TOEFL® Vocabulary List

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a catch 22 situation keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/a catch 22 sit-u-a-tion/ [no ipa available]

A catch 22 situation is a little tricky to describe. It means that you are unable to do something, until you first meet the prerequisite. However, you are unable to meet the prerequisite until you can do the first thing.

An example would be if you had very low grades and get kicked out of your university. You want to transfer to another school that has better classes and professors, but you are unable to get into that school until you raise your grades. Another example would be if you are freshly out of college and you want to get a job, but every job requires experience. You first have to get experience to get a job, but you can’t get a job without experience.

Example sentence:

  • It's a Catch 22 situation here. Nobody wants to support you until you're successful, but without the support how can you ever be successful?​


Remember! If you describe a situation as a Catch-22, you mean it is an impossible situation because you cannot do one thing until you do another thing, but you cannot do the second thing until you do the first thing. It’s a no-win dilemma or paradox, similar to damned if I do, damned if I don’t. For example, you can’t get a job without experience, but you can’t get experience unless you have a job. it’s a Catch-22.

ablation keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ab-la-tion/ [no ipa available]

Definition: The removal of snow and ice from a glacier or iceberg by melting or evaporation

Example sentences:

  • It provides an estimate of how much precipitation or temperature change must be invoked to explain the current net ablation of the glacier.

abroad keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/abroad/ [ah0.b.r.ao1.d]

Definition: to or in another country

Example sentences:

  • Living abroad can be an educational experience.

abscission keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ab-scis-sion/ [no ipa available]

Definition: The natural detachment of parts of a plant, typically dead leaves and ripe fruit.

Example sentences:

  • The presence and balance of plant hormones have been shown to affect abscission of leaves, flowers, and immature and mature fruit.
  • Ethylene is involved in many biological processes, like fruit ripening, flower and leaf abscission, senescence, many stress acclimations, and growth.

absenteeism keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ab-sen-teeism/ [ae2.b.s.ah0.n.t.iy1.ih0.z.ah0.m]

Definition: The practice of regularly staying away from work or school without good reason.

Example senences:

  • 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


absurd keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ab-surd/ [ah0.b.s.er1.d]

Definition: inconsistent with reason or logic or common sense

Example sentences:

  • It sounds absurd, but a well-known chemistry technique could help authorities identify criminals based on their artificial hair color.
  • Anti-patenting campaigners argue that the idea of claiming a patent over the shared genetic heritage of the human race is absurd, immoral or both.

abundant keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/abun-dant/ [ah0.b.ah1.n.d.ah0.n.t]

Use abundant to describe something that exists in large amounts that are more than what's needed. On Halloween, you can find candy in abundant supply. Near synonyms are plentiful, emphasizing "large amounts," and ample, emphasizing "more than enough." The adjective abundant is commonly followed by the prepositions "in", to mean "filled with or rich in something":

Example sentences:

  • Rainfall is abundant in summer.
  • It is the most abundant bird in the forest.
  • Fish are abundant in the lake.
  • This region is abundant in natural resources
accelerate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-cel-er-ate/ [ae0.k.s.eh1.l.er0.ey2.t]

Definition: move faster;cause to move faster

Example sentences:

  • The action of molecules accelerates when they are heated.
  • Young consumers are turning away from the expensive pay-TV packages in favor of online, on-demand entertainment options — and Apple's arrival could further accelerate that trend.

acceptable keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-cept-able/ [ae0.k.s.eh1.p.t.ah0.b.ah0.l]

Definition: Able to be agreed on; suitable

Example sentences:

  • He was disappointed that the Company did not find a site that would have been suitable and acceptable to people in the area.

accessibility keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-ces-si-bil-i-ty/ [ae2.k.s.eh0.s.ah0.b.ih1.l.ih0.t.iy0]

Accessibility refers to the quality of being available when needed.  Here is an example sentence

  • One advantage of living in dormitories is the easy accessibility to the library.
  • This hotel has easy accessibility to the beach.

Accessibility also refers to how easily a disabled person can negotiate part of a building or structure. For example:

  • The stadium had wheelchair accessibility with ramps and a special seating area.
acclaim keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-claim/ [ah0.k.l.ey1.m]

Definition: Praise enthusiastically and publicly

Example sentences:

  • They are some of the most committed people i know and should be publicly acclaimed.

accordingly keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-cord-ing-ly/ []

Definition: In a way that is appropriate to the particular circumstances:

Example sentences:

  • It would have been much more responsible of them had they accepted this and acted accordingly.

account for keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-count for/ [no ipa available]

If a particular thing accounts for a part or proportion of something, that part or proportion consists of that thing. The usage "account for X percent of something" is often seen. Here are example sentences:

  • Small companies account for up to 80 percent of urban employment and 60 percent of China's GDP.
  • Computers account for 5% of the country's commercial electricity consumption. 
  • Heavy vehicles account for more than 14% of road accidents.

If something accounts for a particular fact or situation, it provides or serves as a satisfactory explanation or reason for.  Here are example sentences:

  • The disease accounted for over 10,000 deaths last year.
  • These new features account for the computer's higher price.
  • The disease cannot be accounted for [=explained] by genetics alone. There must be other causes as well.

If you can account for something, you can explain it or give the necessary information about it. Here are example sentences:

  • How do you account for the company's alarmingly high staff turnover? 


accountable keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-count-able/ [ah0.k.aw1.n.t.ah0.b.ah0.l]

If you are accountable to someone for something that you do, you are responsible for it and must be prepared to justify your actions to that person. The phrases "be (held) accountable to someone" and "be (held) accountable for something" are used.

Here are example sentences:

  • Parents should be held accountable for their children’s actions.
  • Parents should be held accountable to their children.
  • Students are accountable for their behavior in school. 
  • Parents who are accountable for their children's delinquent behavior are more likely to reinforce appropriate behavior in the youth.
  • Working makes a teenager accountable for themselves in terms of being present and completing their job well.
  • You are accountable for your actions.
accumulation keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-cu-mu-la-tion/ []

The noun "accumulation" is the act of accumulating (or gathering something over time). You might see this word in geology lectures.  

Example sentences:

  • Accumulations of sand can be formed by the action of waves on coastal beaches.
  • The formation of glacier is an accumulation of snow that lasts for more than a year. 
  • The accumulation of gas continues for several million years although planets like Jupiter- and Saturn-are considered to have accumulated their mass over only 10,000 years.
  • Sedimentary rocks are formed by the accumulation of sediment.
  • If you keep putting money in the bank, the amount you have is the accumulation of your savings. 
accumulative keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-cu-mu-la-tive/ [ah0.k.y.uw1.m.y.ah0.l.ey2.t.ih0.v]

Accumulative is the adjective form of the word. It can describe anything that is increasing and growing over time.

Example sentences:

  • The consensus is that risk factors have an accumulative effect.
  • The accumulative effect of his injuries forced him to retire.
  • Here in Alaska, our communities are facing health impacts from some of the worst air pollution in the nation and persistent accumulative toxic chemicals that concentrate in our food web.
  • Mirex, an insecticide, was banned by the EPA in 1976 because it was both highly toxic and accumulative in food webs.
acid keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/acid/ [ae1.s.ah0.d]

An acid is a chemical substance that has a pH value of less than 7. An alkali is a chemical substance that has a pH value of more than 7. There are many acids and alkalis. For example:

  • Vinegar in a salad is an acid
  • Vitamin C is an acid
  • Salt is an alkali.
  • Sodium is one of the alkali metals.
acidic keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/acidic/ [ah0.s.ih1.d.ih0.k]

To describe acid and alkali, we can use the adjectives ‘acidic’ and ‘alkaline’.

The adjective “acidic” describe something containing an acid and having a pH less than 7. Here are example sentences:

  • The water in a polluted lake is acidic
  • Carbon dioxide is acidic.
  • When an acid is dissolved in water we get an acidic solution.

The adjective “alkaline” describe something containing an alkali and having a pH greater than 7. Here are example sentences:

  • Water can become alkaline as it seeps through rocks, picking up minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
  • Alkaline chemicals can be harmful to our bodies.
acknowledge keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-knowl-edge/ [ae0.k.n.aa1.l.ih0.jh]

Definition: Accept or admit the existence or truth of:

Example sentences:

  • The government acknowledged that the tax was unfair

acoustics keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/acoustics/ [ah0.k.uw1.s.t.ih0.k.s]

Acoustics can mean both “the qualities of a room to reflect sound waves” and the study of sound creation, transmission and reception. So your university major can be Acoustics and after graduation you might be hired by concert halls to improve the acoustics, meaning to improve how sound is carried through the room.


acrobat keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-ro-bat/ [ae1.k.r.ah0.b.ae2.t]

Definition: An entertainer who performs spectacular gymnastic feats.

