Jim Burke's Academic Vocabulary List

A thorough survey of various textbooks, assignments, content area standards, and examinations yields the following list of words compiled by Jim Burke. You cannot expect to succeed on assignments if you do not understand the directions.
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Full list of words from this list:

  1. abbreviate
    Our genetic information is encoded by the nucleotides thymine, cytosine, guanine, and adenosine, abbreviated as T, C, G, and A, respectively.Slate (Oct 17, 2013)
  2. abstract
    existing only in the mind
    And rather than stating something as an abstract principle, he’d give it flesh and bones and heart by situating it in a story.
    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."
  3. according
    as reported or stated by
    Up to 35 percent of food products contain meat glue, including tofu, milk, yogurt and even cereal according to industry accounts.Salon (Feb 14, 2014)
  4. acronym
    a word formed from the initial letters of several words
    OMG The first recorded appearance of this breathless acronym for “Oh, my God!” comes, surprisingly, in a letter to Winston Churchill.
  5. address
    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 address diplomatic, economic and security issues, the White House said.
    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.
  6. affect
    have an influence upon
    Thousands of properties are without power, schools are closed and trains have been cancelled--how is the stormy weather affecting you?
    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.
  7. alter
    cause to change; make different
    In Rome, the Canadian postulants gave me a present--a book that altered my life utterly.BBC (Feb 14, 2014)
  8. always
    at all times; all the time and on every occasion
    “The world is full of giants,” she begins, “they have always been here. We had to learn how to overcome them.”Time (Feb 14, 2014)
  9. analogy
    drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity
    Actually, the word “recipe” points us toward a useful analogy: think of a quantum field theory as a culinary recipe.
  10. analysis
    a detailed investigation or examination of something
    Indeed, Pew’s own analysis 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.
  11. analyze
    make a mathematical, chemical, or grammatical study of
    The babies in the study wore vests equipped with devices that record and analyze the conversations and background noises near the baby over 16 hours.
  12. annotate
    add explanatory notes to or supply with critical comments
    Genius, which allows users to annotate music lyrics, has thousands of songs whose explanations are continually updated and improved by its community of members.Forbes (Aug 6, 2013)
  13. anticipate
    make a prediction about; tell in advance
    “Just as they anticipate fashion trends, they now have to anticipate changes in consumer behavior.”
  14. application
    the action of putting something into operation
    Its application also allows users to search for points of interest such as restaurants and cinemas.
    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."
  15. apply
    be pertinent or relevant
    On Tuesday, Qatari World Cup organizers produced a 50-page document outlining stricter measures that would apply to contractors involved in building work for the tournament.
    "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.
  16. approach
    ideas or actions intended to deal with a problem
    So we have two approaches to eating and sex in zoos--both created by people who care deeply about the animals in their care.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
  17. appropriate
    suitable for a particular person, place, or situation
    “Also unsure of whether #Unapologetic is appropriate for a child’s toy.”
  18. approximate
    not quite exact or correct
    For years, psychologists have known that human infants are born with an " approximate number sense," called ANS, or the ability to estimate amounts without counting.
  19. argue
    present reasons to support one's views
    I could argue that nerds, being more technical, also have more vision and relevance in a more technical world.Forbes (Feb 10, 2014)
  20. argument
    an assertion offered as evidence that something is true
    An oft-quoted argument for investing in emerging markets is their superior economic growth.
    "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.
  21. arrange
    organize thoughts, ideas, or temporal events
    The sophistication comes with choosing the right texts and arranging them in an effective sequence that motivates and encourages the patient without alienating him.Forbes (Feb 10, 2014)
  22. articulate
    put into words or an expression
    He was deeply committed to the principle of free markets, and articulated four “Internet freedoms” reminiscent of Richard M. Stallman’s four software freedoms.Forbes (Jan 19, 2014)
  23. aspect
    a distinct feature or element in a problem
    Another aspect to consider is that people who file claims have an incentive to exaggerate their symptoms to receive more compensation for longer.
    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).
  24. assemble
    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 assembled quickly, like puzzle pieces.
  25. assert
    declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
    Mr. Chermayeff gives dogs their due, depicting one holding a city flag and asserting: “I have thousands of friends and all their owners vote.”
  26. assess
    estimate the nature, quality, ability or significance of
    Other cars are covered with rubble, making it tough to assess the damage or estimate the cost of repairs, Doran said.
  27. associate
    make a logical or causal connection
    "As a visual icon the ukulele is instantly associated with Hawaii, which is why it's used so frequently in advertising."Seattle Times (Feb 12, 2014)
  28. assume
    take to be the case or to be true
    “I didn’t want to assume she was into me and then for it to go wrong. That would have been very, very embarrassing,” he says.Scientific American (Feb 14, 2014)
  29. assumption
    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, assumptions and subjective decisions.Forbes (Feb 7, 2014)
  30. audience
    the part of the general public interested in something
    They’ll continue to try to find new features that appeal to their audiences, which means more instances of tech deja vu in the future.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
  31. authentic
    conforming to fact and therefore worthy of belief
    “We wanted to make it look authentic, like your Lego play set was truly coming to life.”
  32. background
    information that is essential to understanding a situation
    The background: She and her husband purchased her stepson’s home at foreclosure so that he and his family wouldn’t become homeless.
    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."
  33. body
    a collection of particulars considered as a system
    Although these behavioural changes make the drugs useful, a growing body of evidence suggests that the benefits mainly stop there.
    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).
  34. brainstorm
    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 brainstorm peaceful solutions to the ongoing civil war in Syria.
  35. brief
    concise and succinct
    Hawking’s popular reputation was created through his best-selling book, A Brief 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."
  36. calculate
    make a mathematical computation
    Unaided human reason is typically very bad at calculating relevant probabilities.
    "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.
  37. caption
    brief description accompanying an illustration
    The photo generated captions such as: "I had fun was awful."
    "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.
  38. category
    a general concept that marks divisions or coordinations
    The Playstation 3 title is recognised in categories including action & adventure, artistic achievement, best game and game design.
    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.
  39. cause
    any entity that produces an effect
    They see the two-way street, the way in which mental-health struggles can be a partial cause 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.
  40. character
    an imaginary person represented in a work of fiction
    And House of Cards would be a greater show if it had characters 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."
  41. characteristic
    a trait that sets someone or something apart from others
    All geometric objects must remain true to their unique characteristics, and each step in the proof must follow the strict rules of logical deduction.
