Our genetic information is encoded by the nucleotides thymine, cytosine, guanine, and adenosine,
as T, C, G, and A, respectively.Slate (Oct 17, 2013)
existing only in the mind
And rather than stating something as an
principle, he’d give it flesh and bones and heart by situating it in a story.Washington Post (Feb 14, 2014)
The chosen definition for this word is an adjective meaning. As a noun, "abstract" means "a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument."
as reported or stated by
Up to 35 percent of food products contain meat glue, including tofu, milk, yogurt and even cereal
to industry accounts.Salon (Feb 14, 2014)
a word formed from the initial letters of several words
OMG The first recorded appearance of this breathless
for “Oh, my God!” comes, surprisingly, in a letter to Winston Churchill.New York Times (Jan 21, 2014)
direct one's efforts towards something, such as a question
Obama is due to meet with the leaders of all four nations, and plans to
diplomatic, economic and security issues, the White House said.Reuters (Feb 12, 2014)
As a verb, "address" also means "deliver a formal spoken communication to an audience"--this could describe how Obama addresses the leaders as he addresses the issues.
have an influence upon
Thousands of properties are without power, schools are closed and trains have been cancelled--how is the stormy weather
you?Children's BBC (Feb 13, 2014)
Don't confuse "affect" with "effect"--in most cases, "affect" is used as verb while "effect" is used as a noun. As suggested by the example sentence, stormy weather affects a lot of people and services; it can have physical, emotional, and cognitive effects.
cause to change; make different
In Rome, the Canadian postulants gave me a present--a book that
my life utterly.BBC (Feb 14, 2014)
at all times; all the time and on every occasion
“The world is full of giants,” she begins, “they have
been here. We had to learn how to overcome them.”Time (Feb 14, 2014)
drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity
an investigation of the component parts of a whole
Indeed, Pew’s own
of its data makes it clear that Facebook has a golden opportunity in those countries:Time (Feb 13, 2014)
Literary analysis investigates the structure of a text and may also include exploring the underlying motives of characters. As a branch of mathematics, "analysis" involves calculus and limits.
make a mathematical, chemical, or grammatical study of
The babies in the study wore vests equipped with devices that record and
the conversations and background noises near the baby over 16 hours.Reuters (Feb 12, 2014)
add explanatory notes to or supply with critical comments
Genius, which allows users to
music lyrics, has thousands of songs whose explanations are continually updated and improved by its community of members.Forbes (Aug 6, 2013)
make a prediction about; tell in advance
the action of putting something into operation
also allows users to search for points of interest such as restaurants and cinemas.BBC (Feb 11, 2014)
The example sentence's use of "application" could also mean "a program that gives a computer instructions" but it would not connect to this definition: "a verbal or written request for assistance or admission."
be pertinent or relevant
On Tuesday, Qatari World Cup organizers produced a 50-page document outlining stricter measures that would
to contractors involved in building work for the tournament.Reuters (Feb 13, 2014)
"Apply" also means 1) ask for something; 2) employ for a particular purpose; 3) ensure observance of laws and rules; and 4) commit oneself to--although the chosen definition is the best fit for the example sentence, these can also apply, since the contractors first had to apply (1) for the job, before they could apply (2) the skills of their workers, while applying (3) the stricter measures, and applying (4) themselves to creating safe work conditions.
ideas or actions intended to deal with a problem
So we have two
to eating and sex in zoos--both created by people who care deeply about the animals in their care.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
suitable for a particular person, place, or situation
not quite exact or correct
For years, psychologists have known that human infants are born with an "
number sense," called ANS, or the ability to estimate amounts without counting.Reuters (Feb 5, 2014)
present reasons to support one's views
that nerds, being more technical, also have more vision and relevance in a more technical world.Forbes (Feb 10, 2014)
an assertion offered as evidence that something is true
"Argument" can also refer to what takes place before the assertion: "a methodical process of logical reasoning" or "a discussion for and against some proposition or proposal." In reference to a literary work, an argument is "a summary of the subject or plot" and in reference to a logical or mathematical expression, it is a variable.
organize thoughts, ideas, or temporal events
The sophistication comes with choosing the right texts and
them in an effective sequence that motivates and encourages the patient without alienating him.Forbes (Feb 10, 2014)
put into words or an expression
He was deeply committed to the principle of free markets, and
four “Internet freedoms” reminiscent of Richard M. Stallman’s four software freedoms.Forbes (Jan 19, 2014)
a distinct feature or element in a problem
to consider is that people who file claims have an incentive to exaggerate their symptoms to receive more compensation for longer.Reuters (Feb 12, 2014)
In referring to people, "aspect" is "a characteristic to be considered" or "the feelings expressed on a face." In grammar, the aspect of a verb is the duration or completion of the action (which should not be confused with the tenses, which also connect to the time of an action, but does not include how the time of the action is viewed).
create by putting components or members together
Sweating in green army fatigues, he praised the plan, noting its imported, prefabricated design that allowed walls to be
quickly, like puzzle pieces.New York Times (Feb 11, 2014)
declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
Mr. Chermayeff gives dogs their due, depicting one holding a city flag and
: “I have thousands of friends and all their owners vote.”New York Times (Feb 6, 2014)
estimate the nature, quality, ability or significance of
Other cars are covered with rubble, making it tough to
the damage or estimate the cost of repairs, Doran said.Reuters (Feb 13, 2014)
make a logical or causal connection
"As a visual icon the ukulele is instantly
with Hawaii, which is why it's used so frequently in advertising."Seattle Times (Feb 12, 2014)
take to be the case or to be true
a statement that is held to be true
As most people know, even the most objective of these ranking lists are loaded with all kinds of hidden biases,
and subjective decisions.Forbes (Feb 7, 2014)
the part of the general public interested in something
They’ll continue to try to find new features that appeal to their
, which means more instances of tech deja vu in the future.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
conforming to fact and therefore worthy of belief
information that is essential to understanding a situation
: She and her husband purchased her stepson’s home at foreclosure so that he and his family wouldn’t become homeless.Washington Post (Feb 4, 2014)
Information that is essential to understanding a situation could include "the state of the environment in which a situation exists." Information that is essential to understanding people could include their "social heritage or previous experience and training." Information that is essential to understanding a play could include "scenery hung at the back of a stage."
a collection of particulars considered as a system
Although these behavioural changes make the drugs useful, a growing
of evidence suggests that the benefits mainly stop there.Nature (Feb 12, 2014)
The system could be a) an individual 3-dimensional object that has mass and that is distinguishable from other objects; b) a group of persons associated by some common tie or occupation and regarded as an entity; c) a group of things regarded as a whole. In the example sentence, "body" is used to mean (c) but is also punning on (a). In reference to a literary work, the body is the main part (minus the introduction, conclusion, and additional materials).
try to solve a problem by thinking intensely about it
The Vatican announced Tuesday it would host a workshop early in the new year to
peaceful solutions to the ongoing civil war in Syria.Time (Dec 31, 2013)
concise and succinct
Hawking’s popular reputation was created through his best-selling book, A
History of Time, and the accompanying video program.Slate (Feb 13, 2014)
The given definition is for the word as an adjective (which the title of Hawking's book puns on since "brief" also means "of short duration or distance"). As a noun, "brief" means "a condensed written summary or abstract" or "a document stating the points of law of a client's case." As a verb, "brief" means "give essential information to someone."
make a mathematical computation
"Calculate" also means "judge to be probable" or "predict in advance"--all three definitions fit the example sentence, since it is an argument for why IQ tests are used: because humans by themselves cannot correctly compute, judge, and predict a person's capabilities, standardized tests have been created as a tool to support decisions that need to be made about class placements, learning services, etc.
brief description accompanying an illustration
"Caption" can also be used as a verb; any type of image, including photographs, can be captioned. Usually, the descriptions are brief explanations or humorous observations. But if seen at the bottom of a screen for a show, the captions are either a translation of the dialogue for foreign viewers or a transcription of the dialogue for hearing-impaired viewers.
a general concept that marks divisions or coordinations
The Playstation 3 title is recognised in
including action & adventure, artistic achievement, best game and game design.BBC (Feb 12, 2014)
The example sentence describes recognition given by the British Academy Games Awards--this connects "category" to the given definition. But "action and adventure" can also be a category ("a collection of things sharing a common attribute") in a section of a game store.
any entity that produces an effect
They see the two-way street, the way in which mental-health struggles can be a partial
as well as an effect of bullying.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
"Cause" can also mean "a justification for something existing or happening"--the example sentence does not argue for the cause of bullying; rather, it points out that, in the case of the football player Jonathan Martin, his depression might have caused ("make act in a specific manner") his teammates to bully him, which then caused ("give rise to") more mental health struggles.
an imaginary person represented in a work of fiction
And House of Cards would be a greater show if it had
who were people more than game pieces.Time (Feb 12, 2014)
The example sentence uses "character" to connect only to the given definition, but it implies that even imaginary people in a fictional work should show the additional meanings of "character": "a property that defines the individual nature of something" and "attributes that determine one's moral and ethical actions."
a distinguishing quality
All geometric objects must remain true to their unique
, and each step in the proof must follow the strict rules of logical deduction.New York Times (Jan 27, 2014)
"Characteristic" can be either a noun or adjective ("typical or distinctive"). Although the example sentence focuses on the unique characteristics of geometric objects, the article in which it appears compares the process of proving a geometric theorem to the development of characters and their story lines. This parallel is characteristic of The Simpsons, whose creative team over the years has included members with degrees in math and computer science.
describe or portray the qualities or peculiarities of
Rosacea is a skin condition
by red cheeks, chin, nose or forehead, often with small bumps that resemble pimples.Seattle Times (Jan 29, 2014)
a visual display of information
Mr. Bateman said he was told to prepare “whiz bang”
that detail everything from wind speeds to temperature trends.New York Times (Jan 26, 2014)
The example sentence uses "chart" as a noun, but it could also be a verb: as a meteorologist, Mr. Bateman was asked to chart ("represent by means of a graph") every possible weather pattern at specific times in New York and New Jersey, so that the National Football League could chart ("plan in detail") the first Superbowl held outdoors in a cold winter environment.
a record of events in the order of their occurrence
He uses a timeline stretching all the way round the classroom, running from 1066 to the present day, to reinforce the notion of
.BBC (Jul 8, 2013)
a short note recognizing a source of information
refer to for illustration or proof
But in fairness to Aesop, no one has ever
his works as justification for irrational hatred and violence.Salon (Feb 11, 2014)
assert or affirm strongly
Mr. Ban added, “We cannot
to care about mass atrocity crimes and then shrink from what it means to actually prevent them.”New York Times (Feb 14, 2014)
Although "claim" comes from the Latin verb "clamare" which means "to call" it can also be used as a noun in English to mean an assertion that something is true or that something rightfully belongs to you.
