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All terms in this list:

prelude: An introductory, or preliminary event preceding an important event.

exhort: To urge; to advise earnestly.

consternation: Feelings of anxiety or dismay, typically at something unexpected.

compatriot: a fellow-countryman

sodden: soaked or drenched with liquid; soggy

pate: The head

flanked: Be situated on each side of or on one side of (someone or something)

enrapture: Give intense pleasure or joy.

enthrall: To hold spellbound; to bewitch, charm or captivate.

prowl: To be on the lookout for some prey.

straddle: To sit or stand with a leg on each side of something.

astute: a person's ability to accurately assess and understand situations

tailspin: The rapid, uncontrollable descent of an aircraft in a steep spiral.

blaze a trail: To show the way or proceed rapidly.

whittle: To reduce or gradually eliminate something (such as a debt).

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Definitions from Wiktionary under the GNU FDL.
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