practice questions
TOEFL® Vocabulary list
abdomen
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The part of the body of a vertebrate containing the digestive and reproductive organs; the belly. Attacked bees often have deformed wings and abdomens and a shortened life span.
ablation
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The removal of snow and ice from a glacier or iceberg by melting or evaporation It provides an estimate of how much precipitation or temperature change must be invoked to explain the current net ablation of the glacier.
abroad
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to or in another country Living abroad can be an educational experience.
abrupt
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sudden and unexpected A completely unexpected and abrupt ending saw my jaw drop.
abscission
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The natural detachment of parts of a plant, typically dead leaves and ripe fruit. The presence and balance of plant hormones have been shown to affect abscission of leaves, flowers, and immature and mature fruit.
absence
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The state of being away from a place or person I supervised the rehearsal in the absence of the director.
absenteeism
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The practice of regularly staying away from work or school without good reason. You should keep records of absences and introduce a trigger mechanism that alerts you to look into regular absenteeism and the reasons for it. Employees in buildings with healthy interiors have less absenteeism and tend to stay in their jobs longe
absorption
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The process by which one thing absorbs or is absorbed by another Milk appeared to inhibit the antioxidant potential of the flavonoids, reducing their absorption into the bloodstream
absurd
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inconsistent with reason or logic or common sense It sounds absurd, but a well-known chemistry technique could help authorities identify criminals based on their artificial hair color.
abundance
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A very large quantity of something The tropical island boasts an abundance of wildlife.
abundant
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Having plenty of Colorado is not only abundant in the natural beauty of high mountains, it has plenty of high culture as well. Basalt thus produces heavy clay soils, many of which are abundant in nutrients and provide rich agricultural land.
abutment
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A structure built to support the lateral pressure of an arch or span Various foundation types have been adopted to support the bridge piers and abutments.
accelerate
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move faster;cause to move faster The action of molecules accelerates when they are heated.
accentuate
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Make more noticeable or prominent Instead of focusing on the length of your cut, concentrate on accentuating your best feature.
acceptable
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Able to be agreed on; suitable He was disappointed that the Company did not find a site that would have been suitable and acceptable to people in the area.
acclaim
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Praise enthusiastically and publicly They are some of the most committed people i know and should be publicly acclaimed.
accomplice
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A person who helps another commit a crime: The police in Amsterdam were able to round up six of his alleged accomplices after the crime, and are seeking more.
accordingly
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In a way that is appropriate to the particular circumstances: It would have been much more responsible of them had they accepted this and acted accordingly.
account
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a record or narrative description of past events; a statement of recent transactions and the resulting balance Some of the witnesses' accounts initially given to investigators differ from each other, which helps explain why separate trials were ordered for them.
accumulate
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Gather; build up If inhaled continuously these toxins accumulate in the body leading to serious health problems. When the rate of absorption exceeds the rate of elimination, toxins accumulate in the body.
accumulation
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A mass or quantity of something that has gradually gathered or been acquired There is a strong possibility that dangerous accumulations of this toxicant exist in humans and animals.
accurate
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careful and exact He was able to make accurate observations with the new telescope.
acid rain
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Rainfall made so acidic by atmospheric pollution that it causes environmental harm, chiefly to forests and lakes. The main cause is the industrial burning of coal and other fossil fuels, the waste gases from which contain sulphur and nitrogen oxides Power generated from fossil fuels causes smog, mercury pollution, acid rain and global warming.
acidic
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Having the properties of an acid, or containing acid; having a pH below 7 When this compound is dissolved in water, an acidic solution of hydrogen cyanide, also known as prussic acid, is produced. A method called scrubbing is used to chemically remove the acidic sulfur dioxide by putting it into contact with calcium carbonate.
acidity
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The level of acid in substances such as water, soil, or wine Organic farming has many benefits to the environment since it prevents soil and water contamination by chemicals which reduce soil fertility and increase acidity.
acknowledge
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Accept or admit the existence or truth of: The government acknowledged that the tax was unfair
acoustic
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Relating to sound or the sense of hearing Dogs have a much greater acoustic range than humans.
