|100 Words Encountered in|
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geologya science that deals with the history of the earth as recorded in rocks
or more rarely:
the rocks, minerals, and rock formations of an area
He majored in geology and went on to become expert at finding oil.
atomthe smallest part of any material that cannot be broken up by chemical means; comprised of a nucleus of protons and neutrons surrounded by orbiting electrons
The world was forever changed when we learned to split the atom.
These maps are drawn with north to the top unless otherwise indicated.
eleganta solution that is simpler (and often more comprehensive) than most would anticipate
other common meaning(s) — as in: as elegant equation
It is an elegant solution that will reduce complexity and save material.
enzymeany complex protein that is produced by cells and acts as a chemical catalyst (causing a chemical reaction)
Alcohol takes longer to pass through a food-filled stomach, allowing the protective enzyme (alcohol dehydrogenase) to break down the alcohol.
It has only three major components.
anatomythe medical study of the structure of the body — as in "to study anatomy"
or more rarely: the structure of a body — as in "a part of the anatomy"
or still more rarely: any detailed analysis — as in "anatomy of the disaster"
The anatomy of the frog is similar to that of a person.
symposiuma gathering to discuss a specific subject — generally with shared and breakout sessions in which individual or panels of experts address audiences
I’m excited to attend the symposium on robotics.
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.
linearrelating to a line
describing a proportional relationship that can be graphed with a straight line (described mathematically as an equation whose terms are of the first degree)
more rarely: a straightforward sequence such as "linear thinking"
a linear measurement
inclusiveincluding stated limits
other common meaning(s) — as in: 10 to 20 inclusive
I was grouped with students who scored 53% to 64% inclusive.
specimena sample regarded as typical of its class; or a bit of tissue, blood, or urine that is taken for diagnostic purposes
The museum holds over a million insect specimens.
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.
contractwhen something gets shorter or smaller
other common meaning(s) — as in: the metal contracted
When it is cold, the bridge contracts and the joints are further apart.
hypothesisa seemingly reasonable, but unproven, idea based upon known facts — often an idea to be tested
other common meaning(s) — as in: a study to test her hypothesis
The study will test the hypothesis that a good marriage is more important than a higher income when measuring happiness.
hypothesissomething that may not be true, but that is temporarily treated as true to advance a discussion or to further investigation
other common meaning(s) — as in: Let’s assume hypothetically that
For the purpose of discussion, let’s accept that the hypothesis that she is guilty is true. What would we have expected her to do after the incident?
The couch is covered with synthetic leather.
diffuseto spread; or to soften or calm
to be spread out (not concentrated) — sometimes implying a lack or organization or the use of too many words
When the United States focused on terrorism, the movement went further underground and became more diffuse.
nucleusthe center (or most important part) of something — such as:
They have the nucleus of a good team.
phenomenonsomething that exists — especially something that can be seen or sensed and is of special interest
other common meaning(s) — as in: The phenomenon was observed...
It is a growing social phenomenon on high school campuses.
meanan average of n numbers computed by dividing the sum of the numbers by n; for example, 3 for the numbers 1,2, and 6
= (1+2+6) / 3
= 9 / 3
more common meaning(s) — as in: the mean score
We have a mean annual rainfall of 23 inches.
inductionthe transfer of electricity or heat from one object to another without the objects touching
other common meaning(s) — as in: electromagnetic induction
The wireless charger works through induction.
The state has approximately as many Republicans as Democrats.
distillto purify, concentrate, or separate a liquid (such as whisky) by boiling it and condensing its vapors
to extract essential ideas
distill the essential ideas to fit on a single page
coefficientmathematics: a number that is multiplies a variable in an expression (such as 2 in 2x)
mathematics: any factor of a term (such as y in y(a+b))
other common meaning(s) — as in: 2x or y(a+b)
Divide by 2 to eliminate the leading coefficient.
coefficientphysics: a constant number that serves as a measure of some property or characteristic (such as the coefficient of thermal expansion)
other common meaning(s) — as in: coefficient of thermal expansion
Determine the coefficient of friction between the two objects.
transparentable to be seen through with clarity
other common meaning(s) — as in: transparent shower door
The transparent shower door shows water spots.
opaquenot able to see through at all
other common meaning(s) — as in: opaque shower door
They are engineering a window that can convert from transparent to opaque with the push of a button.
translucentalmost transparent; allowing light to pass through diffusely — as in: translucent shower door
I could see a vague form through the translucent glass.
There are infinite possibilities.
other common meaning(s) — as in: propagate the idea
The spread of the Roman Empire helped to propagate the idea throughout Europe.
MIT is known for teaching physics.
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.
virusa submicroscopic organism that causes disease (by using the cellular reproductive machinery of the organism it invades) — in biology
The common cold is caused by a virus.
frontierthe most recent understandings and achievements in a changing field
other common meaning(s) — as in: the frontier of brain science
She wants to extend the frontiers of voice-controlled computer applications.
Is her theory supported by empirical data?
solventcapable of meeting financial obligations
other common meaning(s) — as in: the company is not solvent
The company is no longer solvent.
A computer model is used to simulate the effects of wind.
galaxya collection of star systems held together by gravity — for example, our sun is a star whose system includes Earth and the other planets. That star system is a tiny part of the Milky Way galaxy
The Star Wars story is said to have taken place in a galaxy far, far away.
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.
biasa personal preference — especially a prejudice that prevents objective consideration
any tendency to move in a particular direction — such as a car that tends to want to swerve toward the right
She has a bias against young people.