make clear and comprehensible
Moreover, because these supernovae are used as cosmic measuring sticks, understanding them better may help
the shape of the Universe.Scientific American (Jan 23, 2014)
people with the same social, economic, or educational status
Metro Post employees, and those who deliver packages on Sunday for Amazon, are part of a new
of postal workers called City Carrier Assistants.BusinessWeek (Feb 13, 2014)
In biology, "class" is a category ranking below a phylum and above an order. This idea of ranking can also be seen when people are classed into groups. The example sentence suggests that, despite being created in an attempt to save the Postal Service, the new class of "City Carrier Assistants" would rank lower than the regular postal carriers, and with their lower ranking comes lower pay and less desirable working hours.
evidence that helps to solve a problem
It may also give us
to a second antimatter mystery: Why is there more matter than antimatter in the universe?Slate (Feb 11, 2014)
a set of rules or principles or laws
The California Vehicle
states: "No pedestrian shall start crossing in direction of a flashing or steady "DON'T WALK" or upraised hand symbol."BBC (Feb 11, 2014)
Aside from the secret nature often associated with codes, the noun can also mean "a system of symbols, letters, or words for transmitting messages in brevity." Although the example sentence's use of "code" means "a set of rules" the description of the flashing phrase and upraised hand refers to a larger system of traffic signs that pedestrians and drivers must quickly decode in order to move around safely.
marked by an orderly and consistent relation of parts
Even science fiction, even fantasy has to follow the laws of human nature for the story to be
.Salon (Feb 9, 2014)
shared by two or more parties
The adjective "common" might have been intended to connect to the chosen definition (and its similar one of "belonging to or participated in by a community as a whole"), as well as to the ones meaning "to be expected; standard" and "frequently encountered" but negative reactions to the Common Core might connect it to other definitions, such as "having no special distinction or quality" or "of low or inferior quality or value."
examine and note the similarities or differences of
the halfpipe to the one used for the 2010 Vancouver Games, which was similarly criticized in the days before the competition.New York Times (Feb 11, 2014)
put together out of existing material
The list was
using tips from more than 170 music critics, DJs and bloggers.BBC (Jan 7, 2014)
something added to embellish or make perfect
“There is a big difference between our collections. We show only Dutch and Flemish paintings, so the Frick’s collection is a perfect
.”New York Times (Feb 13, 2014)
"Complement" can also mean "either of two parts that create a whole"--this definition is suggested by the article in which the example sentence appears, since The Hague had recently loaned art to the Frick, and now the Frick is loaning part of its collection to The Hague. This sense of completion can also be seen in grammar, where "complement" means "a word or phrase used to complete a grammatical construction."
write all the required information onto a form
Children treated with stimulants would be able to
a worksheet of simple maths problems faster and more accurately than usual, explains Nora Volkow.Nature (Feb 12, 2014)
Similar to "complement" another definition of the verb "complete" connects to wholeness: "bring to a whole, with all the necessary parts or elements." Completing something often simply means finishing it, but what is necessary or required to make something whole is not always a perfect fit.
produce a literary work
How do you feel about the typing indicator—“David is typing”—that appears on your buddy’s screen while you’re
a message in chat?Slate (Feb 12, 2014)
See "compile" for another definition that makes the two verbs synonymous. "Compose" can also mean "make up plans or basic details for" or "write music."
an essay, especially one written as an assignment
Some of the more somber black and white looks resembled
notebooks--elementary, but chic.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
"Composition" also means "the way in which someone or something is put together"--the example sentence suggests this definition since it is comparing the composition of some fashion designs to the black and white notebooks elementary school students use to write essays.
have the idea for
What we now call Obamacare was
at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, and birthed in Massachusetts by Mitt Romney, then the governor.New York Times (Dec 31, 2013)
The example sentence puns on the word "conceive" by connecting to the meaning "become pregnant" with the use of the verb "birth"--this is a clue that the writer of the article in which this example sentence appears conceives ("judge or regard; look upon) of Obamacare as an awful system that needs to be fixed in order to realize its goal of universal quality healthcare.
expressing much in few words
reach a final opinion after a discussion or deliberation
a position or opinion reached after consideration
Yet it strikes a note of almost hilarious caution in its final paragraph: “One
are to be avoided.”Salon (Feb 1, 2014)
"Conclusion" also means 1) the last section of a communication and 2) event whose occurrence ends something--all three definitions fit the example sentence, since it is making fun of the conclusion found in the conclusion (1) of a study that recommends that extreme conclusions (2) to movies should be avoided because media violence causes harm.
capable of being perceived by the senses
the context that influences the performance of a process
The chemical composition of two genetically identical plants can vary based on growing
, soil content, parasites and many other factors.New York Times (Feb 12, 2014)
The growing conditions mentioned in the example sentence can include "the atmospheric conditions that comprise the state of the atmosphere in terms of temperature and wind and clouds and precipitation." Although the focus here is on plants, a simpler definition of "conditions" also fits: "the set of circumstances that affect someone's welfare."
direct the course of; manage or control
But executives had been looking for an anthropologist to
research into how people used technology in their homes.New York Times (Feb 15, 2014)
"Conduct" (with the accent on the first syllable) is a noun that means "manner of acting or controlling yourself" or "the way a person behaves towards other people"--these definitions are suggested by the example sentence, since an anthropologist conducting research would be examining the conduct of people.
establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts
New figures due out this month are also expected to
that the winter of 2013-14 has been the wettest on record.BBC (Feb 13, 2014)
a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
"Consequence" can also mean "the outcome of an event"--although this definition is often seen relative to an individual, it can also apply here. The intended outcome of a siege is the capture of a town or fortress, but since the army surrounds the town, takes their resources, and blocks any new supplies from coming in, the siege actually causes starvation.
think about carefully; weigh
You might also want to
using a reputation-monitoring service like Persona.Time (Feb 15, 2014)
"Consider" also means "judge or regard; look upon" (see the synonymous "conceive")--this definition can be considered (take into account) if you would consider using Persona because you care about how others consider you.
have its essential character
Washington’s Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon,
of five separate farms on 8,000 acres of prime farmland run by more than 300 slaves.Time (Feb 15, 2014)
the same throughout in structure or composition
No track has a
ice surface throughout, he said, because of ever-changing variables including the method of ice application and weather conditions.New York Times (Feb 4, 2014)
The example sentence uses the chosen definition to refer to the ice surface of a luge track, but many of the Olympic athletes are hoping that they're consistent ("reliable") in their performances, that the judges are consistent ("conforming to the same principles") in their scoring, and that their experience is consistent ("in agreement; compatible) with their dreams.
in a systematic manner
While the repeated use of the adverb "consistently" emphasizes reliability and equality, the focus on safe streets suggests a systematic enforcing of order in some New York City neighborhoods.
unvarying in nature
The number of states requiring that an economics course be taken in high school remains
at 22.Time (Feb 12, 2014)
"Constant" is used as an adjective in the example sentence to refer to the constant ("a quantity that does not vary") of 22. This idea of not changing can also be seen in other definitions of "constant" that can be used to describe actions, conditions, or people: "uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing" and "steadfast in purpose or devotion or affection."
to compose or represent
Who is to say what percentage of a person’s DNA must come from another human to
biological parenthood?Forbes (Jan 26, 2014)
seek information from
She also did what a coach at any level might do:
the technical information on the United States Figure Skating Association website.New York Times (Feb 12, 2014)
maintain or assert
What has rocked even the jaded chess world this time are signed contracts posted online that each candidate
proves dirty dealing by the other.New York Times (Feb 8, 2014)
"Contend" also means 1) compete for something; 2) have an argument about something; and 3) make the subject of dispute or litigation. The candidates are contending (1) for the presidency of the World Chess Federation. Each contends that the other is guilty of corruption, and both are using the press to contend (2) with each other. With money, power, and prestige at stake, they might go to court to contend (3) their case.
discourse that surrounds and helps explain a word or passage
If the youngster knows the word "kitty," and his brain recognizes it quickly enough, then he can figure out what "bench" means by the
.Seattle Times (Feb 14, 2014)
Another definition of "context" ("the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation") makes it nearly synonymous with "background" and "conditions" and connects it to a wider scope of understanding.
an extent in which no part is distinct from adjacent parts
prove negative; show to be false
Those findings support recent research
the conventional wisdom that trees capture less carbon as they age.New York Times (Jan 20, 2014)
a standard against which other conditions can be compared
Vehicles that were offered the stickers saw a 50% reduction in total accidents compared with a
group.Economist (Feb 13, 2014)
The chosen definition is for "control" as a noun, but the word is used as an adjective in the example sentence. In most definitions of "control" (it can also be a verb), the sense of power to direct or determine can be seen, whether it's directed at oneself, others, a machine, knowledge, or the conditions of a scientific experiment.
change the nature, purpose, or function of something
Except for its use in sports, where converting often means successfully completing a play and scoring, "convert" connects to change and can be applied to things, people, beliefs, or systems.
make known; pass on, of information
Of course, tense faces, in close-ups, are one of the chief ways that actors and filmmakers
emotion, especially in thrillers.New York Times (Feb 12, 2014)
"Convey" also means 1) serve as a means for expressing something; 2) transmit or serve as the medium for transmission; and 3) transfer to another. The actors' faces convey (1) emotion, which are then conveyed (2) through a movie screen, and hopefully, conveyed (3) to the audience.
a reproduction of a written record
Scrawled in cinnabar and black ink, the manuscripts, detailing the tantric rituals of Buddhist deities, were
of 15th-century texts.New York Times (Feb 15, 2014)
Although "copy" is used as a noun in the example sentence, the action of copying every word by hand is implied by both the original manuscript's age and the description of scrawling black ink.
to bear a reciprocal or mutual relation
He lays the blame squarely on weather and bee management practices, which
more closely with bee survival rates than does the use of neonics.Forbes (Jan 5, 2014)
be compatible, similar, or consistent
Unlike the cookie dough variety, this cookie’s flavor
with its name: it really does taste like a Rice Krispies Treat.Time (Jan 23, 2014)
appearing to merit belief or acceptance
claim to be the oldest living currency in the world, the pound has accompanied Britons through much of their march through history.BBC (Feb 14, 2014)
when they do well with players and they should take the blame when they don't."BBC (Feb 14, 2014)
One definition of "credit" ("have trust in; trust in the truth of") connects it to "credible" (both come from the Latin "credere" which means "to believe"). Another definition of "credit" makes it nearly synonymous with "citation" ("a short note recognizing a source of information"), but "credit" could also be recognition for a completed course of studies, a contribution to a larger work, or an achievement in any activity.
