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Jim Burke’s Academic Vocabulary List – 358 Words

abbreviate

shorten

Our genetic information is encoded by the nucleotides thymine, cytosine, guanine, and adenosine, abbreviated as T, C, G, and A, respectively.Slate (Oct 17, 2013)
abstract

existing only in the mind

And rather than stating something as an abstract principle, he’d give it flesh and bones and heart by situating it in a story.
according

as reported or stated by

Up to 35 percent of food products contain meat glue, including tofu, milk, yogurt and even cereal according to industry accounts.Salon (Feb 14, 2014)
acronym

a word formed from the initial letters of several words

OMG The first recorded appearance of this breathless acronym for “Oh, my God!” comes, surprisingly, in a letter to Winston Churchill.
address

direct one’s efforts towards something, such as a question

Obama is due to meet with the leaders of all four nations, and plans to address diplomatic, economic and security issues, the White House said.
affect

have an influence upon

Thousands of properties are without power, schools are closed and trains have been cancelled–how is the stormy weather affecting you?
alter

cause to change; make different

In Rome, the Canadian postulants gave me a present–a book that altered my life utterly.BBC (Feb 14, 2014)
always

at all times; all the time and on every occasion

“The world is full of giants,” she begins, “they have always been here. We had to learn how to overcome them.”Time (Feb 14, 2014)
analogy

drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity

Actually, the word “recipe” points us toward a useful analogy: think of a quantum field theory as a culinary recipe.
analysis

an investigation of the component parts of a whole

Indeed, Pew’s own analysis of its data makes it clear that Facebook has a golden opportunity in those countries:Time (Feb 13, 2014)
analyze

make a mathematical, chemical, or grammatical study of

The babies in the study wore vests equipped with devices that record and analyze the conversations and background noises near the baby over 16 hours.
annotate

add explanatory notes to or supply with critical comments

Genius, which allows users to annotate music lyrics, has thousands of songs whose explanations are continually updated and improved by its community of members.Forbes (Aug 6, 2013)
anticipate

make a prediction about; tell in advance

“Just as they anticipate fashion trends, they now have to anticipate changes in consumer behavior.”
application

the action of putting something into operation

Its application also allows users to search for points of interest such as restaurants and cinemas.
apply

be pertinent or relevant

On Tuesday, Qatari World Cup organizers produced a 50-page document outlining stricter measures that would apply to contractors involved in building work for the tournament.
approach

ideas or actions intended to deal with a problem

So we have two approaches to eating and sex in zoos–both created by people who care deeply about the animals in their care.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
appropriate

suitable for a particular person, place, or situation

“Also unsure of whether #Unapologetic is appropriate for a child’s toy.”
approximate

not quite exact or correct

For years, psychologists have known that human infants are born with an ” approximate number sense,” called ANS, or the ability to estimate amounts without counting.
argue

present reasons to support one’s views

I could argue that nerds, being more technical, also have more vision and relevance in a more technical world.Forbes (Feb 10, 2014)
argument

an assertion offered as evidence that something is true

An oft-quoted argument for investing in emerging markets is their superior economic growth.
arrange

organize thoughts, ideas, or temporal events

The sophistication comes with choosing the right texts and arranging them in an effective sequence that motivates and encourages the patient without alienating him.Forbes (Feb 10, 2014)
articulate

put into words or an expression

He was deeply committed to the principle of free markets, and articulated four “Internet freedoms” reminiscent of Richard M. Stallman’s four software freedoms.Forbes (Jan 19, 2014)
aspect

a distinct feature or element in a problem

Another aspect to consider is that people who file claims have an incentive to exaggerate their symptoms to receive more compensation for longer.
assemble

create by putting components or members together

Sweating in green army fatigues, he praised the plan, noting its imported, prefabricated design that allowed walls to be assembled quickly, like puzzle pieces.
assert

declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true

Mr. Chermayeff gives dogs their due, depicting one holding a city flag and asserting: “I have thousands of friends and all their owners vote.”
assess

estimate the nature, quality, ability or significance of

Other cars are covered with rubble, making it tough to assess the damage or estimate the cost of repairs, Doran said.
associate

make a logical or causal connection

“As a visual icon the ukulele is instantly associated with Hawaii, which is why it’s used so frequently in advertising.”Seattle Times (Feb 12, 2014)
assume

take to be the case or to be true

“I didn’t want to assume she was into me and then for it to go wrong. That would have been very, very embarrassing,” he says.Scientific American (Feb 14, 2014)
assumption

a statement that is held to be true

As most people know, even the most objective of these ranking lists are loaded with all kinds of hidden biases, assumptions and subjective decisions.Forbes (Feb 7, 2014)
audience

the part of the general public interested in something

They’ll continue to try to find new features that appeal to their audiences, which means more instances of tech deja vu in the future.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
authentic

conforming to fact and therefore worthy of belief

“We wanted to make it look authentic, like your Lego play set was truly coming to life.”
background

information that is essential to understanding a situation

The background: She and her husband purchased her stepson’s home at foreclosure so that he and his family wouldn’t become homeless.
body

a collection of particulars considered as a system

Although these behavioural changes make the drugs useful, a growing body of evidence suggests that the benefits mainly stop there.
brainstorm

try to solve a problem by thinking intensely about it

The Vatican announced Tuesday it would host a workshop early in the new year to brainstorm peaceful solutions to the ongoing civil war in Syria.
brief

concise and succinct

Hawking’s popular reputation was created through his best-selling book, A Brief History of Time, and the accompanying video program.Slate (Feb 13, 2014)
calculate

make a mathematical computation

Unaided human reason is typically very bad at calculating relevant probabilities.
caption

brief description accompanying an illustration

The photo generated captions such as: “I had fun once…it was awful.”
category

a general concept that marks divisions or coordinations

The Playstation 3 title is recognised in categories including action & adventure, artistic achievement, best game and game design.
cause

any entity that produces an effect

They see the two-way street, the way in which mental-health struggles can be a partial cause as well as an effect of bullying.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
character

an imaginary person represented in a work of fiction

And House of Cards would be a greater show if it had characters who were people more than game pieces.Time (Feb 12, 2014)
characteristic

a distinguishing quality

All geometric objects must remain true to their unique characteristics, and each step in the proof must follow the strict rules of logical deduction.
characterize

describe or portray the qualities or peculiarities of

Rosacea is a skin condition characterized by red cheeks, chin, nose or forehead, often with small bumps that resemble pimples.Seattle Times (Jan 29, 2014)
chart

a visual display of information

Mr. Bateman said he was told to prepare “whiz bang” charts that detail everything from wind speeds to temperature trends.
chronology