Example sentences:

  • The Moscow State Circus is famous worldwide thanks to its spectacular displays from acrobats.

adamant keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/adamant/ [ae1.d.ah0.m.ah0.n.t]

Definition: Refusing to be persuaded or to change one’s mind:

Example sentences:

  • Sampson is adamant in her belief that language requirements for admission should be stricter.

adaptation keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/adap-ta-tion/ []

The adaptation is a change in behavior in response to new or modified environments. We often use the verbs 'develop' and 'evolve' with the word adaptation. Here are example sentences:

  • Large animals that inhabit the desert have evolved a number of adaptations for reducing the effects of extreme heat. One adaptation is to be light in color and to reflect rather than absorb the Sun's rays.   
  • Marine animals have developed many adaptations for surviving in marine environments. One adaptation is camouflage.
  • African jackass penguins have developed unique adaptations to life in the temperate zone.
  • Camels have many adaptations that allow them to live successfully in desert conditions.
adopter keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/adopter/ [ah0.d.aa1.p.t.er0]

An adopter is someone who does something before it is widely known, or before it is popular. Normally, this type of person is called an early adopter. An early adopter is usually credited with the popularity or success of the action, whether it be an art technique or business model.

  • Even though the creator of Facebook was an early adopter, there is no way he could have known the success it would have!

adornment keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/adorn-ment/ [ah0.d.ao1.r.n.m.ah0.n.t]

Adornment is the addition of something colorful that is added to relieve plainness. Notice you can hear the word “Ad” and “ornment” which sounds like ornament, which we have learned is to make something prettier. Knowing this information, it should be easy to remember that “adornment” is to add color to make something better.

  • Tinsel around a Christmas tree is an adornment.
  • People in jail always want adornments to make their cell less harrowing.
advancement keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ad-vance-ment/ [ah0.d.v.ae1.n.s.m.ah0.n.t]

Students are often confused about the difference between “advance” and “advancement”. Although they are very similar, it should be not too complicated to differentiate them with the right definition in your mind. The difference is that “advance” describes individual and tangible improvements, while advancement refers to the overall process of improvement. Also, the advancement is more used with the preposition “of”. For example,

  • Our company has made significant advances in our mobile phone technology.


  • Advancement of technology is a crucial factor for national growth.
  • The advancement of modern medicine has lengthened many people's lives.


advantageous keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ad-van-ta-geous/ [ae2.d.v.ah0.n.t.ey1.jh.ah0.s]

The adjective "advantageous" means good or useful in a particular situation. It is often used with the preposition "to", for example,

  • The new tax system is advantageous to higher-rate taxpayers.
  • Living in university dormitories is advantageous to students.
  • The company believes the new location is advantageous to the growth of its business.
adverse keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ad-verse/ [ae0.d.v.er1.s]

Adverse is an adjective describing a factor that seems to work against or actively harm something - like adverse weather conditions or the adverse effects of eating too much sugar.

Example sentences using the word adverse:

  • He had an adverse reaction to the medicine. (meaning he reacted badly to the medicine; the medicine had a bad effect on him)
  • Many fear that budget cuts will have an adverse (harmful, detrimental) effect on education.
  • The drug has no adverse side effects.
advertent keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ad-ver-tent/ [no ipa available]

Advertent is a word used to describe giving attention to something. For example, a nurse gives advertent care to her patients, whether she likes them or not- it is her job.

Example sentences of the word advertent:

  • Farmers give advertent care to their plants.
  • Parents give advertent care to their children.

You might be thinking that advertent should mean "intentional." Due to the fact that inadvertent means "unintentional." If we remove the negative prefix in- and you're left with that word's opposite, right? The recognized meaning of advertent falls opposite that older sense of inadvertent.


advise keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ad-vise/ [ae0.d.v.ay1.z]

"Advise" means to give a suggestion to someone on what should be done. The word can be used with an object or without an object.

Examples sentence with an object:

  • I strongly advise you to sell your old car.
  • We advised them to save their money.
  • My doctor advised me to lose some weight.
  • She advises the President on foreign affairs.

Example sentence without an object:

  • We were thinking of buying that house, but our lawyer advised against it.

The word "advise" is sometimes used in a formal manner which means to give information to someone.

Take a look at the examples below with an object:

  • The police advised them of their rights. (This means the police told them what their legal rights were)
  • She says she was never advised (This means she was not informed or told) about the new procedures.
  • We advised (means apprised) them of the danger.


Notice that "advise" can also trigger gerundial complements without the object.

  • I wouldn't advise you to buy a used car.

  • I wouldn't advise buying a used car


aerate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/aer-ate/ [no ipa available]

To aerate something is to put air into it.  Gardeners sometimes aerate soil with special spikes, allowing air to penetrate the surface and helping lawns or plants get more oxygen.

affect keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/af-fect/ [ah0.f.eh1.k.t]

A lot of students often get confused between ‘effect’ and ‘affect’.

The word ‘effect’ is a noun

The word "affect" is mostly used as a verb meaning “to have an impact on.”


An example of this is

  • Advertising negatively affects children in many different ways.

Since to affect is a verb, It is wrong to say:

  • Advertising has many negative affects on children. (Wrong!)

It should be

  • Advertising has many negative effects/impacts on children.


affluent keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/af-flu-ent/ [ae1.f.l.uw0.ah0.n.t]

Use affluent to describe wealthy people or areas.  Basically, when you think of affluent think of someone very rich or fancy. Many people aspire to live in an affluent neighborhood. You know you're driving through an affluent neighborhood when you see large houses, perfect landscaping, and expensive cars.​

Example sentences:

  • His family was more affluent than most.
  • Cigarette smoking used to be commoner among affluent people.
aggravate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ag-gra-vate/ [ae1.g.r.ah0.v.ey2.t]

The verb aggravate means to make (an injury, problem, etc.) more serious or severe

  • I aggravated my old knee injury after playing basketball yesterday.
  • A headache can be aggravated by too much exercise.
  • The symptoms were aggravated by drinking alcohol.

It also means to annoy or bother someone

  • All of these delays really aggravate me.
  • Our neighbors were aggravated by all the noise.
agile keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ag-ile/ [ae1.jh.ah0.l]

Definition: Able to move quickly and easily; Able to think and understand quickly:

Example sentences:

  • They are so agile when they move, thanks to their abundance of elastic muscles.
  • In fact, it may make or break an artist depending on their ability and agility in taking risks.

agricultural keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/agri-cul-tur-al/ []

Definition: Relating to agriculture

Example sentences:

  • Agricultural land covers 33% of the world's land area, with arable land representing less than one-third of agricultural land.

airborne keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/air-borne/ [eh1.r.b.ao2.r.n]

Definition: Transported by air:

Example sentences:

  • Concerning air quality, we continue to maintain a national network to gauge airborne pollution.

alchemy keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/alche-my/ [ae1.l.k.ah0.m.iy0]

Definition: 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.

Example sentences:

  • 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.
  • Throughout its history, alchemy has shown a dual nature. On the one hand, it has involved the use of chemical substances and so is claimed by the history of science as the precursor of modern chemistry.

algae keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/al-gae/ [ae1.l.jh.iy0]

Definition: 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.

Example sentences:

  • 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.

align keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/align/ [ah0.l.ay1.n]

Definition: Lie in a straight line, or in correct relative positions

Example sentences:

  • 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 keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/al-ka-line/ [ae1.l.k.ah0.l.ay2.n]

To describe acid and alkali, we can use the adjectives ‘acidic’ and ‘alkaline’.

The adjective “acidic” describe something containing an acid and having a pH less than 7. Here are example sentences:

  • The water in a polluted lake is acidic
  • Carbon dioxide is acidic.
  • When an acid is dissolved in water we get an acidic solution.

The adjective “alkaline” describe something containing an alkali and having a pH greater than 7. Here are example sentences:

  • Water can become alkaline as it seeps through rocks, picking up minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
  • Alkaline chemicals can be harmful to our bodies.
alliance keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/al-liance/ [ah0.l.ay1.ah0.n.s]

Definition: A union or association formed for mutual benefit, especially between countries or organizations

Example sentences:

  • There is a new openness by unions today to building alliances with community-based organizations and churches

allocation keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/al-lo-ca-tion/ []

Definition: distribution according to a plan; a share set aside for a specific purpose

Example sentences:

  • Given the situation, if your asset allocation is 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bonds, you might lose 30 percent of your portfolio value.
  • While economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources, the online world is distinguished by abundance.

alpha keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/al-pha/ [ae1.l.f.ah0]

Definition: Denoting the dominant animal or human in a particular group

Example sentences:

  • 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.

alter keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/al-ter/ [ao1.l.t.er0]

Alter is the base word in many words, such as alternation, alternative, alternate and alternating. Alter is a verb which simply means “to cause change, or to make different.” Many times, you will hear brides talking about getting their wedding dress “altered” or changed to fit them perfectly. Used in a sentence, “If you alter your plans, I can’t guarantee your safety.”

Example sentences:

  • Little had altered in the village.
  • Alcohol can alter a person's mood.
  • He altered his will to leave everything to his sister.
  • This one small event altered the course of history.



not alter the fact that

  • Unemployment has come down slightly but this does not alter the fact that it is still a major problem.

alternating keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/al-ter-nat-ing/ []

Anything that alternates can be described as alternating.

Let's paraphrase this sentence with "alternating".

  • To make the appetizer, you should alternate layers of tomatoes and cheese. 

Here is the paraphrased version

  • To make the appetizer, you should use alternating layers of tomatoes and cheese.

Let's look at more example sentences:

  • The shirt has alternating red and yellow stripes.
  • The principle of the Tesla coil is simple enough, as we have seen. It is essentially an air-core transformer or inductor in which an alternating current, when passed through a coiled wirecreates an 'oscillatingmagnetic field
alternative keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/al-ter-na-tive/ [ao0.l.t.er1.n.ah0.t.ih0.v]

If A is an alternative to B,   it means A can be found, used, or done instead of B. Here are example sentences:

  • New ways to treat arthritis may provide an alternative to painkillers.
  • The alternative to riding is walking.

