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arduous / djus $ rdus / adjective

involving a lot of strength and effort

arduous task/work
the arduous task of loading all the boxes into the van
arduous journey/voyage
an arduous journey through the mountains
arduously adverb

smite / smat / verb ( past tense smote / smt $ smot / , past participle smitten / smtn / )
[ transitive ]
1 old use to hit something with a lot of force
2 biblical to destroy, attack, or punish someone

frown 1 / fran / verb [ intransitive ]

to make an angry, unhappy, or confused expression, moving your EYEBROW s together :
She frowned as she read the letter.
frown at
Mattie frowned at him disapprovingly.
frown on/upon somebody/something phrasal verb
to disapprove of someone or something, especially someones behaviour :
Even though divorce is legal, it is still frowned upon.

cahoots / khuts / noun

be in cahoots (with somebody) to be working secretly with another person or
group, especially in order to do something dishonest :
The Forest Service and the timber industry were in cahoots.

chagrin 1 / rn $ rn / noun [ uncountable ]

annoyance and disappointment because something has not happened the way you
to sbs chagrin
Much to her chagrin, I got the job.

vent 2 verb [ transitive ]

to express feelings of anger, hatred etc, especially by doing something violent or
vent something on somebody
If hes had a bad day, Paul vents his anger on the family.
vent something by doing something
I could hear mum venting her frustration by banging the pots noisily.
The meeting gave us a chance to vent our spleen (= anger ) .
inept / nept / adjective
not good at doing something OPP capable , skilful :
inept leadership
He was criticized for his inept handling of the problem.
politically/socially inept
Blake was intellectually able but politically inept.
ineptly adverb

volatile / vltal $ vltl / adjective

1 a volatile situation is likely to change suddenly and without warning OPP stable :
an increasingly volatile political situation
the highly volatile stock and bond markets
2 someone who is volatile can suddenly become angry or violent
3 technical a volatile liquid or substance changes easily into a gas OPP stable
volatility / vltlti, vltlti $ v- / noun [ uncountable ]

primordial / pramdil $ -mr- / adjective formal

1 existing at the beginning of time or the beginning of the Earth :
the primordial seas
2 primordial feelings are very strong and seem to come from the part of peoples character that is ancient and animal-
like :
He was driven on by a primordial terror.
3 the primordial soup the mixture of gases and other substances that people believe existed before the beginning of
life on Earth

stake 2 verb [ transitive ]

1 to risk losing something that is valuable or important to you on the result of something
stake something on somebody/something
Kevin is staking his reputation on the success of the project.
Jim staked his whole fortune on one card game.
2 Id stake my life on it spoken used when saying that you are completely sure that something is true, or that
something will happen :
Im sure thats Jesse Id stake my life on it.
3 ( also stake up ) to support something with stakes :
Young trees have to be staked.
4 ( also stake off ) to mark or enclose an area of ground with stakes :
A corner of the field has been staked off.
5 stake (out) a claim to say publicly that you think you have a right to have or own something
stake (out) a claim to
Both countries staked a claim to the islands.
stake something out phrasal verb informal
1 to watch a place secretly and continuously stakeout :
Police officers have been staking out the warehouse for weeks.
2 to mark or control a particular area so that you can have it or use it :
We went to the show early to stake out a good spot.
3 to state your opinions about something in a way that shows how your ideas are clearly separate from other peoples
ideas :
Johnson staked out the differences between himself and the other candidates.
stake 1 W3 / stek / noun
1 at stake if something that you value very much is at stake, you will lose it if a plan or action is not successful :
They have to win the contract thousands of jobs are at stake.
National pride is at stake in next weeks game against England.
2 COMPANY/BUSINESS [ countable ] if you have a stake in a business, you have INVEST ed money in it
hold/have a stake in something
He holds a 51% stake in the firm.
3 have a stake in something if you have a stake in something, you will get advantages if it is successful, and you feel
that you have an important connection with it :
Young people dont feel they have a stake in the countrys future.
4 MONEY RISKED [ countable ] money that you risk as the result of a horse race, card game etc :
For a dollar stake, you can win up to $1,000,000.
5 high stakes
a) if the stakes are high when you are trying to do something, you risk losing a lot or it will be dangerous if you fail :
Climbing is a dangerous sport and the stakes are high .
b) if the stakes are high when you are doing something such as playing a card game, you risk losing a lot of money
Were playing for high stakes here.
6 POIN [ countable ] a pointed piece of wood, metal etc, especially one that is pushed into the ground to support
something or mark a particular place :
tent stakes
Drive two stakes into the ground about three feet apart.
7 the stake a post to which a person was tied in former times before being killed by burning :
Suspected witches were burnt at the stake .
8 in the popularity/fashion etc stakes used when saying how popular, fashionable etc someone or something is :
Ben wouldnt score very highly in the popularity stakes.
9 (be prepared to) go to the stake for/over something British English to be willing to do anything to protect or defend
an idea or belief :
Thats my opinion, but I wouldnt go to the stake for it.
10 pull up stakes ( also up stakes British English ) informal to leave your job or home :
Were going to pull up stakes and move to Montana.

