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vocabulary
1000+ books

100 Words Encountered in

Public Policy & Politics

Other Interests
immigrate
About 1 of each 8 people in the United States immigrated from somewhere else.
immigrated = came to live (from another country)
DefinitionGenerally immigrate means:
come to live in a new country
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Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
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emigrate
Many people had to emigrate during the Nazi period
emigrate = leave a country of residence to move to another country
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domestic
2 meanings
as in:
the domestic market
The deparment is responsible for studying all the domestic species of animals and plants.
domestic = relating to a home country

or (much more rarely,): relating to a geographic area that is smaller than a country
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as in:
GDP of the United States
We're hoping GDP growth of 4% will increase the number of available jobs.
GDP = the total value of goods and services produced by a country in a year (Gross Domestic Product)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of gross domestic product (GDP) means:
the total value of goods and services produced by a nation (or territory) in a year
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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
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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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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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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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resolution
3 meanings
as in:
a United Nations resolution
The United Nations passed a resolution condemning the country's use of chemical weapons.
resolution = a formal statement of opinion
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolution means:
a formal statement of decision or opinion voted on by a group
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as in:
Her resolution weakened.
She ran each mile of the marathon with increasing resolution.
resolution = determination
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as in:
a dispute resolution fund
We anticipate a peaceful resolution to the dispute.
resolution = a solution or outcome
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parliament
Throughout Europe, parliaments are debating how much power to give to the European Union.
parliaments = a legislative assembly in certain countries (that can pass laws)
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doctrine
She challenges accepted doctrine.
doctrine = generally accepted beliefs
DefinitionGenerally doctrine means:
a belief (or system of beliefs or principles) accepted as authoritative by some group
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uniform
A diverse committee will provide a better solution than a committee that is uniform.
uniform = the same (does not vary)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of uniform means:
consistent (the same in some way)
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assess
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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initiate
4 meanings
as in:
initiate discussions
The study concluded that women initiate divorce more frequently than men.
initiate = begin the process of
DefinitionGenerally this sense of initiate means:
to cause (something) to begin
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as in:
initiate into the art of drumming
That weekend, she was initiated into the art of fly fishing.
initiated = introduced (did it for the first time)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of initiate means:
introduce to an activity or area of knowledge
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as in:
initiate into the fraternity
The photo is from the ceremony when she was initiated into the sorority.
initiated = accepted into the group in a special ceremony
DefinitionGenerally this sense of initiate means:
to accept someone's membership into an organization — typically in a ceremony — sometimes including a period of instruction and/or test
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as in:
She is a new initiate.
Initiates will be formally accepted and presented at the ceremony on Friday.
initiates = new members
DefinitionGenerally this sense of initiate means:
someone who has formally started in an organization, or been introduced to or attained some expertise in a particular field
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intervene
as in:
intervened in the war
They do not like America to intervene in the Middle East.
intervene = get involved
DefinitionGenerally this sense of intervene means:
get involved — typically without welcome
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adverse
She did an impressive job given the adverse circumstances.
adverse = working against one's interests
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adversary
She is his greatest adversary.
adversary = opponent
DefinitionGenerally adversary means:
an opponent
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dynamic
as in:
a dynamic system
A dynamic market rapidly adjusts to new technologies and shortages of resources.
dynamic = changing — as through time or due to various forces
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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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capitalism
Capitalism has helped to move millions of people out of poverty.
capitalism = an economic system based on private ownership of property and businesses, and on voluntary exchange in a competitive environment
DefinitionGenerally capitalism means:
an economic system based on private ownership of property and businesses, and on voluntary exchange in a competitive environment — with the belief that voluntary exchanges harness inborn self-interest in millions of decisions that benefit society
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socialism
She believes that more socialism would be more fair.
socialism = an economic system based on government ownership and control of all companies — with the ideal of equal benefits to all people
DefinitionGenerally socialism means:
an economic system based on government ownership or control of all important companies — with the ideal of equal benefits to all people
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plausible
She offered a plausible excuse.
plausible = apparently reasonable, but unproven
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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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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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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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discriminate
as in:
suffered discrimination
We do not discriminate based on race, nationality, social status, age, gender, religion, or sexual preference.
discriminate = unfairly treat of different groups of people differently
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discriminate means:
to treat people of different groups differently — especially unfair treatment due to race, religion or gender
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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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appropriate
as in:
it is appropriate
These clothes aren't appropriate for work.
appropriate = suitable (fitting) for a particular situation
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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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transparent
as in:
transparent decision making
They promised a transparent budgetary process.
transparent = easily observable or understood
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dominate
The defending World Champions dominated their unranked opponent.
dominated = controlled
DefinitionGenerally dominate means:
to control; or to be most influential, powerful, or conspicuous
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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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clandestine
She is involved in clandestine intelligence operations.
clandestine = secret or hidden

or:

done with or marked by hidden aims or methods
DefinitionGenerally clandestine means:
secret; or conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods
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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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Islam
Islam is predominant in northern Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, and Indonesia.
Islam = the monotheistic religious system of Muslims founded in Arabia in the 7th century and based on the teachings of Muhammad as laid down in the Koran; the world's second most practiced religion
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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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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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Palestine
The boundaries of Palestine have changed through history.
Palestine = a geographic region on the Eastern Coast of the Mediterranean in the Middle East, at various times comprising parts of modern Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, and Egypt
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progressive
progressive schools
progressive = favoring new ideas
DefinitionGenerally progressive means:
favoring political change or new ideas (typically associated with liberal causes); or a person with such beliefs

or:

gradually getting more severe — as of a disease or other condition

or:

gradually advancing (making progress)
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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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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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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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liberate
She works to liberate the religious minority from persecution.
liberate = set free
DefinitionGenerally liberate means:
to set free — as from prison or political oppression
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suburban
She drives from her home in the suburbs to her office downtown.
suburbs = residential districts located on the outskirts of a city (near the city, but far from the center of it)
DefinitionGenerally suburban means:
relating to a residential district located on the outskirts of a city (near the city, but far from the center of it)
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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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emancipated
She was an emancipated 20th century woman pursuing her career.
emancipated = released from social restraints