a record of events in the order of their occurrence

He uses a timeline stretching all the way round the classroom, running from 1066 to the present day, to reinforce the notion of chronology.
citation

a short note recognizing a source of information

And what’s more important: tweet-ability or the traditional citation from the scientific community?
cite

refer to for illustration or proof

But in fairness to Aesop, no one has ever cited his works as justification for irrational hatred and violence.Salon (Feb 11, 2014)
claim

assert or affirm strongly

Mr. Ban added, “We cannot claim to care about mass atrocity crimes and then shrink from what it means to actually prevent them.”
clarify

make clear and comprehensible

Moreover, because these supernovae are used as cosmic measuring sticks, understanding them better may help clarify the shape of the Universe.Scientific American (Jan 23, 2014)
class

people with the same social, economic, or educational status

Metro Post employees, and those who deliver packages on Sunday for Amazon, are part of a new class of postal workers called City Carrier Assistants.
clue

evidence that helps to solve a problem

It may also give us clues to a second antimatter mystery: Why is there more matter than antimatter in the universe?Slate (Feb 11, 2014)
code

a set of rules or principles or laws

The California Vehicle Code states: “No pedestrian shall start crossing in direction of a flashing or steady “DON’T WALK” or upraised hand symbol.”
coherent

marked by an orderly and consistent relation of parts

Even science fiction, even fantasy has to follow the laws of human nature for the story to be coherent.Salon (Feb 9, 2014)
common

shared by two or more parties

Thirty-six states and D.C. have agreed to field test new Common Core standardized exams.
compare

examine and note the similarities or differences of

Many compared the halfpipe to the one used for the 2010 Vancouver Games, which was similarly criticized in the days before the competition.
compile

put together out of existing material

The list was compiled using tips from more than 170 music critics, DJs and bloggers.
complement

something added to embellish or make perfect

“There is a big difference between our collections. We show only Dutch and Flemish paintings, so the Frick’s collection is a perfect complement.”
complete

write all the required information onto a form

Children treated with stimulants would be able to complete a worksheet of simple maths problems faster and more accurately than usual, explains Nora Volkow.
compose

produce a literary work

How do you feel about the typing indicator—“David is typing”—that appears on your buddy’s screen while you’re composing a message in chat?Slate (Feb 12, 2014)
composition

an essay, especially one written as an assignment

Some of the more somber black and white looks resembled composition notebooks–elementary, but chic.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
conceive

have the idea for

What we now call Obamacare was conceived at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, and birthed in Massachusetts by Mitt Romney, then the governor.
concise

expressing much in few words

Twitter is the standard for this concept: hard-coded limits force you to be more concise, more creative.Scientific American (Apr 17, 2013)
conclude

reach a final opinion after a discussion or deliberation

But even though the natural gas system is sloppier than the EPA estimates, it’s still cleaner than coal, the study concludes.Scientific American (Feb 13, 2014)
conclusion

a position or opinion reached after consideration

Yet it strikes a note of almost hilarious caution in its final paragraph: “One conclusion appears clear—extreme conclusions are to be avoided.”Salon (Feb 1, 2014)
concrete

capable of being perceived by the senses

“A family office is a concrete symbol that there is no one responsible for your affairs but you,” Mr. Carroll said.
conditions

the context that influences the performance of a process

The chemical composition of two genetically identical plants can vary based on growing conditions, soil content, parasites and many other factors.
conduct

direct the course of; manage or control

But executives had been looking for an anthropologist to conduct research into how people used technology in their homes.
confirm

establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts

New figures due out this month are also expected to confirm that the winter of 2013-14 has been the wettest on record.
consequence

a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon

In medieval Europe, starvation was the de facto consequence of a siege.Slate (Feb 5, 2014)
consider

think about carefully; weigh

You might also want to consider using a reputation-monitoring service like Persona.Time (Feb 15, 2014)
consist

have its essential character

Washington’s Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon, consisted of five separate farms on 8,000 acres of prime farmland run by more than 300 slaves.Time (Feb 15, 2014)
consistent

the same throughout in structure or composition

No track has a consistent ice surface throughout, he said, because of ever-changing variables including the method of ice application and weather conditions.
consistently

in a systematic or steady manner

And in some of our neighborhoods, the streets are consistently safe and opportunity consistently flows.
constant

unvarying in nature

The number of states requiring that an economics course be taken in high school remains constant at 22.
constitute

compose or represent

Who is to say what percentage of a person’s DNA must come from another human to constitute biological parenthood?Forbes (Jan 26, 2014)
consult

seek information from

She also did what a coach at any level might do: consult the technical information on the United States Figure Skating Association website.
contend

maintain or assert

What has rocked even the jaded chess world this time are signed contracts posted online that each candidate contends proves dirty dealing by the other.
context

discourse that surrounds and helps explain a word or passage

If the youngster knows the word “kitty,” and his brain recognizes it quickly enough, then he can figure out what “bench” means by the context.Seattle Times (Feb 14, 2014)
continuum

an extent in which no part is distinct from adjacent parts

We are part of the continuum of life with all species.Salon (Jan 28, 2014)
contradict

prove negative; show to be false

Those findings support recent research contradicting the conventional wisdom that trees capture less carbon as they age.
control

a standard against which other conditions can be compared

Vehicles that were offered the stickers saw a 50% reduction in total accidents compared with a control group.
convert

change the nature, purpose, or function of something

In rare cases the liver can literally save your life by converting a toxic molecule to a non-toxic one.
convey

make known; pass on, of information

Of course, tense faces, in close-ups, are one of the chief ways that actors and filmmakers convey emotion, especially in thrillers.
copy

a reproduction of a written record

Scrawled in cinnabar and black ink, the manuscripts, detailing the tantric rituals of Buddhist deities, were copies of 15th-century texts.
correlate

bear a reciprocal or mutual relation

He lays the blame squarely on weather and bee management practices, which correlate more closely with bee survival rates than does the use of neonics.Forbes (Jan 5, 2014)
correspond

be compatible, similar, or consistent

Unlike the cookie dough variety, this cookie’s flavor corresponds with its name: it really does taste like a Rice Krispies Treat.
credible

appearing to merit belief or acceptance

With a credible claim to be the oldest living currency in the world, the pound has accompanied Britons through much of their march through history.
credit

approval

“Managers take credit when they do well with players and they should take the blame when they don’t.”BBC (Feb 14, 2014)
criterion

the ideal in terms of which something can be judged

The judging is based on five criteria, including “element of surprise” and “closet appeal.”
critique

a serious examination and judgment of something

In this critique of extremism, Ms. Almutawakel said that for little girls to be covered to this extent is not about religion but control.
crucial

of extreme importance; vital to the resolution of a crisis

But while sleep is crucial for sick and premature babies to grow and recover, it can be difficult in a bright, noisy hospital.
cumulative

