WORD LISTS

This Week in Words: August 10–16, 2019

August 15, 2019
We’ve rounded up the top words heard, read, and discussed in the news this week. Take a look back at the week that was, vocabulary style.
audacious
Simone Biles won her sixth U.S. Gymnastics Championship title this week. The Olympic gold medalist performed a triple-double in the floor exercise — a combination that had never before been successfully landed in competition. Biles’ routines and her personality are considered audacious, meaning bold, daring, and fearless.
Two days removed from an off day — at least by her impossibly high standards — Biles responded with four sublime rotations that showcased the mix of technical precision, audacious ambition and charismatic showmanship that have become her trademark.
— The New York Times (Aug 11, 2019)
circumvent
A nuclear-powered engine that was being tested by the Russian government exploded this week, killing seven and resulting in the evacuation of nearby towns. The engine was intended to power a nuclear missile capable of traveling very long distances. In this case, circumvent means to get around, evade, or bypass.
The cruise missile was originally unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018 as a weapon that could circumvent U.S. missile defenses. - The Wall Street Journal (Aug 13, 2019)
cognizant
Pro-democracy demonstrators clashed with police at the Hong Kong airport this week, forcing a temporary shutdown at one of the world’s busiest transportation hubs. As the protests have become more violent and disruptive, there is growing support among some citizens for intervention by the mainland Chinese government. To be cognizant is to be aware of something.
One military official said Chinese authorities appeared to be wary of using military force to quell the unrest at the moment, cognizant of the possibly severe consequences from such a move. - The Wall Street Journal (Aug 13, 2019)
ensue
A$AP Rocky was found guilty of assault charges in a Swedish court, but will not be required to serve jail time. The rapper is obligated to pay the equivalent of $1,300 and faces stiff prison time if he is ever convicted with another crime in Sweden.
A full-scale brawl ensued shortly afterward and prosecutors allege that Rocky and his bodyguards — Rispers and Corniel — beat and kicked Jafari while he was on the ground. They said Jafari was hit with a bottle. - Fox News (Aug 14, 2019)
facilitate
The Superintendent of Schools in Marietta, Georgia received a $10,000 bonus this year, but he is not keeping it for himself. Instead, Grant Rivera will use the money to help students in his school district pay for college application fees. Rivera has also pledge that if the bonus does not cover all the costs, he will personally make up the difference. An incentive is something that motivates you to take action.
One of the most important findings of this study, aside from the fact that it concludes that the European onshore wind potential is larger than previously estimated, is that it facilitates the ability of countries to plan their onshore wind resource development more efficiently, thereby easing the way for commitments by these countries to move entirely to clean, renewable energy for all purposes. - Good News Network (Aug 14, 2019)
incentive
The Superintendent of Schools in Marietta, Georgia received a bonus this year, but he is not keeping it for himself. Instead, Grant Rivera will use the money to help the children of his area pay college application fees. If the $10,000 bonus Rivera received does not cover all the costs he has pledged to make up the difference. An incentive is an inducement or a positive stimulus.
“I don’t believe that a bonus provided by the board should be earned on the backs of the teachers,” Rivera told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “My hope is that it’s an incentive for kids to do the right thing.” - Good News Network (Aug 13, 2019)
prompt
Several police officers were assaulted in separate incidents this week. Six officers were injured in Philadelphia during a tense, seven-hour standoff with a gunman. Earlier in the week, a California Highway Patrol Officer was killed in Riverside, California when a man the officer had pulled over grabbed a rifle and opened fire. Prompt has several meanings, but in this case it means to produce or provoke an action.
Police did not immediately say what prompted the officer to stop and impound the truck. - USA Today (Aug 13, 2019)
protracted
The trade war between the U.S. and China took another turn when President Trump announced that he will delay new tariffs that were scheduled to take effect. Experts believe that this move is so that retailers can stock up for the holiday shopping season without paying more for goods made in China. If imports are less expensive for retailers, they won’t be as expensive for consumers. Protracted means extended or drawn out in time.
President Trump on Tuesday unexpectedly put off new tariffs on many Chinese goods, including cellphones, laptop computers and toys, until after the start of the Christmas shopping season, acknowledging the effect that his protracted trade war with Beijing could have on Americans. - The New York Times (Aug 13, 2019)
salvo
The Trump administration has eased restrictions on coal burning power plants. Now, a group of 29 cities and states are suing the administration to stop the rollback of these restrictions, which were intended to help the environment. The lawsuit claims that there is no reason to discard the old rules and suggests that the new provisions work against the role of the Environmental Protection Agency in reducing pollution.
The lawsuit is the latest salvo in a long-running battle over the future of coal and how to regulate the nation’s heavily polluting power plants, which are major producers of greenhouse gases that warm the planet. - The New York Times (Aug 13, 2019)
unilaterally
There are new regulations regarding immigrants to the United States. ICE agents are now entitled to deport immigrants who don’t have documentation anywhere they find them. This rule was previously applied only at border crossings. Unilaterally means one-sided and without input from others.
But now, for the first time, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents can unilaterally question, arrest, detain and deport undocumented immigrants who have been here for less than two years that they encounter anywhere in the country. - USA Today (Aug 13, 2019)

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