the ideal in terms of which something can be judged
a serious examination and judgment of something
of extremism, Ms. Almutawakel said that for little girls to be covered to this extent is not about religion but control.New York Times (Dec 26, 2013)
"Critique" also means "an essay or article that gives a critical examination"--this definition describes the article in which the example sentence was found, but it doesn't apply to Ms. Almutawakel's critique of extremism, since that was done through photographs of Middle Eastern girls in veils.
of extreme importance; vital to the resolution of a crisis
But while sleep is
for sick and premature babies to grow and recover, it can be difficult in a bright, noisy hospital.BBC (Feb 15, 2014)
increasing by successive addition
Mr. Levinson recommended that Medicare officials “establish a
payment threshold” and closely examine claims filed by any doctor whose total exceeded that amount.New York Times (Jan 25, 2014)
a discussion with reasons for and against some proposal
More broadly, the protests have reignited a
about whether interventions by the international community are the solution in Bosnia--or part of the problem.Reuters (Feb 15, 2014)
conclude by reasoning
Within moments of meeting Watson, the detective
his new acquaintance’s war history, living situation and the state of his family relations.Salon (Feb 9, 2014)
argue or speak in justification of
And now this week, Nevada’s attorney general, a Democrat, and its Republican governor, announced that they too, could not
the state’s gay-marriage ban anymore.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
determine the nature of
"Explain the meaning of a word" would be too simple a definition for the example sentence: the writings might have included a definition, but what the writings defined was not the word, but an entire attitude towards diabetes. "Define" also means "decide upon or fix with certainty"--this fits, since the writings were by a doctor who survived diabetes in the 1920s when it was still mostly seen as a condition leading to death.
require as useful, just, or proper
But advocates say cheerleading is a profession that
specific skills and not everyone can land the job.Time (Feb 14, 2014)
"Demand" also means "request urgently and forcefully"--although this definition does not fit the example sentence, it can be connected to a skill cheerleaders might use to pump up their team and home crowd.
show the validity of something, as by example or explanation
Katz said the paper
that in a culture that eats very poorly, we need fortification to have adequate nutrient intake.Reuters (Feb 6, 2014)
give a description of
Biblical history 101 teaches that the texts themselves were often written centuries after the events they
.Time (Feb 11, 2014)
reason by deduction; establish by deduction
"Derive" also means "come from"--this definition does not fit the example sentence, but it can be seen in the suggestion that a lot of geometric knowledge derives from Euclid.
give an account or representation of in words
Even though the employment picture has brightened since the depths of the Great Recession, few would
it as sunny.New York Times (Feb 14, 2014)
an isolated fact considered separately from the whole
In August last year, Russia granted Mr Snowden asylum for one year, after he leaked
of US electronic surveillance programmes.BBC (Feb 16, 2014)
"Detail" can also be used as a verb to mean "provide specifics for"--this sounds like a positive action, but in the case of Snowden, his action illegally detailed secrets that affect national security.
discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
In one sequence, RoboCop takes on about 50 bad guys in the dark by
them with heat vision.Time (Feb 12, 2014)
establish after a calculation, investigation, or experiment
Careful questioning will help you
what people really want, which is often different from what they say they want.Time (Feb 14, 2014)
make something new, such as a product or a mental creation
As suggested by the phrase "one day" the verb "develop" usually connects to change, growth, or creation that happens over a period of time. This can apply to the development of living organisms, abstract theories, practical skills, musical pieces, essays, photographs, poor countries, technologies, games, etc.
come up with after a mental effort
the manner in which something is expressed in words
One user called "I Eat" wrote to her with the
of a Muppet: "Would you like talk with cannibal?" he asked.Slate (Mar 8, 2013)
mark as distinct
Surely there are many games involving candy that are sufficiently
from Candy Crush so as to not be deemed infringing.Forbes (Jan 20, 2014)
magnitude or extent
"We understand the shape and the
of the Russia we're dealing with, and it makes it tougher to find that cooperation."Reuters (Feb 12, 2014)
The geographical size of Russia and the word "shape" in the example sentence connect to the chosen definition. But the shape and size of a country are not the only factors that should be taken into consideration when trying to understand it. "Dimensions" is also used here to broadly include any quality that distinguishes Russia--this is meant to be a vague way of saying that Russia is so big and broad that cooperating with it is difficult.
decrease in size, extent, or range
"Diminish" also means "lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of"--both definitions fit the example sentence because a social role can dictate one's actions, which would diminish the extent to which one can create a separate identity, which diminishes one's authority and can lead to one feeling diminished in dignity or worth.
straightforward in manner, behavior, language or action
The military said at the time that any announcement would "be done via clear and
statements that cannot be doubted or misinterpreted".BBC (Feb 13, 2014)
The military needs to be direct in its statements in order to show that it can direct ("command with authority") soldiers and direct ("intend to move towards a certain goal) Egypt to meet the demands of its people. In a direct ("proceeding without deviation") course of action that included an ultimatum, Field Marshal Sisi moves towards the presidency.
a branch of knowledge
It turns out there is a whole
of studying sports fanaticism, and it spills over into elements of psychology, sociology and physiology.Seattle Times (Feb 15, 2014)
In connection to the chosen definition, the example sentence mentions 4 disciplines. But other definitions of "discipline" are also suggested by the mention of "sports fanaticism": 1) training to improve strength or self-control; 2) a system of rules of conduct or method of practice; 3) punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience.
determine the existence, presence, or fact of
Dell Curry, who spent most of his 16-year career with the Charlotte Hornets, said he wanted his sons to
the game for themselves.New York Times (Feb 15, 2014)
Another definition of "discover" that fits the example sentence is "get to know or become aware of, usually accidentally." A definition that does not fit here is "make a new finding" since the game of basketball is not new, even though Dell Curry wanted it to be new to his sons.
recognize or perceive the difference
The preposition "between" is a clue that this definition is being used. Another definition of "discriminate" is "treat differently on the basis of sex or race (or other criteria)"--the preposition "against" is the clue to this usage. People who do not discriminate between accidental and deliberate killings might discriminate against all killers.
to consider or examine in speech or writing
Saudis are among the world's biggest users of social media, using it to
political, religious and social issues that were once seen as taboo.Reuters (Feb 16, 2014)
mark as different
American modern dance, in its early years, wanted to be taken seriously, to
itself from supposedly more frivolous traditions.New York Times (Feb 16, 2014)
Compare with "differentiate" and "discriminate"--all have at least one definition that connects to noticing differences, but "differentiate" is also a mathematical term, and both it and "distinguish" have definitions that connect to the identification, development, or evolution of organisms.
the content of a particular field of knowledge
Top CS students can also do great things by gaining
knowledge, such as finance.Forbes (Jan 8, 2014)
The definition would fit the example sentence better if the first three words were deleted. This would also connect it more closely to other definitions of "domain": 1) a particular environment or walk of life; 2) territory over which rule or control is exercised (which could be geographical, academic, or virtual). An unrelated mathematical definition is "the set of values of the variable defining a function."
any of the various versions in the development of a work
Although the definition includes all versions in a work's development, as the example sentence shows, "draft" is most often used for the first version; this can be seen in other definitions of the word: 1) a preliminary sketch of a design or picture; 2) draw up an outline or sketch for something.
make, formulate, or derive in the mind
prepare for publication or presentation by revising
Wikipedia relies on a diligent army of roughly 75,000 volunteers each month who
the articles for a staggeringly large readership.New York Times (Feb 9, 2014)
a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
Scientists analysed health improvements from riding the bikes with the potentially harmful
of physical injury and inhaling traffic fumes.BBC (Feb 13, 2014)
Compare with "consequence"--in the example sentences shown in this list, the two nouns are synonymous. Compare with "affect"--aside from the similar spellings, another reason the two words are often confused is that an effect can be both a result and the power to achieve a result.
violent or severe weather
The South West is preparing itself for another battering by the
with strong winds and rain forecast for Friday night and into the weekend.BBC (Feb 7, 2014)
Generally, an element is "one of the individual parts making up a composite entity" (e.g. the setting in a story, an angle in a triangle, a member in a set). In Chemistry, an element is "a substance that cannot be separated into simpler substances." For a living organism, being in one's element is being in "the most favorable environment in which one is happiest, healthiest, or most effective."
stress or single out as important
Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly
the importance of showcasing Russia flawlessly to the world during the Olympics.Time (Feb 7, 2014)
put into service
Their parents work diligently to help them succeed: cajoling and pleading and threatening and occasionally
more intrusive techniques copied from mob debt collectors.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
having the same quantity, value, or measure as another
Allen said Virginia's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage violated the right to due process and
protection of the law under the U.S. Constitution.Reuters (Feb 13, 2014)
a person or thing equal to another in value or measure
To me, Flappy Bird is the game
of eating hot chiles—the pain makes you sweat and captures your attention.Forbes (Feb 11, 2014)
an analytic or interpretive literary composition
The words came organically to Julia Ernst as she hunkered down to write the
that would accompany most of her college applications.Washington Post (Feb 12, 2014)
Besides old age, the sewers, which are
to the health of the city, are under assault from a nemesis above ground: grease.New York Times (Feb 14, 2014)
show the validity of something, as by example or explanation
Compare with "demonstrate"--in the example sentences, the verbs are synonymous, but as seen in their Latin roots ("monstrare" means "to show" and "stabilis" means "firm"), "establish" is a stronger action word, especially when used to mean "set up or lay the groundwork for."
an approximate calculation of quantity or degree or worth
More than 200,000 people are believed to be held in North Korean prison camps, according to independent
.Reuters (Feb 15, 2014)
estimate the nature, quality, ability or significance of
In 2009, a Supreme Court decision upheld the validity of multiple-choice testing for
firefighters for promotion, prompting a heated nationwide discussion.New York Times (Feb 10, 2014)
something that happens at a given place and time
marked the collaboration of the denim brand and Bionic Yarn, which makes clothing materials from recycled plastic bottles.New York Times (Feb 16, 2014)
means by which an alleged matter is established or disproved
keeps mounting that mammograms and other tests for cancer—which contribute to the sky-high costs of U.S. health care—do not save lives.Scientific American (Feb 13, 2014)
enlarge beyond bounds or the truth
Second, because other people are lying, people think there is a good chance you are
even if you are entirely honest.New York Times (Feb 10, 2014)
consider in detail in order to discover essential features
In the past fifteen years we have seen an ever-growing stream of psychological and popular science books
happiness and how people can increase it.Salon (Feb 16, 2014)
a representative form or pattern
The more outlandish the ideas, the better: the company offers parachuting with fireworks and ninjas as
that might impress.Time (Feb 11, 2014)
All the example sentences here are meant to serve as models of how the words in this vocabulary list can be used. In this particular example sentence, the word "example" can also mean "something to be imitated." In the classroom, a teacher might ask students to complete an example, which is "a task performed in order to develop skill or understanding of a principle or method."
take out of a literary work in order to cite or copy
The phrase people most often associate with Dr. King–
from his landmark 1963 speech—is “I have a dream.”Forbes (Jan 20, 2014)
The Latin verb "excerpere" means "to pick out" (which can be broken down to "ex" which means "out" and "carpere" which means "to pluck"). As a noun in English, "excerpt" means "a passage selected from a larger work."
prevent from being included or considered or accepted
If people think that the definition of masculinity somehow
the idea that you could be gay, then really they need to reexamine that definition.Salon (Feb 11, 2014)
a task performed to develop skill or understanding
He announced it during a team-building
in which coaches asked players to mention something about themselves that no one else knew.BBC (Feb 11, 2014)
This definition is synonymous with one shown in the notes for "example" but "example" would not fit in this sentence. The use of "exercise" puns on its other definitions of "the activity of exerting muscles to keep fit" and "systematic training by multiple repetitions"--both of which football players could be doing when they are not team-building by sharing secrets about themselves.
show an attribute, property, knowledge, or skill
Birds, in particular,
many remarkable skills once thought to be restricted to humans: Magpies recognize their reflection in a mirror.Scientific American (Feb 10, 2014)
make plain and comprehensible
He’s clearly well-informed on the subject of climate science, and he has done quite a lot to popularize and
the research.Salon (Feb 14, 2014)
Although the chosen definition does not show this, "explain" also means "to offer reasons for; justify"--in a televised debate, Bill Nye would not be explaining the research on climate science so much as explaining his position that climate change is a bad reality.
