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sinewy [ SIN-yoo-ee ]

[ adjective ]
MEANING :
1. tough, strong or stingy
2. forceful, powerful or vigorous esp. in case of language
3. muscular
4. like or marked by the strength of sinews
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
His sinewy muscles were earned doing hard labour.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
Britain's industrial wastelands, the sinewy places which once produced the coa
l and steel, now lie empty and silent.
BBC, Why farmers think they deserve help, 20 September, 1999

smirk [ smurk ]
[ noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
MEANING :
1. (tr.v.) to simper, smile or express smugly
2. (tr.v.) to smile or simper in a smug manner
3. (n.) a smug smile or the expression on the face of one who smirks
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
He smirked simply to annoy her.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
Mr Stevenson is a man of great dignity and patience but Mr Zorin's face began
to crack, somewhere between a smirk and a sigh.
BBC, The last step of brinkmanship, 29 October, 2002


stanza [ STAN-zuh ]
[ noun ]
MEANING :
one among the many divisions of a poem that usually has a constant pattern of
rhyme scheme, number of lines and meter
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
The first stanza was better acclaimed than what followed.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
The fourth stanza of the moving poem is recited every year on Remembrance Sund
ay.
BBC, Plaque remembers war poem, 16 September, 2003

accrue [ uh'-KROO ]
[ intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
MEANING :
1. (intr.v.) to increase or accumulate as a result or outcome of growth
2. (intr.v.) to become legally enforceable as a claim
3. (intr.v.) to result due to increment
4. (tr.v.) to accumulate or collect over time
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
His wealth had accrued as a result of careful investments.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
Employees on long-term sick leave are entitled to take all holiday they have a
ccrued when they return to work, the European Court of Justice has ruled.
BBC, Sick leave staff win holiday case, 20 January 2009
vagary [ vuh'-GAIR-ee, VEY-guh-ree ]
[ noun ]
MEANING :
1. an erratic, unpredictable or unexpected action, course or instance
2. a whimsical or wild notion or action
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
The entire sports faculty was stunned because of this act of vagary.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
Perhaps the worst hit in this natural vagary is the film market 2001 that has
been organised at the gaganendra pradarshanalay to showcase various facets of th
e national and international entertainment industry.
The Times of India, Classic videos go abegging, 13 Nov 2001

snivel [ SNIV-uh l ]
[ noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
MEANING :
1. (intr.v.) to sniffle while weeping
2. (intr.v.) to whine or complain in a tearful manner
3. (tr.v.) to utter or speak while sniffling
4. (n.) nasal mucus
5. (n.) an act or instance of snivelling
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
His manners were revolting and my irritation increased when he snivelled.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
The only thing worse than an employee calling in sick is having them sniveling
and sneezing all over you.
CNN, Presenteeism more than a health risk, December 30, 2004


testy [ TES-tee ]
[ adjective ]
MEANING :
touchy, irritable or peevish
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
His testy behaviour got on everyone's nerves.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
He barely survived a confirmation vote after a testy confrontation on the tort
ure issue.
CNN, Attorney general dances around waterboarding issue, January 30, 2008

vehement [ VEE-uh'-muh'nt ]
[ adjective ]
MEANING :
1. intense, powerful, deeply passionate or emotional or fervid
2. strong, strenuous or full of vigour
3. violent or marked by anger
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
His vehement protests fell on deaf ears.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
Dima Pikunov is a burly, impetuous man of vehement moods and quiet charms.
National Geographic, Excerpts, October 2003

wheedle [ HWEED-l, WEED-l ]
[ intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
MEANING :
1. (tr.v.) to cajole or entice or persuade by means of flattery
2. (tr.v.) to obtain or procure by means of flattery
3. (intr.v.) to meet one's needs by using flattery
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
He wheedled and heaped lavish praise on the President.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
Jackson's lawyers have tried to paint his accuser's family as grifters with a
habit of wheedling money out of the rich and famous.
CNN, Jackson visits hospital again, June 6, 2005



uncouth [ uhn-KOOTH ]
[ adjective ]
MEANING :
1. clumsy, outlandish or unmannerly
2. crude, boorish or undefined
3. strange, unusual or ungraceful
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
His uncouth behaviour was embarrassing.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
The working-class people were "rough" and "tough" and sometimes "uncouth".
BBC, Beware the working class, 6 February 2009
wreak [ reek ]
[ transitive verb ]
MEANING :
1. to avenge or inflict or execute punishment
2. to cause or bring about
3. to vent, express or gratify one's emotions
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
The marauding forces wreaked havoc upon everything in their path.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
Breathing in polluted air may wreak havoc on our DNA, reprogramming genes in a
s few as three days and causing increased rates of cancer and other diseases.
National Geographic, Pollution Can Change Your DNA in 3 Days, Study Suggests, by
Ker Than, May 17, 2009

