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vocabulary
1000+ books

100 Words Encountered in

Medicine

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diagnose
She diagnosed the disease as...
diagnosed = determine or identify the nature of a problem or an illness
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diabetes
He was diagnosed with Type II diabetes.
diabetes = a disease in which the body can't control the amount of sugar in the blood and that is marked by excessive urination and persistent thirst
DefinitionGenerally diabetes means:
any of several metabolic disorders characterized by abnormally high glucose levels in the blood and marked by excessive urination and persistent thirst
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insulin
Insulin injections are used to treat some forms of diabetes.
insulin = a hormone produced in the pancreas which controls sugar levels in the blood

or:

a hormone replacement medicine used to treat diabetes
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Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
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TB
Antibiotic resistant TB is a growing problem.
TB = an infection transmitted by inhalation or ingestion of tubercle bacilli and manifested in fever and small lesions (sores) in the lungs
DefinitionGenerally TB means:
an infection transmitted by inhalation or ingestion of tubercle bacilli and manifested in fever and small sores in the lungs
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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embryo
The doctor implanted multiple embryos to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.
embryos = a human in the first eight weeks of pregnancy
DefinitionGenerally embryo means:
an animal organism in the early stages of growth; in humans the first eight weeks of pregnancy (prior to the fetal stage)
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radiation
Ionizing radiation has enough energy to ionize atoms or molecules.
radiation = particles emitted by nuclear decay (i.e., particles smaller than an atom that are sent out due to radioactivity)
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adverse
She did an impressive job given the adverse circumstances.
adverse = working against one's interests
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contract
as in:
contract the disease
She contracted an STD (sexually transmitted disease).
contracted = acquired (gotten; or picked up)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contract means:
to get — especially in reference to a disease
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Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
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pathology
The Environmental Protection Agency Administrator has degrees in biology and pathology.
pathology = the study of disease
DefinitionGenerally pathology means:
the study of disease by studying cells and tissues under a microscope; or a disease
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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paralysis
She suffers paralysis of her legs.
paralysis = loss of the ability to move
DefinitionGenerally paralysis means:
loss of the ability to move the body or a part of it

or:

inability to act or make a decision
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Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
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indicate
These maps are drawn with north to the top unless otherwise indicated.
indicated = pointed out (shown)
DefinitionGenerally indicate means:
to show (point out, demonstrate, express, or suggest)
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Library36 uses in 10 avg bks
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morbid
as in:
morbidly obese
Morbid obesity is sometimes defined as being more than 100 pounds above average weight for the same height.
morbid = unhealthy
DefinitionGenerally this sense of morbid means:
unhealthy or related to disease — especially of a serious long-term illness
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vaccine
Researchers are looking for an HIV vaccine.
vaccine = a substance (such as weakened or dead disease-causing microorganism) injected into a person or animal to stimulate the production of antibodies to protect against a disease
DefinitionGenerally vaccine means:
a substance (such as weakened or dead a disease-causing microorganism) injected into a person or animal to stimulate the production of antibodies to protect against a disease
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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species
It is an endangered species.
species = a similar group of animals or plants identified as separate from others because they can interbreed with each other
DefinitionGenerally species means:
a similar group of animals or plants identified as separate from others because they can interbreed (create baby animals)  with each other
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Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
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parasitic
She picked up a parasitic infection while in Africa.
parasitic = from a species that lives in another species and eats from it
DefinitionGenerally parasitic means:
of a species that lives on (or in) another species and eats from it without providing return benefit

or:

a person who lives off others' efforts without providing return benefit to them
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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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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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Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
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virus
The common cold is caused by a virus.
virus = a submicroscopic organism that causes disease (by using the cellular reproductive machinery of the organism it invades)
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bacteria
The infection is caused by a bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics.
bacteria = microorganisms (living creatures so small it takes a microscope to see them) that can both cause disease and be beneficial.
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anatomy
The anatomy of the frog is similar to that of a person.
anatomy = structure of the body
DefinitionGenerally anatomy means:
the medical study of the structure of the body — as in "to study anatomy"

or more rarely:  the structure of a body — as in "a part of the anatomy"

