ACT Vocabulary List – 148 Words


stick to firmly

Pharmacists would have to make sure their professional decisions adhere to guidelines set by the Indiana Board of Pharmacy in order to get legal immunity.Washington Times (Feb 14, 2016)

remote in manner

Cold and aloof, he was at times irritable when the roar of adulation went silent–he craved notice.Salon (Feb 15, 2016)

having more than one possible meaning

She was the only person of colour in the company, and when they hired me, I took that spot … the ethnically ambiguous person of colour.”The Guardian (Feb 17, 2016)

break down into components or essential features

Three UW researchers, who aren’t wildlife biologists but were intrigued by the earlier study, analyzed the same data with a different statistical approach.Washington Times (Feb 17, 2016)

short account of an incident

I’ve heard plenty of anecdotes to support this notion from colleagues, but I’ve seen no good evidence to prove it.New York Times (Feb 15, 2016)

provoke the hostility of

Scalia famously antagonized more than one of his colleagues with his sharp elbows and refusal to compromise.Slate (Feb 16, 2016)

regard something as probable or likely

Studies show anticipation can actually be more enjoyable than getting the thing you’re anticipating.Time (Feb 17, 2016)

in fear or dread of possible evil or harm

His overall memory of the game itself: “Nervousness. I was apprehensive.”Los Angeles Times (Jan 31, 2016)

requiring secret or mysterious knowledge

Many decisions the court makes delve into arcane areas of the law that seem to have little bearing on ordinary Americans.New York Times (Feb 15, 2016)

declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true

But other countries, including the Philippines and Vietnam, also have asserted claims to some of the specks of land in the region.Los Angeles Times (Feb 16, 2016)

estimate the nature, quality, ability or significance of

“Oftentimes, medications are adjusted during a hospitalization so it is important to assess which medications should be stopped or resumed at hospital discharge,” Prescott says.US News (Feb 17, 2016)

a quality belonging to or characteristic of an entity

In concluding his rally in Plymouth, Trump played to his best attribute by staying unconventional in his closing pitch.US News (Feb 8, 2016)

put up with something or somebody unpleasant

Executives from headquarters bickered with those running some kinds of stores about who should bear the distribution costs, the former finance executive said.Reuters (Feb 17, 2016)

become of; happen to

In “438 Days,” Jonathan Franklin re-creates the harrowing experiences that befell the men as they battled for survival while stranded at sea.Washington Post (Feb 11, 2016)

grow and flourish

But he disagrees that political favoritism toward business interests and away from ordinary citizens is the primary reason for burgeoning inequality.US News (Feb 9, 2016)

marked by an orderly and consistent relation of parts

But once the asylum seekers have landed in Europe, the continent still has no coherent system for managing the flows.Washington Post (Feb 16, 2016)

a deep awareness of and sympathy for another’s suffering

Francis has long spoken out on the importance of compassion for migrants, an issue that has become deeply political during the U.S. presidential race.US News (Feb 17, 2016)

make amends for

“Hopefully, as the political process begins to develop, Cuba will compensate its citizens for property it confiscated,” Mr. Hall said.New York Times (Feb 16, 2016)

something added to embellish or make perfect

Other scholars say that, at least for now, online shopping appears to be complementing brick-and-mortar shopping, not replacing it.New York Times (Feb 16, 2016)

form the substance of

In the live story of Saturday’s Republican debate, which was composed of 48 segments, only six contained footage from the actual event.New York Times (Feb 12, 2016)

characteristic of those who treat others with arrogance

What many women heard was a patronizing and condescending lecture that suggested they were not in charge of their own bodies.MSNBC (Feb 4, 2016)

one after the other

In town, Baldasaro has his detractors, but he has been elected as representative for five consecutive two-year terms.The Guardian (Feb 16, 2016)

any spatial attributes, especially as defined by outline

The terrain was obscured by an impenetrable fogbank, the contours blotted out by ice-encrusted goggles and a barrage of chalky face-shots.Washington Times (Feb 6, 2016)

make or become more narrow or restricted

Telecom manufacturing and services also contracted, losing 3,219 jobs, a sign perhaps that investors have their attention on other areas of technology.Wall Street Journal (Feb 17, 2016)

