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vocabulary
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100 Words Encountered in

Business

Other Interests
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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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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economics
She's likable, but I won't vote for her because of her leanings in economics.†
economics = the study of how limited resources are allocated in an attempt to satisfy unlimited wants
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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migrant
Her parents were migrant farm workers.
migrant = moving from one place to another — often seasonally
DefinitionGenerally migrant means:
a person (or animal) that moves from one place to another — sometimes seasonally
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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acquire
Children acquire language at an amazing rate.
acquire = obtain (come into the possession of something)
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Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
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Human Resources (HR)
She works in Human Resources.†
Human Resources = the portion of the firm's organization that deals with the hiring, firing, training, and other personnel issues
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personnel
the records of military personnel
personnel = the people expected to obey orders in an organization — such as employees of a firm or soldiers in the military
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Library8 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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Library38 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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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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founder
The project foundered
foundered = failed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of founder means:
to fail or break-down

or:

to physically sink below the surface or fall
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Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
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scrutiny
She scrutinized her reflection in the mirror.
scrutinized = looked very carefully at
DefinitionGenerally scrutiny means:
careful examination of something
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Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
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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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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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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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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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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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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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contract
as in:
legal contract
She signed the contract.
contract = a written agreement that is enforceable by law
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contract means:
an agreement - typically written and enforceable by law
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Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
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dynamic
as in:
a dynamic personality
a dynamic speaker†
dynamic = being energetic or enthusiastic — often inspiring others
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Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
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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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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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Library23 uses in 10 avg bks
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equilibrium
Panic threw the stock market out of equilibrium.†
equilibrium = a stable situation in which forces are in balance

or:

a person's sense of physical or (more rarely) emotional balance
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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speculate
philosophers have speculated on the question of God for thousands of years
speculated = thought and guessed without certainty
DefinitionGenerally this sense of speculate means:
to guess without certainty

or:

to think about or consider something

or (more rarely):

to risk money in a financial venture
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Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
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speculative
I'm too old to invest in speculative business enterprises.
speculative = uncertain — especially in reference to a profit-making investment or venture
DefinitionGenerally this sense of speculative means:
uncertain — especially in reference to a profit-making investment or venture

or:

inclined to guess and think about subjects where there is no certainty
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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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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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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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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inflation
The report shows inflation-adjusted dollars.†
inflation = a general and progressive increase in prices
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Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
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mean
We have a mean annual rainfall of 23 inches.
mean = average
DefinitionGenerally this sense of mean means:
the average number
For example, the mean of 1 & 3 is 2.
More generally, the mean of n numbers is computed by dividing the sum of the numbers by n; for example, the mean of 1, 2, and 6
= (1+2+6) / 3
= 9 / 3
= 3
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median
median household income†
median = the middle value of an ordered set of values (or the average of the middle two in a set with an even number of values)

The median of 2,4,7,7 is 5.5.
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gross income
Gross income is good, but overhead is too high.†
gross income = for a business:  all income less any cost of goods sold