Alternative can also be used as an adjective, it describes something that is a different way of doing things. Here are example sentences:

  • There were alternative methods of travel available.
  • We took an alternative route (meaning a different route) to avoid the traffic.
  • Scientists are developing an alternative approach to treating the disease.

"Alternative" can also be used to describe something that is different from the usual things of its kind in modern Western society. For example:

  • An alternative lifestyle does not follow conventional ways of living and working.

Finally, alternative energy uses natural sources of energy such as the sun, wind, or water for power and fuel, rather than oil, coal, or nuclear power.

aluminium keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/alu-mini-um/ [ah0.l.uw1.m.ih0.n.ah0.m]

Definition: The chemical element of atomic number 13, a light silvery-grey metal.

Example sentences:

  • Officials said materials made of plastic, aluminum, glass and metals will have to be recycled.

ambiguous keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/am-bigu-ous/ [ae0.m.b.ih1.g.y.uw0.ah0.s]

Ambiguous is an adjective used to describe a word or something that has more than one meaning. Look to the adjective ambiguous when you need to describe something that's open to more than one interpretation. They synonym of ambiguous is equivocal.

Example sentences:

  • We were confused by the ambiguous wording of the message.
  • He looked at her with an ambiguous smile.
  • Due to the ambiguous nature of the question, it was difficult to choose the right answer.
  • This agreement is very ambiguous and open to various interpretations.
amenity keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ameni-ty/ [ah0.m.eh1.n.ah0.t.iy0]

Definition: something that makes life easier or more enjoyable

Example sentences:

  • Amenities include a concierge, a wet bar, a library and a fitness center, along with indoor and outdoor observation areas.

amorphous keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/amor-phous/ [ah0.m.ao1.r.f.ah0.s]

Definition: (Of a solid) not crystalline, or not apparently crystalline

Example sentences:

  • If the solution is cooled quickly, the molecules are frozen where they are, forming a glass-like amorphous solid.

ample keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/am-ple/ [ae1.m.p.ah0.l]

Definition: Enough or more than enough; plentiful

Example sentences:

  • A landing between the ground and first floors is ample enough to be used as a study.

amusement keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/amuse-ment/ [ah0.m.y.uw1.z.m.ah0.n.t]

Definition: The state or experience of finding something funny:

Example sentences:

  • We looked with amusement at our horoscopes

analytical keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/an-a-lyt-i-cal/ [ae2.n.ah0.l.ih1.t.ih0.k.ah0.l]

Definition: Relating to or using analysis or logical reasoning:

Example sentences:

  • Actually, I've never really thought about this analytically

anarchy keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/an-ar-chy/ [ae1.n.er0.k.iy2]

Anarchy is a complete lack of government, or order, or the chaos the ensues due to the lack of government.

Example sentences:

  • The substitute teacher was worried that the classroom would descend into anarchy.
  • The artist called for anarchy after a new leader came into power.
anatomically keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/anatom-i-cal-ly/ [ae2.n.ah0.t.aa1.m.ah0.k.l.iy0]

Definition: As regards bodily structure:

Example sentences:

  • This plant may be regarded as anatomically the most primitive of the Medulloseae.

ancestor keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/an-ces-tor/ [ae1.n.s.eh2.s.t.er0]

Your ancestors are the people from whom you are descended.

anchor keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/an-chor/ []

Definition: Secure firmly in position; Provide with a firm basis or foundation

Example sentences:

  • Gold anchored national economies, providing the basis for their currencies.

anemone keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/anemone/ [ae1.n.ih0.m.ow2.n]

Definition: A plant of the buttercup family which typically has brightly coloured flowers and deeply divided leaves

Example sentences:

anomaly keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/anom-aly/ [ah0.n.aa1.m.ah0.l.iy0]

Definition: Something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected

Example sentences:

  • Work was carried out at various scales, from regional reconnaissance surveys or appraisal, to the drilling of a geochemical or geophysical anomaly.

antarctic keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/antarc-tic/ [ae0.n.t.aa1.r.k.t.ih0.k]

The Antarctic is the area around the South Pole

antennae keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/an-ten-nae/ [ae0.n.t.eh1.n.iy0]

Definition: Either of a pair of long, thin sensory appendages on the heads of insects, crustaceans, and some other arthropods:

Example sentences:

  • In these fossils, detail of legs, antennae, wings, and even small body hairs are preserved.

anthology keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/an-thol-o-gy/ []

Definition: A published collection of poems or other pieces of writing:

Example sentences:

  • She has had poetry published in several anthologies, and short stories in a range of journals and magazines.

anticipate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/an-tic-i-pate/ [ae0.n.t.ih1.s.ah0.p.ey2.t]

Definition: Regard as probable; expect or predict

Example senences:

  • No one can anticipate the results of the games
  • Given what is at stake the winners can anticipate a probable quarter-final against Wales.

antiquated keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/an-ti-quat-ed/ [ae1.n.t.ah0.k.w.ey2.t.ah0.d]

Definition: so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period

Example sentences:

  • The trailer remake—with its cheesy music, antiquated graphics and gimmicky sound effects—catapults you back into 007’s past.
  • The committee has recommended that all antiquated legal procedures should be simplified.

apiarist keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/api-arist/ [no ipa available]

Definition: beekeeper: a farmer who keeps bees for their honey

Example sentences:

appealing keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ap-peal-ing/ []

Definition: Attractive or interesting:

Example sentences:

  • 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.
  • Working abroad is appealing to many young people

apt keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/apt/ [ad..ah0.d.ae1.p.t]

Definition: Having a tendency to do something:

Example sentences:

  • Emotion problems are apt to damage personal relationships

aquaculture keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/aqua-cul-ture/ []

Definition: The rearing of aquatic animals or the cultivation of aquatic plants for food.

Example sentences:

  • The good news about mussel farming is that unlike other forms of aquaculture, the end product is better than the wild version.

aquifer keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/aquifer/ [ae1.k.w.ah0.f.er0]

A body of permeable rock which can contain or transmit groundwater.

aragonite keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/arag-o-nite/ [no ipa available]

Definition: A mineral consisting of calcium carbonate and typically occurring as colourless prisms in deposits from hot springs.

Example sentences:

  • Microscopic crystals of aragonite located in the inner ears of zebrafish control balance and hearing.

archaeological keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ar-chae-o-log-i-cal/ [aa2.r.k.iy0.ah0.l.aa1.jh.ih0.k.ah0.l]

Archaeological is an adjective to describe anything that is related to or dealing with archeology. Here is an example sentence:

  • I wanted to go on an archaeological expedition in Mexico.

archaeology keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ar-chae-ol-o-gy/ [aa2.r.k.iy0.aa1.l.ah0.jh.iy0]

Archaeology is the branch of anthropology that studies prehistoric people and their cultures.Therefore, an archaeologist is someone who studies prehistoric people and their cultures.

archetypal keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ar-che-typ-al/ [aa1.r.k.t.ay1.p.ah0.l]

Definition: An ideal example of a type; quintessence:

Example sentences:

  • Newer ones, like the one in Watchet, are built of bricks and mortar but the archetypal model is the ubiquitous wooden structure.

arctic keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/arc-tic/ [ant..ae0.n.t.aa1.r.k.t.ih0.k]

The Arctic is the area of the world around the North Pole. It is extremely cold and there is very little light in winter and very little darkness in summer.

arise keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/arise/ [er0.ay1.z]

One word you can use to introduce the cause of something is the verb arise, which means to get up or come up. It is followed by the preposition from to say that something comes up from a certain cause.

Take a look at the following examples

  • Accidents arise from carelessness.
  • These problems arise from the widening of the gap between the rich and poor.
  • Mental disorders arise from the complex interplay of heredity, biology, and environment
arthropod keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/arthro-pod/ []

Definition: an animal without a back bone, with six or more jointed legs, a segmented body and a supporting structure on the outside

Example sentences:

  • Arthropod biodiversity was on average one-third greater on organic farms than on conventional farms.

artistic keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/artis-tic/ [aa0.r.t.ih1.s.t.ih0.k]

The adjective artistic describes people who are creative or creations called “art.” Artistic can also describe something pleasing to look at, but you don’t have to like everything that is artistic. Notice the base word is “art” so remember, artistic can be anything related to art.