Scientist believe Europe will continue to face greater glacier retreat due to global warming.
reciprocalinversely related — especially one of a pair of numbers whose product is 1; e.g., 1/5 is the reciprocal of 5
other common meaning(s) — as in: reciprocal numbers
the reciprocal ratio of a:b is b:a
plasmaan ionized gas (typically at high temperature) that is a good conductor of electricity and reacts to magnetic fields
other common meaning(s) — as in: a plasma gas
In a plasma, electrons and positive ions are attracted to each other, but are too energetic to stay together.
derivativesomething developed from something else such as:
a highly derivative prose style
phosphorescencea dim glowing light
or more technically: a fluorescence (dim light) created by a chemical reaction within a living organism; or a dim light that continues to shine from something after the bombarding radiation (stronger light that fell upon it) has ceased
She loves to swim in the ocean on nights when phosphorescence shines in her wake.
interpolateestimates a value that lies between two known values
or in digital imaging: adding pixels (dots or resolution) to an image based upon examination of surrounding pixels
other common meaning(s) — as in: interpolate the data
If a straight line crosses through 2, 4, and 8, we can interpolate that it passes through 6.
interpolateto insert words into texts — often falsifying it
other common meaning(s) — as in: interpolate the manuscript
The bracketed line on that page of the Odyssey is thought by some to be an interpolation added long ago.
meteora streak of light in the night sky that results from a space rock burning in the earth’s atmosphere
a meteoroid: a small space rock that hit the earth’s atmosphere
a meteorite: a stony or metallic object that is the remains of a meteoroid that reached the earth’s surface
Most meteors come from rocks that are about the size of a pebble.
genea single segment of DNA which when combined determine inherited traits such as hair color or height
The gene determines hair color.
waxa gradual increase (in size or strength or power or number) — especially the part of the moon that is visible
more common meaning(s) — as in: the moon is waxing
The moon is waxing. It will be full tomorrow.
wanea gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number) — especially the part of the moon that is visible
Our passion has waned over the years, but our love has grown.
Ph.Da research doctorate usually based on at least 3 years graduate study and a dissertation; the highest degree awarded in universities in many fields of study
She is a research scientist who earned her Ph.D in physics.
an incandescent bulb
The new law might abridge our freedom of speech.
acridharsh or caustic — physically as when smoke from burning rubber might irritate the throat; or metaphorically as when someone says something that is especially sarcastic
We were chased from the room by the acrid smoke.
acutesharp (a severely negative event) — often with a rapid onset
other common meaning(s) — as in: acute pain
She felt an acute pain in her neck.
We stayed in adjacent hotel rooms.
the worms help to aerate the soil
She thinks deeply and has an affinity for others with the same kind of mind.
aggregatethe combination of different, but related, things; or relating to such a thing
other common meaning(s) — as in: the aggregate effect
Aggregate expenses include expenses of all the divisions of our company for the entire year.
aggregatethe act of combining different, but related quantities or things
other common meaning(s) — as in: he aggregated them
We need to aggregate the data from all sources.
Her art is as amorphous as the culture it reflects.
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.
The effects of the drought are apparent to anyone who sees the dry fields.
The government nationalized all arable land.
arbitrarybased on chance or impulse (rather than upon reasoning, consistent rules, or a proper sense of fairness)
It was an arbitrary decision.
My skin dries in the arid desert climate.
astringenta drug that causes contraction of body tissues — especially topically
other common meaning(s) — as in: treat with an astringent
I use an astringent where my skin is oily.
Muscles that are not used will quickly atrophy.
Our school district hired a new counselor to augment our college counseling service.
He calls himself a bard from Brooklyn.
besiegeto surround with armed forces, and cut-off supplies or attack
to make an overwhelming number of requests, complaints, or comments — typically in an annoying manner and sometimes while surrounding
The Turks besieged Vienna
bovinebelonging or related to the genus Bos (cattle, oxen, buffalo, etc.); or stupid and slow-moving like an ox
She showed a bovine apathy.
breadththe distance between two sides; or the range of variety — especially a broad range of knowledge
The introductory courses are meant to add to breadth rather than depth of understanding.
She is known for her brusque manner and brief meetings.
A cadaver is assigned to each medical student.
She calibrated the oscilloscope for better measurement.
She described him as shallow and callow.
Carnivorous plants are capable of trapping and digesting insects.
causticof a chemical substance: corrosive; capable of destroying or eating away such as a strong acid
of a person: sarcastic, critical, or harsh
Don’t get it on your skin. It’s caustic.
cleaveto split something — especially with violent force
to cut through something
other common meaning(s) — as in: cleave through
The battle axe was a weapon used to cleave skulls or decapitate.
leaves a cloying aftertaste
The blood began to coagulate.
My ideas are beginning to coalesce into a plan.
coherentsensible and clear; or describing parts as fitting together in a consistent or pleasing manner
She is more coherent now than she was just after the accident an hour ago.
collaboratework together on a common enterprise or project
or more rarely and especially in the form "collaborator": cooperate with the enemy as a traitor
The websites lets you collaborate with others on documents.
After I regained my composure, I thanked her for telling me about the problem.
Her insurance includes comprehensive coverage.
The university is comprised of six colleges.
They considered consanguineous marriages up to the third cousin as incest.
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.
The lines converge at this point
It’s hard to follow her convoluted reasoning.
She took copious notes.
coquettea woman who is casually playful in a way that arouses sexual interest of men, but does not imply serious sexual interest
Her early roles limited her to the decorative coquette, but she had a breakout role in...
corrosivedamaging or harmful — such as when describing a strong acid or bad behavior
or (more rarely):
something causing damage or harm — such as a strong acid
Titanium is resistant to the corrosive effect.
I didn’t understand her cryptic reply.
cultivateenhance growth or development — such as:
We encourage our representatives to cultivate a close relationship with their clients.
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