for an individual:  all income before taxes
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net income
Her bonus is based on net income.†
net income = revenues minus expenses
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mode
The most frequent class size (or the mode) is 20 students.†
mode = the most frequent value of a collection of values; for example: 7 in the series 1,1,2,4,7,7,7,9,13,29
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Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
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equity
They bought the house without a 3% down payment, but now have negative equity.†
equity = the value of an asset after all debts upon it are paid
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assets
as in:
it's one of her best assets
The University is one of the city's greatest assets.
assets = positive traits or things of value
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assets means:
any positive trait or thing of value
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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liabilities
as in:
she is a liability to our cause
Her temper is her main liability. She hasn't learned to control angry attacks at anyone who disagrees with her.
liability = any negative trait or thing that creates a problem
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balance sheet
The company has good income, but a weak balance sheet.†
balance sheet = a financial report summarizing a person's or organization's financial assets and the claims against those assets at a given time
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income statement
I can learn a lot about a company by reading its income statement.†
income statement = a financial statement summarizing a business' financial operations (income, expenses, and profit) for a specific period of time
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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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concise
She deducts points if the paper is not concise enough.
concise = expressing much in few words
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default
as in:
defaulted on their loan
If I don't sell my home, I'll have to default on my loan.
default = not make the payments
DefinitionGenerally this sense of default means:
failing to meet a financial obligation—such as making a monthly payment on a debt
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appreciate
as in:
We hope our home will appreciate
The home appreciated in value.
appreciated = increased in value
DefinitionGenerally this sense of appreciate means:
to increase in value
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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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facilitate
After the initial answers, the moderator will facilitate an open discussion of the topic.†
facilitate = make easier
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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monetary policy
Congress has little influence over monetary policy.†
monetary policy = decisions by a country's central bank influencing the nation's money supply — and thus influencing interest rates, inflation, exchange rates and even the level of unemployment
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Return on Investment (ROI)
We anticipate a 12% ROI.†
ROI = finance:  a measure of the value of an investment generally expressed as an annual percentage of the money invested; calculated as the amount of money earned divided by the amount of money invested
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stock
She bought Google stock before it doubled in value.
stock = shares of ownership of different corporations
DefinitionGenerally this sense of stock means:
shares of ownership of a corporation
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bond
as in:
the bond market
US Bonds are considered vary safe, but they will go down in value when interest rates rise.
bonds = certificates to repay a loan that are issued by a government or corporation
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bond means:
a certificate issued by a government or corporation that promises to repay a debt  in return for a loan
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Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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dividend
as in:
dividend paid by stock
She buys high-dividend stocks.†
dividend = that part of the earnings of a corporation that is distributed to its shareholders
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allocate
allocate time and resources†
allocate = distribute according to a plan; or set apart for a special purpose
DefinitionGenerally allocate means:
distribute according to a plan

or:

set apart for a special purpose
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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aggregate
as in:
she aggregated them
We need to aggregate the data from all sources.
aggregate = the act of combining different, but related quantities or things
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coefficient
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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component
It has only three major components.
components = parts
DefinitionGenerally component means:
a part of something
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paradigm
We have incompatible paradigms.
paradigms = conceptual models
DefinitionGenerally paradigm means:
a conceptual model; or a standard example
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ratio
The ratio of the 2nd to 4th finger length predicts spatial ability in men.
ratio = the relative magnitudes of two quantities — often expressed as a:b (which could also be expressed as the fraction a/b)
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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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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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flexible
The job has flexible working hours.
flexible = adaptable to different conditions
DefinitionGenerally flexible means:
bendable or adaptable in various senses:
  • easily bent without physical damage or injury — as of a hose or gymnast
  • able to adjust readily to different conditions — as of a plan
  • willing to make concessions — as of a boss
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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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Library20 uses in 10 avg bks
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methodology
a proven research methodology
methodology = a system of principles and procedures for doing or studying something
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optimal
It is the optimal solution.†
optimal = most desirable possible — often given the circumstances
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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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enhance
This sauce will enhance the flavor of the meat.†
enhance = increase quantity or quality
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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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innovate
Apple is considered one of the most innovative companies.
innovative = introducing things that are new and different
DefinitionGenerally innovate means:
bring something new to an environment
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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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productivity
She is relentless in her drive to increase company productivity.†
productivity = economics and business:  production compared to inputs such as labor and materials

(Often productivity is used as an abbreviation for "labor productivity" which is the value of production divided by the hours of labor to create that production)
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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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franchise
as in:
franchise business
She saved for years and then purchased a franchise that sells sandwiches.
franchise = a right granted by one organization to another — most frequently the right of a small company to do business under the brand name and systems of a larger company (as when a local McDonalds restaurant is owned by an individual rather than the McDonalds Corporation)
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stock option
The salary is low, but if the company is successful, my stock options will make me rich.†
stock options = the option to buy a given stock at a given price before a given date
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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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market share
They already have a 60% market share, so I don't think the merger will be approved.†
market share = a company's sales in a given industry expressed as a percentage of the sales for the entire industry
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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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antitrust
The greatest benefit of antitrust law is the prohibition against fixing prices.†
antitrust = related to laws intended to promote free competition in the market place
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implement
as in:
implement the action
The committee will decide how best to implement the plan.†
implement = to put a plan or tool into effect
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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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diversify
She has been typecast as the female who beats up males, but she's eager to diversify her roles.
diversify = make more varied
DefinitionGenerally diversify means:
to make more varied