increasing by successive addition

Mr. Levinson recommended that Medicare officials “establish a cumulative payment threshold” and closely examine claims filed by any doctor whose total exceeded that amount.
debate

a discussion with reasons for and against some proposal

More broadly, the protests have reignited a debate about whether interventions by the international community are the solution in Bosnia–or part of the problem.
deduce

conclude by reasoning

Within moments of meeting Watson, the detective deduces his new acquaintance’s war history, living situation and the state of his family relations.Salon (Feb 9, 2014)
defend

argue or speak in justification of

And now this week, Nevada’s attorney general, a Democrat, and its Republican governor, announced that they too, could not defend the state’s gay-marriage ban anymore.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
define

determine the nature of

His writings helped define how diabetes was viewed for decades.
demand

require as useful, just, or proper

But advocates say cheerleading is a profession that demands specific skills and not everyone can land the job.Time (Feb 14, 2014)
demonstrate

show the validity of something, as by example or explanation

Katz said the paper demonstrates that in a culture that eats very poorly, we need fortification to have adequate nutrient intake.
depict

give a description of

Biblical history 101 teaches that the texts themselves were often written centuries after the events they depict.
derive

reason by deduction; establish by deduction

Euclid begins with 23 definitions, 5 axioms, and 5 postulates and derives all sorts of theorems from them.
describe

give an account or representation of in words

Even though the employment picture has brightened since the depths of the Great Recession, few would describe it as sunny.
detail

an isolated fact considered separately from the whole

In August last year, Russia granted Mr Snowden asylum for one year, after he leaked details of US electronic surveillance programmes.
detect

discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of

In one sequence, RoboCop takes on about 50 bad guys in the dark by detecting them with heat vision.Time (Feb 12, 2014)
determine

establish after a calculation, investigation, or experiment

Careful questioning will help you determine what people really want, which is often different from what they say they want.Time (Feb 14, 2014)
develop

make something new, such as a product or a mental creation

One day, we might develop games to treat depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
devise

come up with after a mental effort

A big breakthrough came in 1855 when Henry Bessemer devised a process for making steel on an industrial scale much more cheaply.Scientific American (Feb 8, 2014)
diction

the manner in which something is expressed in words

One user called “I Eat” wrote to her with the diction of a Muppet: “Would you like talk with cannibal?” he asked.Slate (Mar 8, 2013)
differentiate

mark as distinct

Surely there are many games involving candy that are sufficiently differentiated from Candy Crush so as to not be deemed infringing.Forbes (Jan 20, 2014)
dimension

magnitude or extent

“We understand the shape and the dimensions of the Russia we’re dealing with, and it makes it tougher to find that cooperation.”
diminish

decrease in size, extent, or range

Zimbardo had designed the experiment to study the power of social roles to diminish the sense of personal identity.Scientific American (Feb 14, 2014)
direct

straightforward in manner, behavior, language or action

The military said at the time that any announcement would “be done via clear and direct statements that cannot be doubted or misinterpreted”.
discipline

a branch of knowledge

It turns out there is a whole discipline of studying sports fanaticism, and it spills over into elements of psychology, sociology and physiology.Seattle Times (Feb 15, 2014)
discover

determine the existence, presence, or fact of

Dell Curry, who spent most of his 16-year career with the Charlotte Hornets, said he wanted his sons to discover the game for themselves.
discriminate

recognize or perceive the difference

People rarely discriminate between accidental and deliberate killings.
discuss

to consider or examine in speech or writing

Saudis are among the world’s biggest users of social media, using it to discuss political, religious and social issues that were once seen as taboo.
distinguish

mark as different

American modern dance, in its early years, wanted to be taken seriously, to distinguish itself from supposedly more frivolous traditions.
domain

the content of a particular field of knowledge

Top CS students can also do great things by gaining domain knowledge, such as finance.Forbes (Jan 8, 2014)
draft

any of the various versions in the development of a work

He wrote his first draft of the script, based on a short story by the Danish-born writer Isak Dinesen, in 1973.
draw

make, formulate, or derive in the mind

She has watched the Alpine ski races on television, drawing conclusions about performance and pressure.
edit

prepare for publication or presentation by revising

Wikipedia relies on a diligent army of roughly 75,000 volunteers each month who edit the articles for a staggeringly large readership.
effect

a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon

Scientists analysed health improvements from riding the bikes with the potentially harmful effects of physical injury and inhaling traffic fumes.
elements

violent or severe weather

The South West is preparing itself for another battering by the elements with strong winds and rain forecast for Friday night and into the weekend.
emphasize

stress or single out as important

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly emphasized the importance of showcasing Russia flawlessly to the world during the Olympics.
employ

put into service

Their parents work diligently to help them succeed: cajoling and pleading and threatening and occasionally employing more intrusive techniques copied from mob debt collectors.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
equal

having the same quantity, value, or measure as another

Allen said Virginia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage violated the right to due process and equal protection of the law under the U.S. Constitution.
equivalent

a person or thing equal to another in value or measure

To me, Flappy Bird is the game equivalent of eating hot chiles—the pain makes you sweat and captures your attention.Forbes (Feb 11, 2014)
essay

an analytic or interpretive literary composition

The words came organically to Julia Ernst as she hunkered down to write the essay that would accompany most of her college applications.
essential

absolutely necessary

Besides old age, the sewers, which are essential to the health of the city, are under assault from a nemesis above ground: grease.
establish

show the validity of something, as by example or explanation

Would-be saints need a miracle to establish that they are with God.BBC (Feb 14, 2014)
estimate

an approximate calculation of quantity or degree or worth

More than 200,000 people are believed to be held in North Korean prison camps, according to independent estimates.
evaluate

estimate the nature, quality, ability or significance of

In 2009, a Supreme Court decision upheld the validity of multiple-choice testing for evaluating firefighters for promotion, prompting a heated nationwide discussion.
event

something that happens at a given place and time

The event marked the collaboration of the denim brand and Bionic Yarn, which makes clothing materials from recycled plastic bottles.
evidence

means by which an alleged matter is established or disproved

The evidence keeps mounting that mammograms and other tests for cancer—which contribute to the sky-high costs of U.S. health care—do not save lives.
exaggerate

enlarge beyond bounds or the truth

Second, because other people are lying, people think there is a good chance you are exaggerating even if you are entirely honest.
examine

consider in detail in order to discover essential features

In the past fifteen years we have seen an ever-growing stream of psychological and popular science books examining happiness and how people can increase it.Salon (Feb 16, 2014)
example

a representative form or pattern

The more outlandish the ideas, the better: the company offers parachuting with fireworks and ninjas as examples that might impress.
excerpt

