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|100 Words Encountered in|
|Nature & Ecology|
Click word for detail
Scientist believe Europe will continue to face greater glacier retreat due to global warming.
radiationparticles emitted by nuclear decay (i.e., particles smaller than an atom that are sent out due to radioactivity)
Ionizing radiation has enough energy to ionize atoms or molecules.
speciesa similar group of animals or plants identified as separate from others because they can interbreed (create baby animals) with each other
It is an endangered species.
disposeto throw away
other common meaning(s) — as in: dispose of the waste
How will they dispose of the waste?
These maps are drawn with north to the top unless otherwise indicated.
China recently emerged as a world power.
My skin dries in the arid desert climate.
appropriatesuitable (fitting) for a particular situation
other common meaning(s) — as in: it is appropriate
These clothes aren’t appropriate for work.
The poorer a country’s people are, the greater the temptation to deplete the country’s forests and fisheries.
parasiticof a species that lives on (or in) another species and eats from it without providing return benefit
a person who lives off others’ efforts without providing return benefit to them
She picked up a parasitic infection while in Africa.
essentialabsolutely necessary; or of the greatest importance
the defining or most important aspect of something
The essential feature of the pen is that it writes so consistently.
The entomologist is an expert on termites.
Our policy is in compliance with the law.
...government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln -- Gettysburg Address
The computers are vulnerable to cyberattacks.
the Ainu are indigenous to the northernmost islands of Japan
flourishto thrive (grow or develop well)
other common meaning(s) — as in: the business is flourishing
The children are flourishing.
confrontto deal directly with an unpleasant situation or person
to challenge someone — often by presenting evidence
You must confront your problems.
photosynthesisthe process by which plants and other things make food (such as sugars) from carbon dioxide by using the energy of the sunlight
Nature helps to remove carbon from the atmosphere via photosynthesis.
The college wants a diverse student body.
Carnivorous plants are capable of trapping and digesting insects.
It is a peaceful herbivore.
the worms help to aerate the soil
We didn’t extend our trip to visit India because it was the start of the monsoon system.
The government nationalized all arable land.
The medication assists where surgery cannot completely extirpate a tumor.
deciduoustending to fall off — typically of plants that shed leaves at the end of the growing season
or much more rarely: of teeth, antlers, and scales shed at the end of a period of growth
the eastern deciduous forests
She majored in anthropology and just finished a report for the State Department that describes tribal customs in eastern Africa.
capitalmaterial wealth — especially assets available for use in the production of further assets — as in: invested capital
She worked hard to raise capital to start their new company.
domestic animalreferring to animals kept as pets or for ranching
other common meaning(s) — as in: a domestic animal like a dog
We work to reduce abuse of domestic animals.
Dogs were domesticated thousands of years ago.
Don’t judge her so harshly until you consider the mitigating circumstances.
She thinks deeply and has an affinity for others with the same kind of mind.
agendaa list of matters to be discussed at a meeting
other common meaning(s) — as in: on the agenda
Everyone received a copy of the agenda the day before the meeting.
She is amazingly agile for someone so tall.
The elderly couple likes to amble along the beach at sunset.
Her autobiography is sprinkled with amusing anecdotes.
She read an anthology of classic American literature.
antiseptica substance used to clean wounds because it prevents infection by killing harmful micro-organisms such as bacteria
or more rarely when used as an adjective: describing something as thoroughly clean and free of micro-organisms
I washed the wound and then used alcohol as an antiseptic.
assessconsider something and make a judgment
other common meaning(s) — as in: assess the situation
They assessed the property’s value at $500,000.
assimilatetake in and/or transform or fit in:
such as: a person with differences fitting into a prevailing culture
or such as: information transformed within the mind into understanding
or such as: nutrients transformed within the body for its use
This country assimilates immigrants very quickly.
badgerburrowing mammal with strong claws widely distributed in the northern hemisphere
other common meaning(s) — as in: saw a badger
The word badger is thought to have come from a French word for "digger".
She predicts benign economic conditions through next year.
biennialoccurring once every two years
other common meaning(s) — as in: 6 biennial meetings a year
We see each other at biennial conventions.
The once thriving downtown has become an example of urban blight with abandoned buildings and too much crime.
bovinebelonging or related to the genus Bos (cattle, oxen, buffalo, etc.); or stupid and slow-moving like an ox
She showed a bovine apathy.
cachea storage space — often hidden to hold valuables, provisions or weapons; or the storing of things
other common meaning(s) — as in: cache of arms
We found a cache of weapons buried in the woods.