acquire
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Buy or obtain (an object or asset) for oneself. Instead, tax will become payable automatically 30 days after the date that the purchaser acquires the property or land.
acrobat
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An entertainer who performs spectacular gymnastic feats. The Moscow State Circus is famous worldwide thanks to its spectacular displays from acrobats.
acrobatic stunt
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a stunt performed by an acrobat Stunt doubles do acrobatic stunts such as leaping off buildings, walking through fire and running across trains, cranes and automobiles.
actually
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As the truth or facts of a situation; really Somewhere in this mass of opinions and actual fact lies the truth about what is actually safe.
adamant
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Refusing to be persuaded or to change one’s mind: Sampson is adamant in her belief that language requirements for admission should be stricter.
adapt
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Become adjusted to new conditions: Animals and plants are adapted to the conditions of the habitats in which they live.
adaptation
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The action or process of adapting or being adapted;The process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment We should not casually assume that earlier forms were inferior in adaptation to their particular environment.
adoptive
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(Of a child or parent) in that relationship by adoption: As a teenager, he had been contacted by his brother's adoptive parents and had been able to forge a new relationship with him.
advantage
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A condition or circumstance that puts one in a favorable or superior position Women manifestly have the ability to detect rivals and to employ a variety of tactics to place themselves at an advantage over them.
advent
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the coming or appearance of something With the advent of the Internet and its social and news websites, is the newspaper is becoming extinct?
adverse
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Preventing success or development; unfavorable She said the development would have major adverse impacts on the beauty of the landscape.
advice
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Guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action, typically given by someone regarded as knowledgeable or authoritative: They were giving it out to customers as well as offering advice on the benefits of tap water over bottled water.
aesthetic
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Concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty Women also appreciate the aesthetic value of a knife and may choose to combine function with beauty. This picture gives great aesthetic pleasure.
affordable
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that you have the financial means for Without better schools, affordable housing and more jobs, the city will degrade socially and economically and people will leave.
aggravate
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Make (a problem, injury, or offence) worse or more serious: The shortage of work aggravated the crisis in the small town
agile
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Able to move quickly and easily; Able to think and understand quickly: They are so agile when they move, thanks to their abundance of elastic muscles.
agitate
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move or cause to move back and forth; to cause worry When we are agitated, cortisol levels in our bloodstream rise.
agricultural
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Relating to agriculture Agricultural land covers 33% of the world's land area, with arable land representing less than one-third of agricultural land.
agronomy
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The science of soil management and crop production. The core group excludes several private colleges and universities as well as some public institutions that produce agronomy and crop science graduates but which are not part of the land grant system.
airborne
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Transported by air: Concerning air quality, we continue to maintain a national network to gauge airborne pollution.
albeit
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Although; in spite of the facts He was making progress, albeit rather slowly. Albeit difficult at times, speaking another language is rewarding.
Alchemy
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the medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter. It was concerned particularly with attempts to convert base metals into gold or to find a universal elixir. In the second decade of the twenty-first century, alchemy is not only about the transmutation of metals, but the shift in consciousness that returns us from the physical to the non-physical.
alertness
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The quality of being alert: Fire has caused £30,000 damage to a woollen waste mill, and it could have been worse but for the alertness of a teenage girl.
algae
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A simple, non-flowering, and typically aquatic plant of a large assemblage that includes the seaweeds and many single-celled forms. Algae contain chlorophyll but lack true stems, roots, leaves, and vascular tissue. It is a blue-green alga, a primitive plant of the same class as seaweeds or the green slime seen on rocks and jetties when uncovered by the sea at low tide.
algorithm
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A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer: This first step is here reduced to a simple algorithm suitable for computer use.
align
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Lie in a straight line, or in correct relative positions On this rear elevation, you can also see the repetition of the glass block pattern, which now fully frames a perfectly square window that aligns with the front door on the other side of the house.
alkaline
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Having the properties of an alkali, or containing alkali; having a pH greater than 7 Liquid bleach used in the laundry is an alkaline solution of hypochlorite ion.