    "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.
  42. characterize
    describe or portray the qualities or peculiarities of
    Rosacea is a skin condition characterized by red cheeks, chin, nose or forehead, often with small bumps that resemble pimples.Seattle Times (Jan 29, 2014)
  43. chart
    a visual display of data or information
    Mr. Bateman said he was told to prepare “whiz bang” charts that detail everything from wind speeds to temperature trends.
    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.
  44. chronology
    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 chronology.
  45. citation
    a short note recognizing a source of information
    And what’s more important: tweet-ability or the traditional citation from the scientific community?
  46. cite
    refer to for illustration or proof
    But in fairness to Aesop, no one has ever cited his works as justification for irrational hatred and violence.Salon (Feb 11, 2014)
  47. claim
    assert or affirm strongly
    Mr. Ban added, “We cannot claim to care about mass atrocity crimes and then shrink from what it means to actually prevent them.”
    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.
  48. clarify
    make clear and comprehensible
    Moreover, because these supernovae are used as cosmic measuring sticks, understanding them better may help clarify the shape of the Universe.Scientific American (Jan 23, 2014)
  49. class
    a group of people sharing similar wealth and status
    Metro Post employees, and those who deliver packages on Sunday for Amazon, are part of a new class of postal workers called City Carrier Assistants.
    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.
  50. clue
    evidence that helps to solve a problem
    It may also give us clues to a second antimatter mystery: Why is there more matter than antimatter in the universe?Slate (Feb 11, 2014)
  51. code
    a set of rules or principles or laws
    The California Vehicle Code states: "No pedestrian shall start crossing in direction of a flashing or steady "DON'T WALK" or upraised hand symbol."
    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.
  52. coherent
    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 coherent.Salon (Feb 9, 2014)
  53. common
    shared by two or more parties
    Thirty-six states and D.C. have agreed to field test new Common Core standardized exams.
    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."
  54. compare
    examine and note the similarities or differences of
    Many compared the halfpipe to the one used for the 2010 Vancouver Games, which was similarly criticized in the days before the competition.
  55. compile
    put together out of existing material
    The list was compiled using tips from more than 170 music critics, DJs and bloggers.
  56. complement
    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 complement.”
    "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."
  57. complete
    write all the required information onto a form
    Children treated with stimulants would be able to complete a worksheet of simple maths problems faster and more accurately than usual, explains Nora Volkow.
    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.
  58. compose
    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 composing 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."
  59. composition
    an essay, especially one written as an assignment
    Some of the more somber black and white looks resembled composition 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.
  60. conceive
    have the idea for
    What we now call Obamacare was conceived at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, and birthed in Massachusetts by Mitt Romney, then the governor.
    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.
  61. concise
    expressing much in few words
    Twitter is the standard for this concept: hard-coded limits force you to be more concise, more creative.Scientific American (Apr 17, 2013)
  62. conclude
    reach a final opinion after a discussion or deliberation
    But even though the natural gas system is sloppier than the EPA estimates, it's still cleaner than coal, the study concludes.Scientific American (Feb 13, 2014)
  63. conclusion
    a position or opinion reached after consideration
    Yet it strikes a note of almost hilarious caution in its final paragraph: “One conclusion appears clear—extreme conclusions 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.
  64. concrete
    capable of being perceived by the senses
    “A family office is a concrete symbol that there is no one responsible for your affairs but you,” Mr. Carroll said.
  65. conditions
    the context that influences the performance of a process
    The chemical composition of two genetically identical plants can vary based on growing conditions, soil content, parasites and many other factors.
    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."
  66. conduct
    direct the course of; manage or control
    But executives had been looking for an anthropologist to conduct research into how people used technology in their homes.
    "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.
  67. confirm
    establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts
    New figures due out this month are also expected to confirm that the winter of 2013-14 has been the wettest on record.
  68. consequence
    a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
    In medieval Europe, starvation was the de facto consequence of a siege.Slate (Feb 5, 2014)
    "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.
  69. consider
    think about carefully; weigh
    You might also want to consider 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.
  70. consist
    have its essential character
    Washington’s Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon, consisted of five separate farms on 8,000 acres of prime farmland run by more than 300 slaves.Time (Feb 15, 2014)
  71. consistent
    the same throughout in structure or composition
    No track has a consistent ice surface throughout, he said, because of ever-changing variables including the method of ice application and weather conditions.
    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.
  72. consistently
    in a systematic or steady manner
    And in some of our neighborhoods, the streets are consistently safe and opportunity consistently flows.
    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.
  73. constant
    unvarying in nature
    The number of states requiring that an economics course be taken in high school remains constant at 22.
    "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."
  74. constitute
    compose or represent
    Who is to say what percentage of a person’s DNA must come from another human to constitute biological parenthood?Forbes (Jan 26, 2014)
  75. consult
    seek information from
    She also did what a coach at any level might do: consult the technical information on the United States Figure Skating Association website.
  76. contend
    maintain or assert
    What has rocked even the jaded chess world this time are signed contracts posted online that each candidate contends proves dirty dealing by the other.
    "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.
  77. context
    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 context.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.
  78. continuum
    an extent in which no part is distinct from adjacent parts
    We are part of the continuum of life with all species.Salon (Jan 28, 2014)
  79. contradict
    prove negative; show to be false
    Those findings support recent research contradicting the conventional wisdom that trees capture less carbon as they age.
  80. control
    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 control group.
    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.
  81. convert
    change the nature, purpose, or function of something
    In rare cases the liver can literally save your life by converting a toxic molecule to a non-toxic one.
    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.
  82. convey
    make known; pass on, of information
    Of course, tense faces, in close-ups, are one of the chief ways that actors and filmmakers convey emotion, especially in thrillers.
    "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.
  83. copy
    a reproduction of a written record
    Scrawled in cinnabar and black ink, the manuscripts, detailing the tantric rituals of Buddhist deities, were copies of 15th-century texts.
    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.
  84. correlate
    bear a reciprocal or mutual relation
    He lays the blame squarely on weather and bee management practices, which correlate more closely with bee survival rates than does the use of neonics.Forbes (Jan 5, 2014)
  85. correspond
    be compatible, similar, or consistent
    Unlike the cookie dough variety, this cookie’s flavor corresponds with its name: it really does taste like a Rice Krispies Treat.