prove negative; show to be false

Police say that after being confronted with evidence contradicting her story, Holt confessed to fabricating the events she reported.Washington Times (Feb 5, 2016)

bear a reciprocal or mutual relation

Animal heart rates tend to correlate to their size, with smaller animals having quicker rates, Oyama explains.National Geographic

an inference following from the proof of another proposition

It’s not as if the obvious corollary of tipping for good service – not tipping for bad service – is culturally acceptable.The Guardian (Oct 15, 2015)

of a serious examination and judgment of something

Halstead says taking the test only requires students to memorize facts, not use critical thinking skills.Washington Times (Feb 16, 2016)

not elegant or graceful in expression

And even when that’s successful, many important commands are buried in a remote screen’s submenus, making them cumbersome to operate.New York Times (Feb 10, 2016)

the property of being less than expected or required

They hint at the promise of outfoxing learning deficits with cognitive science, experts said, but they also point to the difficulties involved.New York Times (Feb 15, 2016)

reduce in worth or character, usually verbally

The men recalled students being civil to them, with the exception of a few who regularly demeaned them with racial slurs.Washington Post (Feb 2, 2016)

give a description of

Most of the photographs depict a pile of one material, which has been collected and sorted, then shredded, pancaked, stacked, crushed, or otherwise transformed.The New Yorker (Feb 17, 2016)

find out or learn with certainty, as by making an inquiry

The FBI has also been trying to determine whether the couple received any additional help in plotting and carrying out the attacks.Los Angeles Times (Feb 16, 2016)

completely wanting or lacking

The bay’s water has become so polluted, vast areas are called “dead zones” because they are devoid of life.Washington Times (Feb 17, 2016)

acquire a distinct character

Previous studies have shown that dogs can differentiate between human emotions from signs such as facial expressions.Reuters (Feb 16, 2016)

spread out; not concentrated in one place

The images of each of the 400mm lenses are assembled into a single picture of galaxies that were too diffuse to find with conventional telescopes.Washington Post (Aug 24, 2015)

wander from a direct or straight course

Bonds did not answer the question immediately and instead digressed about his father and family and friendship.Los Angeles Times (Sep 18, 2014)

decrease in size, extent, or range

Brain scans published in 2014 have showed diminished grey matter in people with hearing loss over six years.The Guardian (Feb 14, 2016)

a difference between conflicting facts or claims or opinions

The rescued figures were lower than the city government had reported Saturday, and there was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.US News (Feb 7, 2016)

unwilling because of mild dislike or disapproval

Mr. Kaplan took piano lessons as a boy but, disinclined to practice, did not seem destined for a life in music.Washington Post (Jan 4, 2016)

the feeling of despair in the face of obstacles

In 2012, Mr. Stephenson realized, much to his dismay, that his staff was woefully unschooled for the new technology.New York Times (Feb 13, 2016)

your usual mood

In Brown’s depiction, he captures Emma’s easy-going and gentle nature, which did much to balance his cantankerous disposition and moodiness.BBC (Feb 7, 2016)

characterized by action or forcefulness of personality

What we do get is the spectacle of perpetual political maneuvering that starts with public policy and increasingly boils down to internal family dynamics.Washington Post (Feb 5, 2016)

the phenomenon when one celestial body obscures another

“We argue that communications in the future will neither be eclipsed into darkness nor illuminated without shadow.”US News (Feb 1, 2016)

come out into view, as from concealment

But when it emerged, decades ago, that car manufacturers were putting safety way down their list of things that mattered, the government stepped in.Slate (Feb 17, 2016)

standing above others in quality or position

One of the biggest blows to the musical world so far this year was the death of David Bowie, rock’s eminent glammy alien.The Verge (Feb 15, 2016)

consume all of one’s attention or time

The FBI is engaged in a heated battle with Apple, demanding the tech giant unlock the cellphone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.The Verge (Feb 17, 2016)

devote fully to

Travelers take little notice as he sets up between Gates 2 and 3, too engrossed in their smartphones and iPads.Washington Post (Jan 23, 2016)

characterized by lightness and insubstantiality

It’s unadulterated cotton candy — delicate, sweet, ethereal and, most of all, changeable.Los Angeles Times (Aug 21, 2015)