take out of a literary work in order to cite or copy

The phrase people most often associate with Dr. King– excerpted from his landmark 1963 speech—is “I have a dream.”Forbes (Jan 20, 2014)
exclude

prevent from being included or considered or accepted

If people think that the definition of masculinity somehow excludes the idea that you could be gay, then really they need to reexamine that definition.Salon (Feb 11, 2014)
exercise

a task performed to develop skill or understanding

He announced it during a team-building exercise in which coaches asked players to mention something about themselves that no one else knew.BBC (Feb 11, 2014)
exhibit

show an attribute, property, knowledge, or skill

Birds, in particular, exhibit many remarkable skills once thought to be restricted to humans: Magpies recognize their reflection in a mirror.Scientific American (Feb 10, 2014)
explain

make plain and comprehensible

He’s clearly well-informed on the subject of climate science, and he has done quite a lot to popularize and explain the research.Salon (Feb 14, 2014)
explore

inquire into

Her book, Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Animal and Human Health, explores how our physical and emotional health overlaps with that of non-human animals.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
expository

serving to expound or set forth

The explanatory and expository sections between scenes—while packed with insight—are often stiff and windy, with lots of academic catchphrases.
extract

a passage selected from a larger work

They also came to “a good agreement” with David Mitchell to use the short extract from his book.
fact

a concept whose truth can be proved

Actual fact: There is no bigger turnoff than an alien bursting out of someone’s stomach.Time (Feb 14, 2014)
factor

anything that contributes causally to a result

After that, American officials, athletes and coaches began to examine other factors, like training regimes, altitude training and mental preparation as causes for the underperformance.
feature

a prominent attribute or aspect of something

Whether it’s air gestures, tilt scrolling, or companion watches that let you take secret, creepy photos, Samsung is the indisputable King of Features.Time (Feb 15, 2014)
figurative

not literal

The flag also has figurative powers; its fluttering is like a wave to the wayward golfer that beseeches, “This way, over here.”
figure

a combination of points and lines that form a visible shape

Her date of birth allowed Lipnitskaya to become the youngest figure skater in 78 years to win Olympic gold for Russia.
focus

the concentration of attention or energy on something

Her talent, her focus and her youthful exuberance spurred Russia to win the inaugural Olympic team title in Sochi.
footer

a printed note placed below the text on a printed page

But he said that fraudsters gather a lot of personal information “from Google, social networking sites, from email footers, all sorts of places”.
foreshadow

indicate by signs

“It’s a young dynamic firm. We have lots of opportunities to grow,” signaling that Mr. Canellos’s arrival could foreshadow other changes.
form

alternative names for the body of a human being

Depicting the human form in this way expressed Leonardo’s belief that humankind represented a microcosm of the universe.Slate (Feb 17, 2014)
format

the organization of data according to preset specifications

“Shallow News in Depth” follows a similar format of celebrity interviews, commentary on news and humorous dispatches by reporters on the streets of Bangkok.
former

belonging to some prior time

They accused Ms. Park of “resurrecting the dictatorship” of her father, former President Park Chung-hee.
formulate

put into words or an expression

In November, in an effort to make the process both more transparent and more rigorous, the I.R.S. announced that it would begin formulating new rules.
fragment

an incomplete piece

Another technique he favored was to include fragments from other texts in his poems, even other poets’ work, a device he called approximation.
frame

formulate in a particular style or language

As a lawyer, Justice Ginsburg framed and argued cases that established an entirely new body of constitutional law, one requiring the equal treatment of women.
frequently

many times at short intervals

Reduced precipitation means forests that once burned every 100 to 150 years are now burning much more frequently.
general

of worldwide scope or applicability

But beyond general nutrition, there have been few studies of the content of human breast milk and how it might vary.Seattle Times (Feb 14, 2014)
genre

a class of art having a characteristic form or technique

So perhaps it’s unsurprising that other than romance, comedy is probably the least developed genre in video games.
graph

a visual representation of the relations between quantities

What Transparent Chennai found was that politicians reacted much better to maps than they did to reams of impenetrable data presented as charts or graphs.Forbes (Jan 28, 2014)
graphic

written or drawn or engraved

In March 2006, cigarette packaging with graphic health warnings including photos of cancer-riddled lungs and gangrenous limbs was introduced in Australia.
header

a line of text indicating what the passage below it is about

Under “Values” it steers students to the Traditional Values Coalition, whose website includes a header that says, “Say NO to Obama. Stop Sharia in America.”Slate (Jan 16, 2014)
heading

a line of text indicating what the passage below it is about

One section in the book has the heading, “Why I Do Not Believe In Evolution.”Salon (Jan 24, 2014)
highlight

move into the foreground to make more visible or prominent

Several announcements by Mr. Cuomo were also highlighted, including one with footage of the governor showing off a new fishing-themed license plate.
hypothesize

believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds

Jackie Mason, in an email, hypothesized that the complicated relationship between Jews and mayonnaise was probably a consequence of Jews feeling “guilty over betraying mustard.”Slate (Dec 27, 2013)
identify

give the name or characteristics of

“We’ll work together to identify customers and hopefully convince them this is the right platform for their needs.”
illustrate

clarify by giving an example of

Instead, the receipts were handwritten on small slips of paper, illustrating the arbitrary nature of the party’s punishment system.
imitate

reproduce someone’s behavior or looks

In the final, mocking Allegro, the violinist imitates a kind of teenage cackle through crisp fast notes embellished with grace notes.
imply

suggest as a logically necessary consequence

In a consumer-oriented economy, where the idea is for people to consume, changing the paradigm to sharing would seem to imply a lot less consumption. Forbes (Feb 6, 2014)
inclined

having a preference, disposition, or tendency

During the meeting, Mr. Kerry sometimes seemed inclined to see a glass half full, while the bloggers were worried that it was emptying.
include

have as a part, be made up out of

Her research includes studying various strains of itchy mice that are models for human ailments.
incorporate

include or contain; have as a component

Stanford’s football team has incorporated yoga into its training program.
indicate

give evidence of

Deviations from the predicted shape of the halo would indicate that Einstein’s theory of gravity needs revision.
indirect

having intervening factors or persons or influences

Officially this method is called indirect potable use, but it’s really water recycling.
infer

reason by deduction; establish by deduction

For instance, since infants look longer at events that surprise them, developmental psychologists can use gaze time to infer the predictions of preverbal children.Scientific American (Jan 28, 2014)
influence

a power to affect persons or events

They want to purge Thailand of the influence of her divisive brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who they claim continues to run the country by proxy.Time (Feb 18, 2014)
inform

impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to

The results lay the groundwork for future microscopic models and inform the experimental search for such materials.Science Magazine (Feb 6, 2014)
inquire