  86. credible
    appearing to merit belief or acceptance
    With a credible claim to be the oldest living currency in the world, the pound has accompanied Britons through much of their march through history.
  87. credit
    "Managers take credit 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.
  88. criterion
    the ideal in terms of which something can be judged
    The judging is based on five criteria, including “element of surprise” and “closet appeal.”
  89. critique
    a serious examination and judgment of something
    In this critique of extremism, Ms. Almutawakel said that for little girls to be covered to this extent is not about religion but control.
    "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.
  90. crucial
    of extreme importance; vital to the resolution of a crisis
    But while sleep is crucial for sick and premature babies to grow and recover, it can be difficult in a bright, noisy hospital.
  91. cumulative
    increasing by successive addition
    Mr. Levinson recommended that Medicare officials “establish a cumulative payment threshold” and closely examine claims filed by any doctor whose total exceeded that amount.
  92. debate
    a discussion with reasons for and against some proposal
    More broadly, the protests have reignited a debate about whether interventions by the international community are the solution in Bosnia--or part of the problem.
  93. deduce
    conclude by reasoning
    Within moments of meeting Watson, the detective deduces his new acquaintance’s war history, living situation and the state of his family relations.Salon (Feb 9, 2014)
  94. defend
    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 defend the state’s gay-marriage ban anymore.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
  95. define
    determine the nature of
    His writings helped define how diabetes was viewed for decades.
    "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.
  96. demand
    require as useful, just, or proper
    But advocates say cheerleading is a profession that demands 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.
  97. demonstrate
    show the validity of something, as by example or explanation
    Katz said the paper demonstrates that in a culture that eats very poorly, we need fortification to have adequate nutrient intake.
  98. depict
    give a description of
    Biblical history 101 teaches that the texts themselves were often written centuries after the events they depict.
  99. derive
    reason by deduction; establish by deduction
    Euclid begins with 23 definitions, 5 axioms, and 5 postulates and derives all sorts of theorems from them.
    "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.
  100. describe
    give an account or representation of in words
    Even though the employment picture has brightened since the depths of the Great Recession, few would describe it as sunny.
  101. detail
    a single fact considered separately from the whole
    In August last year, Russia granted Mr Snowden asylum for one year, after he leaked details of US electronic surveillance programmes.
    "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.
  102. detect
    discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
    In one sequence, RoboCop takes on about 50 bad guys in the dark by detecting them with heat vision.Time (Feb 12, 2014)
  103. determine
    establish after a calculation, investigation, or experiment
    Careful questioning will help you determine what people really want, which is often different from what they say they want.Time (Feb 14, 2014)
  104. develop
    make something new, such as a product or a mental creation
    One day, we might develop games to treat depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
    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.
  105. devise
    come up with after a mental effort
    A big breakthrough came in 1855 when Henry Bessemer devised a process for making steel on an industrial scale much more cheaply.Scientific American (Feb 8, 2014)
  106. diction
    the manner in which something is expressed in words
    One user called "I Eat" wrote to her with the diction of a Muppet: "Would you like talk with cannibal?" he asked.Slate (Mar 8, 2013)
  107. differentiate
    mark as distinct
    Surely there are many games involving candy that are sufficiently differentiated from Candy Crush so as to not be deemed infringing.Forbes (Jan 20, 2014)
  108. dimension
    magnitude or extent
    "We understand the shape and the dimensions of the Russia we're dealing with, and it makes it tougher to find that cooperation."
    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.
  109. diminish
    decrease in size, extent, or range
    Zimbardo had designed the experiment to study the power of social roles to diminish the sense of personal identity.Scientific American (Feb 14, 2014)
    "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.
  110. direct
    straightforward in speech, manner, or behavior
    The military said at the time that any announcement would "be done via clear and direct statements that cannot be doubted or misinterpreted".
    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.
  111. discipline
    a branch of knowledge
    It turns out there is a whole discipline 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.
  112. discover
    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 discover the game for themselves.
    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.
  113. discriminate
    recognize or perceive the difference
    People rarely discriminate between accidental and deliberate killings.
    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.
  114. discuss
    consider or examine in speech or writing
    Saudis are among the world's biggest users of social media, using it to discuss political, religious and social issues that were once seen as taboo.
  115. distinguish
    mark as different
    American modern dance, in its early years, wanted to be taken seriously, to distinguish itself from supposedly more frivolous traditions.
    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.
  116. domain
    the content of a particular field of knowledge
    Top CS students can also do great things by gaining domain 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."
  117. draft
    any of the various versions in the development of a work
    He wrote his first draft of the script, based on a short story by the Danish-born writer Isak Dinesen, in 1973.
    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.
  118. draw
    make, formulate, or derive in the mind
    She has watched the Alpine ski races on television, drawing conclusions about performance and pressure.
  119. edit
    prepare for publication or presentation by revising
    Wikipedia relies on a diligent army of roughly 75,000 volunteers each month who edit the articles for a staggeringly large readership.
  120. effect
    a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
    Scientists analysed health improvements from riding the bikes with the potentially harmful effects of physical injury and inhaling traffic fumes.
    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.
  121. elements
    violent or severe weather
    The South West is preparing itself for another battering by the elements with strong winds and rain forecast for Friday night and into the weekend.
    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."
  122. emphasize
    stress or single out as important
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly emphasized the importance of showcasing Russia flawlessly to the world during the Olympics.
  123. employ
    put into service
    Their parents work diligently to help them succeed: cajoling and pleading and threatening and occasionally employing more intrusive techniques copied from mob debt collectors.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
  124. equal
    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 equal protection of the law under the U.S. Constitution.
  125. equivalent
    a person or thing comparable to another in value or measure
    To me, Flappy Bird is the game equivalent of eating hot chiles—the pain makes you sweat and captures your attention.Forbes (Feb 11, 2014)
  126. essay
    an analytic or interpretive literary composition
    The words came organically to Julia Ernst as she hunkered down to write the essay that would accompany most of her college applications.
  127. essential
    absolutely necessary
    Besides old age, the sewers, which are essential to the health of the city, are under assault from a nemesis above ground: grease.
  128. establish
    show the validity of something, as by example or explanation
    Would-be saints need a miracle to establish that they are with God.BBC (Feb 14, 2014)
    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."
  129. estimate
    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 estimates.