Her book, Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Animal and Human Health,
how our physical and emotional health overlaps with that of non-human animals.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
serving to expound or set forth
The explanatory and
sections between scenes—while packed with insight—are often stiff and windy, with lots of academic catchphrases.New York Times (Feb 3, 2013)
a passage selected from a larger work
They also came to "a good agreement" with David Mitchell to use the short
from his book.BBC (Feb 5, 2014)
Compare with "excerpt"--they are synonymous, but the Latin "extrahere" which means "to draw out" suggests that extraction requires more work and time. "Excerpt" as a verb applies only to literary works, but "extract" can apply to teeth, natural resources, profits, confessions, and meaning ("extract" also means "deduce"). In math, to extract is "to calculate the root of a number."
a concept whose truth can be proved
: There is no bigger turnoff than an alien bursting out of someone’s stomach.Time (Feb 14, 2014)
anything that contributes causally to a result
After that, American officials, athletes and coaches began to examine other
, like training regimes, altitude training and mental preparation as causes for the underperformance.New York Times (Feb 16, 2014)
The chosen definition of "factor" connects to another definition used only in Math: any of two or more numbers that form a product when multiplied together.
a prominent attribute or aspect of something
Whether it’s air gestures, tilt scrolling, or companion watches that let you take secret, creepy photos, Samsung is the indisputable King of
.Time (Feb 15, 2014)
"Feature" comes from the Latin verb "facere" which means "to make"--this connects to all the noticeable parts of created things, whether they're cameras on phones, articles in newspapers, the main film in a movie theater, or the aspect of a verb (see "aspect" in this list). "Feature" can also refer to "a characteristic part of a person's face."
The flag also has
powers; its fluttering is like a wave to the wayward golfer that beseeches, “This way, over here.”New York Times (Jun 10, 2013)
The figure of speech used by the example sentence is personification, since it describes a flag as if it could talk. The waving could be seen as both literal and figurative, since a flag can actually wave with the wind, but the example sentence makes the waving seem like an intentional action by the flag to get the golfer's attention.
a combination of points and lines that form a visible shape
Her date of birth allowed Lipnitskaya to become the youngest
skater in 78 years to win Olympic gold for Russia.Reuters (Feb 17, 2014)
"Figure" is used as an adjective to describe a type of skating that requires the tracing of specific shapes. But 78 and Lipnitskaya's age are also figures, which were used to figure out ("make a mathematical calculation; understand") the skater's place in Russia's Olympics history. This makes Lipnitskaya a figure ("a well-known or notable person").
the concentration of attention or energy on something
Her talent, her
and her youthful exuberance spurred Russia to win the inaugural Olympic team title in Sochi.Reuters (Feb 17, 2014)
The example sentence tells the reader to focus ("direct one's attention on something") on the personal qualities of Lipnitskaya that helped Russia win Olympic gold. Although the event was a team competition, all the attention has focused ("converge on a central point") on Lipnitskaya.
a printed note placed below the text on a printed page
But he said that fraudsters gather a lot of personal information "from Google, social networking sites, from email
, all sorts of places".BBC (Oct 25, 2012)
indicate by signs
“It’s a young dynamic firm. We have lots of opportunities to grow,” signaling that Mr. Canellos’s arrival could
other changes.New York Times (Feb 12, 2014)
alternative names for the body of a human being
Depicting the human
in this way expressed Leonardo’s belief that humankind represented a microcosm of the universe.Slate (Feb 17, 2014)
The meaning of "form" can take on so many different forms ("a particular mode in which something is manifested") that a much larger form ("a printed document with spaces in which to write") is needed to form ("establish or impress firmly in the mind") a complete understanding of the word.
the organization of data according to preset specifications
“Shallow News in Depth” follows a similar
of celebrity interviews, commentary on news and humorous dispatches by reporters on the streets of Bangkok.New York Times (Feb 8, 2014)
Although "format" is used as a noun in the example sentence, its meaning as a verb ("set into a specific appearance for publication") is suggested, since the show is posted onto YouTube.
belonging to some prior time
"Former" also refers to "the first of two things or persons mentioned"--in the example sentence, of the two Parks mentioned, the former is the daughter and the latter is the father.
put into words or an expression
In November, in an effort to make the process both more transparent and more rigorous, the I.R.S. announced that it would begin
new rules.New York Times (Jan 22, 2014)
"Formulate" also means 1) prepare according to instructions or a formula; 2) elaborate, as of theories and hypotheses; 3) come up with after a mental effort--all four definitions fit, because the subject of the verb is a government agency that is trying to develop new, clearer rules that would replace the old, vague ones in order to prevent organizations from wrongfully claiming tax-exempt status.
an incomplete piece
Another technique he favored was to include
from other texts in his poems, even other poets’ work, a device he called approximation.New York Times (Jan 27, 2014)
Within this example sentence about "fragment" are two fragments that could be rephrased, moved, or developed to fit more smoothly and grammatically with the rest of the sentence.
formulate in a particular style or language
As a lawyer, Justice Ginsburg
and argued cases that established an entirely new body of constitutional law, one requiring the equal treatment of women.New York Times (Feb 10, 2014)
"Frame" also means 1) make up plans or basic details for; 2) construct by fitting or uniting parts together (both could describe Ginsburg's process of developing the arguments); 3) alternative name for the body of a human being (which could pun on the phrase "new body"); 4) a system of assumptions and standards that sanction behavior and give it meaning (Ginsburg's work set up a new legal frame for the treatment of women).
many times at short intervals
of worldwide scope or applicability
nutrition, there have been few studies of the content of human breast milk and how it might vary.Seattle Times (Feb 14, 2014)
"General" also means "affecting the entire body" and "somewhat indefinite"--these definitions are suggested by the word "nutrition" which connects to the body and covers a wide range of foods and ways of preparation and eating.
a class of art having a characteristic form or technique
a visual representation of the relations between quantities
What Transparent Chennai found was that politicians reacted much better to maps than they did to reams of impenetrable data presented as charts or
.Forbes (Jan 28, 2014)
written or drawn or engraved
In March 2006, cigarette packaging with
health warnings including photos of cancer-riddled lungs and gangrenous limbs was introduced in Australia.Reuters (Feb 13, 2014)
"Graphic" also means "evoking lifelike images within the mind"--despite the photos' intention to warn about disease and death, this definition is a fitting description of the cigarette packaging.
a line of text indicating what the passage below it is about
Under “Values” it steers students to the Traditional Values Coalition, whose website includes a
that says, “Say NO to Obama. Stop Sharia in America.”Slate (Jan 16, 2014)
a line of text indicating what the passage below it is about
move into the foreground to make more visible or prominent
Several announcements by Mr. Cuomo were also
, including one with footage of the governor showing off a new fishing-themed license plate.New York Times (Feb 14, 2014)
"Highlight" also means "the most interesting or memorable part"--a fishing-themed license plate does not seem to fit the definition, but the author of the article highlights this image to make fun of the efforts by Cuomo to highlight his achievements as the governor of New York.
believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
Jackie Mason, in an email,
that the complicated relationship between Jews and mayonnaise was probably a consequence of Jews feeling “guilty over betraying mustard.”Slate (Dec 27, 2013)
give the name or characteristics of
Another definition of "identify" connects it to the similar-looking word "identical": consider to be equal or the same. People often identify with things, ideas, or other people that they think are equal to them. The example sentence comes from a senior vice president at Lockheed Martin who is hoping to identify countries that would identify with the view that drones are necessary.
clarify by giving an example of
Instead, the receipts were handwritten on small slips of paper,
the arbitrary nature of the party's punishment system.BBC (Jan 17, 2014)
"Illustrate" also means "depict with a visual representation"--both definitions fit, because the handwritten receipt can be seen as a visual representation of a punishment (the receipt is for payment of a fine for violating China's one-child policy). The informal appearance of the receipt is just one example that illustrates how the Communist Party does not punish everyone the same way for the same violation.
reproduce someone's behavior or looks
In the final, mocking Allegro, the violinist
a kind of teenage cackle through crisp fast notes embellished with grace notes.New York Times (Jan 20, 2014)
suggest as a logically necessary consequence
In a consumer-oriented economy, where the idea is for people to consume, changing the paradigm to sharing would seem to
a lot less consumption. Forbes (Feb 6, 2014)
"Imply" also means "express or state indirectly" or "suggest that someone is guilty"--neither of these definitions fits the example sentence since it directly states that a focus on sharing can lead to less consumption, and this would not be a situation that would require a suggestion of guilt.
having a preference, disposition, or tendency
During the meeting, Mr. Kerry sometimes seemed
to see a glass half full, while the bloggers were worried that it was emptying.New York Times (Feb 15, 2014)
The Latin "clinare" means "to lean"--this is more clearly seen in another definition of "inclined" ("at an angle to the horizontal or vertical position"), but it is also suggested by the chosen definition, since a preference, disposition, or tendency is a lean towards something or someone. In the example sentence, the description of Mr. Kerry's inclination means that he leans towards believing that China is inclining towards greater freedom of the Internet.
have as a part, be made up out of
include or contain; have as a component
The Latin "corpus" means "body" and "incorporare" means "to form into a body"--this is suggested by other definitions of "incorporate": 1) make into a whole or make part of a whole; 2) unite or merge with something already in existence.
