ambrosia [æm’brəʊzjə](n.)(神話中的)神仙食品, 仙饌; 美味, 珍饈

ambrosial(adj.)似神仙食物的; 美味(芬芳)的; 適於神用的

the food of the gods, said to bestow immortality

anything particularly delightful to taste or smell

The chocolate mousse she makes is sheer ambrosia (= tastes extremely good).

In the Odyssey and the Iliad, Homer uses the word ambrosia for three things: the food of the Olympians, a salve used to treat corpses, and as a perfume to cover up the smell of uncured seal skins. Some scholars have identified ambrosia as honey while others feel that a type of hallucinogenic mushroom was meant in the myths. Regardless of all this confusion, the word is now used metaphorically to mean anything so fragrant, so delicious that it seems divine — including a popular orange-and-coconut confection.



amulet [‘æmjʊlɪt](n.)護身符; 避邪物

a charm (as an ornament) often inscribed with a magic incantation or symbol to aid the wearer or protect against evil (as disease or witchcraft)

Whenever the man rubbed the silver amulet, his number would win.
The diamond heart pendant glimpsed in every episode, an apt amulet if ever there was one, rested in the divot above her clavicle.

New York Times Oct 23, 2010

An amulet is something that wards off evil spells and all manner of bad luck. Often found in undeveloped societies — or Brady Bunch episodes — an amulet acts as a charm to protect its wearer from evil. Often worn close to the heart as a necklace, the word amulet can refer to any a piece of jewelry or other trinket that is kept close to the body and believed to keep evil and danger at bay.



anodyne [‘ænəʊdaɪn](n.) 止痛劑; 緩和物; 鎮痛劑; 解除痛苦的東西 (adj.)止痛的

1 : serving to alleviate pain
2 : not likely to offend or arouse tensions : INNOCUOUS


If you describe something as anodyne, you are criticizing it because it has no strong characteristics and is not likely to excite, interest, or upset anyone. (FORMAL)
Their quarterly meetings were anodyne affairs.
= bland


Such anodyne sentiments mark a sharp contrast from the fiery diatribes and taunts he issued after the firing of his friend, Mr. Hurd.

New York Times Sep 21, 2010


An anodyne doesn’t have to be actual medicine. If the pure joy of helping your friend is soothing enough to make you forget your aching back, that counts as an anodyne too (though perhaps an unlikely one). Anodyne can also be used as an adjective to describe something that relieves pain, or is at least inoffensive. When you’re stressed out or unhappy, try looking at anodyne pictures of kittens. Er, unless you had a bad experience with a cat once.



apothegm [ˈæpəˌθɛm] (n.)格言, 箴言 (= apophtegm)

a short, pithy, and instructive saying or formulation : APHORISM

“Necessity," says the old apothegm, “is the mother of invention."

Sprague, Homer B. (Homer Baxter)


An apothegm is a short instructive saying that’s easy to remember and sometimes even slightly witty, like “haste makes waste." An apothegm often expresses a fundamental truth or general rule.



apposite [‘æpəʊzɪt](adj.)適當的, 貼切的(不是opposite)

being of striking appropriateness and pertinence

The film starts in a graveyard, an apposite image for the decaying society which is the theme of the film.

His observations are, indeed, apposite to the present discussion.

Tips: Apposite is generally a stronger word than appropriate. Something apposite is particularly appropriate, timely, or fitting for the situation. It is similar to relevant, pertinent, and germane.


Since her research was apposite to the topic of the conference, the committee accepted her paper. (relevant, germane)

Child development is an apposite subject to a discussion of education. (apropos, germane)

The journalist is highly adept at using apposite metaphors to illustrate his editorials. (germane, relevant)

The work she did was hardly apposite to the project and resulted in a lot of wasted time. (relevant)



apropos [ˌæprəˈpəu](adj.)適當的; 切題的; 中肯的

appropriate; pertinent

suitable in a particular situation or at a particular time:
clothes which are apropos to the occasion

The committee chair allowed the discussion to continue, as it was apropos to the topic. (relevant, germane) adjective

His suggestion was rather apropos, considering the circumstances. (apposite, timely) adjective