or still more rarely:  any detailed analysis — as in "anatomy of the disaster"
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typhoid
Typhoid fever infects millions of people annually.
typhoid = a serious infection marked by intestinal inflammation and ulceration; caused by contaminated food or water
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malaria
Malaria is one of the areas of focus for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
malaria = a tropical disease spread by mosquitoes that, while nonexistent in wealthy nations, strikes hundreds of millions of people a year in developing nations — killing over a million each year
DefinitionGenerally malaria means:
a tropical disease spread by mosquitoes that, while nonexistent in wealthy nations, strikes hundreds of millions of people a year in developing nations — killing over a million each year

more technically:  an infective disease caused by sporozoan parasites that are transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito; marked by paroxysms of chills and fever
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immune
She is immune to chickenpox because she has been vaccinated.
immune = not susceptible to (not in danger of suffering from)
DefinitionGenerally immune means:
not susceptible to something — especially a disease; i.e., not in danger of suffering from it

or relating to disease resistance
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therapeutic
I asked for a therapeutic massage, but it really hurt.
therapeutic = tending to cure or restore to health
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syndrome
She suffers from Asperger syndrome.
syndrome = a pattern of symptoms indicative of some disease
DefinitionGenerally syndrome means:
a pattern of symptoms associated with an illness; or any recognizable pattern — especially when undesirable
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anesthetic
We use a local anesthetic so you won't feel pain, but will remain conscious.
anesthetic = a drug that causes temporary loss of bodily sensations
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nucleus
They have the nucleus of a good team.
nucleus = the center (in this case, key central members)
DefinitionGenerally nucleus means:
the center (or most important part) of something — such as:
  • physics:  the center of an atom where protons & neutrons reside
  • biology:  the center of a cell where DNA resides
  • sociology:  the closest family (mother/father/children in contrast to the extended family)
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adrenaline
She's an adrenaline junkie. She loves the rush that comes from roller coasters, skydiving, and big waves.
adrenaline = "fight or flight" stimulating hormone
DefinitionGenerally adrenaline means:
"fight or flight" stimulating hormone secreted by the adrenal gland in response to stress (making the body feel excited and ready for action)
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pneumonia
A mild case of pneumonia is sometimes referred to as "walking pneumonia."
pneumonia = respiratory disease characterized by inflammation and accumulation of fluid in the lungs
DefinitionGenerally pneumonia means:
respiratory disease characterized by inflammation and accumulation of fluid in the lungs; caused by infectious agents (e.g., viruses or bacteria) or by inhalation of certain irritants
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anemic
The company has been managing anemic growth.
anemic = lacking vitality
DefinitionGenerally anemic means:
suffering from too few red blood cells

or metaphorically:  lacking vitality
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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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equivalent
At $50 a share, it is equivalent to about a billion dollars.
equivalent = being equal or essentially equal
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asthma
Asthma is the leading cause of hospitalization in children.
asthma = a common lung disorder characterized by wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and sometimes coughing
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plasma
as in:
The Red Cross delivered plasma
Most people have about 5 liters of blood, 3 liters of which is plasma.
plasma = the liquid portion of blood
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geology
He majored in geology and went on to become expert at finding oil.
geology = a science that deals with the earth's physical structure and processes that affect it
DefinitionGenerally geology means:
a science that deals with the history of the earth as recorded in rocks

or more rarely:

the rocks, minerals, and rock formations of an area
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deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
DNA evidence led to her arrest and conviction
DNA = the molecule that contains the genetic code
DefinitionGenerally deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) means:
cell structures that transmit genetic information which determines inherited traits such as hair color or height
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visceral
as in:
visceral muscles
A sedentary life has lead to excessive visceral fat.
visceral = relating to or affecting the viscera (internal organs)
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sprain
She sprained her ankle.
sprained = injured the ligaments of a joint caused by stretching them too far — most commonly injuring the ankle

(ligaments are the tough, fibrous bands that connect bones across joints)
DefinitionGenerally sprain means:
injury to the ligaments of a joint caused by stretching them too far — most commonly injuring the ankle