conduct an investigation of

So from time to time it’s good to take the focus off yourself and inquire into those around you a little more deeply.Forbes (Dec 30, 2013)
instruction

a message describing how something is to be done

The instructor gave some very basic instructions for what sounded like some very advanced moves.Salon (Feb 7, 2014)
integrate

make into a whole or make part of a whole

“That’s why they’re integrating maps with search. When you search for Peking duck, you’re seeing nearby restaurants in your results.”
intent

the intended meaning of a communication

Whatever the intent, the sample never meshes with its soundtrack, and never inspires thought deeper than “radio evangelists were probably mistaken about rock ‘n’ roll.”
intention

an anticipated outcome that guides your planned actions

Satisfied with this initial success rate, the researchers then expanded their efforts with the intention of producing a few fully developed baby monkeys.
interact

do something together or with others

The law of combinations applies when there are many interacting people or objects.Scientific American (Feb 14, 2014)
intermittent

stopping and starting at irregular intervals

Instead of intermittent reports, people would be able to record a steady stream of data and get warnings when they need them most.
interpret

make sense of; assign a meaning to

Interpreting the Bible is a little like studying Leonardo DaVinci’s painting of the Last Supper, he says.
introduce

bring in a new person or object into a familiar environment

The Girl Scouts recently introduced a gluten-free chocolate chip shortbread cookie to their annually anticipated line of sweet treats.
introduction

the first section of a communication

“Voting in elections is considered sacrosanct by a large majority of Indians,” Mukulika Banerjee writes in the introduction to her new book, “Why India Votes.”
invariably

without change, in every case

Invariably, around February of each year, coinciding with Black History Month, you’ll hear people asking, “Why isn’t there a white history month?”
investigate

conduct an inquiry of

The Silkworm will follow the private investigator Cormoran Strike, who Rowling introduced in Cuckoo, as he investigates the murder of a novelist.Time (Feb 17, 2014)
involve

contain as a part

The studies involved only a small group of tagged whales and noise levels were less intense than what’s used by the Navy.
irony

incongruity between what might be expected and what occurs

Irony is in plentiful supply in Thailand today: A billionaire tycoon is praised as the champion of the poor.
irrelevant

having no bearing on or connection with the subject at issue

Most of the time you see a doctor, you would have gotten better anyway and his actions or advice are irrelevant.
isolate

set apart from others

“We are imprisoning, we are isolating, but we are not rehabilitating the way we should.”
italic

a typeface with letters slanting upward to the right

With emphasis in italics and bold face, he added: “We need you to focus on our primary mission of defending our nation and our allies.”
judge

assess tentatively or form an estimate of

Because judges are all entrenched in their sports’ insular communities, they develop relationships with the athletes and coaches they must later judge.
key

serving as an essential component

Being as lean as possible and maintaining a healthy weight are key components of cancer prevention.
label

a brief description given for purposes of identification

“Corn is a big problem. It is really really difficult to produce seed corn that would meet the current non-GMO verified label.”
likely

having a good chance of being the case or of coming about

Boys are also more than two-thirds more likely than girls to be born prematurely–before the 37th week of pregnancy.Scientific American (Feb 18, 2014)
list

include in an ordered array of items

Lab websites also often list research projects, publications, data sets, software, job openings, collaborators and contact information.Nature (Feb 12, 2014)
literal

limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text

Either way it is going to be mind-blowing, quite possibly in a literal sense.
locate

determine the place of by searching or examining

In a conversation, O’Reilly author Matthew Gast suggested that you could extend the concept to develop a collar that would help to locate missing pets.Forbes (Feb 7, 2014)
logical

based on known statements or events or conditions

For many students, nine hours of sleep is so far beyond their reality that their only logical response is laughter.
main

most important element

The main reason banknotes get dirty is that they pick up an oily substance called sebum from human skin.
margin

the blank space that surrounds the text on a page

In a Portuguese songbook, written around 1600, images along the margins look like Australian aboriginals and possibly a kangaroo.
mean

denote or connote

The al-Qaeda-inspired militant organisation, whose name means “Champions of Jerusalem”, has increasingly turned its attacks against the Egyptian police and army.
measure

determine the dimensions of something or somebody

The pacifier device she and her colleagues used measures the pressure and rhythm of sucking.
metaphor

a figure of speech that suggests a non-literal similarity

After a while, it becomes clear that the tightrope is also a metaphor, standing for the existential risk inherent in every serious instance of playing.
method

a way of doing something, especially a systematic way

The children or their parents answered questions about what they ate or drank the previous day, a common method researchers use to assess Americans’ diets.Seattle Times (Feb 10, 2014)
model

a representation of something, often on a smaller scale

A working computer model of living cells, even if it were somewhat sketchy and not quite accurate, would be a fantastically useful tool.
modify

cause to change; make different

British scientists have developed genetically modified potatoes that are resistant to the vegetable’s biggest threat–blight.
monitor

keep an eye on; keep under surveillance

Only in the past decade have scientists had the technology to closely monitor the behavior of whales and dolphins.
motivation

psychological feature arousing action toward a desired goal

One never knows which “failure” will be the tipping point for an adolescent toward more effort, self-reflection, assuming responsibility, in a word, discovering inner motivation.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
narrative

an account that tells the particulars of an act or event

There are fiery chases and hectic brawls, and a crowd of famous voices simultaneously enacting and lampooning the standard cartoon-quest narrative of heroic self-discovery.
narrator

someone who tells a story

Using the “stream of consciousness” technique, her book begins with its narrator speaking from inside her mother’s womb.
never

not ever; at no time in the past or future

He recalled a proverb he had to translate from Latin as a schoolchild: “He plants the seeds of trees he’ll never see bearing fruit.”
notation

a comment or instruction (usually added)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has added Tamiflu OS to the list of resolved drug shortages on its website with the notation “no supply issues anticipated.”
note

a short personal letter

Then, suddenly, trouble looms when Philip starts receiving notes in his dead wife’s handwriting.
notice

discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of

In most cases, artifacts found at construction sites are destroyed by equipment before anyone even notices them, Horner said.
objective

the goal intended to be attained

A prime objective of the Affordable Care Act is to bring down America’s health-care costs, which are the highest per person in the world.Seattle Times (Feb 1, 2014)
observe

watch with care or pay close attention to

The study was conducted in Thailand, and the researchers observed the behavior of 26 elephants in captivity over the course of a year.
occur

come to pass

She will testify that former Superintendent Beverly Hall ordered the destruction of investigative documents that concluded the cheating likely occurred, according to prosecutors.
opinion

