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vocabulary
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100 Words Encountered in

Logic & Reasoning

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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resolve
4 meanings
as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
This year I resolved to lose a pound a week for 5 weeks.
resolved = decided
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
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as in:
This committee hereby resolves...
The Security Council resolved that all parties should work together for the successful implementation of the National Peace Accords.
resolved = voiced an opinion by formal group vote
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
make a decision or voice an opinion by formal group vote
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as in:
Her resolve weakened.
She never waivered in her resolve to attend a good college.
resolve = determination (firmness of purpose)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
firmness of purpose (strong determination to do something)
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as in:
How did you resolve the problem?
Three of the five issues have already been resolved.
resolved = solved or settled
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to solve a problem or settle a disagreement
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hypothesis
2 meanings
as in:
a study to test her hypothesis
The study will test the hypothesis that a good marriage is more important than a higher income when measuring happiness.
hypothesis = a seemingly reasonable, but unproven, idea based upon known facts
DefinitionGenerally this sense of hypothesis means:
a seemingly reasonable, but unproven, idea based upon known facts — often an idea to be tested
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as in:
Let's assume hypothetically that
For the purpose of discussion, let's accept that the hypothesis that she is guilty is true. What would we have expected her to do after the incident?
hypothesis = something that may not be true, but that is temporarily treated as true to advance a discussion or to further investigation
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imply
She wouldn't make a direct statement, but she implied that she supported our position.
implied = hinted or suggested
DefinitionGenerally imply means:
to suggest or say indirectly — possibly as a logical consequence
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infer
Which of the following facts can you infer from the first paragraph?
infer = figure out or guess by reasoning
DefinitionGenerally infer means:
to figure out or guess by reasoning
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abstract
3 meanings
as in:
abstract thought
We all agree that we want what's "best for the country", but that is an abstract concept and we cannot agree on which specific laws should be passed.
abstract = of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstract means:
of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance

or more rarely:

describing someone as distracted — thinking about something outside of the immediate conversation or circumstances
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as in:
read the abstract
The abstract is free, but there is a fee to see the entire article.
abstract = summary
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstract means:
a summary; or to summarize — especially academic writing
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as in:
abstract art
She is an abstract painter.
abstract = not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature
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subtle
as in:
a subtle difference or thinker
She used subtle reasoning to expose the absurdity of his argument.
subtle = making use of slight distinctions
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions)

or:

capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
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indeterminate
A zillion is a large indeterminate number.
indeterminate = unknown or uncertain
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correspond
4 meanings
as in:
corresponding time period
Eskimos have many words that correspond to the English word snow. For example, there are different words for "snow on the ground", "fresh snow on the ground", "soft snow on the ground", "a crust of snow on the ground" and so forth.
correspond = are equivalent
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspond means:
connect or fit together by being equivalent, proportionate, or matched