(ligaments are the tough, fibrous bands that connect bones across joints)
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induce
as in:
induce symptoms
She was suffering from alcohol-induced stupidity.
induced = caused
DefinitionGenerally this sense of induce means:
to cause something to arise or happen
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mortality
His death made me aware of my own mortality.
mortality = the state of being subject to death (i.e., being mortal)
DefinitionGenerally mortality means:
the quality of being mortal (subject to death)

or:

death rate — often given per 1,000 people per year
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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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epidemic
Doctors are concerned about an epidemic outbreak of influenza this year.
epidemic = a widespread outbreak of a disease that is passed from one person to another
DefinitionGenerally epidemic means:
a widespread outbreak of a disease that is passed from one person (or other organism) to another

or more rarely:  anything that spreads quickly — especially something bad
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gene
The gene determines hair color.
gene = a single segment of DNA which when combined determine inherited traits
DefinitionGenerally gene means:
a single segment of DNA which when combined determine inherited traits such as hair color or height
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clone
2 meanings
as in:
Can we clone it?
In 1997, Dolly the sheep was the first mammal successfully cloned from an adult cell.
cloned = technologically made as a genetically identical copy
DefinitionGenerally this sense of clone means:
to make a copy of something — especially a genetically identical copy created with technology
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as in:
It is a clone.
To understand differences that could be expected in human clones, it is useful to look at identical twins.
clones = genetically identical copies (like identical twins created with technology)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of clone means:
a copy of something — especially an organism with identical genetics created through technology
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deciduous
the eastern deciduous forests
deciduous = tending to fall off — typically of plants that shed leaves at the end of the growing season

or much more rarely:  of  teeth, antlers, and scales shed at the end of a period of growth
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acute
3 meanings
as in:
acute pain
She felt an acute pain in her neck.
acute = sharp (a severely negative event) — often with a rapid onset
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as in:
acute vision
Beavers have an acute sense of smell.
acute = sharp (highly perceptive or intelligent)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute means:
sharp (highly perceptive in some area or mentally sharp)

(often with a connotation that resulting awareness is painful)
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as in:
an acute angle
Roofs at acute angles are common in snow country.
acute angles = sharp; or an angle measuring between 0 and 90 degrees
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photosynthesis
Nature helps to remove carbon from the atmosphere via photosynthesis.
photosynthesis = the process by which plants and other things make food (such as sugars) from carbon dioxide by using the energy of the sunlight
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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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abrasion
as in:
abrasion of the rubber
We're convinced the skid marks are from her car because the rubber abraded from her tires is consistent with the length of the skid marks that lead to the crash.
abraded = wear away by rubbing
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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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accommodate
as in:
hotel accommodations
Overnight accommodations are available.
accommodations = physical space — especially a place where travelers can stay
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acrid
We were chased from the room by the acrid smoke.
acrid = harsh or caustic
DefinitionGenerally acrid means:
harsh or caustic — physically as when smoke from burning rubber might irritate the throat; or metaphorically as when someone says something that is especially sarcastic
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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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aerate
the worms help to aerate the soil
aerate = expose to air
DefinitionGenerally aerate means:
expose to air

or:

to add a gas to a liquid such as adding carbonation to a soft drink
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affable
She's an affable, never-met-someone-she-didn't-like kind of woman.
affable = good natured and sociable
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affinity
She thinks deeply and has an affinity for others with the same kind of mind.
affinity = a natural attraction or feeling of kinship
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afflict
She is afflicted by diabetes.
afflicted = made to suffer
DefinitionGenerally afflict means:
cause suffering — such as illness, pain, or unhappiness
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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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agitate
Our goal is to agitate public unrest, so there will be a cry for change.
agitate = stir up (create or increase emotional unrest)
DefinitionGenerally agitate means:
to stir up — emotionally (such as anxiety) or physically (such as shaking)
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agony
She was in agony from a toothache.
agony = intense feelings of suffering (in this case from physical pain)
DefinitionGenerally agony means:
intense feelings of suffering — can be from mental or physical pain
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ailment
She died of a heart ailment.
ailment = illness
DefinitionGenerally ailment means:
an illness
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alacrity
She completed each assignment with alacrity.
alacrity = quickness; and/or cheerful eagerness
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allude
He alluded to Susan without mentioning her name.
alluded = indirectly referenced
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
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ambulatory
the patient is ambulatory.
ambulatory = related to walking — especially to indicate that a patient who can walk
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ameliorate
The drug ameliorates the toxic effects of chemotherapy.
ameliorates = improves (something that is bad)
DefinitionGenerally ameliorate means:
to improve — especially a bad situation
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amorphous
Her art is as amorphous as the culture it reflects.
amorphous = without clearly defined boundaries
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anecdote
Her autobiography is sprinkled with amusing anecdotes.
anecdotes = short, true stories
DefinitionGenerally anecdote means:
a short story that is true — often told for amusement or to make a point
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anodyne
the anodyne properties of certain drugs
anodyne = soothing or comforting
DefinitionGenerally anodyne means:
a medicine used to relieve pain