a personal belief or judgment

Sharing views about pop culture is also common, with a median of 73% saying they use social networks to post opinions on music and movies.Time (Feb 13, 2014)
oppose

be against

Many environmentalists believe that fracking can damage water supplies, and oppose the extraction of new fossil fuel resources.
optional

possible but not necessary; left to personal choice

The course is largely taught through online videos, but enrolled students are also given quizzes, optional food-preparation assignments and opportunities to collaborate with classmates.
order

logical or comprehensible arrangement of separate elements

Seven models make both lists of the top 10 selling cars nationally and in California, though the order of the vehicles is scrambled.
organize

cause to be structured according to some principle or idea

School’s strict structure—its clear schedules, clean tiles, bells and clocks—allowed me to feel organized, cared for and seen.
origin

a first part or stage of subsequent events

Since the origin of life on earth 3.8 billion years ago, our planet has experienced five mass extinction events.
outline

describe roughly or give the main points or summary of

In his speech, Mr Obama outlined his priority topics for the year, including healthcare, minimum wage and the pullout from Afghanistan.
pace

the relative speed of progress or change

Man is the culprit, and the pace of species die-off is accelerating at a rate unprecented in the history of life on earth.Seattle Times (Feb 14, 2014)
paraphrase

express the same message in different words

He paraphrased a quotation attributed to Albert Einstein: “If an idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it.”
participation

the act of sharing in the activities of a group

Scientists have also noted what are called “mirror neurons” in our brains, activated not just by participation in sports, but by watching others participate.Seattle Times (Feb 15, 2014)
passage

a section of text, particularly a section of medium length

Since then, he says, he has filed some 10 lawsuits involving “objectionable passages” from various textbooks.
pattern

a customary way of operation or behavior

Florida Atlantic won the contract to produce the water resistance measurements after doing similar work predicting drift patterns of floating items in oceans.
perform

carry out an action

Both the human hand and foot represent a triumph of complex engineering, exquisitely designed to perform a range of tasks.
perspective

a way of regarding situations or topics

The Cubs hired Renteria because of a cheerful perspective that helps him communicate with young players—especially a strong Latin American contingent.
persuade

cause somebody to adopt a certain position or belief

Health workers and officials have tried for years to persuade conservative Muslims to accept vaccination.
place

put into a certain location

That would place liability for hacks squarely on the sellers’ shoulders.
plagiarism

taking someone’s words or ideas as if they were your own

Brush up on the definition of plagiarism and the reason we give others credit for their work.
plan

make a series of steps to be carried out

To help people understand the importance of savings, many organizations are planning events for America Saves Week, Monday through March 1.
plausible

apparently reasonable and valid, and truthful

Thor—and the mechanics that drive his flight—is surprisingly plausible; so is the way a dragon from The Hobbit could breathe fire.
plot

the story that is told, as in a novel, play, movie, etc.

But minor characters just sort of die off, while major character deaths usually serve an important purpose in the plot.Time (Feb 16, 2014)
point

an isolated fact considered separately from the whole

But their findings suggest at least two points for further thought.
point of view

a mental position from which things are perceived

“We have different points of view but we learned the art of compromise and that comes out of mutual respect.”
portray

depict in words

The book is a fast read and it does a very good job portraying the colorful personalities and exciting discoveries unearthed by general relativity.
possible

capable of happening or existing

U.S. officials say, however, it is possible a U.N. resolution to help relieve the humanitarian crisis in Syria could get through the U.N.
preclude

make impossible, especially beforehand

He said that strong trade ties did not in themselves preclude the outbreak of war.
predict

tell in advance

The company is also exploring medical devices and sensors that can help predict heart attacks by studying sound blood makes as it flows through arteries.
prefix

an affix that is added in front of the word

In traditional Afghan society religious scholars have a lot of influence–they usually use the prefix of Mullah, Maulawi or Maulana before their names.
prepare

to make ready verbally for written or spoken delivery

For serious felonies, defenders spent an average of only nine hours preparing their cases, compared with the 47 hours they needed, the study found.
presume

take to be the case or to be true

Though we never see her there, I presume she takes classes and participates in extracurriculars and goes to college parties.Time (Feb 17, 2014)
preview

a screening for an audience in advance of public release

Instead of trying to surprise viewers, many sponsors are filling social-media platforms with previews, teasers and coming attractions in hopes of stimulating additional interest.
previous

just preceding something else in time or order

“Teenagers are motivated to make a difference in their community but the approach they take is radically different to previous generations,” said Mr Birdwell.
primary

of first rank or importance or value

But the show’s primary model is the granddaddy of weepy teenage melodramas, “Romeo and Juliet.”
prior

earlier in time

That said, most “open houses” were not particularly open, requiring advance registration several months prior, and spots filled up immediately.
probably

with considerable certainty; without much doubt

Whatever you guess you think you will need in time and money, add 50-100% more and you are probably hitting the target.Forbes (Feb 19, 2014)
procedure

a particular course of action intended to achieve a result

Designed to keep hunger strikers alive, the procedure involves feeding them liquid meals via tubes inserted into their noses and down into their stomachs.
process

perform mathematical and logical operations on

Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman knows what’s ahead and is processing it all with a combination of calm and perspective.
produce

bring forth or yield

The manipulation produced 15 normally developing embryos—of which all but one showed evidence of the desired genetic changes.
profile

biographical sketch

Job seekers fill out profiles with years of experience, languages spoken and salary requirements.
project

any piece of work that is undertaken or attempted

The project, which is named after the Greek mythological character Pheme–famed for spreading rumours–will run for three years.
prompt

serve as the inciting cause of

The delay may prompt many healthy people to put off signing up for coverage.
proofread

read for errors

Projects that require paying close attention to detail, like proofreading a paper or doing your taxes, Dr. Mehta said, are performed better in quiet environments.
property

a basic or essential attribute shared by members of a class

Physicists recognized that the same stew of quantum processes that determine the properties of electrons and other particles would grant energy to empty space.Slate (Feb 18, 2014)
propose

present for consideration, examination, or criticism

One proposed establishing an ostrich farm, and another suggested converting trash into accessories and furniture.
prose

ordinary writing as distinguished from verse

A drunken row over the merits of literary forms in Russia ended in a poetry-lover stabbing a champion of prose to death, investigators say.
prove

establish the validity of something

Nuclear experts say the new results should help give the giant laser more time to prove its ultimate worth and gain more taxpayer support.
purpose

what something is used for

Iran rejects Western allegations that it is seeking a nuclear weapons capability and says it is enriching uranium only for electricity generation and medical purposes.
quotation

a passage or expression that is cited

“Pigs treat us as equals,” was part of a quotation attributed to Winston S. Churchill that inspired Ellen Balfour from Long Island.
quote

