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  attrition N. /裁员;磨损/gradual decrease in numbers; reduction in the work force without firing employees; wearing

  away of opposition by means of harassment. In the 1960s urban churches suffered from attrition as members moved from the cities to the suburbs. Rather than fire staff members, church leaders followed a policy of attrition, allowing elderly workers to retire without replacing them.

  atypical ADJ. /非正常的,不正常/not normal. The child psychiatrist reassured Mrs. Keaton that playing doctor was not

  atypical behavior for a child of young Alex's age. "Yes," she replied, "but not charging for house calls!"

  audacious ADJ. /大胆的;鲁莽的/daring; bold. Audiences cheered as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia made their

  audacious, deathdefying leap to freedom, escaping Darth Vader's troops. audacity, N.

  audit N. /核算,稽核/examination of accounts. When the bank examiners arrived to hold their annual audit, they

  discovered the embezzlements of the chief cashier. alsoV.

  auditory ADJ. /听觉的/pertaining to the sense of hearing. Audrey suffered from auditory hallucinations: she thought

  Elvis was speaking to her from the Great Beyond.

  augment V. /增长/increase; add to. Armies augment their forces by calling up reinforcements; teachers augment their

  salaries by taking odd jobs.

  augury N. /占卜;预言/omen; prophecy. He interpreted the departure of the birds as an augury of evil. augur,V.

  august ADJ. /威严的;令人印象深刻的/impressive; majestic. Visiting the palace at Versailles, she was impressed by the

  august surroundings in which she found herself.

  aureole N. /日冕/sun's corona; halo. Many medieval paintings depict saintly characters with aureoles around their

  heads.

  auroral ADJ. /曙光的,极光的/pertaining to the aurora borealis. The auroral display was particularly spectacular that

  evening.

  auspicious ADJ. /幸运的,吉祥的/favoring success. With favorable weather conditions, it was an auspicious moment to

  set sail. Thomas, however, had doubts about sailing: a paranoid, he became suspicious whenever conditions seemed auspicious.

  austere ADJ. /严厉的;朴素的/forbiddingly stern; severely simple and unornamented. The headmaster's austere

  demeanor tended to scare off the more timid students, who never visited his study willingly. The room reflected the man, austere and bare, like a monk's cell, with no touches of luxury to moderate its austerity.

  authenticate V. /鉴别/prove genuine. An expert was needed to authenticate the original Van Gogh painting,

  distinguishing it from its imitation.

  authoritarian ADJ. /独裁/subordinating the individual to the state; completely dominating another's will. The leaders of

  the authoritarian regime ordered the suppression of the democratic protest movement. After years of submitting to the will of her authoritarian father, Elizabeth Barrett ran away from home with the poet Robert Browning.

  authoritative ADJ. /权威;独裁/having the weight of authority; peremptory and dictatorial. Impressed by the young

  researcher's well-documented presentation, we accepted her analysis of the experiment as authoritative.

  autocratic ADJ. /独裁/having absolute, unchecked power; dictatorial. Someone accustomed to exercising authority

  may become autocratic if his or her power is unchecked. Dictators by definition are autocrats. Bosses who dictate behavior as well as letters can be autocrats too.

  automaton N. /机器人/mechanism that imitates actions of humans. Long before science fiction readers became

  aware of robots, writers were presenting stories of automatons who could outperform men.

  autonomous ADJ. /自治/self-governing. Although the University of California at Berkeley is just one part of the state

  university system, in many ways Cal Berkeley is autonomous, for it runs several programs that are not subject to outside control. autonomy, N.

  autopsy N. /验尸/examination of a dead body; post-mortem. The medical examiner ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death. also V.-

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