or:

something soothing, comforting or mild so as not to upset
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antagonism
the inherent antagonism of capitalism and socialism
antagonism = opposing principles
DefinitionGenerally antagonism means:
hostility or opposition

or:

the relation between opposing principles, forces, or factors
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antiseptic
I washed the wound and then used alcohol as an antiseptic.
antiseptic = a substance used to clean wounds because it prevents infection by killing harmful micro-organisms such as bacteria
DefinitionGenerally antiseptic means:
a substance used to clean wounds because it prevents infection by killing harmful micro-organisms such as bacteria

or more rarely when used as an adjective:  describing something as thoroughly clean and free of micro-organisms
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aperture
The higher the f-stop, the more closed the camera's aperture.
aperture = a small opening  — especially one that controls the amount of light admitted for a camera or microscope

or:

the measured diameter of the opening
DefinitionGenerally aperture means:
an opening  — especially a small one that controls the amount of light admitted for a camera or microscope

or:

the measured diameter of the opening
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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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apparition
Hamlet saw an apparition at midnight.
apparition = a ghostlike figure
DefinitionGenerally apparition means:
a ghostlike figure or its appearance

or more rarely:

an unexpected or strange appearance
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appendage
Each injured an appendage in the game.
appendage = an external body part (such as an arm) that projects from the body
DefinitionGenerally appendage means:
an external body part (such as an arm) that projects from the body; or any part that is joined to something larger
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appreciable
Appreciable amounts of hazardous waste are dumped into the harbor.
appreciable = enough to be noticed or important
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approbation
She is not motivated by popular approbation.
approbation = approval
DefinitionGenerally approbation means:
approval - often official
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askew
She came out of the water with her glasses askew but still on her head.
askew = not straight (not in proper alignment)
DefinitionGenerally askew means:
not straight (not in proper alignment)

or:

(when used metaphorically) not right, or not as planned
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assiduous
She is an assiduous student who expects to earn A's.
assiduous = diligent (showing care and persistent effort)
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astringent
3 meanings
as in:
treat with an astringent
I use an astringent where my skin is oily.
astringent = a drug that causes contraction of body tissues — especially topically
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as in:
astringent taste
The apple wasn't ripe, so it had a drying, puckering, or astringent taste.
astringent = similar to a sour or bitter taste (creating a dry, puckering feel in the mouth)
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as in:
astringent remarks
The book contains some of her most astringent remarks.
astringent = harsh or hurtful
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asylum
2 meanings
as in:
she sought asylum in...
She sought political asylum in the US due to persecution at home.
asylum = a shelter from danger or hardship
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as in:
committed to the asylum
The inmates are running the asylum.
asylum = a hospital for the mentally ill
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atrophy
Muscles that are not used will quickly atrophy.
atrophy = wither or weaken — especially from lack of use
DefinitionGenerally atrophy means:
to wither or weaken — especially from lack of use
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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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audible
She spoke in a barely audible whisper.
audible = capable of being heard
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augment
Our school district hired a new counselor to augment our college counseling service.
augment = enlarge or increase
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autopsy
An autopsy is required because foul play is suspected.
autopsy = an examination and dissection of a dead body — typically to determine the cause of death
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bedlam
Amid all sorts of bedlam the teacher continued taking attendance.
bedlam = a state of extreme confusion and disorder
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benign
She predicts benign economic conditions through next year.
benign = mild or favorable (kind)
DefinitionGenerally benign means:
kindly, mild, or harmless
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bland
a bland diet
bland = lacking stimulating characteristics — especially in the flavor of food
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blasť
... exhibited blasť indifference.
blasť = uninterested — especially because of frequent exposure
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bovine
She showed a bovine apathy.
bovine = stupid and slow-moving like an ox or cow
DefinitionGenerally bovine means:
belonging or related to the genus Bos (cattle, oxen, buffalo, etc.); or stupid and slow-moving like an ox
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