undergo development

At 26, Molina has evolved from a child prodigy to a performer and composer of complex concert pieces.Washington Times (Feb 14, 2016)

use or manipulate to one’s advantage

He said that while there is no publicly known attack code using the flaw, it’s a “near certainty” hackers would try to exploit the weakness.BBC (Feb 16, 2016)

make easier

Metrorail exists to facilitate movement of large numbers of people, which would be otherwise difficult or impossible via road, even under the best of circumstances.Washington Post (Feb 5, 2016)

make believe with the intent to deceive

Perhaps this prompts cynicism among voters who see soon-to-be presidential candidates feign indecision about running while they solicit large contributions to their super PACs.Washington Post (Jun 5, 2015)

lasting for a markedly brief time

Maybe 50 percent are reasonably sure and generally quite happy but experience periodic, though fleeting, moments of doubt.Slate (Feb 11, 2016)

extremely obvious or conspicuous

To Levin, the O. J. Simpson case offered a glaring example of how differently the law was applied to celebrities and to ordinary citizens.The New Yorker (Feb 22, 2016)

something difficult to endure

American life can be very hard; hardship often makes people angry, bitter and eager for conflict.The Guardian (Feb 11, 2016)

move with or as if with a rushing sound

Bostian slammed on the emergency brake as the train hurtled into the northbound turn, but it came too late to keep the train on track.Washington Post (Feb 1, 2016)

cause to be submerged

Tech companies have spent years developing better, cheaper devices to immerse people in digital worlds.New York Times (Feb 16, 2016)

close in time; about to occur

But diplomacy that perpetually, and falsely, holds out the prospect of imminent progress can end up providing a cover and an excuse for inaction.Washington Post (Feb 14, 2016)

not capable of movement or of being moved

His left leg, damaged by a shot to the thigh, was immobile.New York Times (Nov 30, 2015)

not admitting of passage or capable of being affected

Valuable, rare, durable, and impervious to tarnish, gold has always lent itself easily to metaphor.The New Yorker (Sep 14, 2015)

arousing to action or rebellion

His incendiary comments about undocumented immigrants from Mexico has upended the party’s plan to attract Hispanic voters.Washington Post (Jan 21, 2016)

not qualified or suited for a purpose

Superior Court judge threw out those laws in 2014, ruling that they harmed students by keeping incompetent teachers in classrooms.Los Angeles Times (Feb 14, 2016)

totally unlikely

“It’s almost inconceivable that anyone that age would have a good set of financial skills.”Forbes (Jul 17, 2015)

incapable of being broken up

Their hearts were united from that moment by a bond which no circumstance could break and which love, esteem, time, and the law rendered indissoluble.”Kite, Elizabeth S.

incapable of being avoided or prevented

Perhaps friction is inevitable when one restaurant is ranked against another, and one country’s cuisine appears to be valued more or less highly than another’s.BBC (Feb 6, 2016)

conclude by reasoning

These pictures enabled the team to infer what was going on deep beneath the surface.BBC (Jan 11, 2016)

make into a whole or make part of a whole

The agreement sets out commitments to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency and integrate solar and wind generation into electricity grids.The Guardian (Feb 16, 2016)

instinctive knowing, without the use of rational processes

Intuition says that, of course, playing with a puppy or other pet would be relaxing, but it’s not generally a subject for scientific research.Washington Times (Feb 14, 2016)

show to be right by providing proof

Here are three situations that justify applying late during rolling admissions, as well as several tips to maximize your chances of acceptance.US News (Feb 15, 2016)

the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable

Some participants expressed frustration at the lack of boundaries or rules in place for their younger siblings or other relatives.Slate (Feb 17, 2016)

potentially existing but not presently evident or realized

Genetic testing services such as 23andMe launched with the promise of informing consumers about the risk factors latent in their genes.Slate (Jan 20, 2016)

deficient in alertness or activity

DEC officials say there were no obvious injuries to the bird but witnesses reported it appeared sick and lethargic.Washington Times (Jan 27, 2016)

being nothing more than specified

Mere possession of a car isn’t the same as ownership; otherwise anyone who found your car keys would own what used to be your car.Slate (Feb 16, 2016)

infinitely or immeasurably small

Yet compared with the United States, the incidence of gun violence in Canada, which has a population of 35.2 million people, is almost minute.Washington Post (Feb 13, 2016)