  • My daughter is very artistic, so we enrolled her in extra art classes.
  • Even though the painting was artistic, it wasn’t my style.
ascertain keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/as-cer-tain/ [ae2.s.er0.t.ey1.n]

Definition: Find (something) out for certain; make sure of

Example sentences:

  • It would be appreciated if you would ascertain this information in a timely manner.
  • The jury made a decision based on its ascertainment of the facts.

assert keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/as-sert/ [ah0.s.er1.t]

Definition: State a fact or belief confidently and forcefully;Cause others to recognize (one’s authority or a right) by confident and forceful behavior:

Example senences:

  • The company asserts that the cuts will not affect development
  • The company assert its control over the banking system

assimilation keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/as-sim-i-la-tion/ []

The noun "assimilation" it the act of assimilating. It can have the following meanings:

  • The process of taking in and fully understanding information or ideas.
  • The absorption and integration of people, ideas, or culture into a wider society or culture.
  • The absorption and digestion of food or nutrients by the body

Here are example sentences:

  • Forced assimilation of native people into European and American cultures caused the degradation of Native American art.
  • Over the course of the Inca Empire, the Inca used conquest and peaceful assimilation to incorporate in their empire a large portion of western South America.
  • Two of the main purposes of homework are the assimilation of knowledge and practice of vital skills. 
  • Assimilation of nutrients happens in the small intestine


asteroid keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/as-ter-oid/ [ae1.s.t.er0.oy2.d]

Both the asteroid and the comet are large, irregularly shaped objects in space that orbits our Sun. However, while comets are mostly made of ice, asteroids are made up of rock or even metal.

astrology keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/as-trol-o-gy/ [ah0.s.t.r.aa1.l.ah0.jh.iy0]

Definition: The study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world.

Example sentences:

  • A horoscope based on where celestial bodies were on the day you were born is an example of astrology.

astronomer keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/as-tronomer/ [ah0.s.t.r.aa1.n.ah0.m.er0]

Astronomers are scientists who study astronomy. An astronaut is a person who is trained for traveling in a spacecraft. Don’t mistake astronomers for astronauts.

astronomically keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/as-tro-nom-i-cal-ly/ [ae2.s.t.r.ah0.n.aa1.m.ih0.k.l.iy0]

We also often use “astronomical” to describe an amount like the cost of something is large. For example:

  • Houses in the village are selling for astronomical prices.
  • The cost is astronomical.

The adverb “astronomically” also has the same usage. For example:

  • He was astronomically wealthy.
  • House prices had risen astronomically.
  • The bill was astronomically high
astute keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/as-tute/ [ah0.s.t.uw1.t]

Definition: very intelligent, smart, clever

Example sentences:

  • Astute humans know that alien life isn’t just the stuff of fiction.
  • After 25 years of astute economic management, Chinese leaders deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt.

atmospheric keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/at-mos-pher-ic/ [ae2.t.m.ah0.s.f.eh1.r.ih0.k]

Definition: Relating to the atmosphere of the earth:

Example senences:

  • Oceans are playing a very vital role in maintaining the atmospheric balance of the earth.


attain keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/at-tain/ [ah0.t.ey1.n]

Attain and obtain are two different words that are often confused with each other by writers but both have their own distinct meanings.

Attain is a verb that means to accomplish, reach, or achieve something through effort. You can attain a goal that you set for yourself or attain a high-ranking position at your job. For example,

  • After six months, I attained my goal of losing 15 pounds.
  • Joe worked so hard he attained the position of Vice President.
  • My parents were able to attain the American Dream and so was I.

Obtain is also a verb, but it means to get, to acquire, or to gain possession of something. For example,

  • I obtained the latest copy of The Wall Street Journal.

While attain implies there was some effort put forth to produce an outcome, that is not necessarily the case with "obtain". For example,

  • In college, you work hard to attain a degree.


  • Once you graduate you will obtain your diploma.

This is a very subtle difference, but it is important to recognize it. In this example, you are working hard to attain your academic degree, but you physically obtain and take ownership of the piece of paper that is your diploma once you graduate.


attentive keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/at-ten-tive/ [ah0.t.eh1.n.t.ih0.v]

The adjective "attentivedescribe someone who is alert and paying attention. You probably notice that the word attentive looks a lot like the noun attention. It’s easy to remember how to use attentive when you know that the words share related meanings. Use the adjective attentive to describe someone who is full of attention, watching and listening carefully

Here are example sentences:

  • Attentive students take great notes and ask questions when something isn't clear.
  • Attentive (observant) readers might notice some mistakes in the book.
  • The audience tonight was really attentive.


The word attentive is often used with the preposition “to”. Here is an example below:

  • He's very attentive to details.
attribute keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/at-tribute/ [ah0.t.r.ih1.b.y.uw2.t]

The pattern "attribute A to B" means "A is the result, and B is the cause".

The pattern 'A is attributed to B' means "A is regarded as the result of B".

The examples below demonstrate how to use attribute:

  • I attribute my success to hard work.
  • Climate change is widely attributed to the buildup of greenhouse gases.
  • We can attribute this problem to the lack of attention-to-detail.
aurora keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/au-ro-ra/ [er0.ao1.r.ah0]

An aurora, sometimes referred to as polar lights, northern lights or southern lights, is a natural light display in the Earth's sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude regions.

authentic keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/au-then-tic/ []

Definition: Of undisputed origin; genuine

Example sentences:

  • He is in no doubt that the document is an authentic copy of the original

autonomous keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/au-tonomous/ [ao0.t.aa1.n.ah0.m.ah0.s]

Definition: (Of a country or region) having self-government, at least to a significant degree

Example sentences:

  • They have established an alternative system of government with autonomous regions, and district and village level authorities.

avert keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/avert/ [ah0.v.er1.t]

Definition: turn away or aside

Example sentences:

  • Don’t you sense the way people avert their gazes while you long for them to meet your eyes?
  • There's nothing new about companies averting responsibility for their workforce by shifting formal employment to subcontractors or calling workers independent contractors.

abdomen keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ab-domen/ [ae0.b.d.ow1.m.ah0.n]

Definition: The part of the body of a vertebrate containing the digestive and reproductive organs; the belly.

Example sentences:

  • Attacked bees often have deformed wings and abdomens and a shortened life span.

aboriginal keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/abo-rig-i-nal/ [ae2.b.er0.ih1.jh.ah0.n.ah0.l]

The aboriginal people or animals of a place are ones that have been there from the earliest known times or that were there before people or animals from other countries arrived. The synonym of it is "indigenous".

abrupt keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/abrupt/ [ah0.b.r.ah1.p.t]

The adjective "abrupt" means "sudden and unexpected, and often unpleasant".  The phrase "come to an abrupt end" is often used. Here are example sentences:

  • There was an abrupt change in the weather.
  • The road came to an abrupt end.
  • The storm caused an abrupt power failure.
  • Our conversation came to an abrupt end when our boss burst into the room.
  • The road ended in an abrupt (= sudden and very steep) slope down to the sea.
  • There was an abrupt change in her attitude towards me when she heard that I was Alan's girlfriend.
  • The party came to rather an abrupt ending when Tom's parents came home.
  • There was an abrupt fall in our sales figures following the bad publicity.
  • As you step into the air-conditioned office, there is an abrupt change in temperature.

If someone has an abrupt manner, it means he or she talks to other people in a very brief and unfriendly way

absence keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ab-sence/ [ae1.b.s.ah0.n.s]

Absence is the state of not being someplace, like school. It can also refer to the amount of time something has been or plans to be gone. We most commonly think of absence as the opposite of present in places like school, but really it can refer to anything that's missing or something that's lacking. Darkness is an absence of light, and cold is an absence of heat.

Example sentences of using the word absence to refer to the amount of time something has been or plans to be gone:

  • She returned to the company after a long/prolonged absence.


Please note that when someone gets the permission from their boss to be away from a job for a period of time; it is called leave of absence. The phrase leave of absence is used with words such as granted or given. For example:

  • He was granted/given leave of absence.


"Of absence" can also mean a period of time when someone has special permission to be away from a job.

Example sentence:

  • He took two unpaid leaves of absence.

To specify the period of time, the proposition "on" should be used in the sentence; for example:

  • She has been on leave of absence for almost two years.


Example sentences of using the word absence to show the state of not being present at a usual or expected place:

  • He had many absences from work
  • I expected to see her and was surprised by her absence.


Let’s look at some example sentences where the word absence is used to show that something is missing or something that's lacking.

  • There was an absence [=lack] of enthusiasm in the crowd. [=the crowd was not enthusiastic]
  • The products showed a remarkable absence of defects.


As we saw in the above examples, when the word absence is used to show that something is missing or lacking; it is usually followed by the word "of" and then the insertion of whatever is missing or lacking.

Let’s look at another phrase where absence is used: “in someone's absence”. In someone’s absence means:

1. While someone is away

Example sentence: The study was completed in her absence.

2. In the place of someone who is not present

Example sentence: He was asked to speak in his brother's absence.


absorption keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ab-sorp-tion/ []

Definition: The process by which one thing absorbs or is absorbed by another

Example sentences:

  • Milk appeared to inhibit the antioxidant potential of the flavonoids, reducing their absorption into the bloodstream

abundance keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/abun-dance/ [ah0.b.ah1.n.d.ah0.n.s]

Abundance is a noun that refers to a large quantity, more than what is needed. It's often used to describe positive qualities, such as "an abundance of love."

Let's paraphrase this sentence using the noun "abundance".

  • Fine restaurants are abundant in this city.

Here are paraphrased sentences:

  • This city has an abundance of fine restaurants.
  • The city has fine restaurants in abundance.​

In the last sentence, we used the phrase "in abundance'.

Here are more example sentences:

  • The city has fine restaurants in abundance.
  • The flowers grew in great abundance.
  • The area has an abundance of wildlife.
abutment keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/abut-ment/ [no ipa available]

Definition: A structure built to support the lateral pressure of an arch or span

Example sentences:

  • Various foundation types have been adopted to support the bridge piers and abutments.

accentuate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-cen-tu-ate/ []

To accentuate means to make it more noticeable.