His toast at the wedding was perfectly apropos. (suitable, appropriate)adjective

How apropos that you bring up the budget crisis just when we were discussing cost-cutting measures in the schools. (appropriate, timely)adjective


apropos of      (preposition)

with regard to : CONCERNING

Something which is apropos, or apropos of, a subject or event, is connected with it or relevant to it. (FORMAL)
All my suggestions apropos the script were accepted…
= with reference to

Apropos or apropos of is used to introduce something that you are going to say which is related to the subject you have just been talking about. (FORMAL)
Apropos Dudley Moore living in California he said, `He loves the space, Californians have a lot of space.’


adverb, preposition FORMAL
used to introduce something which is related to or connected with something that has just been said:
I had a letter from Sally yesterday – apropos (of) which, did you send her that article?
Apropos what you said yesterday, I think you made the right decision.


Apropos is a useful word to learn. But first you have to know how to pronounce it: AP-rə-pō. Then you can conveniently change the subject of a conversation by using the expression “Apropos of nothing," which is a glib way of saying, “Oh, and by the way…" If someone’s remarks are suitable and appropriate to the occasion, you can get on their good side by saying: How apropos!




arabesque [‚ærə’besk](adj.)阿拉伯式圖案的;(n.)阿拉伯花飾(互相交織的曲線圖案)



The check-in desk looks like embroidered silver and behind it a towering wall of geometric arabesques in thick, double-layered white marble.

Wall Street Journal Jul 24, 2010



asperity [æ’sperətɪ](n.)

1. (表面的)粗糙
2. (氣候的)嚴酷; 艱苦的條件
3. (聲音、語調、態度、脾氣的)粗暴
harshness or sharpness of tone, temper, or manner; severity; acrimony: The cause of her anger did not warrant such asperity.
hardship; difficulty; rigor: the asperities of polar weather.


Cliff’s asperity toward others made Jim afraid to ask him for help. (bitterness, harshness)

Bankruptcy and our subsequent financial problems were asperities I hope our company will never have to endure again. (hardships)

The woman was once known for her kindness, but many troubles had changed her demeanor to one of insensitivity and asperity. (harshness, bitterness)

The military commander treated his new recruits with asperity, offering no sympathy or fatherliness. (severity, harshness)


The harshness that asperity implies can also apply to conditions, like “the asperities of life in a bomb shelter." Or even more literally to surfaces, like “the asperity of an unfinished edge." But, most often, you will see asperity used in reference to grumpy human beings.




aspersions /ə’spɝʒənz/(n.)誹謗, 中傷

I wouldn’t want to cast aspersions on your honesty. 我可不想批評你的誠信。


slander, libel, false insinuation, calumny, imputation, allegation, detraction, slur, obloquy, defamation, disparagement:
He resented my casting aspersions on the legitimacy of his birth.


The newspaper was heavily fined for the printed aspersion of the candidate. (defamation, slander)

Because the aspersions made against John damaged his credibility and his ability to get a new job, he sued the organization. (defamatory remarks, slurs)

I was deeply hurt by the aspersion, especially since I had no idea why she would say such an awful thing to me. (affront, invective)

The religious commitment made during the rite was symbolized by the aspersion of water on the participant. (sprinkling)


An aspersion is a disparaging remark. It almost invariably appears as a plural, following the word “cast" — when you cast aspersions on someone, you are questioning their abilities or doubting them.



atavism [ˈætəˌvɪzəm]  (n.)【生】隔代遺傳; 返祖現象

a : recurrence in an organism of a trait or character typical of an ancestral form and usually due to genetic recombination b : recurrence of or reversion to a past style, manner, outlook, approach, or activity <architectural atavism>


Atavism is a return to a previous way of doing, saying, or seeing things. It can be casual, like wearing retro clothing and listening to vinyl records, or committed, like living in a straw hut without electricity.

