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vocabulary
1000+ books

100 Words Encountered in

Law

Other Interests
accord
as in:
according to, or in accord with
She will get a fair trial in accordance with the law.
accordance = keeping with; or agreement with
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
in keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
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Library42 uses in 10 avg bks
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sufficient
We have sufficient supplies.
sufficient = adequate (enough — often without being more than is needed)
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Library20 uses in 10 avg bks
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criteria
We're considering five primary criteria as we compare job applicants.
criteria = reference points against which things can be evaluated
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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dispute
2 meanings
as in:
their border dispute
The area has long been a source of dispute between India and Pakistan.
dispute = disagreement
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
disagreement, argument, or conflict
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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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as in:
She disputes his claim.
She disputes her landlord's claim that the music was that loud.
disputes = challenges
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
challenge, argue about, or fight over
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Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
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et al.
the data reported by Smith et al.
et al. = abbreviation meaning "and others"
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Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
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cite
as in:
cited from the President's speech
She cited Polonius' advice to his son from Shakespeare's Hamlet: "Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice."
cited = quoted (to make a point)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of cite means:
to quote someone (to make a point)
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Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
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subsequent
Her guess was proven right by subsequent developments.
subsequent = following
DefinitionGenerally subsequent means:
following something else
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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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deed
My grandmother deeded her home to my mother.
deeded = legally transferred ownership of property
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deed means:
a legal document indicating ownership of property
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contract
as in:
legal contract
She signed the contract.
contract = a written agreement that is enforceable by law
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contract means:
an agreement - typically written and enforceable by law
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Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
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disposition
as in:
disposition of the matter
What was the disposition of the court?
disposition = the decision or action taken when an issue was settled so that it no longer requires attention
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Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
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assert
as in:
asserted her opinion that...
The defense also asserts that the defendant has no previous record.
asserts = says (that something is true — especially something disputed)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assert means:
to say that something is true — especially something disputed
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Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
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jurisprudence
It is an important decision in the Supreme Court's affirmative action jurisprudence.
jurisprudence = interpretations of the law
DefinitionGenerally jurisprudence means:
the branch of philosophy concerned with the law

or:

a collection of laws
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jurisdiction
The state court has jurisdiction on this matter — not the federal court.
jurisdiction = the authority to apply the law
DefinitionGenerally jurisdiction means:
the authority to make decisions or apply the law; or the territory subject to such authority
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obligation
She feels that helping him is her obligation.
obligation = duty
DefinitionGenerally obligation means:
a duty
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Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
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common law
The United States inherited its common law from Great Britain.
common law = a system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents rather than statutory laws; (also called "case law")
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civil law
2 meanings

as: contrasted to criminal law
The burden of proof is greater in criminal law than in civil law.
civil law = the body of law governing relationships between individuals not involving the state, such as the fulfillment of contracts
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as: contrasted to common law
Although it's not as nuanced as common law, it is easier to look up rules of civil law.
civil law = law developed by governmental groups in contrast to common law (based on custom and precedent)
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plausible
She offered a plausible excuse.
plausible = apparently reasonable, but unproven
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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notwithstanding
Notwithstanding my fear, I want to try parachuting from an airplane.
notwithstanding = in spite of (In this case, my fear does not withstand my desire to try parachuting. My desire is stronger than my fear.) (used to connect contrasting ideas)
DefinitionGenerally notwithstanding means:
in spite of; or in spite of the thing mentioned
(Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nevertheless, nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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accommodate
as in:
Each room can accommodate four
The lab can accommodate up to 30 students at one time.
accommodate = provide (or have the ability to provide) something desired or needed
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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affirm
Maria affirmed that she has complete faith in the other members of the team.
affirmed = expressed a firm belief
DefinitionGenerally affirm means:
a firm statement that something is true

or:

expressing emotional support or encouragement for someone
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Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
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liabilities
as in:
legal liability
They have legal liability for accidents caused by the defective tires.
liability = a legal obligation or responsibility
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inconsistent
Her play is inconsistent. Sometimes she's unbeatable and other times she beats herself.
inconsistent = not the same at different times
DefinitionGenerally inconsistent means:
not the same in different parts or at different times

or:

not in agreement [with something else]
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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allege
She alleged that she was the victim of a crime.
alleged = asserted (said) without proof
DefinitionGenerally allege means:
claim (asserted without proof)
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Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
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presumption
as in:
presumption of innocence
I presumed she was an expert since she spoke so confidently.
presumed = assumed something was true without proof
DefinitionGenerally this sense of presumption means:
something thought of as true without proof
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Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
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testimony
Her emotional testimony moved the jury.
testimony = the statement of a witness at a trial
DefinitionGenerally testimony means:
something that serves as evidence — especially a statement at a trial or hearing
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defendant
The defendant is confident she will be found innocent.
defendant = a person (or institution) legally accused or sued in court
DefinitionGenerally defendant means:
a person or institution legally accused or sued in court
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Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
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render
as in:
rendered service or a verdict
We're waiting for the jury to render a verdict.
render = give
DefinitionGenerally this sense of render means:
to give or supply something
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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apparent
The effects of the drought are apparent to anyone who sees the dry fields.
apparent = clear or obvious
DefinitionGenerally apparent means:
clear or obvious; or appearing as such but not necessarily so
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prevail
as in:
reason will prevail
Neither side has the strength to prevail over the other.
prevail = prove superior or win
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fraudulent
She stole money by filing a fraudulent insurance claim.
fraudulent = intended to deceive
DefinitionGenerally fraudulent means:
intentional deception — usually for financial gain or ego
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compliant
as in:
compliant with the law
The company was fined for not being regulation 4.3 compliant.
compliant = conforming to rules
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compliance
Our policy is in compliance with the law.
compliance = to conform to rules or the wishes of others
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relevant
It is easier to learn things that seem relevant to your life.
relevant = related in a meaningful way to the issue in question
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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waive
as in:
waive the right
They will waive the foreign language requirement for students who are already bilingual.
waive = not enforce something to which one would otherwise be entitled
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construe
The executive branch does not construe the provision as requiring it to share additional information with Congress.
construe = interpret
DefinitionGenerally construe means:
to interpret something as having a specific meaning
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judiciary
The constitution means what the judiciary says it means.
judiciary = the system of law courts that administer justice
DefinitionGenerally judiciary means:
the system of law courts that administer justice; or the people in that system
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convey
as in:
convey her thoughts
Please convey my gratitude for her hospitality.
convey = communicate or express
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brief
as in:
legal brief
The ACLU filed the brief in October.
brief = a summary of important facts — especially an opinion of a legal case
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testify
She testified against the robber.
testified = provided oral evidence in court
DefinitionGenerally testify means:
provide evidence of something — especially to say something under oath in a court of law
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Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
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writ
Her attorney filed for a writ of habeas corpus.
writ = an order issued by a court or judicial officer
DefinitionGenerally writ means:
law:  an order issued by a court or judicial officer

or more rarely:

archaic term for written or wrote
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compel
Does our DNA compel us to act as we do?
compel = force
DefinitionGenerally compel means:
to force someone to do something

or more rarely:

to convince someone to do something
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Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
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cease
They signed a cease-fire agreement.
cease = to stop or discontinue (in this case, to stop firing weapons at each other)
DefinitionGenerally cease means:
to stop or discontinue
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bankrupt
as in:
bankrupt idea
It is a bankrupt approach to solving the problem.
bankrupt = without value
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canon law
What would be called canon law in the Roman Catholic Church is called church order or practice and procedure in the Presbyterian Church.
canon law = the body of codified laws governing the affairs of a Christian church
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prejudice
The group works to eliminate racial prejudice.
prejudice = unreasonable and unfair belief or feeling
DefinitionGenerally prejudice means:
to have unreasonable belief — especially when unfair to members of a race, religion, or other group

or more generally:

to have (or create in others) an unreasonable belief that prevents objective (unbiased) consideration of an issue or situation
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liable
as in:
is legally liable
She was drunk and liable for the death of the other driver.
liable = held legally responsible
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confront
You must confront your problems.
confront = deal directly with an unpleasant situation
DefinitionGenerally confront means:
to deal directly with an unpleasant situation or person

or:

to challenge someone — often by presenting evidence
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Library21 uses in 10 avg bks
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defer
as in:
deferred the decision
The weather forced us to defer our departure another day.
defer = postpone or delay
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
postpone (hold off until a later time)
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Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
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advocate
as in:
to advocate
She advocates stricter gun control.
advocates = publicly supports
DefinitionGenerally this sense of advocate means:
to recommend or publicly support someone or something
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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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slander
In the United States, it is extremely difficult for someone famous to win a slander lawsuit—almost no matter what is said.
slander = words falsely spoken that damage the reputation of another
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arbitrary
It was an arbitrary decision.
arbitrary = based on chance or impulse
DefinitionGenerally arbitrary means:
based on chance or impulse (rather than upon reasoning, consistent rules, or a proper sense of fairness)
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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bar
She just graduated from law school and now needs to take the bar examination.
bar examination = any of the state tests a person needs to pass to practice law in that state
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bar means:
any of the state tests a person needs to pass to practice law in that state

or:

the association of people qualified to practice law in a particular place
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community property
California and Texas are two of the community property states.
community property = property and income belonging jointly to a married couple

or:

the principle that property acquired during a marriage and funds that are commingled during the marriage are jointly owned
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litigate
I'm hoping we won't have to litigate the matter.
litigate = engage in legal proceedings
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symposium
I'm excited to attend the symposium on robotics.
symposium = a gathering to discuss a specific subject — generally with shared and breakout sessions in which individual or panels of experts address audiences
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intimidate
I was intimidated on my first day at the job, but I'm comfortable now.
intimidated = afraid (of being inadequate)
DefinitionGenerally intimidate means:
make fearful of inadequacy

or:

threaten
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intestate
She died intestate.
intestate = without a will
DefinitionGenerally intestate means:
describes a person who died without a legally valid will; or describes property left by such a person
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cross-examination
Prosecutors expect to wrap up their cross-examination tomorrow.
cross-examination = the re-questioning of a witness who has already been questioned by the other side in court
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compensate
2 meanings
as in:
he compensates with extra effort
She uses several techniques to help compensate for her dyslexia.
compensate = make up
DefinitionGenerally this sense of compensate means:
make up for; or adjust for
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as in:
she is generously compensated
The company has offered to compensate everyone impacted by the defective cars.
compensate = make payment to
DefinitionGenerally this sense of compensate means:
to make payment to someone (often in amends for a loss or inconvenience they suffered)
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deduce
She trusts only what she can measure or can deduce from measurement.
deduce = conclude by reasoning
DefinitionGenerally deduce means:
conclude by reasoning — especially reasoning from the general to the particular
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deponent
The deponent is a chief new-product design engineer and we need to be sure she is not interrogated about potential new products by a lawyer of our prime competitor.
deponent = a person who gives a deposition or testifies
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contingency fee
The firm specializes in personal injury cases taken on a contingency fee basis.
contingency fee = a fee that is payable only if the outcome is successful — especially for an attorney's services
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waver
Through good times and bad her love for him has never wavered.
wavered = been unsure or weak

or:

moved back and forth
DefinitionGenerally waver means:
moving back and forth

or:

to be unsure or weak
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aggravated assault
He is charged with aggravated assault.
aggravated assault = a reckless attack with intent to injure seriously (as with a deadly weapon)
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compensatory damages
They were ordered to pay compensatory damages of $10,000.
compensatory damages = money or actions ordered by a court to make amends for losses of an injured party
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ingress
the turn lane provides better ingress to the parking lot
ingress = entry
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contingent liability
The contingent liability is not on the balance sheet, but it is mentioned in the footnotes.
contingent liability = a legal obligation to perform some action (such as pay money) in the event that something (probably unexpected) happens
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amicus brief
Twenty states filed an amicus brief.
amicus brief = a document filed in a legal proceeding by an interested party who is not directly part of the case
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principal-agent problem
The legislation is intended to reduce the principal-agent problem in our industry.
principal-agent problem = the difficulties that arise because an agent (who makes decisions for a principal) has incentives or objectives that differ from those of the principal
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abate
The storm abated.
abated = became less in amount or intensity
DefinitionGenerally abate means:
to become less in amount or intensity
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abolish
She is in favor of abolishing the death penalty.
abolishing = eliminating (doing away with)
DefinitionGenerally abolish means:
eliminate (do away with)
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abridge
The new law might abridge our freedom of speech.
abridge = reduce
DefinitionGenerally abridge means:
reduce in scope while retaining essential elements — especially to a book
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abrogate
She has abrogated her responsibility as a mother.
abrogated = done away with (ignored)
DefinitionGenerally abrogate means:
to abolish (do away with) something
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abscond
the accountant absconded with the cash from the safe
absconded = ran away
DefinitionGenerally abscond means:
to run away (usually taking something you shouldn't)
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absolve
The committee absolved her of any wrong doing.
absolved = found blameless
DefinitionGenerally absolve means:
to find someone blameless; or forgive; or relieve (of a requirement or obligation)
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abstain
2 meanings
as in:
12 votes yes and 3 abstained
She abstained from the vote because her sister was bidding for the job.
abstained = formally did not vote either "yes" or "no" (so that other voters made the decision)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstain means:
to formally not vote either "yes" or "no" (so that other voters will make the decision)
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as in:
abstained from alcohol
I abstain from alcohol
abstain = keep away (choose not to do something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstain means:
choose not to do something
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accede
2 meanings
as in:
accede to her suggestion
She will not accede to his request.
accede = to agree or express agreement
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as in:
accede to the throne
Board members select their officers and the vice president accedes to president after serving one year.
accedes = takes on duties or office
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accede means:
take on duties or office
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accompany
The nurse accompanied the old woman everywhere.
accompanied = traveled along with
DefinitionGenerally accompany means:
to travel along with; or to be present with at the same time and/or location