give evidence of
Both the chosen definition and this one of "be a signal for or a symptom of" seem to indicate that "indicate" is a strong and believable verb. But its Latin root of "dicare" which means "to proclaim or cry out" can be seen in definitions that are less sure: 1) to state or express briefly; 2) to point out a place, direction, person, or thing.
having intervening factors or persons or influences
Officially this method is called
potable use, but it’s really water recycling.Time (Jan 31, 2014)
The potable use is indirect because it is not the drinking of water that comes from a mountain spring, but the drinking of wastewater that has been put through a multistep cleaning process. The phrase "indirect potable use" is indirect because it uses language that does not straightforwardly get to the point.
reason by deduction; establish by deduction
For instance, since infants look longer at events that surprise them, developmental psychologists can use gaze time to
the predictions of preverbal children.Scientific American (Jan 28, 2014)
Compare with "deduce"--the example sentences and chosen definitions show the verbs as synonymous. But they can also be antonymous, since "deduce" means "reason from the general to the particular" while "infer" means "draw from specific cases for more general cases"--this makes a deduction seem more credible than an inference, especially since "infer" can also mean "solve by guessing."
a power to affect persons or events
They want to purge Thailand of the
of her divisive brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who they claim continues to run the country by proxy.Time (Feb 18, 2014)
impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to
"Inform" has another meaning that connects to the verb "form": "give character or essence to"--both definitions fit the example sentence, since the scientific results both provide information and form the character of future experimental searches.
conduct an investigation of
So from time to time it’s good to take the focus off yourself and
into those around you a little more deeply.Forbes (Dec 30, 2013)
a message describing how something is to be done
The instructor gave some very basic
for what sounded like some very advanced moves.Salon (Feb 7, 2014)
"Instruction" also means "activities that impart knowledge or skill"--both definitions fit the example sentence, since the writer was learning how to fly on a trapeze.
make into a whole or make part of a whole
"That's why they're
maps with search. When you search for Peking duck, you're seeing nearby restaurants in your results."Reuters (Jan 29, 2014)
The example sentence describes integrating maps with search, but integration can also produce 1) a whole society that is open to members of all races and ethnic groups; 2) a whole number (through a calculus operation).
the intended meaning of a communication
, the sample never meshes with its soundtrack, and never inspires thought deeper than “radio evangelists were probably mistaken about rock ‘n’ roll.”Time (Jan 24, 2014)
As a noun, "intent" is also a shorter version of "intention" and as an adjective, it means "giving or marked by complete attention to."
an anticipated outcome that guides your planned actions
Satisfied with this initial success rate, the researchers then expanded their efforts with the
of producing a few fully developed baby monkeys.Scientific American (Jan 31, 2014)
do something together or with others
stopping and starting at irregular intervals
reports, people would be able to record a steady stream of data and get warnings when they need them most.BusinessWeek (Feb 4, 2014)
make sense of; assign a meaning to
the Bible is a little like studying Leonardo DaVinci’s painting of the Last Supper, he says.Time (Feb 11, 2014)
"Interpret" also means "make sense of a language" and "give an explanation to"--all three definitions fit, because 1) the Bible's many translations through time, cultures, and languages have an effect on meaning; 2) the many books of the Bible include a mix of historical events, divine miracles, and parables, which many scholars from different disciplines have devoted themselves to sorting and explaining.
bring in a new person or object into a familiar environment
The Girl Scouts recently
a gluten-free chocolate chip shortbread cookie to their annually anticipated line of sweet treats.New York Times (Feb 17, 2014)
the first section of a communication
“Voting in elections is considered sacrosanct by a large majority of Indians,” Mukulika Banerjee writes in the
to her new book, “Why India Votes.”New York Times (Jan 20, 2014)
without change, in every case
, around February of each year, coinciding with Black History Month, you’ll hear people asking, “Why isn’t there a white history month?”Salon (Feb 6, 2014)
conduct an inquiry of
The Silkworm will follow the private investigator Cormoran Strike, who Rowling introduced in Cuckoo, as he
the murder of a novelist.Time (Feb 17, 2014)
Compare with "inquire"--the two verbs have synonymous definitions, but as shown by the example sentences and Latin roots ("quaerere" means "to ask" and "vestigare" means "to track"), an investigation often involves more following and follow-through.
contain as a part
only a small group of tagged whales and noise levels were less intense than what's used by the Navy.US News (Dec 15, 2013)
"Involve" also means "require as useful, just, or proper" and "engage as a participant"--all three definitions fit the example sentence, because the Navy scientists needed the whales to conduct the study of how sonar affects marine mammals, but some whales were shy and required years to find and tag before they could participate (compare with the definition and example sentence for "include").
incongruity between what might be expected and what occurs
having no bearing on or connection with the subject at issue
Most of the time you see a doctor, you would have gotten better anyway and his actions or advice are
.Economist (Jan 29, 2014)
set apart from others
a typeface with letters slanting upward to the right
With emphasis in
and bold face, he added: “We need you to focus on our primary mission of defending our nation and our allies.”Washington Post (Jun 27, 2013)
assess tentatively or form an estimate of
are all entrenched in their sports’ insular communities, they develop relationships with the athletes and coaches they must later
.Washington Post (Feb 16, 2014)
serving as an essential component
"Key" has other definitions that might be used in the classroom: 1) a list of answers to a test (which teachers might keep under lock and key); 2) a list of words or phrases explaining symbols or abbreviations; 3) something crucial for explaining.
a brief description given for purposes of identification
"Corn is a big problem. It is really really difficult to produce seed corn that would meet the current non-GMO verified
."Reuters (Feb 18, 2014)
having a good chance of being the case or of coming about
include in an ordered array of items
Lab websites also often
research projects, publications, data sets, software, job openings, collaborators and contact information.Nature (Feb 12, 2014)
limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text
Either way it is going to be mind-blowing, quite possibly in a
sense.BBC (Dec 2, 2013)
The example sentence refers to technologies that can be figuratively mind-blowing because they seem like unbelievable images from a science fiction movie. But the technologies can also be literally mind-blowing because, now available in the U.S., are bionic eyes that combine a Google Glass device with a tiny electrode that is attached to a membrane that's connected to a nerve that leads to the brain.
determine the place of by searching or examining
In a conversation, O’Reilly author Matthew Gast suggested that you could extend the concept to develop a collar that would help to
missing pets.Forbes (Feb 7, 2014)
based on known statements or events or conditions
"Logical" also means "marked by an orderly and coherent relation of parts" (compare with the synonymous "coherent")--this does not fit the example sentence, since the laughter was caused by the students' recognition that the logic of this statement "In order to function at your mental and physical best, adolescents should be getting at least nine hours of sleep a night" does not relate to reality.
most important element
reason banknotes get dirty is that they pick up an oily substance called sebum from human skin.Economist (Jan 16, 2014)
the blank space that surrounds the text on a page
In a Portuguese songbook, written around 1600, images along the
look like Australian aboriginals and possibly a kangaroo.New York Times (Jan 23, 2014)
In referring to statistics, a margin of error is "a permissible difference." In referring to economics, a profit margin is "the net sales minus the cost of goods and services."
denote or connote
The al-Qaeda-inspired militant organisation, whose name
"Champions of Jerusalem", has increasingly turned its attacks against the Egyptian police and army.BBC (Feb 18, 2014)
The name "Champions of Jerusalem" has denotative (literal) and connotative (secondary and often suggestive) meanings. It denotes winning, but it connotes the bloody contest over the holy city. It denotes "a defender, advocate, or supporter of a cause" which leads to another definition of "warrior" which again connotes the bloody wars that have been fought over the city. In claiming responsibility for attacks, the organization deliberately connects to all meanings.
determine the dimensions of something or somebody
The pacifier device she and her colleagues used
the pressure and rhythm of sucking.Reuters (Feb 18, 2014)
The example sentence and chosen definition show "measure" in its connection to accuracy, which can also be seen in these definitions: 1) a container of standard capacity to obtain fixed amounts; 2) instrument having a sequence of marks at regular intervals. But "measure" can also be an uncertain estimate of the nature, quality, ability, or significance of something. And it can be "any maneuver made as part of progress toward a goal."
a figure of speech that suggests a non-literal similarity
After a while, it becomes clear that the tightrope is also a
, standing for the existential risk inherent in every serious instance of playing.New York Times (Jan 30, 2014)
a way of doing something, especially a systematic way
The children or their parents answered questions about what they ate or drank the previous day, a common
researchers use to assess Americans' diets.Seattle Times (Feb 10, 2014)
a representation of something, often on a smaller scale
A working computer
of living cells, even if it were somewhat sketchy and not quite accurate, would be a fantastically useful tool.Scientific American (Jan 6, 2014)
If an Art teacher asks you to model, you could "assume a posture" or form something out of clay, wax, etc. If an English teacher hands you a model essay, you should examine it to see what is "worthy of imitation" and then "plan or create according to the example."
cause to change; make different
British scientists have developed genetically
potatoes that are resistant to the vegetable's biggest threat--blight.BBC (Feb 16, 2014)
"Modify" also means "add a word or phrase to qualify or limit the meaning of"--in the example sentence, "British" is an adjective that qualifies (specifies a characteristic of) the scientists; "genetically" is an adverb that characterizes how the potatoes were changed; "genetically modified" is an adjectival phrase that limits the types of potatoes that are blight-resistant.
keep an eye on; keep under surveillance
Only in the past decade have scientists had the technology to closely
the behavior of whales and dolphins.US News (Dec 16, 2013)
psychological feature arousing action toward a desired goal
One never knows which “failure” will be the tipping point for an adolescent toward more effort, self-reflection, assuming responsibility, in a word, discovering inner
.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
an account that tells the particulars of an act or event
There are fiery chases and hectic brawls, and a crowd of famous voices simultaneously enacting and lampooning the standard cartoon-quest
of heroic self-discovery.New York Times (Feb 6, 2014)
someone who tells a story
Using the "stream of consciousness" technique, her book begins with its
speaking from inside her mother's womb.BBC (Nov 14, 2013)
not ever; at no time in the past or future
He recalled a proverb he had to translate from Latin as a schoolchild: "He plants the seeds of trees he'll
see bearing fruit."BBC (Feb 18, 2014)
a comment or instruction (usually added)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has added Tamiflu OS to the list of resolved drug shortages on its website with the
"no supply issues anticipated."Reuters (Jan 16, 2014)
a short personal letter
A similar definition is "a brief written record." Similar in spelling to "notation" and "notice" it has definitions in common with both (it can be both a noun and verb). In describing people, "note" can mean 1) high status importance owing to marked superiority; 2) a characteristic emotional quality; 3) a tone of voice that shows what the speaker is feeling.
discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
In most cases, artifacts found at construction sites are destroyed by equipment before anyone even
them, Horner said.Washington Post (Feb 16, 2014)
the goal intended to be attained
of the Affordable Care Act is to bring down America’s health-care costs, which are the highest per person in the world.Seattle Times (Feb 1, 2014)
In simply stating the objective of the Affordable Care Act, the example sentence is being objective ("undistorted by emotion or personal bias").
watch with care or pay close attention to
come to pass
She will testify that former Superintendent Beverly Hall ordered the destruction of investigative documents that concluded the cheating likely
, according to prosecutors.Reuters (Feb 18, 2014)
a personal belief or judgment
Sharing views about pop culture is also common, with a median of 73% saying they use social networks to post
on music and movies.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
Many environmentalists believe that fracking can damage water supplies, and
the extraction of new fossil fuel resources.BBC (Feb 13, 2014)
possible but not necessary; left to personal choice
The course is largely taught through online videos, but enrolled students are also given quizzes,
food-preparation assignments and opportunities to collaborate with classmates.New York Times (Jan 13, 2014)
logical or comprehensible arrangement of separate elements
Seven models make both lists of the top 10 selling cars nationally and in California, though the
of the vehicles is scrambled.Chicago Tribune (Feb 15, 2014)
In order of possibility, here are some orders you might receive in the classroom: 1) arrange thoughts, ideas, temporal events; 2) assign a rank or rating to; 3) bring into conformity with rules or principles or usage; 4) give instructions to or direct somebody to do something; 5) make a request for something.
cause to be structured according to some principle or idea
School’s strict structure—its clear schedules, clean tiles, bells and clocks—allowed me to feel
, cared for and seen.New York Times (Feb 18, 2014)
a first part or stage of subsequent events
"Origin" has its origin ("the source of something's existence or from which it derives") in the Latin verb "oriri" which means "to rise"--this gives the sense that things and people, no matter their origins, have an upward movement through space and time.
describe roughly or give the main points or summary of
In his speech, Mr Obama
his priority topics for the year, including healthcare, minimum wage and the pullout from Afghanistan.BBC (Jan 30, 2014)
the relative speed of progress or change
Man is the culprit, and the
of species die-off is accelerating at a rate unprecented in the history of life on earth.Seattle Times (Feb 14, 2014)
express the same message in different words
the act of sharing in the activities of a group
Scientists have also noted what are called “mirror neurons” in our brains, activated not just by
in sports, but by watching others participate.Seattle Times (Feb 15, 2014)
a section of text, particularly a section of medium length
Since then, he says, he has filed some 10 lawsuits involving "objectionable
" from various textbooks.BBC (Feb 12, 2014)
a customary way of operation or behavior
Florida Atlantic won the contract to produce the water resistance measurements after doing similar work predicting drift
of floating items in oceans.US News (Dec 8, 2013)
Other definitions of "pattern" make it synonymous with "example" and "model" including 1) something regarded as a normative example; 2) something intended as a guide for making something else. A pattern can also be a design of natural or accidental origin (such as a snowflake) or that is artistic or decorative (such as plaid).
carry out an action
Both the human hand and foot represent a triumph of complex engineering, exquisitely designed to
a range of tasks.BBC (Feb 18, 2014)
In addition to performing everyday tasks, the human hand and foot can be used to "give a dramatic or musical entertainment."
a way of regarding situations or topics
The Cubs hired Renteria because of a cheerful
that helps him communicate with young players—especially a strong Latin American contingent.Chicago Tribune (Feb 17, 2014)
cause somebody to adopt a certain position or belief
put into a certain location
taking someone's words or ideas as if they were your own
make a series of steps to be carried out
To help people understand the importance of savings, many organizations are
events for America Saves Week, Monday through March 1.Washington Post (Feb 18, 2014)
apparently reasonable and valid, and truthful
the story that is told, as in a novel, play, movie, etc.
But minor characters just sort of die off, while major character deaths usually serve an important purpose in the
.Time (Feb 16, 2014)
an isolated fact considered separately from the whole
For further thought, I will point out other definitions that might apply in a classroom: 1) indicate a place, direction, person, or thing; 2) a brief version of the essential meaning of something; 3) an outstanding characteristic; 4) the object of an activity; 5) a style in speech or writing that arrests attention; 6) the precise location of something; 7) a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series.
point of view
a mental position from which things are perceived
depict in words
The book is a fast read and it does a very good job
the colorful personalities and exciting discoveries unearthed by general relativity.Scientific American (Feb 5, 2014)
In Latin, "protrahere" means "to reveal"--this can be done through words (written or acted) or pictures.
capable of happening or existing
U.S. officials say, however, it is
a U.N. resolution to help relieve the humanitarian crisis in Syria could get through the U.N.Reuters (Feb 18, 2014)
make impossible, especially beforehand
He said that strong trade ties did not in themselves
the outbreak of war.BBC (Feb 5, 2014)
tell in advance
The company is also exploring medical devices and sensors that can help
heart attacks by studying sound blood makes as it flows through arteries.Reuters (Feb 18, 2014)
an affix that is added in front of the word
In traditional Afghan society religious scholars have a lot of influence--they usually use the
of Mullah, Maulawi or Maulana before their names.BBC (Nov 18, 2013)
Here, "prefix" is used to mean "a title placed before one's name." The prefix in "prefix" is "pre" which means "before" so as a noun, "prefix" could be any element that is attached to the beginning of a word; as a verb, "prefix" (the accent is on the second syllable) means "to settle or arrange in advance."
to make ready verbally for written or spoken delivery
For serious felonies, defenders spent an average of only nine hours
their cases, compared with the 47 hours they needed, the study found.New York Times (Feb 18, 2014)
The Latin prefix "prae" means "before" and the verb "parare" means "to get ready." The idea of preparation can apply to a variety of purposes, whether it's planning for the delivery of legal arguments, studying for an upcoming test, training for a future role, or heating up foods for eating.
take to be the case or to be true
Though we never see her there, I
she takes classes and participates in extracurriculars and goes to college parties.Time (Feb 17, 2014)
Compare with "assume"--the chosen example sentences and definitions show the verbs to be synonymous. Both come from the Latin verb "sumere" which means "to take" but their different prefixes are clues to other definitions: "ad" means "to" so "assume" can mean to take to oneself a form, power, or garment; "prae" means "before" so "presume" can mean to take an action before asking for permission.
a screening for an audience in advance of public release
Instead of trying to surprise viewers, many sponsors are filling social-media platforms with
, teasers and coming attractions in hopes of stimulating additional interest.New York Times (Jan 17, 2014)
just preceding something else in time or order
"Teenagers are motivated to make a difference in their community but the approach they take is radically different to
generations," said Mr Birdwell.BBC (Feb 18, 2014)
of first rank or importance or value
earlier in time
That said, most “open houses” were not particularly open, requiring advance registration several months
, and spots filled up immediately.New York Times (Feb 18, 2014)
with considerable certainty; without much doubt
Whatever you guess you think you will need in time and money, add 50-100% more and you are
hitting the target.Forbes (Feb 19, 2014)
a particular course of action intended to achieve a result
Designed to keep hunger strikers alive, the
involves feeding them liquid meals via tubes inserted into their noses and down into their stomachs.Reuters (Feb 11, 2014)
perform mathematical and logical operations on
Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman knows what’s ahead and is
it all with a combination of calm and perspective.Chicago Tribune (Feb 19, 2014)
As a noun, "process" is synonymous with "procedure" (both come from the Latin "procedere" which means "to go forward"); this meaning is implied with the phrase "what's ahead" which refers to the free agency process. Used as a verb here, "process" can also mean "deal with in a routine way" but the chosen definition suggests that Tillman's "performance of some composite cognitive activity" connects to calculations involving salary, age, playing time, etc.
bring forth or yield
"Produce" also means 1) come to have or undergo a change of; 2) cultivate by growing; 3) cause to happen, occur, or exist; 4) create or manufacture a man-made product--all five definitions can mostly fit here because scientists sliced DNA strands, injected them into fertilized eggs, and encouraged the growth of embryos with the intent of implanting them into females to produce macaque monkey babies with genetic profiles similar to sick humans (for use in future experiments).
Job seekers fill out
with years of experience, languages spoken and salary requirements.BBC (Feb 17, 2014)
any piece of work that is undertaken or attempted
, which is named after the Greek mythological character Pheme--famed for spreading rumours--will run for three years.BBC (Feb 19, 2014)
In Latin, "pro" means "forth" and "jacere" means "to throw"--this idea of forward motion can be seen more clearly in the definitions of "project" as a verb: 1) throw, send, or cast forward; 2) make or work out a plan for; 3) cause to be heard; 4) present for consideration, examination, criticism, etc.
serve as the inciting cause of
"Prompt" may be used as a pun here, since as an adjective, it describes how enrollment within the new healthcare system should have proceeded: "according to schedule or without delay."
read for errors
Projects that require paying close attention to detail, like
a paper or doing your taxes, Dr. Mehta said, are performed better in quiet environments.New York Times (Jun 21, 2013)
a basic or essential attribute shared by members of a class
Physicists recognized that the same stew of quantum processes that determine the
of electrons and other particles would grant energy to empty space.Slate (Feb 18, 2014)
The Latin "proprietas" means "ownership"--this meaning can apply to physical things that can be owned as well as to abstract constructs that belong to and distinguish objects or individuals.
present for consideration, examination, or criticism
ordinary writing as distinguished from verse
A drunken row over the merits of literary forms in Russia ended in a poetry-lover stabbing a champion of
to death, investigators say.BBC (Jan 29, 2014)
establish the validity of something
Nuclear experts say the new results should help give the giant laser more time to
its ultimate worth and gain more taxpayer support.New York Times (Feb 12, 2014)
what something is used for
Iran rejects Western allegations that it is seeking a nuclear weapons capability and says it is enriching uranium only for electricity generation and medical
.Reuters (Feb 19, 2014)
Although spelled differently, "purpose" and "propose" come from the same Latin verb "proponere" which means "to put forward"--this meaning can be seen in other definitions of "purpose": 1) an anticipated outcome that guides your planned actions (compare with "intention"); 2) the quality of being determined to do or achieve something.
a passage or expression that is cited
“Pigs treat us as equals,” was part of a
attributed to Winston S. Churchill that inspired Ellen Balfour from Long Island.New York Times (Jul 30, 2013)
refer to for illustration or proof
He argued points of constitutional law,
Shakespeare, advocated for bipartisan compromise and even quieted hecklers.Time (Feb 17, 2014)
take or have a position relative to others
And moving routinely
high on the list of life’s most unpleasant experiences.Time (Feb 19, 2014)
marked by an uncommon quality
"River dolphins are among the
and most endangered of all vertebrates, so discovering a new species is something that is very
and exciting."US News (Jan 25, 2014)
The first use of the adjective in its superlative form ("rarest") describes river dolphins and connects to this definition: "not widely known or distributed." The chosen definition applies to the second use of the adjective, which describes the experience of discovering a new species, and for which another definition could also apply: "recurring only at long intervals."
