5 • Lesson 3 Word List


(n) 1. A person from whom one is descended.
My ancestors came from Congo.

2. An early kind of animal from which later ones have developed; a forerunner.
The dog-sized mesohippus is the ancestor of the modern horse.


(n) A flesh-eating animal.
Carnivores have sharp, pointed teeth that enable them to tear the meat they eat.

carnivorous (adj) Flesh-eating.
Although dogs are carnivorous, they will often eat other foods besides meat.


(v) To understand.
If you don’t comprehend the question, I will word it differently.

comprehension (n) The act of understanding; the ability to understand.
Pawel cannot speak Spanish very well, but his comprehension is quite good.


(n) The time during which something lasts or continues.
We stayed in our house for the duration of the heavy rainstorm.


(adj) Easy to see and understand; obvious, clear.
It is evident from your manner that you are not happy to see me.


(adj) 1. No longer existing or living.
The giant woolly mammoth went extinct about ten thousand years ago.

2. No longer active.
Mount Saint Helens was believed to be an extinct volcano until it suddenly became active in 1980.


(adj) Savage; fierce.
Doberman pinschers make ferocious guard dogs.

ferocity (n) The state or quality of being fierce.
The ferocity of the storm surprised us.


(adj) Very large; like a giant in size.
The Spruce Goose was a gigantic airplane that made only one flight.


(v) To cover up or keep from being seen.
Clouds obscured the moon.

(adj) 1. Hard to see; hidden.
The boat was an obscure shape in the mist.

2. Not easy to understand.
The story was full of obscure words like “cauldron” and “phoenix.”


(n) Choice, or something that is available as a choice.
We had the option of practicing soccer during the lunch break or after school.

optional (adj) Left to choice.
Papi said we had to go to Tia Maria’s house for lunch, but staying for dinner was optional.


(adj) Too early; happening or arriving before the proper time.
Premature babies require special care before they are allowed to leave the hospital.


(v) 1. To save; to keep from harm; to protect.
This law will help preserve the old forests in the national parks.

2. To keep from rotting or spoiling.
Steve and Martha preserve the peaches from their orchard by canning them.


(n) 1. An animal that is hunted for food.
Chickens are the natural prey of foxes.

2. One that is helpless or unable to resist attack; a victim.
Be alert when you travel so that you will not be prey to thieves.

(v) 1. To hunt (animals) for food.
Wolves prey on the weakest deer in the herd.

2. To take from or rob using violence or trickery.
The pickpockets preyed on people whose arms were full of shopping bags.


(adj) 1. Weak.
Lifting weights can change puny muscles into powerful ones.

2. Lacking in size, strength, or power.
My offering of one dollar seemed puny compared to what others gave.


(v) 1. To stay alive where there is a chance of dying or being killed.
Only three passengers survived the plane crash.

2. To continue living or existing through a threatening situation.
Only two of the eight maple trees in our yard survived the hurricane.

survivor (n) One who stays alive while others die.
Survivors of the shipwreck floated on life rafts until the helicopter could pick them up.

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