savour [ SEY-ver ]
[ noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
MEANING :
1. (n.) the flavour, taste or smell of something
2. (intr.v.) to have a particular flavour, smell or taste
3. (intr.v.) to relish or enjoy something
4. (tr.v.) to season or add flavour to something
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
The savour was so tantalizing that all the guests required seconds.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
If you eat proper chocolate and really savour the flavour then a small amount
goes a long way and does satisfy you.
BBC, 'Savour the real chocolate flavour', 12 March 2009

senescence [ si-NES-uh nt ]
[ noun ]
MEANING :
1. old age, antiquity or elderliness
2. the phase in the growth of a plant between maturity and death
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
Senescence has rendered him bedridden.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
One theory of ageing suggests senescence is a result of damage caused to body
cells by reactive molecules called free radicals.
Economist, Eat less. Live longer, Apr 12th 2007


skittish [ SKIT-ish ]
[ adjective ]
MEANING :
1. lively, capricious or restless
2. coy, shy or bashful
3. jumpy, restive, frightful or excitable
4. variable, uncertain, undependable or fickle
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
The kitten was skittish and a little jittery.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
SUVs are not as equipped as sporty cars to travel safely at higher speeds -- a
nd sporty cars tend to get skittish much more readily when it snows.
CNN, Safe driving rules everyone should follow, By Eric Peters, November 28, 200
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solvent [ SOL-vuh nt ]
[ noun, adjective ]
MEANING :
1. (adj.) capable of meeting or repaying legal debts
2. (adj.) capable of dissolving
3. (n.) a substance dissolving another when forming a solution
4. (n.) one providing a solution
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
Solvent funds are the need of the hour.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
Illegal sales of aerosols containing solvents took place in 95% of shops check
ed by a survey in Derbyshire.
BBC, Shop sting reveals solvent sales, 24 March, 2005
untenable [ uhn-TEN-uh'-buh'l ]
[ adjective ]
MEANING :
1. one that is incapable of being maintained or defended
2. incapable of habitation or occupation
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
The untenable stance of the government put the speaker in an awkward position.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
Mr Cable told "There has been a whole succession of disasters this week and it
may well be that (Mr Darling's) position is untenable eventually."
BBC, Darling's role 'nearly untenable', 25 November 2007


venial [ VEE-nee-uh'l, VEEN-yuh'l ]
[ adjective ]
MEANING :
1. forgivable or pardonable
2. excusable, minor or slight
3. (roman catholic church) deserving temporal punishment
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
The act was deemed venial by a unanimous jury.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
Graham Cowdrey points out most of the corruption by players which has so far b
een proved has been relatively venial.
BBC, How to be corrupt in cricket, 25 July, 2000

vulpine [ VUHL-pahyn, -pin ]
[ adjective ]
MEANING :
1. like or resembling a fox
2. cunning, clever, foxy or crafty
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
He was disliked on account of his vulpine features consisting of a pointed chi
n and small, beady eyes set in a triangular face.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
Blair has visibly aged, becoming more vulpine in appearance.
The Times of India, Last X'mas in 10, Downing Street?, by Rashmee Z Ahmed, 21 De
c 2003

stupor [ STOO-per, STYOO- ]
[ noun ]
MEANING :
1. a state when sensibility has been suspended or greatly diminished
2. stupefaction, lethargy, daze or apathy
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
He was brought out of his stupor by a kick to his shins.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
Not neglecting the feet or head, the therapist was thorough and left me in a s
ort of stupor. says Delaney
CNN, Pamper yourself: Mandarin Oriental, by Brigid Delaney, July 20, 2007

stoke [ stohk ]
[ intransitive verb, transitive verb ]
MEANING :
1. (tr.v.) to stir up, feed or fuel a fire
2. (tr.v.) to tend or fuel a furnace
3. (tr.v.) to intensify or activate
4. (intr.v.) to tend or fuel a fire
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :
He stoked the flames by adding fuel to the fire.

USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :
A wildfire stoked by heavy winds, high temperatures and low humidity burned hi
gh-end homes Wednesday in the foothills of Santa Barbara County, California.
CNN, Wildfires scorch parts of California, Arizona, May 7, 2009