  • He likes to wear clothes that accentuate his muscular build.
  • Her short hair accentuated her huge eyes.

To accentuate also means to emphasize it. If you use a lot of emphases to describe part of a meal, as in "the steak was SOOO good, and I liked the salad too," you accentuate the highlight of the meal — the steak.


access keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-cess/ [ae1.k.s.eh2.s]

Access means a way of getting to a place. If you have access to a building or other place, you are able or allowed to go into it. The preposition "to" is used. Here are example sentences:

  • The town wants to increase public access to beaches.
  • The hotel offers easy access to central London.

Access also means a way of being able to use or get something.  Here are example sentences:

  • All public buildings should provide wheelchair access.
  • The modern advancements of technology have made access to information easier.
  • We have access to the Internet at the library.= We have Internet access at the library.
  • Computers give us easy access to information.
  • Patients need better access to medical care.
  • Living in dormitories are advantageous because students can have access to the library at whatever time they want.
accessible keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
/ac-ces-si-ble/ [ae0.k.s.eh1.s.ah0.b.ah0.l]

If a place or building is accessible to people, it is easy for them to reach it or get into it. If an object is accessible, it is easy to reach. The usages "be accessible to people" and "be accessible by transportation" are often used. Here are example sentences:

  • The city center is easily accessible to the general public.
  • The hospital should be accessible to wheelchair users.
  • Public areas should be easily accessible to disabled people.
  • The inn is accessible by train and bus.

If something is accessible to people, they can easily use it or obtain it. Here are example sentences:​

  • The legal aid system should be accessible to more people. 
  • This device helps make virtual reality a more usable and accessible technology.
  • Education should be accessible to everyone.
  • Thanks to the Internet, information is easily accessible to everyone now.
    accomplice keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ac-com-plice/ [ah0.k.aa1.m.p.l.ah0.s]

    Definition: A person who helps another commit a crime:

    Example sentences:

    • The police in Amsterdam were able to round up six of his alleged accomplices after the crime, and are seeking more.

    account keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ac-count/ [ah0.k.aw1.n.t]

    Definition: a record or narrative description of past events; a statement of recent transactions and the resulting balance

    Example sentences:

    • Some of the witnesses' accounts initially given to investigators differ from each other, which helps explain why separate trials were ordered for them.
    • Many banks and building societies are competing for customers by offering better interest rates or incentives on current accounts, rather than savings accounts.

    accountability keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ac-count-abil-i-ty/ [ah0.k.aw1.n.t.ah0.b.ih2.l.ih0.t.iy0]

    Accountability is a noun that describes accepting responsibility, and it can be personal or very public. The collocations "show accountability' and "have accountability for something' are often used. For example

    • Stepping up and admitting it when you break something shows accountability.
    • A government has accountability for decisions and laws affecting its citizens
    • An individual has accountability for acts and behaviors.
    • Lack of accountability plays a key role in business failures because dysfunctional leadership results in bad strategic decision-making and poor employee performance.
    accumulate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ac-cu-mu-late/ [ah0.k.y.uw1.m.y.ah0.l.ey2.t]

    To accumulate means to gather or acquire (something) gradually as time passes

    Example sentences:

    • Households accumulate wealth across a broad spectrum of assets.
    • Lead can accumulate in the body until toxic levels are reached.
    • El Nino, the periodic abnormal warming of the sea surface off Peru, is a phenomenon in which changes in the ocean and atmosphere combine to allow the warm water that has accumulated in the western Pacific to flow back to the east.
    • The accumulation of gas continues for several million years although planets like Jupiter- and Saturn-are considered to have accumulated their mass over only 10,000 years
    accumulation keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ac-cu-mu-la-tion/ []

    The noun "accumulation" is the act of accumulating (or gathering something over time). You might see this word in geology lectures.  

    Example sentences:

    • Accumulations of sand can be formed by the action of waves on coastal beaches.
    • The formation of glacier is an accumulation of snow that lasts for more than a year. 
    • The accumulation of gas continues for several million years although planets like Jupiter- and Saturn-are considered to have accumulated their mass over only 10,000 years.
    • Sedimentary rocks are formed by the accumulation of sediment.
    • If you keep putting money in the bank, the amount you have is the accumulation of your savings. 
    accurate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ac-cu-rate/ [ae1.k.y.er0.ah0.t]

    Definition: careful and exact

    Example sentences:

    • He was able to make accurate observations with the new telescope.
    • These more accurate tools may be able to tweak our genetic code without the side-effects.

    acid rain keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /acid rain/ [no ipa available]

    Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it has elevated levels of hydrogen ions. It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals, and infrastructure.

    acidity keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /acid-i-ty/ [ah0.s.ih1.d.ah0.t.iy0]

    Acidity is the level of acid in substances. Likewise, alkalinity is the level of alkali in substances. You can ‘increase/decrease the acidity/alkalinity’.

    Here are example sentences:

    • The pollution produced by carbon dioxide increases the acidity of the oceans and affects the marine food chain.
    • We can decrease the alkalinity by adding more acidic chemicals.
    acoustic keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /acoustic/ [ah0.k.uw1.s.t.ih0.k]

    Definition: Relating to sound or the sense of hearing

    Example sentences:

    • Dogs have a much greater acoustic range than humans.

    acquire keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ac-quire/ [ah0.k.w.ay1.er0]

    Definition: Buy or obtain (an object or asset) for oneself.

    Example sentences:

    • Instead, tax will become payable automatically 30 days after the date that the purchaser acquires the property or land.

    acrobatic stunt keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ac-ro-bat-ic stunt/ [no ipa available]

    Definition: a stunt performed by an acrobat

    Example sentences:

    • Stunt doubles do acrobatic stunts such as leaping off buildings, walking through fire and running across trains, cranes and automobiles.

    adapt keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /adapt/ [ah0.d.ae1.p.t]

    The verb "adapt" has three different usages

    • Adapt (oneself) to something
    • Be adapted to
    • Adapt something to

    You will see and hear these usages a lot in TOEFL biology lectures. For example:

    • African jackass penguins have adapted to cold climates in the temperate zone.
    • Penguins are adapted to cold environments because they have thick feathers that keep them warm.
    • Animals in hot climates have adapted behavioral patterns to avoid the hottest part of the day or season.

    In the first usage, when animals have “adapted to” something, it means they have changed or evolved gradually in order to fit or suit a situation or an environment.

    In the second usage, when animals "are adapted to” an environment,  it means they are currently able to live in that environment well because of certain qualities they have or have developed.

    The third usage “adapt something” means to modify something so that it functions better or is better suited for a purpose.  For example,

    • Animals in hot climates have adapted behavioral patterns to avoid the hottest part of the day or season. =
    • Animals in hot climates have modified behavioral patterns to avoid the hottest part of the day or season.


    Okay! Let’s look at more example sentences

    • Camels have adapted to the heat by being able to go for a long time without drinking water at all.
    • Desert animals have adapted to the hot climates by extracting water from cacti.
    • Melting Antarctic ice due to climate change will put emperor penguins at risk as they are not able to adapt to warming temperatures.
    • Penguins are aquatic, flightless birds that are highly adapted to life in the water.
    • Swimming birds are adapted to an aquatic existence.
    • The teachers adapted [=modified] the curriculum so that students of all abilities will benefit from it.
    • The camera has been adapted [=modified] for underwater use.
    admission keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ad-mis-sion/ []

    We often see the word ‘admission’ on university websites. It means the act or process of accepting someone as a student. The pattern “admission to ____(a university)” is often used. For example,

    • Congratulations on your admission to the University of Illinois
    • I failed to gain admission to my dream university.
    • I submitted an application for admission to Harvard.

    Since admission means the act or process of accepting someone as a student. The verb ‘admit’ can mean to accept someone as a student. You will often see the pattern ‘be admitted to ___(a school)’ in university letters. For example,

    • Congratulations on being admitted to the University of Illinois

    • Once you are admitted to the University of Illinois, you can apply for our on-campus housing program.


    Okay! Let’s get back to the noun ‘admission’. In most cases, the noun ‘admission’  appears as a singular noun. However, the word ‘admissions’ as a plural is used when we talk about all or the number of student applications and admissions. You will always find the plural in the following terms

    • admissions office
    • admissions policy
    • open admissions

    Open admissions describes a policy of accepting all students who apply for a certain school

    Here are example sentences using the plural “admissions”:

    • The admissions office is responsible for the admission of first-year undergraduate students.
    • Each school sets its own admissions policy.
    • The school has a policy of open admissions.


    Alright! I just want to point out that the noun ‘admission’ generally has the meaning of  permission to enter a place. So, you cannot only find this word on university websites.. Here is another example for it:

    • He received a surgery several hours after admission to the hospital.

    ‘Admission’ can also refer to the fee charged for entry. In this case, it is uncountable. For example

    • Gates open at 10.30am and admission is free.

    Or you can use ‘admission price’ instead. For example

    • The admission price is $8 for adults.


    adoptive keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /adop-tive/ [ah0.d.aa1.p.t.ih0.v]

    Definition: (Of a child or parent) in that relationship by adoption:

    Example sentences:

    • As a teenager, he had been contacted by his brother's adoptive parents and had been able to forge a new relationship with him.

    advance keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ad-vance/ [ah0.d.v.ae1.n.s]

    The word advance can be a verb and a noun.