an unpredictable outcome that is unfortunate

While in this mode, the laptop’s keyboard is automatically disabled to avoid any accidental typing mishaps.Time (Jan 29, 2016)

longing for something past

Like collectors of many other breeds, from baseball cards to pinball machines, cereal box aficionados are fueled largely by nostalgia.The Verge (Feb 16, 2016)

a general inclusive concept

The notion that politicians used to engage in a high-minded, cooperative process, with well-intentioned policymakers finding common ground with their opponents, is pretty silly.MSNBC (Feb 16, 2016)

no longer in use

Is fast-developing technology, such as underwater drones, improved sonar and better airborne surveillance, making submarines obsolete?The Guardian (Jan 21, 2016)

block passage through

Tanaka is scheduled to stand trial in March for his alleged role in obstructing the federal investigation into the jails.Los Angeles Times (Feb 10, 2016)

leave undone or leave out

Yet prosecutors — who the filmmakers say declined their request to participate in “Making a Murderer” — have claimed the film omits physical evidence against Avery.US News (Jan 17, 2016)

determine one’s position with reference to another point

Cyanobacteria have been known for over a century to be phototactic, meaning they can orient in the direction of, and travel towards, light sources.Economist (Feb 11, 2016)

a statement that contradicts itself

“We’ve created this paradox in organizations where we’re asking people who are competing with each other to also collaborate,” he said.Washington Post (Feb 2, 2016)

deeply or seriously thoughtful

In the first image, Charlotte looks somewhat pensive, her blue eyes radiant with wisdom.MSNBC (Nov 29, 2015)

a state of danger involving risk

Back in 1786, Benjamin Franklin commented extensively on the perils of lead poisoning, but industry ignored the dangers and marketed lead aggressively.New York Times (Feb 13, 2016)

continuing forever or indefinitely

The trap was dubbed the ” perpetual mousetrap” by Colin Pullinger, as it was claimed that it would last a lifetime.BBC (Feb 5, 2016)

reflect deeply on a subject

“Because the meaning of the Civil War remains unresolved, we continue to ponder Lincoln’s legacies into the 21st century.”New York Times (Feb 14, 2016)

having a strong physiological or chemical effect

They say that worms, or drugs developed from them, could be potent treatments for these ailments, superior to current approaches, and with fewer side-effects.The Guardian (Feb 8, 2016)

be earlier in time

Simply put, in four months, the department implemented reforms that it had failed to enact during the 21 months preceding Gus Deeds’s death.Washington Post (Feb 12, 2016)

be earlier in time; go back further

Many incidents occurred in 2014 and predate the current chief, Gregory M. Dean, although some have occurred under his watch.Washington Post (Jan 5, 2016)

a basic generalization that is accepted as true

Aubrey Bettencourt, executive director of the California Water Alliance, said the proposal’s guiding principle is more water for every use.Los Angeles Times (Feb 15, 2016)

having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude

By eighth grade, Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. noted last year, only 44 percent of American students are proficient in reading and math.US News (Feb 16, 2016)

situated at or extending to great depth

“It will require exploring possibilities for realising ‘negative’ emissions as well as profound lifestyle changes of current generations.”The Guardian (Feb 15, 2016)

strong and sharp to the sense of taste

A 2m-tall flower, known for its pungent odour which has been likened to rotting flesh, has bloomed in Australia.BBC (Dec 28, 2015)

more than is needed, desired, or required

We may figure that with the Caribbean and Hawaii closer by, another tropical island destination would be redundant.Washington Post (Feb 4, 2016)

give evidence of

Expressed in beats per minute, your heart rate reflects your body’s ability to provide oxygenated blood to your tissues.US News (Feb 17, 2016)

having a bearing on or connection with the subject at issue

“This a condition that is relevant to every city,” says Bench, “not just a down-and-out place, but also a thriving one.”The Guardian (Feb 17, 2016)

feel bitter or indignant about

Gutowski grudgingly agreed to give up part to finally settle the matter and move on, but he resents how his life was put in knots.Washington Times (Feb 7, 2016)

give new life or energy to

Bush has deliberately avoided politics since leaving the White House in 2009, but made an exception to help revive his brother’s once-promising candidacy.Washington Post (Feb 15, 2016)