  130. evaluate
    estimate the nature, quality, ability or significance of
    In 2009, a Supreme Court decision upheld the validity of multiple-choice testing for evaluating firefighters for promotion, prompting a heated nationwide discussion.
  131. event
    something that happens at a given place and time
    The event marked the collaboration of the denim brand and Bionic Yarn, which makes clothing materials from recycled plastic bottles.
  132. evidence
    means by which an alleged matter is established or disproved
    The evidence 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.
  133. exaggerate
    enlarge beyond bounds or the truth
    Second, because other people are lying, people think there is a good chance you are exaggerating even if you are entirely honest.
  134. examine
    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 examining happiness and how people can increase it.Salon (Feb 16, 2014)
  135. example
    a representative form or pattern
    The more outlandish the ideas, the better: the company offers parachuting with fireworks and ninjas as examples that might impress.
    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."
  136. excerpt
    take out of a literary work in order to cite or copy
    The phrase people most often associate with Dr. King– excerpted 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."
  137. exclude
    prevent from being included or considered or accepted
    If people think that the definition of masculinity somehow excludes the idea that you could be gay, then really they need to reexamine that definition.Salon (Feb 11, 2014)
  138. exercise
    a task performed to develop skill or understanding
    He announced it during a team-building exercise 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.
  139. exhibit
    show an attribute, property, knowledge, or skill
    Birds, in particular, exhibit many remarkable skills once thought to be restricted to humans: Magpies recognize their reflection in a mirror.Scientific American (Feb 10, 2014)
  140. explain
    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 explain 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.
  141. explore
    inquire into
    Her book, Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Animal and Human Health, explores how our physical and emotional health overlaps with that of non-human animals.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
  142. expository
    serving to expound or set forth
    The explanatory and expository sections between scenes—while packed with insight—are often stiff and windy, with lots of academic catchphrases.
  143. extract
    a passage selected from a larger work
    They also came to "a good agreement" with David Mitchell to use the short extract from his book.
    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."
  144. fact
    a concept whose truth can be proved
    Actual fact: There is no bigger turnoff than an alien bursting out of someone’s stomach.Time (Feb 14, 2014)
  145. factor
    anything that contributes causally to a result
    After that, American officials, athletes and coaches began to examine other factors, like training regimes, altitude training and mental preparation as causes for the underperformance.
    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.
  146. feature
    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 Features.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."
  147. figurative
    not literal
    The flag also has figurative powers; its fluttering is like a wave to the wayward golfer that beseeches, “This way, over here.”
    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.
  148. figure
    a combination of points and lines that form a visible shape
    Her date of birth allowed Lipnitskaya to become the youngest figure skater in 78 years to win Olympic gold for Russia.
    "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").
  149. focus
    the concentration of attention or energy on something
    Her talent, her focus and her youthful exuberance spurred Russia to win the inaugural Olympic team title in Sochi.
    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.
  150. footer
    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 footers, all sorts of places".
  151. foreshadow
    indicate by signs
    “It’s a young dynamic firm. We have lots of opportunities to grow,” signaling that Mr. Canellos’s arrival could foreshadow other changes.
  152. form
    alternate name for the body of a human being
    Depicting the human form 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.
  153. format
    the organization of data according to preset specifications
    “Shallow News in Depth” follows a similar format of celebrity interviews, commentary on news and humorous dispatches by reporters on the streets of Bangkok.
    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.
  154. former
    belonging to some prior time
    They accused Ms. Park of “resurrecting the dictatorship” of her father, former President Park Chung-hee.
    "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.
  155. formulate
    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 formulating new rules.
    "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.
  156. fragment
    an incomplete piece
    Another technique he favored was to include fragments from other texts in his poems, even other poets’ work, a device he called approximation.
    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.
  157. frame
    formulate in a particular style or language
    As a lawyer, Justice Ginsburg framed and argued cases that established an entirely new body of constitutional law, one requiring the equal treatment of women.
    "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).
  158. frequently
    many times at short intervals
    Reduced precipitation means forests that once burned every 100 to 150 years are now burning much more frequently.
  159. general
    of worldwide scope or applicability
    But beyond general 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.
  160. genre
    a class of art having a characteristic form or technique
    So perhaps it’s unsurprising that other than romance, comedy is probably the least developed genre in video games.
  161. graph
    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 graphs.Forbes (Jan 28, 2014)
  162. graphic
    written or drawn or engraved
    In March 2006, cigarette packaging with graphic health warnings including photos of cancer-riddled lungs and gangrenous limbs was introduced in Australia.
    "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.
  163. header
    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 header that says, “Say NO to Obama. Stop Sharia in America.”Slate (Jan 16, 2014)
  164. heading
    a line of text indicating what the passage below it is about
    One section in the book has the heading, “Why I Do Not Believe In Evolution.”Salon (Jan 24, 2014)
  165. highlight
    move into the foreground to make more visible or prominent
    Several announcements by Mr. Cuomo were also highlighted, including one with footage of the governor showing off a new fishing-themed license plate.
    "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.
  166. hypothesize
    believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
    Jackie Mason, in an email, hypothesized that the complicated relationship between Jews and mayonnaise was probably a consequence of Jews feeling “guilty over betraying mustard.”Slate (Dec 27, 2013)
  167. identify
    give the name or characteristics of
    “We’ll work together to identify customers and hopefully convince them this is the right platform for their needs.”
    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.
  168. illustrate
    make clear or understandable by giving an example
    Instead, the receipts were handwritten on small slips of paper, illustrating the arbitrary nature of the party's punishment system.
    "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.
  169. imitate
    reproduce someone's behavior or looks
    In the final, mocking Allegro, the violinist imitates a kind of teenage cackle through crisp fast notes embellished with grace notes.
  170. imply
    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 imply 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.
  171. inclined
    having a preference, disposition, or tendency
    During the meeting, Mr. Kerry sometimes seemed inclined to see a glass half full, while the bloggers were worried that it was emptying.
    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.
  172. include
    have as a part; be made up out of
    Her research includes studying various strains of itchy mice that are models for human ailments.
  173. incorporate
    include or contain; have as a component
    Stanford’s football team has incorporated yoga into its training program.
    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.
  174. indicate
    give evidence of
    Deviations from the predicted shape of the halo would indicate that Einstein’s theory of gravity needs revision.
    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.
  175. indirect
    having intervening factors or persons or influences
    Officially this method is called indirect potable use, but it’s really water recycling.
    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.