    The original meaning of the verb "advance" is “to go or move forward”. This can be used to describe actual physical movement but is more often used to describe progress or improvement. Here is an example for each:

    To advance = moving forward

    1. Physical movement: The troops advance towards the capital.
    2. Progress or Improvement: Technology advances so quickly, I can hardly keep track.

    Advance can also be used as "to bring something forward". In this case, "advance" is a transitive verb, so there must be an object after it. We often use this to describe topics or skills we personally “make progress in” The following sentences are quite useful and often heard in daily conversations.

    • I advanced my knowledge of English by studying abroad.
    • I want to advance my career in banking.

    Finally, "advance" can have a more timely focus as well. So, when something advances it could mean that it is progressing in time, or when we advance something we are bringing it forward in time. Let me give you two examples for a more time-focused use of “advance”

    • As the twentieth century advanced, other forms of entertainment rapidly took over.
    • The bank advanced me 500USD today.

    The latter means that the bank gave or lend you money before a due date. The bank basically brought the money forward in time. If you wanted to ask someone for an advance payment you could ask: “Could you advance me 500USD until Tuesday?”


    The noun advance has the same underlying meaning as “to advance”, so “an advance” is “a certain move forward” or “a specific improvement”. It is a countable noun and is normally used with the preposition ‘in’. Here are some example sentences

    • Scientific advances in diagnostic tools make it possible to identify new diseases more quickly.
    • Advances in technology led to the industrial revolution.
    • Recent advances in technology now make the smartphone more popular than the desktop computer.
    • Huge advances in the development of anti-depressants greatly help people who suffer from depression.


    As I told you before “to advance” can be used for money as well. The same is true for the noun, so “an advance” can also be the money paid before its due date. In business, we often take “advance payments” for security reasons in international trade. The following examples can help you understand.

    • She asked for an advance on her salary.=
    • The bank will give you an advance of 95% of the purchase price.
    advantage keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ad-van-tage/ [ae0.d.v.ae1.n.t.ih0.jh]

    The definition of the noun advantage reads as follows: An advantage is a quality or condition that puts something in a favorable or superior position. Simply said, an advantage is a characteristic that makes something better than something else.

    We often use "advantage" to talk about the benefits of a thing or person. For instance, the following three sentences use "advantage" to describe the benefits of living in a big city:

    • The advantage of living in a big city is that there is plenty of entertainment.
    • One advantage of living in a big city is that there is plenty of entertainment.
    • One of the advantages of living in a big city is that there is plenty of entertainment.

    However, only if "advantage" is used in the very beginning of a sentence we say ‘advantage of something’. When using expletive constructions like “There are/is” it would sound wrong or unnatural to say “There are many advantages of living in a big city’. Many students make this mistake. Here you should use the prepositions in/to as in the following two sentences:

    • There are many advantages to living in a big city
    • There are many advantages in living in a big city.

    Often we simply paraphrase here and say:

    • Living in a big city has many advantages.


    Okay! Now! If we want to specify the alternatives we are comparing to, we normally use the preposition over as in “have an advantage OVER sth.” Since advantage refers to a position superior to another thing, it is kind of natural to use OVER here to say that is is higher than the other thing. So ‘A has an advantage over B’. means that A is in a favorable or superior position compared to B. This phrase is commonly used when talking about competition in business, sports or even evolution.

    Let me give you some examples here:

    • Our company has an advantage over our competitors.
    • The New York Knicks have a clear advantage over Miami Heat
    • Humans have an evolutionary advantage over other animals.


    Instead of using  “to have an advantage” all the time you can say “to be at an advantage” as well... In this case, how could you change the three sentences? You can pause this video and try it yourself… It’s not too complicated. :) We can change the phrasing as follows:

    • Our company is at an advantage over our competitors.

    • The New York Knicks are at a clear advantage over Miami Heat

    • Humans are at an evolutionary advantage over other animals.

    Especially in business, "advantage" is often used together with the adjective “competitive” to highlight the competitive environment businesses are in. For example, if you say

    • Our company has a competitive advantage over Google.

    That would mean your company is in the certain field better than Google. 


    There are many other verbs which can be used together with advantage. For instance, you can “gain an advantage”, “win an advantage”, and “develop an advantage” or “sth. Can give or offer you an advantage” and you can “take advantage of sth.”

    To make these more specific, let’s have a look at some more examples.

    • Our company gained/won a competitive advantage over our competitors by reducing costs.
    • During the process of evolution, humans developed an intellectual advantage over other animals.
    • By reducing costs we could develop a competitive advantage over our competitors.
    • My English skills gave/offered me a clear advantage over other applicants..
    • You should take advantage of all the resources offers to improve your English.

    Advantage is often used with “to” as well, as in the following phrases.

    • To one’s advantage
    • To advantage


    If something is ‘to one’s advantage’ it means that something gives an advantage or is beneficial to someone. Here are example sentences

    • The ice cream store was able to turn the hot weather to its advantage.  
    • It is to your advantage to invest wisely.
    • The new regulations will work to our advantage.


    And then there is ‘to advantage’. To say that sth. shows the best of somebody/something. For example,

    • The photograph showed him to advantage.
    • Her shoes showed off her legs to advantage.
    advent keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ad-vent/ [ae1.d.v.eh2.n.t]

    The advent of an important event, invention, or situation is the fact of it starting or coming into existence. Generally, the noun advent is used for the introduction of something important.

    Here are example sentences:

    • The twentieth century saw the advent of many important inventions — including television, computers, and microwave dinners.
    • The advent of color television in the 1960s proved to be an innovation which gained virtually universal acceptance during the 1970s.
    • The leap forward in communication made possible by the advent of the mobile phone.
    • before the advent of the Internetinformation was not yet so readily available to the general public.
    • The Information explosion has made a profound impact in the 21st century due to the advent of the Internet.
    • With the advent of the Internet, information is readily available through computers and other smart devices.
    adversity keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ad-ver-si-ty/ [ae0.d.v.er1.s.ih0.t.iy2]

    Adversity is a noun that is a situation of ill-fortune, or when you face difficult situations. 

    Example sentences:

    • Refugees face adversity when they immigrate to a new country because they encounter many hardships.
    • We had to learn to deal with adversity.
    • They overcame many adversities.
    • When faced with adversity she was never tempted to give up.
    • He showed courage in the face of adversity.


    advice keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ad-vice/ [ae0.d.v.ay1.s]

    Definition: Guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action, typically given by someone regarded as knowledgeable or authoritative:

    Example sentences:

    • They were giving it out to customers as well as offering advice on the benefits of tap water over bottled water.

    advocate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ad-vo-cate/ [ae1.d.v.ah0.k.ah0.t]

    If you advocate (for) a particular action or plan, you recommend it publicly. There are three patterns:

    • advocate (for) something
    • advocate + Verb-ing
    • advocate + that + Subject + Verb

    Here are example sentences:

    • advocate (for) traditional teaching methods.
    • They advocate abolishing the income tax. = They advocate that the income tax should be abolished.
    • The plan is advocated by the president.
    • They formed a group advocating for changes in the school system.
    aesthetic keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /aes-thet-ic/ []

    Definition: Concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty

    Example sentences:

    • Women also appreciate the aesthetic value of a knife and may choose to combine function with beauty. This picture gives great aesthetic pleasure.

    affluence keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /af-flu-ence/ [ae1.f.l.uw0.ah0.n.s]

    Affluence is the noun form of "affluent" which just means abundant wealth. A synonym would be richness. Used in a sentence, “The flashy car she bought was so she could push her affluence in our faces!”

    Example sentences:

    • They rose from poverty to affluence. (This means they were poor and became rich)
    • The postwar era was one of new affluence for the working class.
    affordable keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /af-ford-able/ [ah0.f.ao1.r.d.ah0.b.ah0.l]

    Definition: that you have the financial means for

    Example sentences:

    • Without better schools, affordable housing and more jobs, the city will degrade socially and economically and people will leave.
    • Their goal has been to make the devices more widely available, affordable, familiar, and popular.

    aggravating keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ag-gra-vat-ing/ []

    Aggravating is the adjective of "aggravate" and used to describe situations that are annoying. For example:

    • His loud music was aggravating. (Aggravating is a word that describes the music.)
    • He has some very aggravating [=annoying, irritating] habits.


    agitate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /ag-i-tate/ [ae1.jh.ah0.t.ey2.t]

    Definition: move or cause to move back and forth; to cause worry

    Example sentences:

    • When we are agitated, cortisol levels in our bloodstream rise.
    • Some people with dementia benefit from stimulation, but overstimulation, including a noisy environment, can make others agitated and aggressive.

    agronomy keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /agron-o-my/ [no ipa available]

    Definition: The science of soil management and crop production.