alkalinity
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(NOUN) the level of alkaline Precipitating water softeners increase alkalinity of the cleaning solution and this may damage skin and other materials being cleaned
alliance
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A union or association formed for mutual benefit, especially between countries or organizations There is a new openness by unions today to building alliances with community-based organizations and churches
alligator
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A large semiaquatic reptile similar to a crocodile but with a broader and shorter head, native to the Americas and China The zoo here is now playing host to a pair each of seamy crocodiles, alligators and caimans, giving the city dwellers a glimpse of some rare species.
allocation
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distribution according to a plan; a share set aside for a specific purpose Given the situation, if your asset allocation is 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bonds, you might lose 30 percent of your portfolio value.
alluvium
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A deposit of clay, silt, and sand left by flowing floodwater in a river valley or delta, typically producing fertile soil In the east, which is lower and flatter, river gravels and alluvium from the North Sea have produced dark, rich soils. Above these sedimentary rocks is a sequence of interbedded alluvial floodplain deposits and palaeosols.
alpha
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Denoting the dominant animal or human in a particular group This pair is monogamous although, with the death of an alpha individual, a new alpha male or female will emerge and take over as the mate.
alpine
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Relating to high mountains The hikers start in tropical rainforest territory and travel through moorlands, alpine meadows and glaciers on the summit
alternation
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the action or process of altering or being altered. The natural alternation of day and night play an important role in the lives of many ocean creatures
alternative
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(Of one or more things) available as another possibility or choice: In recent years several sites have been examined as a possible alternative home for the Abbey
altitudinal
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related to altitude Eastern birds may migrate south, but western populations are more often altitudinal migrants, moving from the mountains into nearby lowlands in winter.
aluminium
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The chemical element of atomic number 13, a light silvery-grey metal. Officials said materials made of plastic, aluminum, glass and metals will have to be recycled.
amalgamation
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The action, process, or result of combining or uniting: The job losses are a combined result of school amalgamations, closures and budget shortfalls across both the primary and secondary sector.
ambiguous
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Unclear or inexact because a choice between alternatives has not been made This ambiguous attitude makes his art cryptic: viewers are left grasping at answers.
amenity
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something that makes life easier or more enjoyable Amenities include a concierge, a wet bar, a library and a fitness center, along with indoor and outdoor observation areas.
amnesia
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A partial or total loss of memory: He was suffering from total amnesia and dementia praecox and was duly incarcerated in an asylum in Rodez in central France.
amorphous
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(Of a solid) not crystalline, or not apparently crystalline If the solution is cooled quickly, the molecules are frozen where they are, forming a glass-like amorphous solid.
amphibian
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A cold-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that comprises the frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and caecilians. Spadefoot toads are desert-dwelling amphibians that breed opportunistically in short lived pools filled by periodic rainfall.
ample
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Enough or more than enough; plentiful A landing between the ground and first floors is ample enough to be used as a study.
amplitude
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Amplitude is the objective measurement of the degree of change (positive or negative) in atmospheric pressure (the compression and rarefaction of air molecules) caused by sound waves.
amusement
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The state or experience of finding something funny: We looked with amusement at our horoscopes
analogous
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alike in some way The action of light waves is analogous to the action of sound waves
analytical
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Relating to or using analysis or logical reasoning: Actually, I've never really thought about this analytically
analyze
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Discover or reveal (something) through detailed examination This article focuses on some of the more important and relevant inventions and discoveries of ancient Indians and attempts to analyze the reasons why these scientists never received their due credit.
anatomical
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Relating to bodily structure
anatomically
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As regards bodily structure: This plant may be regarded as anatomically the most primitive of the Medulloseae.
anatomy
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The bodily structure of an organism: Scientists believe that some animals with very different anatomies are related - for instance, the kangaroo and the platypus, and the hippo and whale
ancestor
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An early type of animal or plant from which others have evolved:A person, typically one more remote than a grandparent, from whom one is descended: The ancestor of all placental mammals including almost all species of mammals living today was a tiny, furry-tailed creature that evolved shortly after the dinosaurs disappeared
ancestral
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Of, belonging to, or inherited from an ancestor or ancestors: Although freshwater is the ancestral habitat for larval mosquitoes, multiple species independently evolved the ability to survive in saltwater.