  176. infer
    reason by deduction; establish by deduction
    For instance, since infants look longer at events that surprise them, developmental psychologists can use gaze time to infer 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."
  177. influence
    a power to affect persons or events
    They want to purge Thailand of the influence of her divisive brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who they claim continues to run the country by proxy.Time (Feb 18, 2014)
  178. inform
    impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to
    The results lay the groundwork for future microscopic models and inform the experimental search for such materials.Science Magazine (Feb 6, 2014)
    "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.
  179. inquire
    conduct an investigation of
    So from time to time it’s good to take the focus off yourself and inquire into those around you a little more deeply.Forbes (Dec 30, 2013)
  180. instruction
    a message describing how something is to be done
    The instructor gave some very basic instructions 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.
  181. integrate
    make into a whole or make part of a whole
    "That's why they're integrating maps with search. When you search for Peking duck, you're seeing nearby restaurants in your results."
    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).
  182. intent
    the planned meaning of a communication
    Whatever the intent, the sample never meshes with its soundtrack, and never inspires thought deeper than “radio evangelists were probably mistaken about rock ‘n’ roll.”
    As a noun, "intent" is also a shorter version of "intention" and as an adjective, it means "giving or marked by complete attention to."
  183. intention
    an anticipated outcome that guides your planned actions
    Satisfied with this initial success rate, the researchers then expanded their efforts with the intention of producing a few fully developed baby monkeys.
  184. interact
    do something together or with others
    The law of combinations applies when there are many interacting people or objects.Scientific American (Feb 14, 2014)
  185. intermittent
    stopping and starting at irregular intervals
    Instead of intermittent reports, people would be able to record a steady stream of data and get warnings when they need them most.
  186. interpret
    make sense of; assign a meaning to
    Interpreting the Bible is a little like studying Leonardo DaVinci’s painting of the Last Supper, he says.
    "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.
  187. introduce
    bring in a new person or object into a familiar environment
    The Girl Scouts recently introduced a gluten-free chocolate chip shortbread cookie to their annually anticipated line of sweet treats.
  188. introduction
    the first section of a communication
    “Voting in elections is considered sacrosanct by a large majority of Indians,” Mukulika Banerjee writes in the introduction to her new book, “Why India Votes.”
  189. invariably
    without change, in every case
    Invariably, around February of each year, coinciding with Black History Month, you’ll hear people asking, “Why isn’t there a white history month?”
  190. investigate
    conduct an inquiry of
    The Silkworm will follow the private investigator Cormoran Strike, who Rowling introduced in Cuckoo, as he investigates 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.
  191. involve
    contain as a part
    The studies involved only a small group of tagged whales and noise levels were less intense than what's used by the Navy.
    "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").
  192. irony
    incongruity between what might be expected and what occurs
    Irony is in plentiful supply in Thailand today: A billionaire tycoon is praised as the champion of the poor.
  193. irrelevant
    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 irrelevant.
  194. isolate
    set apart from others
    “We are imprisoning, we are isolating, but we are not rehabilitating the way we should.”
  195. italic
    a typeface with letters slanting upward to the right
    With emphasis in italics and bold face, he added: “We need you to focus on our primary mission of defending our nation and our allies.”
  196. judge
    form a rough or vague estimate of
    Because judges are all entrenched in their sports’ insular communities, they develop relationships with the athletes and coaches they must later judge.
  197. key
    serving as an essential component
    Being as lean as possible and maintaining a healthy weight are key components of cancer prevention.
    "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.
  198. label
    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 label."
  199. likely
    having a good chance of being the case or of coming about
    Boys are also more than two-thirds more likely than girls to be born prematurely--before the 37th week of pregnancy.Scientific American (Feb 18, 2014)
  200. list
    include in an ordered array of items
    Lab websites also often list research projects, publications, data sets, software, job openings, collaborators and contact information.Nature (Feb 12, 2014)
  201. literal
    limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text
    Either way it is going to be mind-blowing, quite possibly in a literal sense.
    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.
  202. locate
    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 locate missing pets.Forbes (Feb 7, 2014)
  203. logical
    based on known statements or events or conditions
    For many students, nine hours of sleep is so far beyond their reality that their only logical response is laughter.
    "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.
  204. main
    most important element
    The main reason banknotes get dirty is that they pick up an oily substance called sebum from human skin.
  205. margin
    the blank space that surrounds the text on a page
    In a Portuguese songbook, written around 1600, images along the margins look like Australian aboriginals and possibly a kangaroo.
    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."
  206. mean
    denote or connote
    The al-Qaeda-inspired militant organisation, whose name means "Champions of Jerusalem", has increasingly turned its attacks against the Egyptian police and army.
    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.
  207. measure
    determine the dimensions of something or somebody
    The pacifier device she and her colleagues used measures the pressure and rhythm of sucking.
    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."
  208. metaphor
    a figure of speech that suggests a non-literal similarity
    After a while, it becomes clear that the tightrope is also a metaphor, standing for the existential risk inherent in every serious instance of playing.
  209. method
    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 method researchers use to assess Americans' diets.Seattle Times (Feb 10, 2014)
  210. model
    a representation of something, often on a smaller scale
    A working computer model of living cells, even if it were somewhat sketchy and not quite accurate, would be a fantastically useful tool.
    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."
  211. modify
    cause to change; make different
    British scientists have developed genetically modified potatoes that are resistant to the vegetable's biggest threat--blight.
    "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.
  212. monitor
    keep an eye on; keep under surveillance
    Only in the past decade have scientists had the technology to closely monitor the behavior of whales and dolphins.
  213. motivation
    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 motivation.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
  214. narrative
    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 narrative of heroic self-discovery.
  215. narrator
    someone who tells a story
    Using the "stream of consciousness" technique, her book begins with its narrator speaking from inside her mother's womb.
  216. never
    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 never see bearing fruit."
  217. notation
    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 notation "no supply issues anticipated."
  218. note
    a short personal letter
    Then, suddenly, trouble looms when Philip starts receiving notes in his dead wife’s handwriting.
    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.
  219. notice
    discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
    In most cases, artifacts found at construction sites are destroyed by equipment before anyone even notices them, Horner said.
  220. objective
    the goal intended to be attained
    A prime objective 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").
  221. observe
    watch with care or pay close attention to
    The study was conducted in Thailand, and the researchers observed the behavior of 26 elephants in captivity over the course of a year.