    Example sentences:

    • 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.
    • Rwanda's minister of agriculture sent teams of agronomists to assess making land available for refugee settlement.

    albeit keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /al-beit/ [ao0.l.b.iy1.ih0.t]

    Definition: Although; in spite of the facts

    Example sentences:

    • He was making progress, albeit rather slowly. Albeit difficult at times, speaking another language is rewarding.

    alertness keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /alert-ness/ [ah0.l.er1.t.n.ah0.s]

    Definition: The quality of being alert:

    Example sentences:

    • 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.

    algorithm keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /al-go-rithm/ [ae1.l.g.er0.ih2.dh.ah0.m]

    Definition: A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer:

    Example sentences:

    • This first step is here reduced to a simple algorithm suitable for computer use.

    alkali keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /al-ka-li/ [ae1.l.k.ah0.l.ay2]

    An acid is a chemical substance that has a pH value of less than 7. An alkali is a chemical substance that has a pH value of more than 7. There are many acids and alkalis. For example:

    • Vinegar in a salad is an acid
    • Vitamin C is an acid
    • Salt is an alkali.
    • Sodium is one of the alkali metals.
    alkalinity keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /al-ka-lin-i-ty/ [ae2.l.k.ah0.l.ih1.n.ah0.t.iy0]

    Acidity is the level of acid in substances. Likewise, alkalinity is the level of alkali in substances. You can ‘increase/decrease the acidity/alkalinity’.

    Here are example sentences:

    • The pollution produced by carbon dioxide increases the acidity of the oceans and affects the marine food chain.
    • We can decrease the alkalinity by adding more acidic chemicals.
    alligator keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /al-li-ga-tor/ [ae1.l.ah0.g.ey2.t.er0]

    Definition: A large semiaquatic reptile similar to a crocodile but with a broader and shorter head, native to the Americas and China

    Example sentences:

    • 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.

    alluvium keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /al-lu-vi-um/ [ae2.l.uw1.v.iy0.ah0.m]

    Definition: A deposit of clay, silt, and sand left by flowing floodwater in a river valley or delta, typically producing fertile soil

    Example sentences:

    • 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.

    alpine keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /alpine/ [ae1.l.p.ay2.n]

    Definition: Relating to high mountains

    Example sentences:

    • The hikers start in tropical rainforest territory and travel through moorlands, alpine meadows and glaciers on the summit

    alternate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
    /al-ter-nate/ [ao1.l.t.er0.n.ah0.t]

    The word "alternate" can be a verb.  There are different usages. 

    1. When you alternate (between) A and B, you keep using A then B.  (In this case, the verb "alternate " is used as a transitive verb)

    Here are example sentences:

    • To make the appetizer, you should alternate layers of tomatoes and cheese. 
    • Farmers began to alternate the cultivation of grains and pulses, such as lentils and peas, to maintain fertility.  
    • He alternates between riding his bike and taking the bus to work.
    • Some disease-carrying mosquito species alternate between biting animals and humans.
    • Crop rotation can improve soil structure and fertility by alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plants.


    2. When A and B alternate or A alternates with B, A regularly occurs after B. (In this case, the verb "alternate " is used as an intransitive verb)

    Here are example sentences:

    • The light and dark woods alternate to form an elegant pattern around the window. 
    • Light woods alternate with dark woods to form an elegant pattern around the window. 


    As a noun, an alternate is a replacement.

    Here are example sentences:

    • If you are brought on in a game to be someone’s alternate, you are there to take their turn.
    • The town has elected five councilors and two alternates.


      "Alternate" can also be used as an adjective, meaning different or other.  For example:

      • An alternate view of history is one that looks at the past from an uncommon perspective.
      alternation keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /al-ter-na-tion/ []

      Definition: the action or process of altering or being altered.

      Example senences:

      • The natural alternation of day and night play an important role in the lives of many ocean creatures

      altitudinal keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /al-ti-tu-di-nal/ [no ipa available]

      Definition: related to altitude

      Example senences:

      • Eastern birds may migrate south, but western populations are more often altitudinal migrants, moving from the mountains into nearby lowlands in winter.


      amalgamation keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /amal-ga-ma-tion/ []

      Definition: The action, process, or result of combining or uniting:

      Example sentences:

      • The job losses are a combined result of school amalgamations, closures and budget shortfalls across both the primary and secondary sector.

      ambivalent keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /am-biva-lent/ [ae0.m.b.ih1.v.ah0.l.ah0.n.t]

      Ambivalent means "having mixed feelings about something."  If you're ambivalent you're being pulled by two equally strong things. You might feel ambivalent about your lunch options if you have to choose between a turkey sandwich or a ham sandwich- they will taste awfully similar. You normally don’t feel ambivalent about subjects that are very important in your life. For example  “He seemed to be ambivalent about where we went for his birthday dinner.”


      amnesia keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /am-ne-sia/ [ae0.m.n.iy1.zh.ah0]

      Definition: A partial or total loss of memory:

      Example sentences:

      • He was suffering from total amnesia and dementia praecox and was duly incarcerated in an asylum in Rodez in central France.

      amphibian keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /am-phib-ian/ [ae0.m.f.ih1.b.iy0.ah0.n]

      Definition: A cold-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that comprises the frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and caecilians.

      Example sentences:

      • Spadefoot toads are desert-dwelling amphibians that breed opportunistically in short lived pools filled by periodic rainfall.

      amplitude keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /am-pli-tude/ [ae1.m.p.l.ah0.t.uw2.d]

      Definition: 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.

      Example sentences:

      analogous keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /anal-o-gous/ [ah0.n.ae1.l.ah0.g.ah0.s]

      Definition: alike in some way

      Example sentences:

      • The action of light waves is analogous to the action of sound waves

      analyze keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /an-a-lyze/ [ae1.n.ah0.l.ay2.z]

      Definition: Discover or reveal (something) through detailed examination

      Example sentences:

      • 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 keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /anatom-i-cal/ [ae2.n.ah0.t.aa1.m.ih0.k.ah0.l]

      Definition: Relating to bodily structure

      Example senences:

      anatomy keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /anato-my/ [ah0.n.ae1.t.ah0.m.iy0]

      Definition: The bodily structure of an organism:

      Example sentences:

      • Scientists believe that some animals with very different anatomies are related - for instance, the kangaroo and the platypus, and the hippo and whale

      ancestral keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /an-ces-tral/ [ae0.n.s.eh1.s.t.r.ah0.l]

      Definition: Of, belonging to, or inherited from an ancestor or ancestors:

      Example sentences:

      • Although freshwater is the ancestral habitat for larval mosquitoes, multiple species independently evolved the ability to survive in saltwater.
      • The unique estuarine has been the ancestral home for nearly 150 species of birds, many of which are migratory.

      ancient keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /an-cient/ []

      The adjective "ancient" describe something having lived or existed for a very long time or coming from, or belonging to a time that was long ago in the past.


      • ancient civilizations
      • ancient times
      • ancient cultures
      • ancient peoples

      Example sentences:

      • Egyptian hieroglyphs were a formal writing system used by the ancient Egyptians.
      • The practice was more common in ancient times than it is now.
      • The people in the village still observe the ancient customs/traditions of their ancestors.
      • Traditionally, ancient peoples had flourished in drier climates, where the centralized management of water resources through irrigation and other techniques formed the basis of society.
      • Sometime around 4000 B.C., ancient Sumerian culture emerged on a floodplain along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now southern Iraq.
      • The ancient Etruscan civilization emerged roughly 2,900 years ago in present-day Italy. ​
      annoying keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /an-noy-ing/ []

      Definition: Causing irritation or annoyance

      Example sentences:

      • Mosquitos can be an annoying part of vacation at the beach.

      anonymous keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /anony-mous/ [ah0.n.aa1.n.ah0.m.ah0.s]

      Definition: (Of a person) not identified by name; of unknown name:

      Example senences:

      • One anonymous student raises the concern that women are overly sexualized in society.

      antenna keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /an-ten-na/ [ae0.n.t.eh1.n.ah0]

      Definition: Either of a pair of long, thin sensory appendages on the heads of insects, crustaceans, and some other arthropods

      Example sentences:

      • In these fossils, detail of legs, antennae, wings, and even small body hairs are preserved.

      anthill keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /anthill/ [ae1.n.t.hh.ih2.l]

      Definition: A nest in the form of a mound built by ants or termites

      Example sentences:

      • All over the dunes I had noticed tiny little mounds that looked like anthills with no hole.

      anthropoid keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /an-thro-poid/ [no ipa available]

      Definition: Resembling a human being in form;Relating to the group of higher primates, which includes monkeys, apes, and humans

      Example sentences:

      • Archaeologists and site-workers anxiously probed into the sand and uncover three magnificently carved unidentified wooden anthropoid sarcophagi dating back to the 26th Dynasty.
      • Fundamental questions remain to be answered about anthropoid origins in Asia and Africa.

      anticipated keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /an-tic-i-pat-ed/ [ae0.n.t.ih1.s.ah0.p.ey2.t.ah0.d]

      Definition: expected hopefully

      Example senences:

      • It was the fourth year of a war whose devastation no one had anticipated and which no one could have imagined.

      antithesis keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /an-tithe-sis/ []

      Antithesis is the complete opposite of something. You can remember this because “antonym” means opposite type of word.

