5 • Lesson 15 Word List


(n) Something that causes great damage or harm.
Hurricane Katrina was the worst disaster to hit New Orleans in many years.

disastrous (adj) Causing much damage or harm.
The disastrous floods in the Midwest left many people homeless.


(v) To run away from danger or from something frightening.
I quickly decided to flee from the park when I heard a noise behind me.

fled (past tense)
We fled from the house when we awoke and smelled gas.


(n) A crack or break, as in metal or bone.
The plane was grounded because of a small fracture in the metal tail unit.

(v) To crack or break.
Selena fractured her arm for the second time this summer when she fell from the swing.


(adj) 1. Great in size or extent.
The Pacific Ocean is an immense body of water.

2. Great in degree.
To the immense relief of his parents, the lost child was soon found.


(adj) 1. Very strong; very great.
The intense heat from the fire melted the plastic dishes.

2. Showing great depth of feeling.
The scene in the play where the enslaved people are liberated from bondage is so intense that the audience often weeps.

intensity (n) Great strength or force.
The intensity of light from the sun is greatest at noon.


(v) To look into closely; to study in great detail.
The fire marshal will investigate the cause of the fire in the library.


(v) To move forward or to one side suddenly and unexpectedly.
The car lurched to the left to avoid a bird on the road.

(n) A jerking or swaying movement.
The bus started with a lurch, throwing the standing passengers off balance.


(adj) Great in size, number, or importance.
Seas and oceans make up the major part of the earth’s surface.

(n) 1. A military officer just above a captain in rank.
A colonel is superior in rank to a major.

2. The main subject a student is studying.
My major in college will be Russian Language and Literature.

(v) To study as one’s most important subject.
My cousin Karen majored in chemistry and mathematics at Community College.


(adj) 1. Small; unimportant.
Steffi’s knee injury was minor, so she finished the game.

(n) A person who is not yet an adult; a child.
Minors may attend this movie if an adult goes with them.


(v) 1. To make rigid with terror; to terrify.
The director said that he felt his horror movies had failed if they did not petrify audiences.

2. To change into a stonelike substance.
In Arizona’s Painted Desert, we saw examples of wood that had petrified over millions of years.


(v) To say what will happen before it takes place.
The highway safety office predicts heavy traffic on the roads this weekend.

prediction (n) Something that is predicted.
The prediction of a blizzard kept people from traveling last night.


(adj) 1. Likely to have or do.
All of us are more prone to colds in the winter than in the summer.

2. Lying face downward.
I had to lie in a prone position because my back was so sunburned.


(adj) 1. Thinly grown or spread.
The grass on the ball field was sparse, so we reseeded it.

2. Not crowded.
The town meeting had a sparse turnout this year.


(v) 1. To fall or push over.
The cat toppled the pile of books.

2. To overthrow.
The student demonstrations helped topple the government.


(adj) Having to do with cities.
Traffic in urban areas is a serious problem during rush hour.

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