circumvent / skmvent $ sr- / verb [ transitive ] formal

1 to avoid a problem or rule that restricts you, especially in a clever or dishonest way used to show disapproval :
The company opened an account abroad, in order to circumvent the tax laws.
2 to avoid something by changing the direction in which you are travelling :
We went north in order to circumvent the mountains.
circumvention / -ven n / noun [ uncountable ]

sequester / skwest $ -r / verb [ transitive usually passive ] formal

1 to keep a person or a group of people away from other people :
The jury were sequestered during the trial.
2 British English to sequestrate

inscrutable / nskrutb l / adjective

someone who is inscrutable shows no emotion or reaction in the expression on their face so that it is impossible to
know what they are feeling or thinking :
He stood silent and inscrutable.
inscrutably adverb
inscrutability / nskrutblti, nskrutblti / noun [ uncountable ]

haphazard / hphzd $ -rd / adjective

happening or done in a way that is not planned or organized
a haphazard way/manner/fashion
I continued my studies in a rather haphazard way.
Educational provision in the country is haphazard.
haphazardly adverb :
bushes growing haphazardly here and there

ogle / l $ o- / verb [ intransitive and transitive ]

to look at someone in a way that shows you think they are sexually attractive used in order to show disapproval SYN
leer :
I didnt like the way he was ogling me.

curfew / kfju $ kr- / noun [ uncountable and countable ]

1 a law that forces people to stay indoors after a particular time at night, or the time people must be indoors :
The government imposed a night-time curfew throughout the country.
The curfew was lifted (= ended ) on May 6th.
The whole town was placed under curfew .
Anyone found in the streets after curfew was shot.
2 American English the time, decided by a parent, by which a child must be home or asleep in the evening

exorbitant / zbt nt, zbt nt $ -r- / adjective

an exorbitant price, amount of money etc is much higher than it should be SYN astronomical
exorbitant rent/prices etc
exorbitant rates of interest
exorbitantly adverb
expensive costing a lot of money : an expensive car | Apartments in the city are very expensive. | An underground train
system is expensive to build.
high costing a lot of money.You use high about rents/fees/prices/costs. Dont use expensive with these words : Rents
are very high in this area. | Lawyers charge high fees. | the high cost of living in Japan
dear [ not before noun ] British English spoken expensive compared to the usual price : 3.50 seems rather dear for a cup
of coffee.
pricey / prasi / informal expensive : The clothes are beautiful but pricey.
costly expensive in a way that wastes money : Upgrading the system would be very costly. | They were anxious to avoid a
costly legal battle.
cost a fortune informal to be very expensive : The necklace must have cost a fortune!
exorbitant / zbt nt, zbt nt $ -r- / much too expensive : Some accountants charge exorbitant fees.
astronomical astronomical prices, costs, and fees are extremely high : the astronomical cost of developing a new
spacecraft | the astronomical prices which some people had paid for their seats | The cost of living is astronomical.
overpriced too expensive and not worth the price : The DVDs were vastly overpriced.
somebody cant afford something someone does not have enough money to buy or do something : Most people cant
afford to send their children to private schools.