      • The villain is the antithesis of the princess.
      • Whenever I want my teenage daughter to do something, she typically does the anthesis.
      apparatus keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /ap-pa-ra-tus/ [ae2.p.er0.ae1.t.ah0.s]

      Definition: The technical equipment or machinery needed for a particular activity or purpose

      Example sentences:

      • 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.

      approximately keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /ap-prox-i-mate-ly/ [ah0.p.r.aa1.k.s.ah0.m.ah0.t.l.iy0]

      Definition: Used to show that something is almost, but not completely, accurate or exact; roughly

      Example senences:

      • The walk will cover a distance of four miles taking approximately two hours to complete.

      aptly keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /apt-ly/ [ae1.p.t.l.iy0]

      Definition: having the tendency to do something; likely

      Example sentences:

      • Sawfish and sawsharks are aptly named for their long, serrated snouts.
      • With news from pro-democracy protests continuing to stream out of the country through social media, the announcement is aptly timed.

      aquatic keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /aquat-ic/ [ah0.k.w.aa1.t.ih0.k]

      Definition: (Of a plant or animal) growing or living in or near water:

      Example sentences:

      • 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.
      • Aquatic ecosystems are divided into two major groups: marine, or saltwater, and freshwater, also known as nonsaline.
      • If human consumption outpaces natural restoration, the quality and quantity of remaining aquatic habitat suffer
      • Aquatic mammals are well adapted to life in the water with physical characteristics such as flippers, webbed feet, paddlelike tails and streamlined bodies.

      arable keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /arable/ [ae1.r.ah0.b.ah0.l]

      Definition: (Of land) used or suitable for growing crops.

      Example sentences:

      • 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.

      arbitrary keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /ar-bi-trary/ [aa1.r.b.ah0.t.r.eh2.r.iy0]

      Definition: Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system:

      Example sentences:

      • This numbering system is an arbitrary designation based on small amino acid sequence differences

      archaeologist keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /ar-chae-ol-o-gist/ [aa2.r.k.iy0.aa1.l.ah0.jh.ih0.s.t]

      Archaeology is the branch of anthropology that studies prehistoric people and their cultures.Therefore, an archaeologist is someone who studies prehistoric people and their cultures.

      archaic keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /ar-cha-ic/ [aa0.r.k.ey1.ih0.k]

      Definition: so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period

      Example sentences:

      • The use of standardized testing is an archaic tradition that punishes those who cannot afford thousands of dollars in tutoring to manipulate the test.
      • These archaic methods of farming must be brought up-to-date.

      architectural keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /ar-chi-tec-tur-al/ []

      Definition: (ADJECTIVE) architecture

      Example sentences:

      • Castledermot attracts a lot of tourists who visit the architectural remains in the area

      arid keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /arid/ [al..ah0.l.eh1.r.ih0.d]

      Arid land is so dry that very few plants can grow on it. Example sentences:

      • A desalination plant can convert sea water to drinking water in many arid regions of the world by the salt from seawater.
      • During the Miocene period, rainforests dried into partially arid deserts. Animals had to travel long distances to find food that was low-lying vegetation.
      arsenic keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /ar-senic/ [aa1.r.s.ah0.n.ih0.k]

      Definition: The chemical element of atomic number 33, a brittle steel-grey semimeta

      Example sentences:

      • In animals and plants, arsenic combines with carbon and hydrogen to form organic arsenic

      artisan keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /ar-ti-san/ [aa1.r.t.ah0.z.ah0.n]

      An artisan is a skilled worker who practices some trade or craft. In the past, blacksmith and carpenters were artisans, but today we consider artists artisans. You can remember this because you see the base word- art in the artisans. Jewelry and pottery makers are considered artisans because they are creating something with their hands.

      • The market showcased the work of hundreds of artisans.

      ascend keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /as-cend/ [ah0.s.eh1.n.d]

      Definition: Go up or climb

      Example sentences:

      asphalt keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /as-phalt/ [ae1.s.f.ao2.l.t]

      Definition: A mixture of dark bituminous pitch with sand or gravel, used for surfacing roads, flooring, roofing, etc..

      Example sentences:

      • Green floor tiles in the kids' bathroom are made of waste products derived from gravel, asphalt, and cement

      assimilate keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /as-sim-i-late/ [ah0.s.ih1.m.ah0.l.ey2.t]

      When people such as immigrants assimilate into a community or when that community assimilates them, they become an accepted part of it. Here are example sentences:

      • In order to assimilate into the new culture, immigrants should learn to follow the customs of the new country and learn the new language.
      • This country assimilates immigrants very quickly.
      • The organization’s goal is to help refugees to assimilate into American culture.
      • The Inca civilization arose in the mountainous regions of Peru in the early 13th century. From 1438 to 1533, the Inca assimilated a large part of western South Americans.

      If you assimilate new ideas, techniques, or information, you learn them and understand them thoroughly.  Here are example sentences:

      • Informed people generally assimilate information from several divergent sources before coming to an opinion.

      The verb "assimilate" can also mean to "absorb and digest". Here is an example sentence:

      • The sugars in the fruit are readily assimilated by the body
      assortment keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /as-sort-ment/ [ah0.s.ao1.r.t.m.ah0.n.t]

      Definition: a variety

      Example sentences:

      • I have an assortment of elective courses from which to choose

      astounding keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /as-tound-ing/ []

      Definition: bewildering or striking dumb with wonder

      Example sentences:

      • In the past year, American beekeepers have reported losing, on average, an astounding 42.1 per cent of their hives.

      astronaut keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /as-tro-naut/ [ae1.s.t.r.ah0.n.aa2.t]

      Astronomers are scientists who study astronomy. An astronaut is a person who is trained for traveling in a spacecraft. Don’t mistake astronomers for astronauts.

      astronomical keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /as-tro-nom-i-cal/ [ae2.s.t.r.ah0.n.aa1.m.ih0.k.ah0.l]

      Astronomical is the adjective. It means relating to astronomy. For example:

      • astronomical research, astronomical observations, astronomical knowledge, astronomical phenomena

      Let’s look at an example paragraph

      • Radio astronomy has led to substantial increases in astronomical knowledge, particularly with the discovery of several classes of new objects such as radio galaxies. This is because radio astronomy allows us to see things that are not detectable in optical astronomy.
      • It seems likely that a number of astronomical phenomena, such as the formation of planetary nebula, are caused by the interaction of two stars orbiting each other.
      • It was the first known astronomical observations made by Galileo. Until the early 1920s, most astronomers thought that the Milky Way contained all the stars in the Universe.

      We also often use “astronomical” to describe an amount like the cost of something is large. For example:

      • Houses in the village are selling for astronomical prices.
      • The cost is astronomical.
      astronomy keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /as-tron-o-my/ [ah0.s.t.r.aa1.n.ah0.m.iy0]

      Definition: The branch of science which deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole.

      Example senences:

      • He made a number of contributions to mathematics, physics and astronomy


      asymmetrical keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /asym-met-ri-cal/ [ey2.s.ah0.m.eh1.t.r.ih0.k.ah0.l]

      Definition: Having parts which fail to correspond to one another in shape, size, or arrangement; lacking symmetry

      Example sentences:

      • This difference used to be attributed to the asymmetrical shape of the human brain.

      atom keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /atom/ [anical..ae2.n.ah0.t.aa1.m.ih0.k.ah0.l]

      An atom is the smallest amount of a substance that can take part in a chemical reaction.

      attention keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /at-ten-tion/ []

      The noun attention can refer to an interest in something or someone. In this case, it is used in the noncount form. The phrase "pay attention to" is often used. Here are examples:

      • We focused our attention on this particular poem.
      • My attention wasn't really on the game.
      • The game was boring and my attention began to wander. (This means I was losing interest in the game and started thinking about other things)
      • You need to pay more attention to the teacher
      • May I have your attention, please? (When you ask that question, you are asking people to focus their mental powers on you.)  

      The preposition “at” is sometimes used before the word meaning standing silently with the body stiff and straight, the feet together, and both arms at the sides. Let’s take a look at the example below:

      • The troops stood at attention.
      • The citizens stand at attention when the national anthem is being played.


      The term "attention to detailis the ability to achieve thoroughness and accuracy when accomplishing a task.  When you pay attention to detail, you want to look at all the little things that make the whole to make sure you aren’t leaving anything outLet's look at some example sentences:

      • Her job requires careful attention to detail.
      • Employers love when people pay attention to detail; it ensures their company will run smoothly.
      • The engineers paid attention to detail when constructing the bridge.
      • Companies pay close attention to detail before marketing their products.

      The plural form attention is "attentions". This means the acts of kindness, care, or courtesy: acts that show affection or admiration for someone.

      Take a look at the examples below:

      • She has been receiving unwanted attentions from a coworker.
      attractive keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /at-trac-tive/ [ah0.t.r.ae1.k.t.ih0.v]

      Definition: (Of a thing) pleasing or appealing to the senses

      Example sentences:

      • He is a small, intense individual with an attractive, self-deprecating sense of humour.

      audit keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /au-dit/ [ao1.d.ih0.t]

      Definition: A systematic review or assessment of something

      Example sentences:

      • 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 keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /au-ro-ra bo-re-alis/ [no ipa available]

      Definition: 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.

      Example sentences:

      • The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted auroras near the poles of both Saturn and Jupiter.

      authoritarian keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /au-thor-i-tar-i-an/ []

      Definition: Favouring or enforcing strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom

      Example sentences:

      • The historiography reveals insights into the authoritarian mindset of freedom fighters shaped as a product of oppression and armed resistance.

      avalanche keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up
      /avalanche/ []

      Definition: A mass of snow, ice, and rocks falling rapidly down a mountainside

      Example senences:

      • Only on a mountain can you experience avalanches of snow or rock.

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