anchor
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Secure firmly in position; Provide with a firm basis or foundation Gold anchored national economies, providing the basis for their currencies.
ancient
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Belonging to the very distant past and no longer in existence While few details of the screenplay, written by Gibson himself, have been released, the story concerns an ancient civilization 3000 years in the past.
anemone
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A plant of the buttercup family which typically has brightly coloured flowers and deeply divided leaves
annoying
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Causing irritation or annoyance Mosquitos can be an annoying part of vacation at the beach.
anomaly
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Something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected Work was carried out at various scales, from regional reconnaissance surveys or appraisal, to the drilling of a geochemical or geophysical anomaly.
anonymous
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(Of a person) not identified by name; of unknown name: One anonymous student raises the concern that women are overly sexualized in society.
antenna
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Either of a pair of long, thin sensory appendages on the heads of insects, crustaceans, and some other arthropods In these fossils, detail of legs, antennae, wings, and even small body hairs are preserved.
antennae
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Either of a pair of long, thin sensory appendages on the heads of insects, crustaceans, and some other arthropods: In these fossils, detail of legs, antennae, wings, and even small body hairs are preserved.
anthill
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A nest in the form of a mound built by ants or termites All over the dunes I had noticed tiny little mounds that looked like anthills with no hole.
anthology
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A published collection of poems or other pieces of writing: She has had poetry published in several anthologies, and short stories in a range of journals and magazines.
anthropoid
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Resembling a human being in form;Relating to the group of higher primates, which includes monkeys, apes, and humans Archaeologists and site-workers anxiously probed into the sand and uncover three magnificently carved unidentified wooden anthropoid sarcophagi dating back to the 26th Dynasty.
anticipate
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Regard as probable; expect or predict No one can anticipate the results of the games
anticipated
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expected hopefully It was the fourth year of a war whose devastation no one had anticipated and which no one could have imagined.
antiquated
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so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period The trailer remake—with its cheesy music, antiquated graphics and gimmicky sound effects—catapults you back into 007’s past.
apiarist
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beekeeper: a farmer who keeps bees for their honey
apparatus
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The technical equipment or machinery needed for a particular activity or purpose There would also be more discussions on matters such as better emergency training and equipment, including breathing apparatus for rail staff and the strengthening of drivers' cabs.
appealing
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Attractive or interesting: Hopefully more people will use the route for exercise and it can also be marketed as an appealing attraction from a tourist point of view.
approximately
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Used to show that something is almost, but not completely, accurate or exact; roughly The walk will cover a distance of four miles taking approximately two hours to complete.
apt
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Having a tendency to do something: Emotion problems are apt to damage personal relationships
aptly
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having the tendency to do something; likely Sawfish and sawsharks are aptly named for their long, serrated snouts.
aquaculture
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The rearing of aquatic animals or the cultivation of aquatic plants for food. The good news about mussel farming is that unlike other forms of aquaculture, the end product is better than the wild version.
aquatic
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(Of a plant or animal) growing or living in or near water: Aquatic algae can detect orange, green and blue light because they have receptors to detect light on the red and far red of the spectrum, which are the common wavelengths in the air.
aquifer
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an underground layer of water-bearing rock. Water-bearing rocks are permeable Groundwater is found at varying depths underneath the earth's surface, in permeable rocks known as aquifers which are saturated by the infiltration of rainfall.
arable
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(Of land) used or suitable for growing crops. A third of Russia's arable land lies fallow and production costs are one-third lower than those for American wheat farmers. Some cyanobacteria do not require fresh water, nitrate - based fertilizer, or even arable land to grow and flourish.
aragonite
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A mineral consisting of calcium carbonate and typically occurring as colourless prisms in deposits from hot springs. Microscopic crystals of aragonite located in the inner ears of zebrafish control balance and hearing.
arbitrary
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Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system: This numbering system is an arbitrary designation based on small amino acid sequence differences
archaeologist
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people who examine ancient sites and objects to learn about the past A team of University of Sydney archaeologists have used groundbreaking laser imaging to map central Angkor and to help identify how unstable climate change damaged the city's water system and contributed to its demise.