  222. occur
    come to pass
    She will testify that former Superintendent Beverly Hall ordered the destruction of investigative documents that concluded the cheating likely occurred, according to prosecutors.
  223. opinion
    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 opinions on music and movies.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
  224. oppose
    be against
    Many environmentalists believe that fracking can damage water supplies, and oppose the extraction of new fossil fuel resources.
  225. optional
    possible but not necessary; left to personal choice
    The course is largely taught through online videos, but enrolled students are also given quizzes, optional food-preparation assignments and opportunities to collaborate with classmates.
  226. order
    logical arrangement of different elements
    Seven models make both lists of the top 10 selling cars nationally and in California, though the order of the vehicles is scrambled.
    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.
  227. organize
    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 organized, cared for and seen.
  228. origin
    a first part or stage of subsequent events
    Since the origin of life on earth 3.8 billion years ago, our planet has experienced five mass extinction 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.
  229. outline
    describe roughly or give the main points or summary of
    In his speech, Mr Obama outlined his priority topics for the year, including healthcare, minimum wage and the pullout from Afghanistan.
  230. pace
    the relative speed of progress or change
    Man is the culprit, and the pace of species die-off is accelerating at a rate unprecented in the history of life on earth.Seattle Times (Feb 14, 2014)
  231. paraphrase
    express the same message in different words
    He paraphrased a quotation attributed to Albert Einstein: “If an idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it.”
  232. participation
    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 participation in sports, but by watching others participate.Seattle Times (Feb 15, 2014)
  233. passage
    a section of text, particularly a section of medium length
    Since then, he says, he has filed some 10 lawsuits involving "objectionable passages" from various textbooks.
  234. pattern
    a customary way of operation or behavior
    Florida Atlantic won the contract to produce the water resistance measurements after doing similar work predicting drift patterns of floating items in oceans.
    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).
  235. perform
    carry out an action
    Both the human hand and foot represent a triumph of complex engineering, exquisitely designed to perform a range of tasks.
    In addition to performing everyday tasks, the human hand and foot can be used to "give a dramatic or musical entertainment."
  236. perspective
    a way of regarding situations or topics
    The Cubs hired Renteria because of a cheerful perspective that helps him communicate with young players—especially a strong Latin American contingent.
  237. persuade
    cause somebody to adopt a certain position or belief
    Health workers and officials have tried for years to persuade conservative Muslims to accept vaccination.
  238. place
    put into a certain location
    That would place liability for hacks squarely on the sellers’ shoulders.
  239. plagiarism
    taking someone's words or ideas as if they were your own
    Brush up on the definition of plagiarism and the reason we give others credit for their work.
  240. plan
    make a series of steps to be carried out
    To help people understand the importance of savings, many organizations are planning events for America Saves Week, Monday through March 1.
  241. plausible
    apparently reasonable, valid, or truthful
    Thor—and the mechanics that drive his flight—is surprisingly plausible; so is the way a dragon from The Hobbit could breathe fire.
  242. plot
    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 plot.Time (Feb 16, 2014)
  243. point
    an isolated fact considered separately from the whole
    But their findings suggest at least two points for further thought.
    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.
  244. point of view
    a mental position from which things are perceived
    “We have different points of view but we learned the art of compromise and that comes out of mutual respect.”
  245. portray
    depict in words
    The book is a fast read and it does a very good job portraying the colorful personalities and exciting discoveries unearthed by general relativity.
    In Latin, "protrahere" means "to reveal"--this can be done through words (written or acted) or pictures.
  246. possible
    capable of happening or existing
    U.S. officials say, however, it is possible a U.N. resolution to help relieve the humanitarian crisis in Syria could get through the U.N.
  247. preclude
    make impossible, especially beforehand
    He said that strong trade ties did not in themselves preclude the outbreak of war.
  248. predict
    make a guess about what will happen in the future
    The company is also exploring medical devices and sensors that can help predict heart attacks by studying sound blood makes as it flows through arteries.
  249. prefix
    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 prefix of Mullah, Maulawi or Maulana before their names.
    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."
  250. prepare
    to make ready verbally for written or spoken delivery
    For serious felonies, defenders spent an average of only nine hours preparing their cases, compared with the 47 hours they needed, the study found.
    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.
  251. presume
    take to be the case or to be true
    Though we never see her there, I presume 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.
  252. preview
    a screening for an audience in advance of public release
    Instead of trying to surprise viewers, many sponsors are filling social-media platforms with previews, teasers and coming attractions in hopes of stimulating additional interest.
  253. previous
    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 previous generations," said Mr Birdwell.
  254. primary
    of first rank or importance or value
    But the show’s primary model is the granddaddy of weepy teenage melodramas, “Romeo and Juliet.”
  255. prior
    earlier in time
    That said, most “open houses” were not particularly open, requiring advance registration several months prior, and spots filled up immediately.
  256. probably
    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 probably hitting the target.Forbes (Feb 19, 2014)
  257. procedure
    a particular course of action intended to achieve a result
    Designed to keep hunger strikers alive, the procedure involves feeding them liquid meals via tubes inserted into their noses and down into their stomachs.
  258. process
    perform mathematical and logical operations on
    Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman knows what’s ahead and is processing it all with a combination of calm and perspective.
    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.
  259. produce
    bring forth or yield
    The manipulation produced 15 normally developing embryos—of which all but one showed evidence of the desired genetic changes.
    "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).
  260. profile
    biographical sketch
    Job seekers fill out profiles with years of experience, languages spoken and salary requirements.
  261. project
    any piece of work that is undertaken or attempted
    The project, which is named after the Greek mythological character Pheme--famed for spreading rumours--will run for three years.
    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.
  262. prompt
    serve as the inciting cause of
    The delay may prompt many healthy people to put off signing up for coverage.
    "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."
  263. proofread
    read for errors
    Projects that require paying close attention to detail, like proofreading a paper or doing your taxes, Dr. Mehta said, are performed better in quiet environments.
  264. property
    a basic or essential attribute shared by members of a class
    Physicists recognized that the same stew of quantum processes that determine the properties 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.
  265. propose
    present for consideration, examination, or criticism
    One proposed establishing an ostrich farm, and another suggested converting trash into accessories and furniture.
  266. prose
    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 prose to death, investigators say.
  267. prove
    establish the validity of something
    Nuclear experts say the new results should help give the giant laser more time to prove its ultimate worth and gain more taxpayer support.