She calibrated the oscilloscope for better measurement.
camouflagesomething that conceals or deceives — especially clothing or placement of plants parts or natural animal coloring that blends into the background
the act of concealing or deception
The troops camouflaged themselves before they went into enemy territory.
cavortto play in a lively, unrestrained manner — often to prance or jump around excitedly — sometimes implying sexual play
The puppies cavorted in the basket.
The blood began to coagulate.
My ideas are beginning to coalesce into a plan.
compendiuma list of items or a collection — especially a publication containing a variety of works
a concise but comprehensive summary of a subject area
RegretTheError.com publishes a regularly updated compendium of mistakes reported in the news media.
After I regained my composure, I thanked her for telling me about the problem.
The university is comprised of six colleges.
People congregated outside of City Hall to protest.
conspicuouseasily noticed — typically attracting attention such as by being large, flashy, or unusual
She tried not to look conspicuous as she slipped into class after the tardy bell.
constraintsomething that limits something’s motion or someone’s actions; or the state of being so limited
Both sides have demonstrated a lack of constraint in the discussions.
contorttwist or bend to an unnatural shape — something such as the human body, a facial expression, or the truth
Her face contorted in fury and frustration.
The lines converge at this point
I didn’t understand her cryptic reply.
degradereducing human dignity
other common meaning(s) — as in: her comments were degrading
She felt degraded by the way he delivered the criticism.
The cake is delicious, scrumptious and delectable.
Inspect the label for deleterious chemical additives.
demographicscharacteristics of a human populations; e.g., population density and income distribution
Based upon its demographics and the traffic patterns, the neighborhood should support another fast-food restaurant.
depositiona pretrial questioning of a witness or the resulting transcript — as in: gave her deposition
The purpose of a deposition is to discover facts and obtain evidence.
derelictin terrible condition — often abandoned
other common meaning(s) — as in: derelict ship
We want to put those derelict buildings to better use.
Their desiccated remains were found in the old lake bed.
Airborne radiation dissipates over time and distance.
diversiona distraction from something more important
an amusement as a distraction from serious or tedious concerns
The attack on the capital was actually a diversion to draw troops away from the port city.
divertto change the direction of something; or to distract someone’s attention
or more rarely: to change the purpose for which something is used — such as an army or funds
I tried to divert her attention.
dormantnot active or growing, but capable of doing so in the future — such as:
We hiked on a dormant volcano.
The patient’s strength ebbed away.
She was emaciated, but the doctor said the chemotherapy cured her cancer.
Her fame was ephemeral.
Poor policy exacerbated the country’s problems.
excavateto dig out purposefully — such as:
While excavating to lay the foundation, we encountered an ancient burial mound.
We booked excursions at every port where our cruise ship stopped.
Investigators want to exhume the body for analysis, but the family is objecting.
She exudes confidence and charm.
She was attacked by a pack of feral dogs.
a fetid stench coming from the garbage pile
His flaccid handshake, didn’t fill me with confidence.
flotsamfloating debris — especially from a shipwreck
anything or anyone treated as of low value such as discarded items or homeless people
The recovery teams retrieve bodies along with each piece of flotsam that might provide a clue.
fodderpeople thought of as readily expendable to further a military campaign
other common meaning(s) — as in: cannon fodder
In the Iran-Iraq war, the ayatollahs sent children and civilians to the front-line as cannon fodder.
forage for firewood
founderto fail or break-down
to physically sink below the surface or fall
more common meaning(s) — as in: peace talks foundered
The project foundered
furtivetaking pains to avoid being observed
in a manner indicating nervousness (being cautious or appearing suspicious)
She watched me in a furtive manner—trying to hide her interest.
a fairy with gossamer wings
She’s gregarious by nature and loves parties.
hierarchya ranking — typically by importance; or something with such a ranking — such as an organization of people
In two years, she hopes to have her bosses spot in the corporate hierarchy.
They are a close-knit homogeneous group.
hybridsomething of mixed origin — such as:
She drives a hybrid that can use electricity or gasoline.
She was found after three days and was suffering from dehydration and hypothermia.
She has made up her mind and is impervious to criticism.
Bad economic policy has impoverished the country.
Despite the difficulties, the inclement weather did not end our journey.
inhibitto limit the activity of someone or something
other common meaning(s) — as in: inhibited the growth of...
The drug inhibits the spread of cancer.
inundateoverwhelm with a large number
flood (overwhelm with water) — as in: inundated with requests
We were inundated with requests.
She walks with a jaunty step.
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