular tourist sites in the area.
      Taste is so varied and subjective and the concept of "what is good music" is an argument as old as the first note conceived.
      adj sb who has or is thought to have superior intellectual and cultural tastes
      Compare brow, eyebrow, highbrow, lowbrow, and middlebrow.
      Used colloquially as a noun or adjective, "highbrow" is synonymous with intellectual; as an adjective, it also means elite, and generally carries a connotation of high culture.
      "Highbrow" can be applied to music, implying most of the classical music tradition and literature—i.e., literary fiction and poetry; to films in the arthouse line; and to comedy that requires significant understanding of analogies or references to appreciate.
      "Highbrow" was popularized in 1902 by Will Irvin, a reporter for The Sun who adhered to the phrenological notion of more intelligent people having high foreheads.
      The opposite of highbrow is lowbrow, and between them is middlebrow, describing culture that is neither high nor low; as a usage, middlebrow is derogatory, as in Virginia Woolf's unsent letter to the New Statesman, written in the 1930s and published in The Death of the Moth and Other Essays (1942).
      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word middlebrow first appeared in print in 1925, in Punch: "The BBC claims to have discovered a new type—'the middlebrow'.
      It consists of people who are hoping that some day they will get used to the stuff that they ought to like".
      To be a highbrow , a complete and representative highbrow, a highbrow like Shakespeare, Dickens, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Charlotte Bronte, Scott, Jane Austen, Flaubert, Hardy or Henry James - to name a few highbrows from the same profession chosen at random - is of course beyond the wildest dreams of my imagination.
      adj rude and not showing any respect
      This indulgence spoiled Agib; he became proud and insolent, would have his play-fellows bear all from him, and would submit to nothing from them, but be master every where; and if any took the liberty to thwart him, he would call them a thousand names, and many times beat them.
      He was being arrogant, patronising, and insolent.
      It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than the aristocracy, more selfish than the bureaucracy.
      He was insolent and contumacious, and magnified himself and was proud.
      n[C] sb who has complete power in a country or organization
      Compare autocrat, despot, dictator, and monarch.
      Everybody who knows me knows I am not an autocrat, I am not aggressive, I am not intolerant.
      Muamar Qaddafi was an autocrat.
      You are behaving like a redneck, and an autocrat , because you can not tolerate dissenting opinions and insist only the US has the truth and US' words must be taken as truth.
      adj greedy
      Blue collar voters were encouraged to see Romney as a rapacious capitalist.
      If he had more effectively rebutted the Obama smear campaign that painted him as a rapacious capitalist who was willing to inflict unemployment on thousands to increase his own and his shareholders' profits, he might have pulled out a victory.
      It is only the rapacious, heartless greed of a small minority that could possibly endorse such a cold-blooded distribution of health-care as you have outlined.
      Bill Clinton deregulated Wall Street and unleashed the rapacious greed that destroyed our economy.
      adj innate, inbred
      Leadership is not obtained from school, it is inborn.
      I think it is an inborn trait for me.
      Some believe that language is inborn and purposeful, while others believe it to be artificial and arbitrary.
      I am really proud of her. She has an inborn talent and she has been like this since childhood.
      Piers Morgan drags him into the question whether homosexuality is inborn.
      v[T] endanger
      They claim that releasing such details would imperil the defence of the nation.
      We are weak and susceptible to irrational and short-term thinking that now imperil our entire economic system.
      The right to adequate housing is being imperilled by the scarcity of resources devoted to social spending and by the privatization of services essential to making any dwelling livable, according to a report by a Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Commission.
      If we were to fail, that freedom could be imperilled. So let us resist the blandishments of the faint hearts; let us ignore the howls and threats of the extremists; let us stand together and do our duty, and we shall not fail.
      v[IT] convert a substance from the solid state to vapor ¶ direct your energy, esp sexual energy, to socially acceptable activities such as work, exercise, art, etc
      Sublimation is the transition of a substance directly from the solid to the gas phase without passing through the intermediate liquid phase.
      In psychology, sublimation is a mature type of defense mechanism where socially unacceptable impulses or idealizations are unconsciously transformed into socially acceptable actions or behavior, possibly resulting in a long-term conversion of the initial impulse.
      Sigmund Freud believed that sublimation was a sign of maturity (indeed, of civilization), allowing people to function normally in culturally acceptable ways.
      He defined sublimation as the process of deflecting sexual instincts into acts of higher social valuation, being "an especially conspicuous feature of cultural development; it is what makes it possible for higher psychical activities, scientific, artistic or ideological, to play such an important part in civilised life".
      One of the best known examples in Western literature is in Thomas Mann's novella, Death in Venice, where the protagonist Gustav von Aschenbach, a famous writer, sublimates his desire for an adolescent boy into writing poetry.
      Agatha Christie's novel And Then There Were None features a villain whose line of work as a judge, dealing out harsh sentences to guilty criminals, had previously permitted him to sublimate his homicidal urges.
      adj increased in amount or strength
      Police have since taken tough measures to combat gun crimes, including stepped-up enforcement, as well as behind-the-scenes community-building programs.
      To this end, in addition to strict expenditure control, stepped-up efforts for strengthening domestic revenue mobilization are called for.
      U.S. officials say the violence indicates that smugglers are growing more desperate as stepped-up security makes it harder to sneak across the border.
      There are reports that Israel has stepped-up its airstrikes over Gaza and Hamas/PIJ have stepped-up rocket fire in response.
      adj tightly made that water cannot enter or escape
      Compare airtight and watertight.
      A coating of tar kept the boat watertight.
      The belief that the ship was unsinkable was, in part, due to the fact that the Titanic had sixteen watertight compartments.
      Titanic had a number of watertight bulkheads that could be used to seal off compartments.
      If B.C. Ferries had kept all of the watertight doors shut, how much would the speed of the flooding would have slowed?
      n[C] a building where grain is kept
      A granary is a storehouse or room in a barn for threshed grain or animal feed.
      Ancient or primitive granaries are most often made out of pottery.
      Granaries are often built above the ground to keep the stored food away from mice and other animals.
      Outside the longhouse there was a neat little hut on six-feet stilts, the rice granary.
      Punjab, India's granary and its most prosperous state, has added another claim to its record: it's the state with the worst child sex ratio: 776 girls for every 1,000 boys.
      Your neighbour's granary will never feed your stomach.
      adj not very good or special
      It is totally forgettable - not bad, just undistinguished.
      At Sydney University, where he went to study architecture, he was academically undistinguished.
      Lord Ashley's early political career was undistinguished and political reporters of the time complained that his speeches in the House of Commons were inaudible.
      Tech support for Apple laptops has been superior, but reliability has been undistinguished.
      adj causing injury, harm, or damage
      Sulphuric acid is one of the strongest acids known. It corrodes lime stone and metals and destroys clothing. It also has injurious effects on respiratory tissue.
      The lead mixed air, if inhaled, may produce injurious effects on the kidneys, blood and liver.
      Prof. von Leyden says that, in his experience, he has never seen injurious consequences from continence.
      Smoking is really so much injurious to health.
      In October 1999, Philip Morris Tobacco Company announced to the public on its web site that "there is an overwhelming medical and scientific consensus that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and other serious disease in smokers."