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vocabulary
1000+ books

100 Words Encountered in

Nature & Ecology

Other Interests
glacier
Scientist believe Europe will continue to face greater glacier retreat due to global warming.
glacier = a large mass of ice that moves over land like an exceedingly slow river

(editor's note:  To see pictures, click on the Google Images link that is shown after clicking on the word link.)
DefinitionGenerally glacier means:
a large mass of ice that moves over land like an exceedingly slow river
Word Statistics
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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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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Library4 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
Word Statistics
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
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adverse
She did an impressive job given the adverse circumstances.
adverse = working against one's interests
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Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
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dispose
as in:
dispose of the waste
How will they dispose of the waste?
dispose = throw away (get rid of)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
to throw away
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
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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
SATtop 10
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emerge
China recently emerged as a world power.
emerged = came out (became)
DefinitionGenerally emerge means:
to come out, or to appear
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Library42 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
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arid
My skin dries in the arid desert climate.
arid = dry
DefinitionGenerally arid means:
lacking sufficient water or rainfall

or:

lacking vitality or spirit
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Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
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appropriate
as in:
it is appropriate
These clothes aren't appropriate for work.
appropriate = suitable (fitting) for a particular situation
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Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
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deplete
The poorer a country's people are, the greater the temptation to deplete the country's forests and fisheries.
deplete = use up (resources or materials)
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Library2 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
SATtop 1000
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entomology
The entomologist is an expert on termites.
entomologist = someone who studies the branch of zoology that studies insects
DefinitionGenerally entomology means:
the branch of zoology that studies insects
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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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Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
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perish
...government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln  --  Gettysburg Address
perish = be destroyed or cease to exist
DefinitionGenerally perish means:
to die — especially in an unnatural way

or:

to be destroyed or cease to exist
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Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
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vulnerable
The computers are vulnerable to cyberattacks.
vulnerable = easily hurt
DefinitionGenerally vulnerable means:
easily hurt; or easily influenced or subject to temptation
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Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
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indigenous
the Ainu are indigenous to the northernmost islands of Japan
indigenous = originated locally
DefinitionGenerally indigenous means:
of local origin
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flourish
as in:
the business is flourishing
The children are flourishing.
flourishing = thriving (growing or developing well)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of flourish means:
to thrive (grow or develop well)
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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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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
SATtop 2000
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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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diverse
The college wants a diverse student body.
diverse = varied — in this case consisting of a population of different kinds of people — such as different ethnic groups and genders
DefinitionGenerally diverse means:
varied (having variety amongst things of the same kind) — especially with regard to ideas or members of a population group
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
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carnivorous
Carnivorous plants are capable of trapping and digesting insects.
carnivorous = feeding on animals
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herbivorous
It is a peaceful herbivore.
herbivore = feeding only on plants
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tundra
Tundra reindeer travel as much as 3,000 miles a year.
tundra = a vast treeless plain in the northern arctic regions where the subsoil is always frozen (between the ice cap and the tree line)
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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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monsoon
We didn't extend our trip to visit India because it was the start of the monsoon system.
monsoon = rainy season in southern Asia when wind blows from the southwest
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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arable
The government nationalized all arable land.
arable = of farmland:  capable of being farmed productively
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extirpate
The medication assists where surgery cannot completely extirpate a tumor.
extirpate = to completely remove, eliminate, or destroy
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windward
The windward side of the island gets more rain.
windward = the direction from which the wind is coming
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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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anthropology
She majored in anthropology and just finished a report for the State Department that describes tribal customs in eastern Africa.
anthropology = the social science that studies the origins and social relationships of human beings
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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capital
She worked hard to raise capital to start their new company.
capital = cash (or more generally, material wealth — especially assets available for use in the production of further assets)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of capital means:
material wealth — especially assets available for use in the production of further assets
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Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
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domestic
as in:
a domestic animal like a dog
We work to reduce abuse of domestic animals.
domestic animals = referring to animals kept as pets or for ranching
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domesticated
Dogs were domesticated thousands of years ago.
domesticated = made fit for service to humans or home life — by breeding or taming
DefinitionGenerally domesticated means:
to make fit for service to humans or home life — by breeding or taming
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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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abrupt
2 meanings
as in:
an abrupt change
The bus came to an abrupt stop.
abrupt = sudden and unexpected
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Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
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as in:
she is abrupt
She has an abrupt personality.
abrupt = rude or unfriendly because of using too few words or moving too quickly
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Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
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abundant
Farmers in the region enjoy good soil, moderate temperatures, and an abundant supply of water.
abundant = present in great quantity
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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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agenda
2 meanings
as in:
on the agenda
Everyone received a copy of the agenda the day before the meeting.
agenda = a list of matters to be discussed at a meeting
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as in:
has his own agenda
She represents the organization, but she also has her own agenda.
agenda = a list of objectives; or an overriding goal or plan
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agile
She is amazingly agile for someone so tall.
agile = able to move well quickly and easily
DefinitionGenerally agile means:
able to move well quickly and easily