North Korea's leaders are often thought of as ruthless, secretive autocrats but
as popular children's authors.BBC (Feb 18, 2014)
a response that reveals a person's feelings or attitude
Research also suggests it may slow down
times, with the intention of making us more vulnerable to large predators.BBC (Feb 18, 2014)
"Reaction" also means "a bodily process due to the effect of some stimulus"--since the example sentence is about parasites that can affect both the brain and body, both definitions fit.
summon knowledge from memory
But scientists say the bright moon will interfere and
the number of visible meteors by half.US News (Dec 11, 2013)
seek information from
The pronoun "she" refers to ("be relevant to") Janet Yellen, whose new position is officially referred to ("use a name to designate") as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
give evidence of
In part, the decrease in cases
reforms in Florida’s juvenile system, which is sending fewer children to court.New York Times (Feb 18, 2014)
"Reflect" also means "think deeply on a subject" and the prefix "re" which means "back" suggests that the subject is often connected to something that had happened in the past.
in accord with normal practice or procedure
He said the equipment would be the most advanced on any rotorcraft used by the
Army, although some special forces had similar equipment.Reuters (Feb 19, 2014)
The chosen definition emphasizes the contrast within the example sentence (note the antonym "special"). But the regular Army can also be described by these definitions: 1) belonging to a nation's permanent army; 2) officially full-time; 3) routinely scheduled for fixed times; 4) symmetrically arranged.
make a logical or causal connection
The mechanical problems appeared to be
to the solar-powered probe's process for shutting down for the lunar night, which lasts more than two weeks.US News (Jan 27, 2014)
Another definition of "relate" that is unrelated to the example sentence is: give an account of.
a mutual connection between people
Depression affects around 350 million people worldwide and at its worst can blight patients' lives for decades, affecting their
, work and ability to function.Reuters (Feb 17, 2014)
The example sentence suggests a worldwide relation between depression and peoples' lives, which could affect the relationships between millions of people.
having a bearing on or connection with the subject at issue
Studys show that one of the greatest obstacles to bringing holdout homes online is convincing them the Internet is
to their daily lives.Slate (Jan 28, 2014)
express the same message in different words
She read out the theme of the year’s graduation, a
of a Thoreau quote: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.Salon (Sep 12, 2013)
a document describing findings of some individual or group
have emerged of them being found nestled in pizza menus and other junk mail.BBC (Feb 19, 2014)
While many reports are the results of research or investigation, some can just be written accounts of personal experiences or verbal complaints to the authorities. In school, an assigned report can be an essay on any topic, or it can be the teacher's evaluation of a student's abilities.
serve as a means of expressing something
luck, unity, power and prosperity, these mythological birds have, for the most part, been benevolent, gentle creatures.New York Times (Feb 14, 2014)
The Chinese artist Xu Bing literally represented ("create an image or likeness of") the phoenix. But in making it out of salvaged construction debris and tools, he intended it to represent ("point out or draw attention to in protest") the poor working conditions of migrants building luxury towers.
serving to typify
However, because the study only looked at elephants in captivity, the findings might not be
of all elephants, Bekoff said.Scientific American (Feb 18, 2014)
express the need or desire for; ask for
an additional $4 million, among other increases, to cover about 4,000 cases annually in which juvenile offenders receive no representation.New York Times (Feb 18, 2014)
need as useful, just, or proper
necessary for relief or supply
servants for a 1920s country-estate story—including a discreet butler and a cheeky footman—also pop up.Seattle Times (Dec 12, 2013)
The Latin "requisitus" is the past participle of the verb "requirere" which means "to require" or "to ask for" (and is also the root of "request").
show a reaction to something
Rehearse for the interview with a friend or colleague, and practise different ways to
to those questions.Nature (Feb 19, 2014)
being the agent or cause
But in late June, Pennsylvania public health officials announced that acetyl fentanyl was
for 50 overdose deaths there, as well as five non-fatal overdoses.Forbes (Feb 19, 2014)
While health officials can figure out that the drugs are responsible for the deaths, they can't figure out who's responsible ("held accountable"), since acetyl fentanyl is not legally distributed. Thus, the only responsible ("worthy of or requiring trust") thing the health officials can do for the public is issue announcements and warnings.
to say or perform again
China's foreign ministry
its frequent calls for Japan to adopt a "responsible" view of its wartime history.Reuters (Jan 27, 2014)
a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
Hot Pockets Philly Steak and Cheese have been recalled as the
of the Rancho Feeding Corporation recall of meat products.Slate (Feb 19, 2014)
Compare with "consequence" (they have synonymous definitions as nouns, but "result" can also be a verb that means "end").
make known to the public information previously kept secret
But his reputation suffered when it was
the tradesman was not, in fact, a licensed plumber.Reuters (Feb 18, 2014)
If school administrators have a question about whether the material is appropriate, they are supposed to ask the district office to
it.Washington Post (Feb 18, 2014)
"Review" can also mean "look at again"--this might apply to the example sentence if the district office has looked at the materials before, but more likely, the school administrators would be asking for "a new appraisal or evaluation" that is "a formal or official examination."
reorganize, especially for the purpose of improving
history textbooks is a never-ending story. But that does not mean we should not start."BBC (Feb 18, 2014)
the place where something begins
As a nation, we argue for and against gun reform, yet we rarely discuss the
of the violence.Salon (Feb 17, 2014)
The chosen definition does not include the image of the underground part of a plant that takes hold and begins to grow--this would give a clearer sense of the deep-rooted nature of violence that cannot simply be solved with reforms on gun laws.
prescribed guide for conduct or action
Rule #1: Accept this basic generalization because it is true.
Rule #2: Believe this law concerning a natural phenomenon.
Rule #3: Regard this example as the norm.
Rule #4: Use this standard procedure for solving a class of problems.
Rule #5: Know who rules.
examine minutely or intensely
Astronomers have built quite a few observatories dedicated to patiently
the heavens looking for blips of light.Slate (Feb 13, 2014)
"Scan" also has a seemingly opposite definition: "make a wide, sweeping search of"--but for astronomers scanning the heavens, both actions fit.
a number or letter indicating quality
Despite the tight security, the most common reason officials cancel test
isn’t transmission devices hidden in rain boots—it’s sneaky glances at cell phones.BusinessWeek (Feb 19, 2014)
Try to score a perfect 20 on the following test:
1) What do conductors and musicians often look at during performances?
2) What are you settling when you resent someone strong enough for retaliation?
3) What are the facts about an actual situation?
4) What is a set of 20 members called?
a following of one thing after another in time
In a popular impersonation by Italy's best-known comedian, Renzi captivates his audience with a mesmerizing
of catchy but totally meaningless phrases.Reuters (Feb 14, 2014)
Aside from the comedian impersonating a politician, the humor in the sequence is that it connects to the chosen definition rather than to this definition: serial arrangement in which things follow in logical order.
similar things placed in order or one after another
The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, has been plagued by a
of mishaps including radioactive water leaks and power outages.Reuters (Feb 20, 2014)
"Series" and "sequence" are similar in their connections to time, but their different levels of meaning can be seen in their Latin roots ("sequi" means "to follow" and "serere" means "to join") and in this mathematical definition of "series": the sum of a finite or infinite sequence of expressions.
a group of things of the same kind that belong together
The two conversations involve almost entirely different
of hashtags, links and “hub” accounts.Forbes (Feb 20, 2014)
Similar definitions are: 1) an abstract collection of numbers or symbols; 2) several exercises intended to be done in series. "Set" can also be a verb that means: 1) locate; 2) insert; 3) arrange attractively; 4) decide upon or fix definitely; 5) get ready for a particular purpose; 6) establish as the highest level. As an adjective, "set" means 1) converted to solid form; 2) fixed and unmoving; 3) on the point of or strongly disposed to.
the context and environment in which something is situated
Whether tucked in an urban
or deep within a national forest, these trails can power up your fitness routine in a number of ways.Southern Living (Feb 18, 2014)
provide evidence for
that when people don’t have to worry about health insurance, they are up to 25 percent more likely to change jobs.New York Times (Feb 20, 2014)
The chosen definition gives a strong use of the verb, but "show" can also refer to a vague action that means "give expression to" or "make visible or noticeable" (compare with "indicate").
communicate silently and non-verbally
Qualcomm has created a logo for both chargers and phones to
to the consumer that both devices support the standard.Forbes (Feb 19, 2014)
The newly created Qualcomm logo is signal ("notably out of the ordinary") because it uses the letter Q and replaces the bottom stroke with the symbol of a lightning bolt. A dropped signal ("an electric quantity whose modulation represents coded information") could be a signal ("any incitement to action") to use Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0, but the need to do so signals ("be a symptom of") a phone-centric life.
the quality of being important
Antiques, after all, offer the intangible pleasures of beauty and historical
rather than the guaranteed profit margins that please bean counters.New York Times (Feb 13, 2014)
Breaking "significance" down, especially into its Latin roots, connects it to the previous word: "signum" means "sign" and "facere" means "to make"--something with significance contains signs that can be a stated or indirect expression of a message or a signal of its importance.
a figure of speech expressing a resemblance between things
In that extraordinary
, "her neck quaked like curd", Lizzie herself has become edible, a kind of junket.The Guardian (Jun 25, 2012)
Stone said he only has
the book, though he said his wife, Livia, praised it as "surprisingly riveting" after reading all of it.Seattle Times (Jan 8, 2014)
find the answer to or understand the meaning of
Americans love to
the "Big Problems", he argues, such as cutting-edge innovation and overcoming the challenges of abject poverty.BBC (Feb 18, 2014)
a document from which information is obtained
Wikipedia is a convenient source ("a facility where something is available") of information, but it should not be seen as the source ("the place where something begins") of knowledge, because it is a secondary source created by lots of sources ("a person who supplies information") who rely on a variety of sources (this could include "a publication that is referred to" or a primary source who had participated in or observed the event).
pertaining to the expanse in which things are located
The math and music prodigies scored higher than the art prodigies on tests of general cultural knowledge, vocabulary, quantitative reasoning, and visual
ability.Scientific American (Feb 10, 2014)
stated explicitly or in detail
Even if Bryce Harper has a skill that is specific to ("distinguishing something particular or special or unique") crushing walls, he, like most interviewed athletes who are members of teams, will often make general rather than specific statements about the game.
believe, especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
that the scientists were investigating the possible use of malaria--transmitted via mosquitoes--as a biological weapon.BBC (Feb 14, 2014)
Another definition that fits the example sentence is "talk over conjecturally, or review in an idle or casual way." The Latin "specere" means "to look at" (compare with the verbs "observe" and "examine" and the noun "aspect"). Just as there are different ways of looking at something, "speculate" also has another definition that seems antonymous to the two already given: reflect deeply on a subject.
