Category: Academic Vocabulary of the Day

Daily definitions and usage information about general academic vocabulary.

Feb
03
2017

catapult

Posted in Academic Vocabulary of the Day by admin2

kae t@ pUlt

noun
an ancient military machine used to hurl missiles such as large stones, esp. at fortifications.
In medieval times, catapults were often used to shoot burning materials attached to arrows or spears over fortress walls.

transitive verb
1.  thrust by or as though by a catapult.
A role in a hit film can catapult an unknown actor into stardom.

intransitive verb
to spring up or forward as though hurled by a catapult.
She catapulted over the fence.
(more…)

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Feb
02
2017

falter

Posted in Academic Vocabulary of the Day by admin2

fawl t@r

intransitive verb
1.  to move, speak, or function hesitatingly or unsteadily; stumble.
The horse faltered and nearly fell in the final stretch of the race.
The soloist prayed that she would not falter during that evening’s performance.
His voice faltered as he was suddenly overcome with emotion.
The negotiations had been going well, but then they faltered over the issue of paid vacations.

2.  to waver in confidence or purpose.
We will not falter in our fight for what is right.

3.  to function unsteadily, intermittently, or with diminished power, as a mechanical or electrical device.
It’s unclear why the airplane’s engine faltered during the flight.
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Feb
01
2017

illuminate

Posted in Academic Vocabulary of the Day by admin2

ih lu m@ neIt

transitive verb
1.  to provide or brighten with, or as if with, light; light up; make radiant.
Lights illuminated the stage.

2.  to make clear or understandable; clarify; explain.
The information in the footnotes helps to illuminate the text.

3. to give knowledge to; enlighten.
News magazines nowadays entertain us as well as illuminate us with respect to events in the world.
Will you illuminate us as to your intentions?

4.  to decorate (a letter, manuscript, or the like) with colored designs.
The monk illuminated the pages of the gospel with brilliant depictions of Biblical events.
(more…)

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Jan
31
2017

scavenge

Posted in Academic Vocabulary of the Day by admin2

skae v@nj

transitive verb
1.  to look through in the hope of finding something usable.
The boys scavenged the dump for car parts.

2.  to find or gather by searching, esp. through refuse.
They scavenged any food they could find from the bins behind the restaurant.

3.  to gather garbage from; cleanse.
Seagulls scavenged the area near the docks.

intransitive verb
to search through refuse for food or usable objects.
The bears were scavenging for food in the campground.
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Jan
30
2017

balk

Posted in Academic Vocabulary of the Day by admin2

bawk

intransitive verb
1.  to stop suddenly and refuse to proceed.
The horse balked at the unfamiliar gate.

2.  to refuse or be unwilling to do some act (usu. fol. by “at”).
My son tends to balk at doing any chores around the house.
The Senator had done some dishonest things in the past, but he balked at accepting this bribe.

transitive verb
to block the progress of; hinder; impede.
The committee’s work was balked by one member’s repeated objections.
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