or:

able to think well quickly and easily
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Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
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altitude
The altitude gave her a headache.
altitude = elevation (height above sea level)
DefinitionGenerally altitude means:
elevation (height) — typically above sea level or above the earth's surface

or:

(metaphorically) a desirable height
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amble
The elderly couple likes to amble along the beach at sunset.
amble = to walk leisurely
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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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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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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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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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anthology
She read an anthology of classic American literature.
anthology = a collection of literary works or music
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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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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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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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arbor
The arbor provided a shady resting place in the park.
arbor = a framework that supports climbing plants
DefinitionGenerally this sense of arbor means:
a framework that supports climbing plants; or a shady rest area made by such a framework or by trees and shrubs
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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assess
2 meanings
as in:
assess the situation
They assessed the property's value at $500,000.
assessed = considered and judged
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assess means:
consider something and make a judgment
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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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as in:
assess a fee
The amount of property tax assessed depends upon the value of the property.
assessed = charge a tax, fine, or fee
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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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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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asteroid
Many believe that many dinosaurs became extinct when a large asteroid hit the earth millions of years ago.
asteroid = one of the millions of rocks that move around the sun, are smaller than a planet, and larger than a meter in diameter
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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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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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badger
2 meanings
as in:
badgered her until she agreed
Stop badgering me. I gave you my answer and I'm not going to change it.
badgering = nagging
DefinitionGenerally this sense of badger means:
to nag or bother someone repeatedly — typically to get them to do something
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as in:
saw a badger
The word badger is thought to have come from a French word for "digger".
badger = burrowing mammal with strong claws widely distributed in the northern hemisphere
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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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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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biennial
2 meanings
as in:
6 biennial meetings a year
We see each other at biennial conventions.
biennial = occurring once every two years
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as in:
planted biennials
Many biennials reseed themselves.
biennials = a plant having a life cycle that normally takes two seasons from germination to death
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blight
The once thriving downtown has become an example of urban blight with abandoned buildings and too much crime.
blight = causing or consisting of extensive damage
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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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bushel
We can create about two and a half gallons of fuel per bushel of corn.
bushel = a unit of measure used for dry goods (filling an 8 gallon container)
DefinitionGenerally bushel means:
a unit of measure used for dry goods (filling an 8 gallon container)

or:

a large amount — as in "bushels of fun"
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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cache
2 meanings
as in:
cache of arms
We found a cache of weapons buried in the woods.
cache = a storage space — often hidden to hold valuables, provisions or weapons; or the storing of things
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as in:
memory cache
Did you try clearing your browser's cache? Sometimes a corrupt file is saved there and clearing it will assure the computer downloads a clean copy.
cache = computer science:  a section of computer memory used for fast, temporary storage
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calibrate
She calibrated the oscilloscope for better measurement.
calibrated = made fine adjustments
DefinitionGenerally calibrate means:
make fine adjustments; or divide into marked intervals for optimal measuring
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camouflage
The troops camouflaged themselves before they went into enemy territory.
camouflaged = made hard to see (in this case, probably by wearing colors or perhaps foliage to blend in)
DefinitionGenerally camouflage means:
the act of hiding something without moving it

or:

hiding the truth

or:

something that hides or deceives
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cataract
My grandmother is getting cataract surgery.
cataract = clouding of the natural lens of the eye
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cavort
The puppies cavorted in the basket.
cavorted = played in a lively, unrestrained manner
DefinitionGenerally cavort means:
to play in a lively, unrestrained manner — often to prance or jump around excitedly — sometimes implying sexual play
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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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coagulate
The blood began to coagulate.
coagulate = change from a liquid to a thickened or solid state
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coalesce
My ideas are beginning to coalesce into a plan.
coalesce = come together
DefinitionGenerally coalesce means:
to merge or bring different things together
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coefficient
2 meanings
as in:
2x or y(a+b)
Divide by 2 to eliminate the leading coefficient.
coefficient = mathematics:  a number that is multiplies a variable in an expression (such as 2 in 2x)