(Two things are equivalent if they have the same or very similar value, purpose, or result.)
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as in:
corresponding by email
We correspond regularly via email.
correspond = write to each other
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspond means:
communicate by writing letters or email
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as in:
a correspondence course
She took a correspondence course while she was in prison.
correspondence = done from afar via written communication
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspondence means:
done from afar
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as in:
foreign correspondent of the paper
Let's get a report from our correspondent in Mexico City.
correspondent = reporter
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspondent means:
a reporter — typically from a foreign country or with a particular expertise
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sufficient
We have sufficient supplies.
sufficient = adequate (enough — often without being more than is needed)
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assert
2 meanings
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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as in:
asserted her authority
She says women should assert themselves more.
assert = to be forceful in exercising rights
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fallacy
The entire argument is built on a fallacy.
fallacy = a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning
DefinitionGenerally fallacy means:
a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning; or a common form of incorrect reasoning
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fallacious
She reached a false conclusion that was based on fallacious reasoning.
fallacious = mistaken (based on incorrect information or belief)
DefinitionGenerally fallacious means:
not correct
  • typically describing something as mistaken due to incorrect information or belief
  • sometimes describing something as an intentional lie
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plausible
She offered a plausible excuse.
plausible = apparently reasonable, but unproven
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equivalent
At $50 a share, it is equivalent to about a billion dollars.
equivalent = being equal or essentially equal
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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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approximate
The state has approximately as many Republicans as Democrats.
approximately = about (but not exactly)
DefinitionGenerally approximate means:
almost, but not exact; or similar
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sequential
She has a gift for breaking a complex task into a simple series of sequential steps.
sequential = happening in a specific order — especially chronological order
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coherent
She is more coherent now than she was just after the accident an hour ago.
coherent = sensible and clear; or describing parts as fitting together in a consistent or pleasing manner
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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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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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contrary
5 meanings
as in:
a contrary idea
The facts point to a contrary conclusion.
contrary = different (perhaps opposite or mutually exclusive)
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as in:
a contrary personality
She has a contrary personality.
contrary = disagreeable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrary means:
disagreeable — typically in reference to someone's personality
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as in:
contrary to
Contrary to popular belief, the largest pyramid is in Mexico—not Egypt.
contrary to = in opposition to
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as in:
on the contrary
She was not smiling. On the contrary, she frowned.
on the contrary = In opposition to what was just said
DefinitionGenerally this sense of on the contrary means:
in opposition to what was just said
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as in:
to the contrary
What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.
to the contrary = with an opposite or different effect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of to the contrary means:
with an opposite or different effect; or something with an opposite or different effect
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empirical
Is her theory supported by empirical data?
empirical = based on experience or observation rather than theory
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infinite
There are infinite possibilities.
infinite = unlimited; without boundaries; or too numerous to count
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precede
Stone tools preceded bronze tools.
preceded = were before in time
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
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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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insight
The book is full of insight on human nature.
insight = clear understanding of some aspects of a complex situation
DefinitionGenerally insight means:
a clear understanding of some aspect of a complex situation; or a tendency to have such understandings
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reconcile
as in:
reconciled their differences
She reconciled her checking account statement.
reconciled = brought into agreement (in this case, the statement from the bank with the record she kept in her check register)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reconcile means:
to bring into agreement

(see word notes for more detailed definitions based on context)
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essence
To make things better, to enjoy each other's company, and to empathize are essence of humanity.
essence = the defining or most important aspect of something
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essential
The essential feature of the pen is that it writes so consistently.
essential = absolutely necessary; or of greatest importance
DefinitionGenerally essential means:
absolutely necessary; or of the greatest importance

or:

the defining or most important aspect of something
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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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dilemma
It is an ethical dilemma.
dilemma = a situation in which a difficult choice must be made between imperfect alternatives
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constraint
Both sides have demonstrated a lack of constraint in the discussions.
constraint = staying within limits (in this case restraining themselves from saying things that make it hard to work together)
DefinitionGenerally constraint means:
something that limits something's motion or someone's actions; or the state of being so limited
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explicit
2 meanings
as in:
explicit instructions
She gave us explicit instructions.
explicit = precisely and clearly expressed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of explicit means:
precise and clear so there is no confusion or doubt about what was/is said
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as in:
explicit photos and pornography
The computer has a filter that blocks explicit photos and pornography.
explicit = expressing or displaying sexual activity or nudity in a manner that leaves little to the imagination
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implicit
3 meanings
as in:
not explicitly but implicitly
"Did she explicitly promise?"
"Well, I guess not explicitly, but nobody who was there could have missed the implicit promise."
implicit = implied (not said directly)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of implicit means:
implied though not directly expressed
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as in:
implicit problem with the design
This risk is implicit in your plan. We can work to minimize the danger, but it cannot be eliminated.
implicit = exists as an inseparable part or characteristic
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as in:
I trust her implicitly.
Her team has implicit confidence in her decisions.
implicit = complete
DefinitionGenerally this sense of implicit means:
complete (without any doubts)
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utilitarian
She likes plain utilitarian kitchenware.
utilitarian = designed for usefulness rather than beauty or style
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objective
By any objective analysis, you would have to agree that...
objective = fact-based (not influenced by personal feelings or preferences)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of objective means:
fact-based without the influence of personal feelings or preferences
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intuitive
The were perfect partners—one highly intuitive and the other highly analytical.
intuitive = based on feeling or instinct rather than conscious reasoning

