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(v) to calculate something in a way that is not exact: The journey was approximated to take about seven hours.
(adj) not exact, but close to an exact amount number time, etc: The approximate time of the incident was 7:30.
(v) to believe something is the cause of something else: The failure of the business was ascribed to events beyond anyone's control.
(v) to send someone to a particular place, especially in order for them to work there: I've been assigned to the office in Manchester.
(v) to believe that something is the result of a particular situation, event or person's actions: Police attributed the accident to the bad weather.
(n) an event that causes you to feel very sad, disappointed or shocked: Failing to get into university was a real blow.
(v) to make something happen, usually something bad: What caused the building to collapse?
(n) an event, thing or person that makes something happen: The cause of the fire still hasn't been found.
(n) a situation in which separate things happen by chance at the same time or in the same way: It's just a coincidence that Sandra and I were both in New York at the same time.
(v) to use magic powers to make bad things happen to someone: I have such bad luck that sometimes I think I've been cursed.
(n) a bad situation or event caused by someone's deliberate use of their magic powers: They say that there's a curse on whoever steals anything from the pyramids.
(adj) intended, not done by chance or by accident: I'm sure what she did wasn't deliberate.
(v) to calculate something or discover it by examining evidence: Investigators have determined that the crash was the result of human error.
(n) a power that some people believe controls everything that happens in their lives: I like to just leave things to fate.
(v) to change frequently: The price of gold has fluctuated quite a lot in recent months.
(v) to see or know something that will happen in the future: We don't foresee any problems.
(n) something with very unusual features that make it very different from other things of its type: People think I'm a bit of a freak because I like silent films.
(adj) extremely unusual and unexpected: Some people were injured in a freak storm.
(v) to risk money or something valuable in the hope of winning more If you are lucky or if you guess something correctly: I never gamble what I can't afford to lose.
(adj) done in a way that does not seem to be carefully planned or organised: The town seems to have grown in quite a haphazard way.
(n) something that could be dangerous or cause damage or accidents: Dad suddenly braked because he saw a hazard in the road.
(adj) not deliberate: Not inviting William was entirely inadvertent, I assure you.
(adj) involved in an important way in making something happen: He was instrumental in saving the company.
(adj) someone or something that is jinxed has a lot of bad luck: You must be jinxed if you've been hit by lightning three times.
(n) how certain it is that something will happen: The likelihood of success is quite low.
(n phr) something that people believe brings them luck: I always take my lucky charm into the exam with me.
(v) to move slowly without a particular direction or purpose in mind: We meandered around the park.
(n) a minor mistake or accident: We had a few mishaps on the way, but at least we're here now.
(v) to become physically different from other plants or animals of the same type as a result of a genetic change: Radiation has caused plants in the area to mutate.
(n) the chances of something happening: What are the odds on winning the lottery?
(v) to choose someone or something from a group: Mrs Kay picked me to help her give out the books.
(n) choice: We've got lots of different bikes for sale, so take your pick.
(n phr) a situation in which you do not know what to expect, but you hope that it will be good: You can't predict the weather in Britain in the summer, so it's just pot luck what it'll be like for our holiday.
(adj) chosen or happening without any particular method, pattern or purpose: Think of a random number.
(n) a piece of evidence that something is happening or that something exists: There were signs that someone had been there before us.
(v) to consider or discuss why something has happened: He refused to speculate on what might happen.
(adj) happening in a natural way without being planned or thought about: Leaving my job was a spontaneous thing.
(v) to make a person or animal feel suddenly frightened or surprised by doing something they do not expect: Liam startled me when he suddenly appeared next to me.
(n) a group of numbers that represent facts or describe a situation: But the statistics simply don't support that view.
(v) to move away from the correct place or path: Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother warned her not to stray from the path.
(adj) lost or without a home: The number of stray dogs is becoming a real problem.
(n) a pet that is lost or has left its home: There are too many strays around here.
(n) a belief that things such as magic or luck have the power to affect your life: You don't believe that old superstition about the number 13, do you?
(adj) believing in the power of magic or luck: I'm quite superstitious, so I never walk under ladders.
(v) to happen: Perhaps we will never know what transpired that night.
(n) the fact that something is not known or has not been decided: The passengers began to get angry because of the uncertainty.
(v) to rock slightly from side to side, or to make something do this: The statue wobbled and then fell over.