bring to its knees v. almost defeat someone, or to make them extremely weaksack v. plunder and destroy a captured town, building, or other place
It was also brought to its knees when Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410 and the Vandals in 455.
in the wake of ad. happening after an event or as a result of itsmear v. coat or mark something messily or carelessly with a greasy or sticky substance
In the wake of his allegations, the police claimed Wang had been found guilty of fraud, who had become a tool for the west to smear his homeland.
operative n. a worker, especially a skilled one in a manufacturing industryblow cover v. expose true identity or motives after they had been intentionally
The spy is believed to be the first operative from the country to blow his cover in five years.
plague v. cause continual trouble or distress tocategorical a. unambiguously explicit and direct
About the claim that plagued the palace, there was a categorical denial, alongside a string of reasons why her story did not add up.
pretense n. an attempt to make something that is not the case appear truevenue n. place where something happens, especially an organized big event
The house was booked under a pretense for a small group, before being published on Instagram as the venue for a Halloween party.
down to earth a. with no illusions or pretensions; practical and realistictarmac n. an area of ground covered with a hard surface, esp. the areas where planes land and take off
After running the roads with him for years I can confirm he is a gentle giant and a down to earth man who lives and breaths trucking and tarmac.
gastronomy n. practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good foodparaglide n. recreational sport of soaring from a slope or a cliff using a modified parachute
Tourists were looking for a product, either active holidays such as paragliding and diving, or more leisure-based breaks involving nature and gastronomy tourism.
bolster v. support or strengthen; prop upnurture v. further the development of
They were seeking evidence that might bolster a conspiracy theory long nurtured by President Trump.
sensationalize v. present information about (something) in a way that provokes public interest and excitement mitigate v. make less severe, serious, or painful