tardy / tdi $ trdi / adjective formal

1 arriving or done late :
Do please forgive this tardy reply.
Hes been tardy three times this semester.
2 doing something too slowly or late
tardy in
people who are tardy in paying their bills
tardily adverb
tardiness noun [ uncountable ]

enact / nkt / verb [ transitive ]

1 formal to act in a play, story etc :
a drama enacted on a darkened stage
2 law to make a proposal into a law :
Congress refused to enact the bill.
enactment noun [ uncountable and countable ]

incentive AC / nsentv / noun [ uncountable and countable ]

something that encourages you to work harder, start a new activity etc motivation :
As an added incentive , theres a bottle of champagne for the best team.
create/provide/give somebody an incentive
Awards provide an incentive for young people to improve their skills.
incentive to do something
Farmers lack any incentive to manage their land organically.
economic/financial/tax etc incentives
a recycling drive backed with financial incentives
have an incentive Companies have an incentive to maximize efficiency.
give/offer somebody an incentive If you want people to change their behaviour, it's a good idea to offer them some kind
of incentive.
provide somebody with an incentive Good teachers provide their students with incentives to learn.
create an incentive We need to create an incentive for people to recycle their rubbish.
act as an incentive (= be an incentive ) The chance of promotion acts as an incentive for many employees.
a strong/powerful incentive The possibility of acquiring wealth acts as a strong incentive in many people's lives.
a significant incentive The high financial rewards provide a significant incentive.
a greater incentive The scheme gives industry a greater incentive to tackle pollution.
the main incentive What is the main incentive for people to join the army?
an extra/added incentive The cash prize gives contestants an added incentive to do well.
economic/financial incentives (= money that is offered to someone as an incentive ) Doctors are encouraged through
financial incentives to work in poor areas.
cash incentives The scheme gives farmers cash incentives to manage the countryside for wildlife.
tax incentives (= a reduction in tax, offered to people as an incentive ) Tax incentives are provided for employees to buy
shares in their own companies.
price incentives (= lower prices, offered to people as an incentive ) The strong December sales were attributed to
attractive price incentives.
an incentive scheme/system The incentive scheme was introduced to encourage companies to use renewable energy
have little/no incentive to do something Poor farmers have little incentive to grow crops for export.

tinker 1 / tk $ -r / verb [ intransitive ]

to make small changes to something in order to repair it or make it work better
tinker with
Congress has been tinkering with the legislation.
tinker around with something
Dad was always tinkering around with engines.

barter 1 / bt $ brtr / verb [ intransitive and transitive ]

to exchange goods, work, or services for other goods or services rather than for money
barter (with somebody) for something
I had to barter with the locals for food.
barter something for something
They bartered their grain for salt.

observable / bzvb l $ -r- / adjective

something that is observable can be seen or noticed noticeable :
an observable change in behaviour
observably adverb

ostracize ( also ostracise British English ) / strsaz $ - / verb [ transitive ]

if a group of people ostracize someone, they refuse to accept them as a member of the group :
She was afraid that if she spoke up her colleagues would ostracize her.
He was ostracized by the other students.
ostracism / -sz m / noun [ uncountable ] :
He suffered years of ostracism.
conceal / knsil / verb [ transitive ] formal
1 to hide something carefully :
The shadows concealed her as she crept up to the house.
The path was concealed by long grass.
a concealed weapon
2 to hide your real feelings or the truth :
She tried to conceal the fact that she was pregnant.
conceal something from somebody
She was taking drugs and trying to conceal it from me.
concealment noun [ uncountable ] :
deliberate concealment of his activities

absent-minded =forgetful

fair-minded / $ . .. / adjective
able to understand and judge situations fairly and always considering other peoples opinions :
Hes a fair-minded man Im sure hell listen to what you have to say.

bloody-minded adjective
deliberately making things difficult for other people awkward :
Stop being so bloody-minded!
bloody-mindedness noun [ uncountable ]

Id been in two minds about going ...

We had torrential rain last night.

I had considerable difficulty getting here.

The storm caused extensive damage.

This place was in utter chaos when I arrived.