It makes sense that atavism comes from a Latin word meaning “forefather,” since it refers to a way of doing things like our ancestors did them. It’s often used negatively, though, to refer to behavior the speaker finds primitive or unacceptable. Atavists are often called “throwbacks." In biology, the term atavism or “evolutionary throwback” is used when animals are born with features that had disappeared, such as legs on a whale.



avocation [‚ævəʊ’keɪʃn](n.) 1. 副業; 興趣; 愛好 2.【口】職業

an auxiliary activity

Your avocation is a job or activity that you do because you are interested in it, rather than to earn your living.(FORMAL)

He was a printer by trade and naturalist by avocation.

Our doctor’s avocation is painting.

Unlike many retired doctors, whom he says often have no life outside their profession, he always knew sailing would become his avocation.

Newsweek Nov 18, 2010



avuncular [ə’vʌŋkjʊlə](adj.) 1. 伯父的; 叔父的 2. 像叔伯的; 慈祥的



An avuncular man or a man with avuncular behaviour is friendly and helpful towards someone younger. (FORMAL)
He began to talk in his most gentle and avuncular manner.

His avuncular image belies his steely determination.


behaving in a kind and nice way to someone who is younger, rather like an uncle
an avuncular pat on the shoulder


Everyone likes an avuncular guy, that is someone who is kind and patient and generally indulgent with people younger than he is. The Dalai Lama is an avuncular fellow. So is Santa Claus. Unless you haven’t been good.




axiomatic /ˌæksiəˈmætɪk/(adj.)

1. 自明之理的; 公理的
2. 原則的
3. 格言的; 充滿格言的

taken for granted : SELF-EVIDENT <an axiomatic truth>

based on or involving an axiom or system of axioms <axiomatic set theory>


It is axiomatic that life is not always easy. 生活並不總是一帆風順是明擺着的事實。

It’s axiomatic in politics that voters won’t throw out a presidential incumbent unless they think his challenger will clean house” (Peter Grier).


obviously true and therefore not needing to be proved:
It is an axiomatic fact that governments rise and fall on the state of the economy.
It seems axiomatic that everyone would benefit from a better scientific education.


It was once regarded as axiomatic that globalisation would marginalise politics.

Economist Feb 10, 2011

For generations, Americans believed that owning a home was an axiomatic good.

Time Aug 26, 2010



anathema [ə’næθəmə](n.)【宗】(天主教的)革出教門; 詛咒


a detested person
a formal ecclesiastical curse accompanied by excommunication


If something is anathema to you, you strongly dislike it.
Violence was anathema to them.


something which is greatly disliked or disapproved of:
Credit controls are anathema to the government.
For older employees, the new system is an anathema.


Racial prejudice is (an) anathema to me. 對我來說,種族歧視非常可惡。



Tips: Anathema is derived from the Greek anathema, meaning “someone or something devoted to evil." If you are an anathema, you are a person who is loathed for your evil ways. Anathema is synonymous with pariah. A pariah also refers to someone who is loathed, rejected, or disliked, but is less harsh than anathema, which is used to describe a person who is loathed and abhorred because of their evil ways. Anathema is also synonymous with abomination, which also denotes something that causes an aversion and is strongly disliked and hated. This context refers more to objects, ideas, and principals that create a strong and heavy aversion, dislike, or disgust.

Usage Examples:

Professor Smith’s ideas were anathema to most of his colleagues. (abominations)

Jim was excused from active duty the day before the battle, since the idea of taking another’s life was anathema to him. (an aversion, loath)

The ideas of the rebels were anathema to the loyalists. (abominations)

He was an anathema who frightened people everywhere he went. (pariah)




apiary [‘eɪpjərɪ](n.)養蜂場; 蜂房

a shed containing a number of beehives / `bi,haɪv /

aviary [‘eɪvjərɪ](n.)鳥舍; 禽舍; 鳥類飼養場

a place for keeping birds confined




apocryphal /ə’pɑkrəfəl/(adj.)作者不明的; 偽的; 經外書的


Most of the stories about him are apocryphal. 關於他的傳聞多屬虛構。


1 : of doubtful authenticity : SPURIOUS
2 often capitalized : of or resembling the Apocrypha
synonyms see FICTITIOUS


describes a story that is probably not true although often told and believed by some people to have happened:
an apocryphal story
It’s a good story but I dare say it’s apocryphal.