  268. purpose
    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 purposes.
    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.
  269. quotation
    a passage or expression that is cited
    “Pigs treat us as equals,” was part of a quotation attributed to Winston S. Churchill that inspired Ellen Balfour from Long Island.
  270. quote
    refer to for illustration or proof
    He argued points of constitutional law, quoted Shakespeare, advocated for bipartisan compromise and even quieted hecklers.Time (Feb 17, 2014)
  271. rank
    take or have a position relative to others
    And moving routinely ranks high on the list of life’s most unpleasant experiences.Time (Feb 19, 2014)
  272. rare
    especially good, remarkable, or superlative
    "River dolphins are among the rarest and most endangered of all vertebrates, so discovering a new species is something that is very rare and exciting."
    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."
  273. rarely
    not often
    North Korea's leaders are often thought of as ruthless, secretive autocrats but rarely as popular children's authors.
  274. reaction
    a response that reveals a person's feelings or attitude
    Research also suggests it may slow down reaction times, with the intention of making us more vulnerable to large predators.
    "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.
  275. recall
    summon knowledge from memory
    "I remember my first camp I had a rollaway locker right in front of the shower, and I was terrified," Russell recalled.
  276. reduce
    make smaller
    But scientists say the bright moon will interfere and reduce the number of visible meteors by half.
  277. refer
    seek information from
    But she referred to notes and appeared uncomfortable at times in addressing pointed questions on regulation.
    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.
  278. reflect
    give evidence of
    In part, the decrease in cases reflects reforms in Florida’s juvenile system, which is sending fewer children to court.
    "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.
  279. regular
    in accord with normal practice or procedure
    He said the equipment would be the most advanced on any rotorcraft used by the regular Army, although some special forces had similar equipment.
    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.
  280. relate
    make a logical or causal connection
    The mechanical problems appeared to be related to the solar-powered probe's process for shutting down for the lunar night, which lasts more than two weeks.
    Another definition of "relate" that is unrelated to the example sentence is: give an account of.
  281. relationship
    a mutual connection between people
    Depression affects around 350 million people worldwide and at its worst can blight patients' lives for decades, affecting their relationships, work and ability to function.
    The example sentence suggests a worldwide relation between depression and peoples' lives, which could affect the relationships between millions of people.
  282. relevant
    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 relevant to their daily lives.Slate (Jan 28, 2014)
  283. rephrase
    express the same message in different words
    She read out the theme of the year’s graduation, a rephrasing of a Thoreau quote: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
  284. report
    a document describing findings of some individual or group
    But reports have emerged of them being found nestled in pizza menus and other junk mail.
    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.
  285. represent
    serve as a means of expressing something
    Representing luck, unity, power and prosperity, these mythological birds have, for the most part, been benevolent, gentle creatures.
    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.
  286. representative
    serving to typify
    However, because the study only looked at elephants in captivity, the findings might not be representative of all elephants, Bekoff said.
  287. request
    express the need or desire for; ask for
    It has requested an additional $4 million, among other increases, to cover about 4,000 cases annually in which juvenile offenders receive no representation.
  288. require
    need as useful, just, or proper
    It is messy work that requires bronze brushes, cork with sandpaper, scrapers, waxing irons and surgical masks.
  289. requisite
    necessary for relief or supply
    The requisite 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").
  290. respond
    show a reaction to something
    Rehearse for the interview with a friend or colleague, and practise different ways to respond to those questions.Nature (Feb 19, 2014)
  291. responsible
    being the agent or cause
    But in late June, Pennsylvania public health officials announced that acetyl fentanyl was responsible 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.
  292. restate
    to say or perform again
    China's foreign ministry restated its frequent calls for Japan to adopt a "responsible" view of its wartime history.
  293. result
    a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
    Hot Pockets Philly Steak and Cheese have been recalled as the result 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").
  294. reveal
    make known to the public information previously kept secret
    But his reputation suffered when it was revealed the tradesman was not, in fact, a licensed plumber.
  295. review
    appraise critically
    If school administrators have a question about whether the material is appropriate, they are supposed to ask the district office to review it.
    "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."
  296. revise
    reorganize, especially for the purpose of improving
    " Revising history textbooks is a never-ending story. But that does not mean we should not start."
  297. root
    the place where something begins
    As a nation, we argue for and against gun reform, yet we rarely discuss the root 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.
  298. rule
    prescribed guide for conduct or action
    Penalties for breaking the rules included fines, suspension, or being shut down.
    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.
  299. scan
    examine minutely or intensely
    Astronomers have built quite a few observatories dedicated to patiently scanning 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.
  300. score
    a number or letter indicating quality
    Despite the tight security, the most common reason officials cancel test scores isn’t transmission devices hidden in rain boots—it’s sneaky glances at cell phones.
    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?
  301. sequence
    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 sequence of catchy but totally meaningless phrases.
    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.
  302. series
    similar things placed in order or one after another
    The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, has been plagued by a series of mishaps including radioactive water leaks and power outages.
    "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.
  303. set
    a group of things of the same kind that belong together
    The two conversations involve almost entirely different sets 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.
  304. setting
    the context and environment in which something is situated
    Whether tucked in an urban setting or deep within a national forest, these trails can power up your fitness routine in a number of ways.Southern Living (Feb 18, 2014)
  305. show
    provide evidence for
    Other studies show that when people don’t have to worry about health insurance, they are up to 25 percent more likely to change jobs.
    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").
  306. signal
    communicate by means of an action, gesture, or sound
    Qualcomm has created a logo for both chargers and phones to signal 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.
  307. significance
    the quality of being important
    Antiques, after all, offer the intangible pleasures of beauty and historical significance rather than the guaranteed profit margins that please bean counters.
    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.
  308. simile
    a figure of speech expressing a resemblance between things
    In that extraordinary simile, "her neck quaked like curd", Lizzie herself has become edible, a kind of junket.
  309. skim
    examine hastily
    Stone said he only has skimmed the book, though he said his wife, Livia, praised it as "surprisingly riveting" after reading all of it.Seattle Times (Jan 8, 2014)
  310. solve
    find the answer to or understand the meaning of
    Americans love to solve the "Big Problems", he argues, such as cutting-edge innovation and overcoming the challenges of abject poverty.
  311. source
    a document from which information is obtained
    A Wikipedia article was repeatedly created and repeatedly deleted for lack of reliable sources.Scientific American (Feb 20, 2014)
    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).