or:

to perform with
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accomplice
Was she acting alone or did she have an accomplice?
accomplice = person who assisted
DefinitionGenerally accomplice means:
a person who joins with another in carrying out some plan — especially an unethical or illegal plan
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acquiesce
She is opposed, but will ultimately acquiesce to the will of the majority.
acquiesce = reluctantly comply
DefinitionGenerally acquiesce means:
reluctant or unenthusiastic compliance, consent, or agreement
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acquisition
From the fifth grade onward, most vocabulary acquisition occurs incidentally while reading.
acquisition = to get possession of
DefinitionGenerally acquisition means:
obtaining possession of something; or the thing possessed
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acquit
2 meanings
as in:
she was acquitted
It took the jury only 30 minutes to acquit her of the murder charge.
acquit = officially find "not guilty"
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acquit means:
officially find "not guilty" of criminal charges
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as in:
she acquitted herself well
Although they did not win, the team acquitted itself well and we were proud to have them represent us.
acquitted = handled oneself in a specified way
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acquit means:
to handle oneself in a specified way — which is typically in a positive way
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adverse
She did an impressive job given the adverse circumstances.
adverse = working against one's interests
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aggravate
2 meanings
as in:
he aggravates me
She is the most aggravating person I know.
aggravating = annoying or irritating
DefinitionGenerally this sense of aggravate means:
annoy or irritate
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as in:
aggravated his illness
The offense is aggravated by...
aggravated = make worse
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aggregate
2 meanings
as in:
the aggregate effect
Aggregate expenses include expenses of all the divisions of our company for the entire year.
aggregate = combined (quantities of different, but related things)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of aggregate means:
the combination of different, but related, things; or relating to such a thing
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as in:
he aggregated them
We need to aggregate the data from all sources.
aggregate = the act of combining different, but related quantities or things
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aggrieve
He fears a lawsuit from one of the aggrieved parties.
aggrieved = feeling harmed from unfair treatment
DefinitionGenerally aggrieve means:
feeling harmed by unfair treatment; or (more rarely) harming someone unfairly
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allot
She allotted part of the yard for the dogs and part for a garden.
allotted = to give out — especially a share of something
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amicus curiae
Both the ACLU and the Justice Department were amici curiae in a case involving an employer's alleged abuse of his employees civil liberties.
amici curiae = an adviser to the court on some matter of law who is not a party to the case; usually someone who wants to influence the outcome of a lawsuit involving matters of wide public interest
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amity
If we cannot be close friends, we can at least live in amity.
amity = a state of friendly relations
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amortize
The loan is amortized over 10 years.
amortized = to reduce gradually — usually a debt or the cost of an asset
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annex
2 meanings
as in:
annexed the community
The county annexed the rural community where we live.
annexed = took territory
DefinitionGenerally this sense of annex means:
to take territory — such as a city making land outside of it a part of the city
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as in:
annex of the main building
The YMCA added an annex where younger children can play.
annex = an addition that extends a main building
DefinitionGenerally this sense of annex means:
an addition that extends a main building

or:

to attach something — especially to something larger or more important
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