Tips: The Apocrypha is a section of the Old Testament which is of dubious origin, and thus, excluded from most versions of the Bible. In everyday conversation, apocryphal refers to something that is probably not true but is widely believed. In literature, apocrypha refers to works that purport to have been created by somebody other than the author, usually someone famous.

Usage Examples:

Some people believe that aliens landed in Roswell, New Mexico, but I think that story is apocryphal. (false, doubtful)

He secured a book deal when the apocryphal nature of his research provoked widespread debate among his colleagues. (questionable, dubious)

When John said that he believed in the Bible, I’m not sure he meant the apocryphal writings as well. (unauthenticated)

Most “rags-to-riches" tales turn out to be apocryphal. (false)



rags-to-riches /ˌrægz.təˈrɪtʃɪz/
adjective [before noun]
used to describe what happens to a person who was poor but becomes rich:
She told a rags-to-riches story of a child brought up in poverty becoming the owner of a hotel chain.



apostate /ə’pɑstet/(n.)叛教者; 脫黨者; 反叛者

【类】renegade allegiance = apostate faith 叛徒没有忠诚=叛教者没有信仰"

An apostate is someone who has abandoned their religious faith, political loyalties, or principles. (FORMAL)
= renegade, defector


Tips: Apostasy, from the Greek “to stand away," is the renunciation of one’s religion. One who commits apostasy is an apostate. Apostate can also be used when describing someone who turns away from something other than religion.

Usage Examples:

Josh used to follow a high-protein diet, but he’s now an apostate who happily eats French fries and pasta. (defector)

The monk became an apostate when he left the monastery to get married. (dissident, heretic)

Sometimes it takes an apostate from conventional ideas to make a new discovery. (renegade)

He became an apostate of the Green party, not because he no longer cared about their policies, but because he felt his new party might have more success on election day. (defector, dissident)


Suicide bombings are often a hallmark of Sunni Islamist al Qaeda, which regards Shi’ite Muslims as apostates.

Reuters Jul 8, 2010



apotheosis  [ə‚pɒθɪ’əʊsɪs](n.)

1. 尊奉為神
2. 神化; 美化; 崇拜
3. 理想的人物, 完美的典型


1 : elevation to divine status : DEIFICATION
2 : the perfect example : QUINTESSENCE <this is the literary apotheosis of the shaggy dog story ― Thomas Sutcliffe>



If something is the apotheosis of something else, it is an ideal or typical example of it. (FORMAL)
The Oriental in Bangkok is the apotheosis of the grand hotel.
= epitome


1 the best or most extreme example of something:
Most people agree that her acting career achieved its apotheosis in this film.
Bad taste in clothes reached its apotheosis in the 1970s.

2 the apotheosis of sb the act of making someone into a god:
One of the large paintings showed the Apotheosis of the Emperor Trajan.



Tips: Apotheosis is derived from the Greek theos, “God." An apotheosis is the utmost, best, or quintessential example of something as “God" is often considered to be the best, highest, or most powerful living force.

Usage Examples:

This work represents the apotheosis of research in the field and deserves to win the prize. (embodiment, essence)

Wearing white shoes in autumn used to be considered the apotheosis of bad taste. (embodiment, perfect example)

The Senator’s passage of the conservation bill proved to be the apotheosis of his political career. (pinnacle)

Da Vinci’s painting, the Mona Lisa, represents, to some, the apotheosis of his work. (pinnacle, idealization)



arboretum /ˈɑrbə’ritəm/(n.)植物園

a place where trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants are cultivated for scientific and educational purposes

botanical garden

【类】arboretum : trees = aviary : birds   植物园有树供观赏=鸟舍有鸟供观赏


See all the arboretum‘s conifers and learn which could work for your garden.

Washington Post Jan 15, 2010


In even the busiest of cities you can often find an arboretum, a sort of museum for trees, where many different types of trees and shrubs are growing, kept for scientific study and for the enjoyment of the general population.



About leeoxygen

本篇發表於 GRE/TOEFL/IELTS/TOEIC/GEPT, GRE與托福學術英文字彙精進, 新聞英文, 中英翻譯 並標籤為 , , , , , , , 。將永久鏈結加入書籤。



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