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aardvark a large mammal with a long snout, long ears, a long tail, and almost no hair. Aardvarks are active at night, when they use their powerful claws to dig open ant or termite nests. They catch their food with long, sticky tongues. Aardvarks live in southern and central Africa. Although they are sometimes called anteaters, aardvarks are not closely related to any other kind of mammal.
abalone a large sea snail that has several shiny colors on the inside of its shell. Abalone are mollusks. People eat abalone meat and make decorations from the shells.
abdomen the part of the body between the chest and the hips. The abdomen contains the stomach, intestines, and liver. [1/2 definitions]
abolitionism a movement in the United States in the 1800s whose goal was to free the people who were slaves and make slavery against the law.
about on all sides; here and there. [1/8 definitions]
aboveboard openly and without tricks or lies; honest.
abrupt sudden and not expected. [1/2 definitions]
abscess a sore that forms within the tissues of the body and is filled with pus. Abscesses can be caused by an infection.
absorption the state of having all of one's interest and attention taken up by one activity. [1/2 definitions]
acacia a tree that grows in tropical areas of the world, especially in parts of Africa and Australia. The branches of an acacia spread out very wide and evenly across the top. Sometimes the top of the tree looks almost flat.
accordion a musical instrument with a keyboard that is small enough to carry. An accordion is played by pressing the keys and squeezing the bellows to force air through metal reeds.
accountant a person who checks and takes care of business records or accounts.
accurate careful and precise. [1/2 definitions]
acid a chemical substance that dissolves in water, has a sour taste, and turns blue litmus paper red. [1/4 definitions]
acre a unit of area equal to 43,560 square feet, used to measure land. The acre is a standard unit of measurement in the United States and the United Kingdom.
acrobat a person who can do physical acts that take balance and skill.
acrobatic having to do with acrobats or feats of balance and skill.
acrylic a kind of plastic used to make yarns, paint, and many other things.
action verb a verb that shows its subject performing some action. "Run," "eat," "fly," and "sing" are examples of action verbs.
activist a person who fights openly and vigorously for a cause.
adaptation in biology, the process of change in a living thing, over time, resulting in it being better able to survive and multiply. [1/4 definitions]