The children had a narrow escape.

showing disapproval
if someone speaks to you or looks at you in a disapproving way, they show by the way they talk or look that they
disapprove of you The announcement of a further pay increase for politicians provoked disapproving comments from
the leader of the opposition party.disapproving glance/look/stare John gave me a disapproving look when I suggested
another drink.
a derogatory remark expresses disapproval of something or someone and is often also insulting I wish you wouldn't
make derogatory remarks about members of my family. I didn't like the way he made derogatory comments about his
formal a pejorative word expresses disapproval, often in an offensive way He used the word 'girl' in the pejorative
sense when referring to the women who worked for him.
opaque / pek $ o- / adjective [ usually before noun ]
1 opaque glass or liquid is difficult to see through and often thick OPP transparent :
a shower with an opaque glass door
2 formal difficult to understand SYN obscure :
an opaque style of writing
opaqueness noun [ uncountable ]

virtually S2 W2 AC / vtuli $ vr- / adverb

1 almost SYN practically :
Virtually all the children come to school by bus.
He was virtually unknown before running for office.
2 on a computer, rather than in the real world :
Professors can help students virtually by communicating over the Internet.

countenance 2 verb [ transitive ]

formal to accept, support, or approve of something
countenance (somebody) doing something
I will not countenance you being rude to Dr Baxter.

attentive / tentv / adjective

1 listening to or watching someone carefully because you are interested OPP inattentive :
an attentive audience
2 making sure someone has everything they need
attentive to
Customers want companies that are attentive to their needs.
attentively adverb
attentiveness noun [ uncountable ]

fallacious / fles / adjective formal

containing or based on false ideas :
Such an argument is misleading, if not wholly fallacious.
fallaciously adverb

clincher / klnt $ -r / noun [ countable ]

informal a fact, action, or remark that finally persuades someone to do something, or that ends an argument,
discussion, or competition :
Sixsmith scored the clincher after 81 minutes.

newfangled / njuf ld $ nu- / adjective [ only before noun ]

recently designed or produced usually used to show disapproval or distrust :
newfangled ideas about childrens education

incendiary 1 / nsendiri $ -dieri / adjective

1 [ only before noun ] designed to cause a fire
incendiary bomb/device
The explosion seems to have been caused by an incendiary device.
2 an incendiary speech, piece of writing etc is intended to make people angry :
a hip-hop album with incendiary lyrics
dire / da $ dar / adjective
1 extremely serious or terrible :
warnings of dire consequences that often dont come true
The country is in dire need of food aid.
The situation looked dire.
2 be in dire straits to be in an extremely difficult or serious situation :
Everyone agrees the sport is in dire straits.
3 dire warning/prediction/forecast a warning about something terrible that will happen in the future :
Last night there were dire warnings of civil war.

conundrum / knndrm / noun [ countable ]

1 a confusing and difficult problem :
the conundrum of our purpose on Earth
2 a trick question asked for fun SYN riddle

abomination / bmne n, bmne n $ b- / noun

[ countable ] someone or something that is extremely offensive or unacceptable :
Slavery was an abomination.

entail / ntel / verb [ transitive ]

1 to involve something as a necessary part or result :
A new computer system entails a lot of re-training.
Some foreign travel is entailed in the job.
entail doing something
The journey will entail changing trains twice.
2 old use if you entail property, you arrange for it to be given to a specific person, usually your oldest son, when you die

sundry / sndri / adjective [ only before noun ]

1 all and sundry everyone, not just a few carefully chosen people :
I dont want you telling our private business to all and sundry.

quid pro quo / kwd pr kw $ -pro kwo / noun ( plural quid pro quos ) [ countable ]
something that you give or do in exchange for something else, especially when this arrangement is not official
quid pro quo for
Theres a quid pro quo for everything in politics youll soon learn that.

evocative / vktv $ v- / adjective

making people remember something by producing a feeling or memory in them
evocative of
a picture that is wonderfully evocative of a hot, summers day
evocative music

modicum / mdkm $ m- / noun

a modicum of something formal a small amount of something, especially a good quality :
a modicum of common sense

propensity / prpensti, prpensti / noun ( plural propensities ) [ countable usually singular ]

formal a natural tendency to behave in a particular way
propensity to do something
the male propensity to fight
propensity for
He seems to have a propensity for breaking things.