a rationalized mental attitude
The facility is part of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's tough
against asylum seekers but it has come under fire over human rights concerns.Reuters (Feb 17, 2014)
"Stance" also means "a standing posture" (from the Latin "stare" which means "to stand")--although the physical description does not fit the example sentence, it is suggested by the idea of standing behind one's stance, especially when one is the leader of a country.
a basis for comparison
In most states, academic
are created by educators and approved by a state board of education or education agency.Washington Post (Feb 20, 2014)
Compare with "common"--the two can be synonymous adjectives, but "standard" also has an antonymous definition that connects to the example sentence: widely recognized as a model of authority or excellence.
the way something is with respect to its main attributes
a message that is declared
“Protesters broke the truce,” the President said in a
posted on his website.Time (Feb 20, 2014)
"Statement" also means "an assertion offered as evidence that something is true"--both definitions fit, since the words in quotation marks are the actual statement, but the underlying message the Ukrainian President gives in posting onto his website is that his statement is true, despite accusations from the protesters.
an elaborate and systematic plan of action
Keep praising middle-school kids who are struggling and their grades might never recover, he writes, because they never learn
to deal with failure.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
a complex entity made of many parts
Galaxies harass one another gravitationally in high-speed fly-bys and head-on collisions, each distorting the other’s
into unrecognizable shapes.Slate (Feb 20, 2014)
Compare with "body"--although the given definitions use different words, they are synonymous. But the Latin "struere" means "to construct" so a structure can also be something that is deliberately built to create meaning, whether it's a school, the rules within the school, the grades and classes, or the elements of knowledge arranged into subjects such as Math, English, Science, etc.
consider in detail
how spiral galaxies could run out of gas, literally and figuratively, and turn into ellipticals.Slate (Feb 20, 2014)
Compare with "examine"--the given example sentences show the verbs can be synonymous. But the words also connect to seemingly opposite actions, since "examine" can mean "question closely" or "put to the test, as for its quality" while "study" can mean "think intently and at length, as for spiritual purposes" and "apply the mind to learn and understand a subject."
a particular kind
An eclectic mix of musical
have been promised across the five nights, from country legend Willie Nelson to rapper Pitbull.BBC (Feb 20, 2014)
"Style" can also refer to any way of expression that is characteristic of music, writing, people, places, or things. And it can be directions or rules to be followed, especially editorial ones for spelling, punctuation, etc.
being under the power or sovereignty of another or others
Books, fiction and nonfiction, have also similarly been
to stringent censorship processes before release in the Chinese market.New York Times (Feb 20, 2014)
The subject ("the topic of a conversation or discussion") of the article is Chinese censorship. Its main point is that the political nature of Netflix's "House of Cards" makes it subject ("likely to be affected by something") to Chinese censorship. But unlike previous releases of books, fiction, and nonfiction (which are the grammatical subjects of the example sentence), "House of Cards" has so far been shown in its original entirety.
taking place within the mind and modified by individual bias
Because the changes are
and difficult to measure, medical professionals often do not ask patients about changes in their sense of smell.Scientific American (Feb 13, 2014)
following in time or order
As president, Washington earned well more than
presidents: his salary was 2% of the total U.S. budget in 1789.Time (Feb 15, 2014)
a person or thing that can take the place of another
On their return, they were met by a jeering crowd who threw litter and rotten eggs as a
for confetti.BBC (Feb 13, 2014)
briefly giving the gist of something
make a proposal; declare a plan for something
so many alternate titles and they insisted on using the word “settle.”Salon (Feb 19, 2014)
"Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough" is the title of a book that its author Lori Gottlieb hates because of the negative thoughts that the word "settle" suggests ("call to mind" or "imply as a possibility"). She suggested "How to settle for the perfect man" so that the focus is more positively on perfection, but the publisher refused, so she is now afraid people won't get past the title to read her suggestions within the book.
the final aggregate
present the main points in a concise form
I recently wrote about a fun blog called LolMyThesis, in which self-deprecating students
their research findings in a single sentence.Slate (Jan 23, 2014)
performed speedily and without formality
North Korean migrants and defectors returned by China regularly faced torture, detention,
execution and forced abortion, said the report.Reuters (Feb 17, 2014)
The chosen example sentence and definition are for "summary" as an adjective. As a noun, "summary" ("a brief statement that presents the main points") is directly related to the verb "summarize" and is similar to "sum" in its usual placement at the end.
provide with evidence or authority or make more certain
this notion, several studies and systematic reviews have shown that giving kids with these disorders omega-3 supplements does not improve their symptoms.Slate (Feb 19, 2014)
The Latin "sub" means "from below" and "portare" means "to carry"--this idea can be seen more clearly in other definitions of "support": 1) carry the weight of; 2) argue or speak in defense of; 3) give moral or psychological aid or courage to.
look over carefully or inspect
The rover was designed to roam the lunar surface for three months while
for natural resources and sending back data.US News (Jan 31, 2014)
As a noun, "survey" means
1) a detailed inspection or investigation.
2) a general or comprehensive view.
3) a gathering of a sample of data or opinions considered to be representative of a whole.
express indirectly by an image, form, or model
The Lamb on the light side of power, and the Lion on the dark side best
the power extremes.Forbes (Feb 4, 2014)
a word that expresses the same or similar meaning
Remember that delicious and healthy is by far not an oxymoron; the words can be more like
.US News (Mar 28, 2013)
combine so as to form a more complex product
Digital animators did motion studies, copying the movement of these animals frame by frame until they could
a convincing idea of dinosaur movement.Nature (Dec 11, 2013)
a set of data arranged in rows and columns
In addition, if the numbers in the
were correct, it looks like that Obamacare was a negative sum game.Economist (Jan 29, 2014)
a practical method or art applied to some particular task
They also heard about the latest
for the chemical analysis of paint, which permit the analyst to nail down when a work was painted.Economist (Feb 20, 2014)
a word or expression used for some particular thing
Perhaps as a response to the times we live in, people throughout the developed world are looking for what is commonly
“authenticity”.Forbes (Feb 19, 2014)
The Latin "terminus" means "boundary"--this idea can be seen in the definition of "term" as "a limited period of time." In terms of ("with regard to") contracts, a term is "a stipulation or condition that defines the nature and limits of an agreement." In terms of logic, a term is "each of the two concepts being compared or related in a proposition." In terms of math, a term is "any distinct quantity contained in a polynomial."
standardized procedure for measuring sensitivity or aptitude
a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary work
"Theme" also simply means "the subject matter of a conversation or discussion"--both definitions fit the example sentence because the same theme can be found in both a poem and an interactive blog of Ms. McCray. Another unrelated definition of "theme" is "an essay, especially one written as an assignment" (compare with "composition").
an unproved statement advanced as a premise in an argument
The problem with the
is that in setting out their claim, the authors ignore the more obvious explanation for differences in group success: history.Slate (Feb 12, 2014)
a sequence of related events arranged in chronological order
The several Hemingway passports, besides providing a photographic
of him as his hair and mustache go white, attest to his restlessness and wanderlust.New York Times (Feb 10, 2014)
a quality that reveals the attitudes of the author
"I appreciated the optimistic
of the speech," Rubio, a potential 2016 Republican presidential contender, told reporters at a Wall Street Journal breakfast on Wednesday.Reuters (Jan 29, 2014)
"Tone" can also mean 1) the quality of a person's voice; 2) the general atmosphere of a place or situation--all three definitions can fit since the focus is on President Obama's televised State of the Union address. As a future presidential candidate for the opposing political party, Senator Rubio deliberately used "tone" in a vague way to avoid offending either side.
the subject matter of a conversation or discussion
follow or ascertain the course of development of something
The family line for the teenage flick “Vampire Academy” may
back to “Dracula,” but the recycling policy is strictly from “Frankenstein.”New York Times (Feb 9, 2014)
Tracing the word to its roots reveals that "trace" comes from the Old French "tracier" which means "to make one's way" and that comes from the Latin "tractus" which means "a drawing"--the Old French connection can be seen in the chosen definition and in this one: discover indications that something has been present. The Latin connection can be seen in this definition: copy by following the lines of the original drawing.
a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
In its spot, a more jocular narrator explains that one of the pencil’s most awe-inspiring
is that it is extremely pointy.Time (Feb 20, 2014)
a change from one place or state or subject to another
The area was colonised in the 1800s and ruled by Britain as Northern Rhodesia until 1964, when it made a peaceful
to independence.BBC (Feb 13, 2014)
The prefix "trans" connects to change, which can often be rough, but the focus of transitions, whether they're between states of government or paragraphs within an essay, is on smoothness.
restate from one language into another language
MIT’s seal includes the Latin words--mens et manus--which
as Mind and Hand.Inc (Aug 6, 2013)
in a manner conforming to a type
Her Soyajoy Premium Total Tofu Kit produces single tofu blocks, slightly larger than what you’d
find in the market.New York Times (Feb 19, 2014)
radically distinctive and without equal
“Given that everyone has
DNA, it is scientifically certain that no two people will be identical in terms of capabilities,” he wrote.Salon (Feb 20, 2014)
put into service
Current TV display technology
only 30% of human color perception capability, implying that smaller displays
even less.Forbes (Feb 10, 2014)
well grounded in logic or truth or having legal force
This seems obvious because many cultures have traditionally institutionalized the siesta or mid-afternoon nap, but it seems to be scientifically
.Forbes (Feb 2, 2014)
something a little different from others of the same type
make something more diverse
After all, it is an enormous and
place with the genetic, linguistic, culinary and sartorial diversity which are usually found in a continent.BBC (Feb 18, 2014)
Although the chosen definition is for a verb, "varied" is used as an adjective in the example sentence, which makes it synonymous with "variegated" which means "marked by variety."
confirm the truth of
The agency said public reports of dead aquatic turtles at two state parks in Virginia had not yet been
by federal biologists.Salon (Feb 19, 2014)
a mental position from which things are viewed
Similarly, the Economist takes the
that although “innovation kills some jobs, it creates new and better ones.”Slate (Jan 29, 2014)
Compare with "point of view" and "perspective"--with Latin roots that connect to sight ("specere" means "to look" and videre means "to see"), they are synonymous, but the word "point" points to a specific position from which something can be viewed, while a perspective can be a broader attitude.
a means by which something is expressed or communicated
When she found her literary
as an expatriate in Paris, she created a writing life that consciously excluded the ties of marriage and children.New York Times (Feb 18, 2014)
"Voice" also means "the distinctive quality or pitch of a person's speech"--this definition is similar to "tone" but note the absence of the adjective "distinctive" since most writers try to develop a voice unique to them, even though they might use tones revealing their attitudes that are similar to those of other writers.