archaic
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so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period The use of standardized testing is an archaic tradition that punishes those who cannot afford thousands of dollars in tutoring to manipulate the test.
archetypal
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An ideal example of a type; quintessence: Newer ones, like the one in Watchet, are built of bricks and mortar but the archetypal model is the ubiquitous wooden structure.
architectural
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(ADJECTIVE) architecture Castledermot attracts a lot of tourists who visit the architectural remains in the area
arid
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(Of land or a climate) having little or no rain; too dry or barren to support vegetation: The arid climate makes the desert the best outdoor setting to keep planes free of corrosion.
arsenic
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The chemical element of atomic number 33, a brittle steel-grey semimeta In animals and plants, arsenic combines with carbon and hydrogen to form organic arsenic
arthropod
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an animal without a back bone, with six or more jointed legs, a segmented body and a supporting structure on the outside Arthropod biodiversity was on average one-third greater on organic farms than on conventional farms.
artistic
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Relating to or characteristic of art or artists:
ascend
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Go up or climb
ascertain
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Find (something) out for certain; make sure of It would be appreciated if you would ascertain this information in a timely manner.
asphalt
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A mixture of dark bituminous pitch with sand or gravel, used for surfacing roads, flooring, roofing, etc.. Green floor tiles in the kids' bathroom are made of waste products derived from gravel, asphalt, and cement
assert
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State a fact or belief confidently and forcefully;Cause others to recognize (one’s authority or a right) by confident and forceful behavior: The company asserts that the cuts will not affect development
assimilate
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Take in (information, ideas, or culture) and understand fully Using games and learning exercises to improve children's self esteem can help them assimilate information quicker and improve concentration.
assortment
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a variety I have an assortment of elective courses from which to choose
asteroid
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A small rocky body orbiting the sun. Large numbers of these, ranging enormously in size, are found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, though some have more eccentric orbits Ceres was initially considered to be a planet until other asteroids with similar orbits were found.
astounding
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bewildering or striking dumb with wonder In the past year, American beekeepers have reported losing, on average, an astounding 42.1 per cent of their hives.
astrology
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The study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world. A horoscope based on where celestial bodies were on the day you were born is an example of astrology.
astronomical
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(Of an amount) extremely large: If you add all the money raised for cancer research each year, you will have an astronomical amount
astronomically
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(Of an amount) extremely large: Prices have increased astronomically.
astronomy
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The branch of science which deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole. He made a number of contributions to mathematics, physics and astronomy
astute
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very intelligent, smart, clever Astute humans know that alien life isn’t just the stuff of fiction.
asymmetrical
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Having parts which fail to correspond to one another in shape, size, or arrangement; lacking symmetry This difference used to be attributed to the asymmetrical shape of the human brain.
atmospheric
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Relating to the atmosphere of the earth: Oceans are playing a very vital role in maintaining the atmospheric balance of the earth.
atom
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The basic unit of a chemical element. Once removed from an atom, an electron may in turn ionize other atoms or molecules.
attractive
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(Of a thing) pleasing or appealing to the senses He is a small, intense individual with an attractive, self-deprecating sense of humour.
attribute
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an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of an entity Her ability to work on a team is one of her outstanding attributes.
audit
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A systematic review or assessment of something Start by completing an audit of the existing lighting systems, assessing both the condition and the performance of all components in the system
aurora borealis
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A natural electrical phenomenon characterized by the appearance of streamers of reddish or greenish light in the sky, especially near the northern or southern magnetic pole. The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted auroras near the poles of both Saturn and Jupiter.
authentic
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Of undisputed origin; genuine He is in no doubt that the document is an authentic copy of the original
authoritarian
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Favouring or enforcing strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom The historiography reveals insights into the authoritarian mindset of freedom fighters shaped as a product of oppression and armed resistance.
autonomous
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(Of a country or region) having self-government, at least to a significant degree They have established an alternative system of government with autonomous regions, and district and village level authorities.
avalanche
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A mass of snow, ice, and rocks falling rapidly down a mountainside Only on a mountain can you experience avalanches of snow or rock.
avert
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turn away or aside Don’t you sense the way people avert their gazes while you long for them to meet your eyes?