or:

mathematics:  any factor of a term (such as y in y(a+b))
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as in:
coefficient of thermal expansion
Determine the coefficient of friction between the two objects.
coefficient = physics:  a constant number that serves as a measure of some property or characteristic (such as the coefficient of thermal expansion)
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compendium
RegretTheError.com publishes a regularly updated compendium of mistakes reported in the news media.
compendium = a list of items or a collection
DefinitionGenerally compendium means:
a list of items or a collection — especially a publication containing a variety of works

or:

a concise but comprehensive summary of a subject area
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composure
After I regained my composure, I thanked her for telling me about the problem.
composure = calm (control of emotions)
DefinitionGenerally composure means:
calm and in control of emotions
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Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
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comprised
The university is comprised of six colleges.
comprised = made up of (composed of)
DefinitionGenerally comprised means:
made up of (composed of); or included
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condensation
She slipped on a sidewalk made wet by condensation from an air conditioner.
condensation = the process or result of becoming more dense — especially a liquid formed from a gas as when water collects on the side of a cold glass
DefinitionGenerally condensation means:
the process or result of becoming more dense in various senses — such as:
  • liquid formed from a gas—as when water collects on the side of a cold glass
  • an abridgement or shortened version of writing
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congregate
People congregated outside of City Hall to protest.
congregated = came together
DefinitionGenerally congregate means:
come together, usually for a purpose
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conspicuous
She tried not to look conspicuous as she slipped into class after the tardy bell.
conspicuous = easily noticed — typically attracting attention such as by being large, flashy, or unusual
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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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contort
Her face contorted in fury and frustration.
contorted = twisted or bent to an unnatural shape
DefinitionGenerally contort means:
twist or bend to an unnatural shape — something such as the human body, a facial expression, or the truth
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converge
The lines converge at this point
converge = come together
DefinitionGenerally converge means:
to come together; or to be adjacent or similar
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cryptic
I didn't understand her cryptic reply.
cryptic = difficult to understand
DefinitionGenerally cryptic means:
secretive or difficult to understand
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culvert
I spent the night in a culvert beneath the road.
culvert = an enclosed channel that carries runoff water beneath something
DefinitionGenerally culvert means:
a pipe or other enclosed channel that carries runoff water beneath a road, railroad, or sidewalk
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debris
She swept up the debris.
debris = pieces of something that has been destroyed; or trash that is lying around
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degrade
2 meanings
as in:
her comments were degrading
She felt degraded by the way he delivered the criticism.
degraded = reducing human dignity
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as in:
degraded the quality
The factory degrades local air quality.
degrades = to decrease the value of something
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dehydrated
I didn't drink enough water while hiking and became dehydrated.
dehydrated = suffering from excessive loss of water from the body
DefinitionGenerally dehydrated means:
suffering from excessive loss of water from the body

or:

dried and/or preserved by removing natural moisture
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delectable
The cake is delicious, scrumptious and delectable.
delectable = extremely pleasing — especially to the sense of taste or to the eye
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deleterious
Inspect the label for deleterious chemical additives.
deleterious = harmful — often in a subtle way
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delta
as in:
delta wing aircraft
The aircraft uses a delta wing configuration.
delta = shaped like the 4th letter of the Greek alphabet (a triangle)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of delta means:
the 4th letter of the Greek alphabet; or an object shaped like its capital form (like an equilateral triangle)
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demographics
Based upon its demographics and the traffic patterns, the neighborhood should support another fast-food restaurant.
demographics = characteristics
DefinitionGenerally demographics means:
characteristics of a human populations; e.g., population density and income distribution
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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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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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deposition
The purpose of a deposition is to discover facts and obtain evidence.
deposition = a pretrial questioning of a witness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deposition means:
a pretrial questioning of a witness or the resulting transcript
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derelict
as in:
derelict ship
We want to put those derelict buildings to better use.
derelict = in terrible condition — often abandoned
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descend
We saw the rocket descend.
descend = move or slope downward

or:

come from a higher or prior level in a hierarchy — as a person from an ancestor

or:

come or arrive — especially from above — such as night or darkness
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desiccate
Their desiccated remains were found in the old lake bed.
desiccated = dried out
DefinitionGenerally desiccate means:
to remove moisture from something
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deteriorate
The situation could quickly deteriorate.
deteriorate = become worse
DefinitionGenerally deteriorate means:
become worse

or:

gradually wear away or break into tiny particles
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