being in the earliest stages of development

From the first rudimentary cave markings to wall planners, desk diaries and computerized charts, calendars have always been with us.BBC (Feb 11, 2016)

relating to or concerned in sensation

Enjoy the experience. Part of the sensory pleasure of food is the time we take to see, smell and chew.US News (Feb 9, 2016)

marked by or given to doubt

After decades of broken promises, Sandbranch residents, who harbor a deep-seated distrust of government, are skeptical that the renewed attention will bring lasting improvements.Washington Times (Feb 14, 2016)

dignified and somber in manner or character

After bringing in the coffin, the eight pallbearers gave it a slow, solemn salute as family members and other mourners filed in.Washington Times (Feb 15, 2016)

not in physical motion

On a static trapeze, unlike other forms, the ropes are fixed and mostly don’t swing.BBC (Feb 16, 2016)

the highest level or degree attainable

Apple’s advantage is that it designs and builds software together, so if the software isn’t excellent, it does the superlative hardware a disservice.The Verge (Feb 3, 2016)

capable of being prolonged

The American people would benefit from seeing what a concrete plan to put the budget on a more sustainable long-term path looks like.US News (Feb 12, 2016)

a distinguishing feature of your personal nature

Among traits seen as preferable by the public, military service ranks most positively.MSNBC (Feb 15, 2016)

(informal) small and of little importance

The president and his aides have long been frustrated by a political and media environment that they view as too focused on trivial, short-term matters.New York Times (Dec 19, 2015)

of persons; marked by failure to realize full potentialities

Now comes an exciting plan developed by library officials that we hope will have better success than the unrealized ideas of the past.Washington Post (Mar 26, 2015)

declare invalid

Whitehead was declared the legal mother and granted visitation rights, and Stern’s wife’s adoption of the baby was voided.Slate (Feb 14, 2016)

to the full or entire extent

I remember watching her eat with her hands and feeling wholly uncivilized with my fork.Between the World and Me

present in great quantity

Although there’s abundant research on pesticides on food, there’s little information about the effects of heating and inhaling such chemicals.Washington Times (Feb 15, 2016)

elevation above sea level or above the earth’s surface

“The issue is real. We have plenty of pilot reports of drones where they were not expected, particularly at low altitudes around airports,” he added.BBC (Feb 15, 2016)

a prominent attribute or aspect of something

“Problematic Internet use” is now considered to be a behavioral addiction with characteristics that are similar to substance use disorders.Slate (Feb 17, 2016)

a reaction of a substance with oxygen to give heat and light

Typically, super luminous supernovae are the result of thermonuclear combustion — or a big star bomb, essentially.The Verge (Jan 14, 2016)

the property of transmitting heat, electricity, or sound

The third method relies on existing wearable technology that records heart rate, blood oxygen in the arteries and electrical conductivity in the skin.US News (Dec 8, 2015)

be compatible, similar, or consistent

“The increase of the illnesses closely corresponds with the timeframe of the switch to the Flint River water.Washington Times (Feb 4, 2016)

lose velocity; move more slowly

Once the Falcon 9 reaches space and separates from the top of the vehicle, it decelerates and flips around to make the journey back.The Verge (Jan 13, 2016)

a pretrial interrogation of a witness

According to sworn depositions by the two officers pursuing him, Esau Castellanos was speeding at 80 mph and crashed on the city’s northwest side.Washington Times (Jan 9, 2016)

mark as different

Lotteries are loved by social scientists because the winners and losers, distinguished by chance alone, are statistically identical.Economist (Feb 4, 2016)

being effective without wasting time, effort, or expense

He is campaigning on a promise to run a more efficient government, and has vowed to stem official corruption, a key issue for some voters.US News (Feb 17, 2016)

give off, send forth, or discharge

Fluorescence occurs when materials absorb energy and then emit it as light.New York Times (Feb 15, 2016)

become ground down or deteriorate

Supporters of the measure have said they’re concerned new technologies such as automated license plate readers that track motorists threaten to erode individual privacy.Washington Times (Feb 16, 2016)

a process in which something passes to a different stage

Its four telescopes should enable scientists to discover more about how galaxy clusters are formed, and the evolution of black holes.BBC (Feb 17, 2016)