or:

easy to understand without training or study
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profound
as in:
profound sadness
Her apology was heartfelt—expressing profound sorrow and regret.
profound = of greatest intensity or emotional depth
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comprehend
I don't think she comprehends how dangerous this has become.
comprehends = fully understands
DefinitionGenerally comprehend means:
to understand something — especially to understand it completely
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comprehensive
Her insurance includes comprehensive coverage.
comprehensive = including everything
DefinitionGenerally comprehensive means:
including everything or everything important
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rhetoric
She uses convincing rhetoric, but makes bad decisions.
rhetoric = the use of words to make a point
DefinitionGenerally rhetoric means:
the use of words to make a point

or more rarely:

study of the technique and rules for using language effectively (especially to persuade)
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acknowledge
She acknowledged that she might have forgotten.
acknowledged = admitted
DefinitionGenerally acknowledge means:
express recognition of someone or something; or admit something
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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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trivial
We're in agreement on the main issues. We just have some trivial details to work out.
trivial = unimportant
DefinitionGenerally trivial means:
of little importance; or describing  a challenge as uninteresting and easy to solve
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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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contend
as in:
She contended that...
Her lawyer contends that the contract isn't valid.
contends = claims or says
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contend means:
to claim that something is true
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premise
as in:
the premise of the argument
Her logic is fine except that it assumes a false premise.
premise = something assumed to be true that can be used to build a logical argument
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sophistry
Where facts failed her, she used sophistry.
sophistry = the use of seemingly believable, but invalid arguments that display ingenuity in reasoning
DefinitionGenerally sophistry means:
seemingly believable, but invalid arguments that display ingenuity in reasoning
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derive
She likes to win, but she doesn't derive pleasure from watching others lose.
derive = get
DefinitionGenerally derive means:
to get something from something else

(If the context doesn't otherwise indicate where something came from, it is generally from reasoning—especially deductive reasoning.)
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derivative
a highly derivative prose style
derivative = something developed from something else
DefinitionGenerally derivative means:
something developed from something else such as:
  • a word based on another word
  • a mathematical value from a function
  • the value of a financial instrument
  • a work of art such as a film or painting that lacks ideas not previously expressed in other works of art
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diffuse
When the United States focused on terrorism, the movement went further underground and became more diffuse.
diffuse = spread out
DefinitionGenerally diffuse means:
to spread; or to soften or calm

or:

to be spread out (not concentrated) — sometimes implying a lack or organization or the use of too many words
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tautology
2 meanings

a linguistic tautology
It is an intentional tautology as when Gertrude Stein said "A rose is a rose is a rose."
tautology = useless repetition in different words (such as "unmarried bachelor")
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a logical tautology
She didn't proved anything. It's a tautology to propose as a premise that "All men are pigs," and that "Bob is therefore a pig because he's a man." The "proof" is in the premise—which is to say, there is no proof.
tautology = a statement that is necessarily true (such as "She will win the election or she won't.")
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orthogonal
Wind and sea may displace the ship's center of gravity along three orthogonal axes.
orthogonal = meeting at right angles
DefinitionGenerally orthogonal means:
meeting at right angles

or:

unrelated; uncorrelated, or mutually exclusive
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attribute
2 meanings
as in:
It is an attribute of...
She described his physical attributes.
attributes = characteristics (of something or someone)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
a characteristic (of something or someone)
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as in:
I attribute it to...
She attributed this quotation to Shakespeare.
attributed = credited (a source for something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something) — such as:
  • to say that something happened because of someone or something else (give credit or blame)
  • to say that an idea or quotation came from a specified source
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commute
as in:
commutative property of addition
As in math, the commutative property works for this recipe. The order in which you add the ingredients doesn't matter.
commutative property = math:  the order in which two numbers are added or multiplied does not change their sum or product (2+3=3+2) and (47=74)
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diatribe
another one-sided, political diatribe not worth listening to
diatribe = a strongly felt and usually lengthy criticism of something or someone
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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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abstruse
The professor's lectures were so abstruse that students tended to avoid them.
abstruse = difficult to understand
DefinitionGenerally abstruse means:
difficult to understand; or not known by the great majority of people
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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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adjunct
2 meanings
as in:
adjunct faculty
She is an adjunct professor who teaches just one class.
adjunct = something added to another thing, but not an essential part of it
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as in:
called for his adjunct
I spoke with her adjunct.
adjunct = assistant or subordinate
DefinitionGenerally this sense of adjunct means:
a person who is an assistant or subordinate to another
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adversary
She is his greatest adversary.
adversary = opponent
DefinitionGenerally adversary means:
an opponent
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Agamemnon
The 2004 film, Troy, depicted Agamemnon in an especially unsympathetic manner.
Agamemnon = Greek mythology:  the king who lead the Greeks against Troy in the Trojan War
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AIDS
Many people who spread AIDS are unaware that they have HIV.
AIDS = a serious (often fatal) disease of the immune system transmitted through bodily fluids especially by sexual contact or contaminated needles
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albeit
She is just a person, albeit a very powerful person.
albeit = although
DefinitionGenerally albeit means:
although (used to introduce a phrase that reduces or modifies the effect of what preceded it)
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ambiguous
Her answer was ambiguous.
ambiguous = unclear — because there could be two or more interpretations
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Amsterdam
Although the constitution of the Netherlands makes Amsterdam the offical country capital, the national government actually meats in the country's third largest city, The Hague.
Amsterdam = largest city of the Netherlands
DefinitionGenerally Amsterdam means:
largest city of the Netherlands; known for its canals, museums, and multiculturalism
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antithesis
Her theory is the antithesis of mine.
antithesis = exact opposite
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aphorism
She often quotes St. Augustine's aphorism, "Love the sinner and hate the sin."
aphorism = a short saying intended to impart wisdom
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apprehension
3 meanings
as in:
apprehension about finals
She looked around the examination room with apprehension.
apprehension = worry about what is to come
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as in:
apprehension of the criminal
The tip led to the criminal's apprehension in Mexico.
apprehension = the capture of a criminal
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as in:
conscious apprehension is limited
Apprehension precedes comprehension.
apprehension = to understand

or:

in psychology and philosophy:  immediate awareness prior to analysis and judgment
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appropriate
2 meanings
as in:
it is appropriate
These clothes aren't appropriate for work.
appropriate = suitable (fitting) for a particular situation
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as in:
appropriated the
The money has been appropriated, but it hasn't been spent yet.
appropriated = given or assigned for a particular use
DefinitionGenerally this sense of appropriate means:
give, assign, or seize a resource — usually for a particular use
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apropos
2 meanings
as in:
unusual attire, but apropos
The story was apropos.
apropos = of an appropriate or pertinent nature
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as in:
Apropos, did you hear from John?
Apropos, can you lend me some money for the weekend?
apropos = use to introduce a related item as in:  "regarding"; or "speaking of that"; or "incidentally"
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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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assimilate
This country assimilates immigrants very quickly.
assimilates = takes in and transforms to fit into the prevailing culture
DefinitionGenerally assimilate means:
take in and/or transform or fit in:

such as:  a person with differences fitting into a prevailing culture

or such as:  information transformed within the mind into understanding

or such as:  nutrients transformed within the body for its use
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