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Noun: Devoir  (duh-VWAHR) Definition: 1. Duty, responsibility 2. A usually formal act of civility or respect Sample sentence: I have a lot of chores in my house, but taking out the garbage is not my devoir.

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The Empire State Building “run up” happens each winter. Hundreds of competitors race up the 1,576 stairs to the 86th floor; the winner typically finishes in under 11 minutes. You have to be in extraordinary shape to compete in one of these events. To win, you have to take the stairs two at a time, […]

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Adjective: Seriocomic  (seer-ee-oh-KAH-mik) Definition: Having a mixture of the serious and the comic. Sample sentence: The intergenerational meal was a seriocomic affair, with the younger generation refereeing the jabs their elders hurled at one another while trying to keep the youngest generation from getting a true sense of just what was going on.

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Sleep apnea, also called obstructive sleep apnea, is a disorder that causes interruptions of normal breathing during sleep. Symptoms include: 1. Heavy snoring 2. Periods of not breathing 3. Waking frequently during the night or experiencing fitful sleep 4. Feeling sleepy or not well-rested during the day Depending on how often and for how long […]

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Verb: Placate  (PLAY-kayt) Definition:  To soothe or mollify especially by concession : to calm the anger or bitterness of. Sample sentence: In an effort to placate the angry customer, the store manager replaced the defective product with a more expensive model at no extra charge.

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If you’re overweight, losing 10 percent of your weight (20 pounds if you weigh in at 200) may cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even if you regain the pounds you shed within a decade. This finding comes from a national study that included 3,000 overweight people with impaired glucose tolerance, a metabolic […]

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Verb: Excoriate  (ek-SKOR-ee-ayt) Definition: 1. To wear off the skin of : abrade 2. To censure scathingly Sample sentence:  My new shoes started to excoriate my heels, so I had to resort to wearing mole skin patches to prevent blisters.

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If you haven’t been sleeping well, you’re likely to be tired a lot of the time, have headaches and gain weight. Not surprisingly, your eyes may be red, your hands may shake, and you could be at increased risk of high blood pressure. But did you know that individuals who don’t get enough sleep may […]

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After analyzing data from 5806 participants in a large national health survey, researchers at Drexel University School of Public Health found that low levels of vitamin D among obese individuals may increase the risk of insulin resistance, a contributing factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. Individually, vitamin D insufficiency and obesity are recognized […]

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Noun: Emolument  (ih-MAHL-yuh-munt) Definition: The returns arising from office or employment usually in the form of compensation or perks. Sample sentence: James has contributed countless volunteer hours to the organization and continues to refuse any emolument for his work.

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