refer to for illustration or proof

He argued points of constitutional law, quoted Shakespeare, advocated for bipartisan compromise and even quieted hecklers.Time (Feb 17, 2014)
rank

take or have a position relative to others

And moving routinely ranks high on the list of life’s most unpleasant experiences.Time (Feb 19, 2014)
rare

especially good, remarkable, or superlative

“River dolphins are among the rarest and most endangered of all vertebrates, so discovering a new species is something that is very rare and exciting.”
rarely

not often

North Korea’s leaders are often thought of as ruthless, secretive autocrats but rarely as popular children’s authors.
reaction

a response that reveals a person’s feelings or attitude

Research also suggests it may slow down reaction times, with the intention of making us more vulnerable to large predators.
recall

summon knowledge from memory

“I remember my first camp I had a rollaway locker right in front of the shower, and I was terrified,” Russell recalled.
reduce

make smaller

But scientists say the bright moon will interfere and reduce the number of visible meteors by half.
refer

seek information from

But she referred to notes and appeared uncomfortable at times in addressing pointed questions on regulation.
reflect

give evidence of

In part, the decrease in cases reflects reforms in Florida’s juvenile system, which is sending fewer children to court.
regular

in accord with normal practice or procedure

He said the equipment would be the most advanced on any rotorcraft used by the regular Army, although some special forces had similar equipment.
relate

make a logical or causal connection

The mechanical problems appeared to be related to the solar-powered probe’s process for shutting down for the lunar night, which lasts more than two weeks.
relationship

a mutual connection between people

Depression affects around 350 million people worldwide and at its worst can blight patients’ lives for decades, affecting their relationships, work and ability to function.
relevant

having a bearing on or connection with the subject at issue

Studys show that one of the greatest obstacles to bringing holdout homes online is convincing them the Internet is relevant to their daily lives.Slate (Jan 28, 2014)
rephrase

express the same message in different words

She read out the theme of the year’s graduation, a rephrasing of a Thoreau quote: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
report

a document describing findings of some individual or group

But reports have emerged of them being found nestled in pizza menus and other junk mail.
represent

serve as a means of expressing something

Representing luck, unity, power and prosperity, these mythological birds have, for the most part, been benevolent, gentle creatures.
representative

serving to typify

However, because the study only looked at elephants in captivity, the findings might not be representative of all elephants, Bekoff said.
request

express the need or desire for; ask for

It has requested an additional $4 million, among other increases, to cover about 4,000 cases annually in which juvenile offenders receive no representation.
require

need as useful, just, or proper

It is messy work that requires bronze brushes, cork with sandpaper, scrapers, waxing irons and surgical masks.
requisite

necessary for relief or supply

The requisite servants for a 1920s country-estate story—including a discreet butler and a cheeky footman—also pop up.Seattle Times (Dec 12, 2013)
respond

show a reaction to something

Rehearse for the interview with a friend or colleague, and practise different ways to respond to those questions.Nature (Feb 19, 2014)
responsible

being the agent or cause

But in late June, Pennsylvania public health officials announced that acetyl fentanyl was responsible for 50 overdose deaths there, as well as five non-fatal overdoses.Forbes (Feb 19, 2014)
restate

to say or perform again

China’s foreign ministry restated its frequent calls for Japan to adopt a “responsible” view of its wartime history.
result

a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon

Hot Pockets Philly Steak and Cheese have been recalled as the result of the Rancho Feeding Corporation recall of meat products.Slate (Feb 19, 2014)
reveal

make known to the public information previously kept secret

But his reputation suffered when it was revealed the tradesman was not, in fact, a licensed plumber.
review

appraise critically

If school administrators have a question about whether the material is appropriate, they are supposed to ask the district office to review it.
revise

reorganize, especially for the purpose of improving

” Revising history textbooks is a never-ending story. But that does not mean we should not start.”
root

the place where something begins

As a nation, we argue for and against gun reform, yet we rarely discuss the root of the violence.Salon (Feb 17, 2014)
rule

prescribed guide for conduct or action

Penalties for breaking the rules included fines, suspension, or being shut down.
scan

examine minutely or intensely

Astronomers have built quite a few observatories dedicated to patiently scanning the heavens looking for blips of light.Slate (Feb 13, 2014)
score

a number or letter indicating quality

Despite the tight security, the most common reason officials cancel test scores isn’t transmission devices hidden in rain boots—it’s sneaky glances at cell phones.
sequence

a following of one thing after another in time

In a popular impersonation by Italy’s best-known comedian, Renzi captivates his audience with a mesmerizing sequence of catchy but totally meaningless phrases.
series

similar things placed in order or one after another

The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, has been plagued by a series of mishaps including radioactive water leaks and power outages.
set

a group of things of the same kind that belong together

The two conversations involve almost entirely different sets of hashtags, links and “hub” accounts.Forbes (Feb 20, 2014)
setting

the context and environment in which something is situated

Whether tucked in an urban setting or deep within a national forest, these trails can power up your fitness routine in a number of ways.Southern Living (Feb 18, 2014)
show

provide evidence for

Other studies show that when people don’t have to worry about health insurance, they are up to 25 percent more likely to change jobs.
signal

communicate by means of an action, gesture, or sound

Qualcomm has created a logo for both chargers and phones to signal to the consumer that both devices support the standard.Forbes (Feb 19, 2014)
significance

the quality of being important

Antiques, after all, offer the intangible pleasures of beauty and historical significance rather than the guaranteed profit margins that please bean counters.
simile

a figure of speech expressing a resemblance between things

In that extraordinary simile, “her neck quaked like curd”, Lizzie herself has become edible, a kind of junket.
skim

examine hastily

Stone said he only has skimmed the book, though he said his wife, Livia, praised it as “surprisingly riveting” after reading all of it.Seattle Times (Jan 8, 2014)
solve

find the answer to or understand the meaning of

Americans love to solve the “Big Problems”, he argues, such as cutting-edge innovation and overcoming the challenges of abject poverty.
source

a document from which information is obtained

A Wikipedia article was repeatedly created and repeatedly deleted for lack of reliable sources.Scientific American (Feb 20, 2014)
spatial

pertaining to the expanse in which things are located

The math and music prodigies scored higher than the art prodigies on tests of general cultural knowledge, vocabulary, quantitative reasoning, and visual spatial ability.
specific

stated explicitly or in detail

Harper always talks about improving all parts of his game but seldom mentions a specific area that needs it.
speculate

believe, especially on uncertain or tentative grounds

He speculates that the scientists were investigating the possible use of malaria–transmitted via mosquitoes–as a biological weapon.
stance

a rationalized mental attitude

The facility is part of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s tough stance against asylum seekers but it has come under fire over human rights concerns.
standard