This is used to describe variation in some things so frequently that they can be implied by the general context without a need to state them explicitly — such as:
  • with regard to people — varying races, ethnicities, and genders
  • with regard to investments — varying types of investments
  • with regard to a company — varying sources of business
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bankrupt
2 meanings
as in:
company went bankrupt
If we don't control spending, we'll go bankrupt.
bankrupt = legally declared to be unable to pay money that is owed

or (informally):  the state of having little or no money
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as in:
bankrupt idea
It is a bankrupt approach to solving the problem.
bankrupt = without value
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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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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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free rider
Even those who want small government agree there are times when the free rider problems dictates taxing everyone.†
free rider = someone who enjoys the benefits of a public good without bearing the cost;

For example:  If taxation for national defense were optional, those who did not pay the tax would benefit as much as those who did.
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remuneration
It was inadequate remuneration to make up for his expenses.
remuneration = payment
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defer
as in:
deferred the decision
The weather forced us to defer our departure another day.
defer = postpone or delay
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
postpone (hold off until a later time)
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microeconomics
Microeconomics was a required course that led to an interest in business.†
microeconomics = the bottom-up view of the economy, focusing on individual households and firms and how the choices of various decision makers are coordinated by markets
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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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intellectual property
The Chinese are stealing our intellectual property.†
intellectual property = intangible (non-touchable) property that is the result of creativity (such as patents or trademarks or copyrights)
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GATT
the latest round of GATT negotiations†
GATT = General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade - International trade agreement intended to help reduce trade barriers between signatory countries and to promote trade.
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fiscal year
The federal government's fiscal year runs from October through September.†
fiscal year = any accounting period of 12 months chosen by an organization for regular annual reporting
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human capital
We want to invest in human capital through education.†
human capital = Human assets consisting of items such as education, knowledge, skills, and capabilities
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standard deviation
The top 5% are two standard deviations above the mean.†
standard deviations = A measure in statistics of how far a set of data is from its average

(calculated as the square root of the variance — the variance being the average of the squares of deviations about the mean of a set of data)
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arbitration
They submitted their disagreement to binding arbitration.
arbitration = the hearing and determination of a dispute by an impartial referee
DefinitionGenerally arbitration means:
the process of solving an argument with the help of an impartial referee
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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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venture capital
Much of the computer and Internet boom was funded by venture capital out of Silicon Valley.†
venture capital = money used to support start-up companies that appear poised for rapid growth, but to which traditional financial institutions would consider loans too risky
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investment banker
She graduated from Harvard Business School and became an investment banker.†
investment banker = an employee of the firm that serves as an intermediary between an issuer of new securities and the investing public
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broker
I've learned to buy mutual funds online without a broker.†
broker = someone who negotiates or facilitates agreements between other parties (such as a real estate or stock broker)
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brokerage
We sell software used by real estate brokerages.†
brokerages = a firm where brokers work
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economies of scale
We expect economies of scale to lift us to profitability after we open our third location.†
economies of scale = economics:  situation where increasing output permits different techniques of production that decrease the cost per unit produced
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procure
She said the Air Force lacks the funds to procure maintenance equipment it needs.
procure = get by special effort
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inquire
Students should contact our office to inquire about scholarship opportunities.
inquire = ask about or look into
DefinitionGenerally inquire means:
to ask about or look into something
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general manager
The general manager denied the rumors of a trade.†
general manager = the highest ranking manager
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fringe benefit
I earn about the same as at my last job, but the fringe benefits are great.†
fringe benefits = an indirect, non-cash benefit provided to employees by employers in addition to regular wage or salary compensation, such as health insurance
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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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Total Quality Management (TQM)
Continuous Process Improvement was part of our Total Quality Management program.†
Total Quality Management = an organization-wide effort to have all employees continuously striving to improve quality
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† 
Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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