Meaning: an action or event serving as an introduction to something more important.

Synonym: preliminary, overture, opening, preparation

Antonym:conclusion, postscript

Sentence: “a ceasefire had been agreed as a prelude to full peace negotiations”


Meaning: a strong feeling that something is about to happen, especially something unpleasant.

Synonym: foreboding, presage, presentiment, prognostication

Sentence: “he had a premonition of imminent disaster”


Meaning: the quality or fact of being greater in number, quantity, or importance.

Synonym: prevalence, predominance, dominance

Sentence: “the preponderance of women among older people”


Meaning: a trial heat (as in rowing) in which first-round losers are given another chance to qualify for the semifinals

Sentence: The British would now have to row and win in a repechage  the next day if they were to be one of the final six boats in the medal race.


Meaning: (especially of a woman) attractively lively and animated.

Synonym: lively, animated, full of life, spirited, high-spirited,


Sentence: “her vivacious and elegant mother”


Meaning: the responsibility for something

Synonyms: blot, stain

Sentence: he perpetually tries to shift the onus for any mistakes onto other team members


Meaning: something that one uses to accomplish an end especially when the usual means is not available

Synonyms: expedient, resource

Sentence: a toddler quickly learns that a tantrum is a surefire recourse when a polite request for something is met with parental indifference


Meaning: extreme patriotism

Synonyms: chauvinism, xenophobia

Sentence: the popular jingoism that swept the lower–middle classes


Meaning: the condition of being considered more important than someone or something else; priority in importance, order, or rank.

Synonym: outweigh, supersede,

Sentence: “his desire for power soon took precedence over any other consideration”


Meaning: a system in which members of an organization or society are ranked according to relative status or authority

Synonym: pecking order, ranking, grading, ladder, social order, social stratum

Antonym: disordered, free-for-all

Sentence: “the initiative was with those lower down in the hierarchy