a basis for comparison

In most states, academic standards are created by educators and approved by a state board of education or education agency.
state

the way something is with respect to its main attributes

“Now it will be possible to have near real-time updates of the state of the world’s forests, open to anyone to use.”
statement

a message that is declared

“Protesters broke the truce,” the President said in a statement posted on his website.
strategy

an elaborate and systematic plan of action

Keep praising middle-school kids who are struggling and their grades might never recover, he writes, because they never learn strategies to deal with failure.Slate (Feb 14, 2014)
structure

a complex entity made of many parts

Galaxies harass one another gravitationally in high-speed fly-bys and head-on collisions, each distorting the other’s structure into unrecognizable shapes.Slate (Feb 20, 2014)
study

consider in detail

Astronomers are studying how spiral galaxies could run out of gas, literally and figuratively, and turn into ellipticals.Slate (Feb 20, 2014)
style

a particular kind

An eclectic mix of musical styles have been promised across the five nights, from country legend Willie Nelson to rapper Pitbull.
subject

being under the power or sovereignty of another or others

Books, fiction and nonfiction, have also similarly been subject to stringent censorship processes before release in the Chinese market.
subjective

taking place within the mind and modified by individual bias

Because the changes are subjective and difficult to measure, medical professionals often do not ask patients about changes in their sense of smell.Scientific American (Feb 13, 2014)
subsequent

following in time or order

As president, Washington earned well more than subsequent presidents: his salary was 2% of the total U.S. budget in 1789.Time (Feb 15, 2014)
substitute

a person or thing that can take the place of another

On their return, they were met by a jeering crowd who threw litter and rotten eggs as a substitute for confetti.
succinct

briefly giving the gist of something

One bulletin for Adams County included a succinct warning: “Stay away or be swept away.”New York Times (Sep 12, 2013)
suggest

make a proposal; declare a plan for something

We suggested so many alternate titles and they insisted on using the word “settle.”Salon (Feb 19, 2014)
sum

the final aggregate

Yet what is total output but the sum of all individuals’ work?
summarize

present the main points in a concise form

I recently wrote about a fun blog called LolMyThesis, in which self-deprecating students summarize their research findings in a single sentence.Slate (Jan 23, 2014)
summary

performed speedily and without formality

North Korean migrants and defectors returned by China regularly faced torture, detention, summary execution and forced abortion, said the report.Reuters (Feb 17, 2014)
support

provide with evidence or authority or make more certain

Supporting this notion, several studies and systematic reviews have shown that giving kids with these disorders omega-3 supplements does not improve their symptoms.Slate (Feb 19, 2014)
survey

look over carefully or inspect

The rover was designed to roam the lunar surface for three months while surveying for natural resources and sending back data.
symbolize

express indirectly by an image, form, or model

The Lamb on the light side of power, and the Lion on the dark side best symbolize the power extremes.Forbes (Feb 4, 2014)
synonym

a word that expresses the same or similar meaning

Remember that delicious and healthy is by far not an oxymoron; the words can be more like synonyms.
synthesize

combine so as to form a more complex product

Digital animators did motion studies, copying the movement of these animals frame by frame until they could synthesize a convincing idea of dinosaur movement.Nature (Dec 11, 2013)
table

a set of data arranged in rows and columns

In addition, if the numbers in the table were correct, it looks like that Obamacare was a negative sum game.
technique

a practical method or art applied to some particular task

They also heard about the latest techniques for the chemical analysis of paint, which permit the analyst to nail down when a work was painted.
term

a word or expression used for some particular thing

Perhaps as a response to the times we live in, people throughout the developed world are looking for what is commonly termed “authenticity”.Forbes (Feb 19, 2014)
test

standardized procedure for measuring sensitivity or aptitude

Too often we order unnecessary tests, to bolster revenue or to protect against lawsuits.
theme

a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary work

The poem seemed to hit a theme that Ms. McCray speaks of frequently: giving voice to the voiceless.
thesis

an unproved statement advanced as a premise in an argument

The problem with the thesis is that in setting out their claim, the authors ignore the more obvious explanation for differences in group success: history.Slate (Feb 12, 2014)
timeline

a sequence of related events arranged in chronological order

The several Hemingway passports, besides providing a photographic timeline of him as his hair and mustache go white, attest to his restlessness and wanderlust.
tone

a quality that reveals the attitudes of the author

“I appreciated the optimistic tone of the speech,” Rubio, a potential 2016 Republican presidential contender, told reporters at a Wall Street Journal breakfast on Wednesday.
topic

the subject matter of a conversation or discussion

Iran has also rejected discussing other related topics like its missile program.
trace

follow or ascertain the course of development of something

The family line for the teenage flick “Vampire Academy” may trace back to “Dracula,” but the recycling policy is strictly from “Frankenstein.”
trait

a distinguishing feature of your personal nature

In its spot, a more jocular narrator explains that one of the pencil’s most awe-inspiring traits is that it is extremely pointy.
transition

a change from one place or state or subject to another

The area was colonised in the 1800s and ruled by Britain as Northern Rhodesia until 1964, when it made a peaceful transition to independence.
translate

restate from one language into another language

MIT’s seal includes the Latin words–mens et manus–which translates as Mind and Hand.
typically

in a manner conforming to a type

Her Soyajoy Premium Total Tofu Kit produces single tofu blocks, slightly larger than what you’d typically find in the market.
unique

radically distinctive and without equal

“Given that everyone has unique DNA, it is scientifically certain that no two people will be identical in terms of capabilities,” he wrote.Salon (Feb 20, 2014)
utilize

put into service

Current TV display technology utilizes only 30% of human color perception capability, implying that smaller displays utilize even less.Forbes (Feb 10, 2014)
valid

well grounded in logic or truth or having legal force

This seems obvious because many cultures have traditionally institutionalized the siesta or mid-afternoon nap, but it seems to be scientifically valid.Forbes (Feb 2, 2014)
variation

something a little different from others of the same type

Though the mountains may look like one massive granite blob, sharp boundaries mark chemical variations within the range.Scientific American (Feb 11, 2014)
vary

make something more diverse

After all, it is an enormous and varied place with the genetic, linguistic, culinary and sartorial diversity which are usually found in a continent.
verify

confirm the truth of

The agency said public reports of dead aquatic turtles at two state parks in Virginia had not yet been verified by federal biologists.Salon (Feb 19, 2014)
viewpoint

a mental position from which things are viewed

Similarly, the Economist takes the viewpoint that although “innovation kills some jobs, it creates new and better ones.”Slate (Jan 29, 2014)
voice

a means by which something is expressed or communicated

When she found her literary voice as an expatriate in Paris, she created a writing life that consciously excluded the ties of marriage and children.

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