put to use

They employ thousands of workers and control much of the local economy, exerting political power to advance their aims locally and in Washington.MSNBC (Feb 17, 2016)

show; make visible or apparent

The fact that most people infected with the virus will not exhibit symptoms also has the agency concerned.Time (Feb 16, 2016)

any igniter used to initiate the burning of a propellant

Although tempers cooled in the years following the Sagebrush Rebellion, the movement lit a fuse that continued to burn.Time (Jan 4, 2016)

determine the capacity, volume or contents of by measurement

Weiss’s instrument would gauge the difference between these two fluctuating lengths, and it would do so on a gigantic scale, using miles of steel tubing.The New Yorker (Feb 11, 2016)

draw from specific cases for broader cases

Trainers offer content, but it’s generalized and doesn’t focus on daily application to classroom lessons.Slate (Feb 16, 2016)

acknowledged as a supposition

Trump also repeated his threat to possibly bring a lawsuit over Cruz’s eligibility to be on the ballot, given that he was born in Canada.US News (Feb 17, 2016)

a tentative insight that is not yet verified or tested

Observation is always done with some hypotheses in mind–we can’t understand the world from a totally blank slate.Time (Feb 1, 2016)

increasing gradually by regular degrees or additions

The system — and by this we mean the constitutional structure of checks and balances — requires policymakers to settle for incremental changes.Washington Post (Feb 12, 2016)

undamaged in any way

All that is believed to have survived intact is a Bible that an 8-year-old girl rescued by returning to the burning building.New York Times (Feb 17, 2016)

a definite length of time marked off by two instants

The battery life improvements come from a new power saving mode for GPS, allowing the Band to track location in intervals rather than continuously.The Verge (Feb 3, 2016)

the immature free-living form of most invertebrates and amphibians and fish which at hatching from the egg is fundamentally unlike its parent and must metamorphose

The animal thrives in warm, moist soil, where the eggs hatch and then mature into tiny larvae that can tunnel up through bare feet.The New Yorker (Dec 14, 2015)

the second of two or the second mentioned of two

Trump also levied attacks at Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the latter for his disastrous debate performance in New Hampshire earlier this month.Time (Feb 15, 2016)

the property of a body that causes it to have weight

In high school physics, gravity is taught as an invisible attractive force between any two bodies of mass.MSNBC (Feb 14, 2016)

the act of coming to full development

Because of the birds’ rapid reproduction and quick maturation cycle, geneticists can effect changes in chickens relatively quickly.Wall Street Journal (Dec 4, 2015)

the beginning or early stages

Most infected people have no symptoms until the onset of liver damage, which could take several years, the FDA said in a news release.US News (Jan 29, 2016)

the falling to earth of any form of water

The weather service says some areas could see freezing rain as the precipitation transitions from snow to rain, and heavy rain is possible Monday night.Washington Times (Feb 14, 2016)

lengthen in time; cause to be or last longer

He threatened to prolong their sentences, deny them parole, halt their transfer to lower-security facilities and keep them from seeing their children, the lawsuit says.Washington Times (Feb 16, 2016)

properly related in size or degree

One thing immediately apparent even to the most entry-level statistician is that net happiness is unrelated, or possibly inversely proportional, to a country’s wealth.Salon (Feb 11, 2016)

something left after other parts have been taken away

Administration officials insist that a small residual force in Iraq would not have stopped the advance of ISIS in 2014.BBC (Dec 20, 2015)

a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances

Buck recommends using a solution of one part bleach to nine parts hot water to kill bacteria.Washington Times (Feb 15, 2016)

the substance that is acted upon by an enzyme or ferment

Copper, aluminium and steel are also used as the substrate for the electrode materials and for the housing.Nature (Oct 27, 2015)

the act of testing something

Trials have shown that such releases could reduce an insect population by up to 90%, he said.The Guardian (Feb 16, 2016)

the same throughout in structure or composition

And that if one neglected pressure, a uniform spherically systematic symmetric star would contract to a single point of infinite density.BBC (Jan 26, 2016)

something that is likely to change

Movidius makes a vision processor that attempts to replicate human eyesight, taking into account variables like depth and texture to put objects into context.Time (Feb 5, 2016)

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