(used as a metaphor for the literal sense of being released from slavery)
DefinitionGenerally emancipated means:
released from slavery or servitude; or (metaphorically) from social restraints
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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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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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rehabilitate
She has been working to rehabilitate her reputation.
rehabilitate = restore to good condition
DefinitionGenerally rehabilitate means:
to restore someone (or more rarely, something) to a state of good condition — such as recovery from addiction, illness, prison, or poor reputation
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decisive
as in:
a decisive defeat
She cast the decisive vote.
decisive = determining an outcome
DefinitionGenerally this sense of decisive means:
determining an outcome; or ending question; or describing something as unmistakable
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nominate
The president nominated her as head of the Civil Rights Commission.
nominated = proposed that someone be offered a position, be a candidate, or receive an honor
DefinitionGenerally nominate means:
propose that someone be offered a position, be a candidate, or receive an honor
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monetary
I don't do this job for monetary reward.
monetary = money
DefinitionGenerally monetary means:
relating to or involving money

or:

relating to a nation's money supply
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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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rhetorical question
She asks and answers rhetorical questions faster than I can consider them.
rhetorical questions = questions asked to emphasize a point or to generate interest rather than to get information
DefinitionGenerally rhetorical question means:
a question asked to emphasize a point or to generate interest rather than to get information
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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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compelling
The evidence is compelling.
compelling = very interesting; or convincing
DefinitionGenerally compelling means:
very interesting; or convincing — possibly leading to action

or more rarely:  a force for action
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designate
2 meanings
as in:
designated driver
I'll be the designated driver.
designated = assigned (for a particular purpose)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of designate means:
assign someone or something for a particular purpose
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as in:
designated by a star on the map
State capital cities are designated on the map by stars.
designated = signified (indicated in a particular way)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of designate means:
indicate or signify (show something in a particular way)
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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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monopoly
When you have a monopoly you can raise prices.
monopoly = a situation where you are the only supplier of a good or service
DefinitionGenerally monopoly means:
the only supplier of a good or service; or a market with only one supplier
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subsidy
She subsidizes a number of young artists.
subsidizes = supports by providing money or other economic aid
DefinitionGenerally subsidy means:
support in the form of money or other economic aid
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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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prominent
She is a prominent member of our community.
prominent = well-known
DefinitionGenerally prominent means:
well-known — especially of a person who is respected

or:

conspicuous (easily noticed) because of position or importance
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prosperous
She owns a prosperous law firm.
prosperous = successful or good — especially with regard to finances or wealth
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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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mitigate
Don't judge her so harshly until you consider the mitigating circumstances.
mitigating = making less harmful or unpleasant
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
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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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legislate
Judges aren't supposed to legislate from the bench.
legislate = make law
DefinitionGenerally legislate means:
make laws
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legislature
The state legislature passed a law to increase the minimum wage, but the governor vetoed it while claiming it would reduce the number of entry-level jobs for young people.
legislature = a group, made up of government representatives, that has the power to create laws
DefinitionGenerally legislature means:
a group made up of government representatives (usually elected) that has the power to create laws
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idealism
as in:
philosophical idealism
In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant distinguished his transcendental idealism from Descartes's Sceptical Idealism and Berkeley's Dogmatic Idealism.
idealism = the philosophical theory that there is no reality outside of ideas
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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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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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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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dilemma
It is an ethical dilemma.
dilemma = a situation in which a difficult choice must be made between imperfect alternatives
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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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bias
She has a bias against young people.
bias = a personal preference that prevents objective consideration
DefinitionGenerally bias means:
a personal preference — especially a prejudice that prevents objective consideration

or:

any tendency to move in a particular direction — such as a car that tends to want to swerve toward the right
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sovereign
They may be a sovereign state, but their neighbor's threats forced their decision.
sovereign = not controlled by outside forces
DefinitionGenerally sovereign means:
of a person:  a nation's ruler or head of state

of a political body:  not controlled by outside forces
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deliberate
as in:
need to deliberate
We deliberated into the evening.
deliberated = thought about or discussed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deliberate means:
to think about or discuss — especially with great care
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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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harmonious
as in:
soothing, harmonious music
The changes created a more harmonious melody.
harmonious = pleasing — especially of music or sound
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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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faction
It was a fight between the moderate and liberal factions of the Democratic Party.
factions = sub-groups
DefinitionGenerally faction means:
a sub-group with some interests not shared by the entire group
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predominant
In the summer, our afternoon breezes come predominantly from the southwest.
predominantly = most commonly
DefinitionGenerally predominant means:
most frequent, common, or important; or having more power and influence
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articulate
He is thoughtful and articulate.
articulate = has the ability to clearly express things with words
DefinitionGenerally this sense of articulate means:
clearly expressed with words; or the act of or ability to clearly express with words
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