  312. spatial
    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 spatial ability.
  313. specific
    stated explicitly or in detail
    Harper always talks about improving all parts of his game but seldom mentions a specific area that needs it.
    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.
  314. speculate
    believe, especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
    He speculates that the scientists were investigating the possible use of malaria--transmitted via mosquitoes--as a biological weapon.
    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.
  315. stance
    a rationalized mental attitude
    The facility is part of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's tough stance against asylum seekers but it has come under fire over human rights concerns.
    "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.
  316. standard
    a basis for comparison
    In most states, academic standards are created by educators and approved by a state board of education or education agency.
    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.
  317. state
    the way something is with respect to its main attributes
    "Now it will be possible to have near real-time updates of the state of the world's forests, open to anyone to use."
  318. statement
    a message that is declared
    “Protesters broke the truce,” the President said in a statement posted on his website.
    "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.
  319. strategy
    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 strategies to deal with failure.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
  320. structure
    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 structure 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.
  321. study
    consider in detail
    Astronomers are studying 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."
  322. style
    a particular kind
    An eclectic mix of musical styles have been promised across the five nights, from country legend Willie Nelson to rapper Pitbull.
    "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.
  323. subject
    being under the power or sovereignty of another or others
    Books, fiction and nonfiction, have also similarly been subject to stringent censorship processes before release in the Chinese market.
    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.
  324. subjective
    taking place within the mind and modified by individual bias
    Because the changes are subjective and difficult to measure, medical professionals often do not ask patients about changes in their sense of smell.Scientific American (Feb 13, 2014)
  325. subsequent
    following in time or order
    As president, Washington earned well more than subsequent presidents: his salary was 2% of the total U.S. budget in 1789.Time (Feb 15, 2014)
  326. substitute
    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 substitute for confetti.
  327. succinct
    briefly giving the gist of something
    One bulletin for Adams County included a succinct warning: "Stay away or be swept away."New York Times (Sep 12, 2013)
  328. suggest
    make a proposal; declare a plan for something
    We suggested 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.
  329. sum
    the final aggregate
    Yet what is total output but the sum of all individuals’ work?
  330. summarize
    briefly present the main points of something
    I recently wrote about a fun blog called LolMyThesis, in which self-deprecating students summarize their research findings in a single sentence.Slate (Jan 23, 2014)
  331. summary
    performed speedily and without formality
    North Korean migrants and defectors returned by China regularly faced torture, detention, summary 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.
  332. support
    provide with evidence or authority or make more certain
    Supporting 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.
  333. survey
    look over carefully or inspect
    The rover was designed to roam the lunar surface for three months while surveying for natural resources and sending back data.
    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.
  334. symbolize
    express indirectly by an image, form, or model
    The Lamb on the light side of power, and the Lion on the dark side best symbolize the power extremes.Forbes (Feb 4, 2014)
  335. synonym
    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 synonyms.
  336. synthesize
    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 synthesize a convincing idea of dinosaur movement.Nature (Dec 11, 2013)
  337. table
    a set of data arranged in rows and columns
    In addition, if the numbers in the table were correct, it looks like that Obamacare was a negative sum game.
  338. technique
    a practical method or art applied to some particular task
    They also heard about the latest techniques for the chemical analysis of paint, which permit the analyst to nail down when a work was painted.
  339. term
    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 termed “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."
  340. test
    standardized procedure for measuring sensitivity or aptitude
    Too often we order unnecessary tests, to bolster revenue or to protect against lawsuits.
  341. theme
    a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary work
    The poem seemed to hit a theme that Ms. McCray speaks of frequently: giving voice to the voiceless.
    "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").
  342. thesis
    an unproved statement advanced as a premise in an argument
    The problem with the thesis is that in setting out their claim, the authors ignore the more obvious explanation for differences in group success: history.Slate (Feb 12, 2014)
  343. timeline
    a sequence of events arranged in chronological order
    The several Hemingway passports, besides providing a photographic timeline of him as his hair and mustache go white, attest to his restlessness and wanderlust.
  344. tone
    a quality that reveals the attitudes of the author
    "I appreciated the optimistic tone of the speech," Rubio, a potential 2016 Republican presidential contender, told reporters at a Wall Street Journal breakfast on Wednesday.
    "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.
  345. topic
    the subject matter of a conversation or discussion
    Iran has also rejected discussing other related topics like its missile program.
  346. trace
    follow or ascertain the course of development of something
    The family line for the teenage flick “Vampire Academy” may trace back to “Dracula,” but the recycling policy is strictly from “Frankenstein.”
    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.
  347. trait
    a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
    In its spot, a more jocular narrator explains that one of the pencil’s most awe-inspiring traits is that it is extremely pointy.
  348. transition
    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 transition to independence.
    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.
  349. translate
    restate from one language into another language
    MIT’s seal includes the Latin words--mens et manus--which translates as Mind and Hand.
  350. typically
    in a manner conforming to a type
    Her Soyajoy Premium Total Tofu Kit produces single tofu blocks, slightly larger than what you’d typically find in the market.
  351. unique
    radically distinctive and without equal
    “Given that everyone has unique DNA, it is scientifically certain that no two people will be identical in terms of capabilities,” he wrote.Salon (Feb 20, 2014)
  352. utilize
    put into service
    Current TV display technology utilizes only 30% of human color perception capability, implying that smaller displays utilize even less.Forbes (Feb 10, 2014)
  353. valid
    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 valid.Forbes (Feb 2, 2014)
  354. variation
    something a little different from others of the same type
    Though the mountains may look like one massive granite blob, sharp boundaries mark chemical variations within the range.Scientific American (Feb 11, 2014)
  355. vary
    make something more diverse
    After all, it is an enormous and varied place with the genetic, linguistic, culinary and sartorial diversity which are usually found in a continent.
    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."
  356. verify
    confirm the truth of
    The agency said public reports of dead aquatic turtles at two state parks in Virginia had not yet been verified by federal biologists.Salon (Feb 19, 2014)
  357. viewpoint
    a mental position from which things are considered
    Similarly, the Economist takes the viewpoint 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.
  358. voice
    a means by which something is expressed or communicated
    When she found her literary voice as an expatriate in Paris, she created a writing life that consciously excluded the ties of marriage and children.
    "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.
Created on February 14, 2014 (updated February 21, 2014)

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