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projectile
Detail    speak
n. a weapon that is thrown or projected; self-propelled missile, such as rocket; a fired or thrown object
The soldier has always hurled projectile at his enemy, whether in the form of stones or of highly explosive shells.
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proliferation
Detail    speak
n. rapid growth; spread; increase in size by reproduction
Times of economic hardship inevitably encourage the proliferation of countless get-rich-quick schemes.
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prolific
Detail    speak
a. producing offspring or fruit in great abundance; fertile
My editors must assume I'm a prolific writer: they expect me to revise six books this year!.
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prologue
Detail    speak
n. introduction, usually to a poem or play
In Romeo and Juliet's prologue, Shakespeare introduces the audience to the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets.
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promiscuous
Detail    speak
a. having casual sexual relations frequently with different partners; casual and unrestrained in sexual behavior
In the opera La Boheme, we get a picture of the promiscuous life led by Paris's young artists.
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propagate
Detail    speak
v. cause something to multiply or breed; cause to extend to a broader area or larger number
Since bacteria propagate more quickly in unsanitary environments, it is important to keep hospital rooms clean.
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propensity
Detail    speak
n. natural inclination; tendency or preference; predilection
Convinced of his own talent, Sol has an unfortunate propensity to belittle the talents of others.
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propriety
Detail    speak
n. fitness; correct conduct; quality of being proper; appropriateness
Miss Manners counsels her readers so that they may behave with due propriety in any social situation and not embarrass themselves.
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prosaic
Detail    speak
a. dull and unimaginative; matter-of-fact; factual
Though the ad writers came up with an original way to publicize the product, the head office rejected it for a more prosaic, ordinary slogan.
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protege
Detail    speak
n. a person guided and protected by a more prominent person
Jason, as his father's protege, is destined to probe the mysteries of the hometown church.
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provisional
Detail    speak
a. temporary; provided for present need only
Polanski is in provisional detention in Switzerland.
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pseudonym
Detail    speak
n. pen name; fictitious name used when someone performs a particular social role
Samuel Clemens' pseudonym was Mark Twain.
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pterodactyl
Detail    speak
n. extinct flying reptiles that existed during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods
These remains of a pterodactyl indicate that the flying reptile had a wingspan of as much as twenty feet.
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pummel
Detail    speak
v. beat or pound with fists; hit or strike heavily and repeatedly
Swinging wildly, Pam tried to pummel her brother around the head and shoulders.
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pungent
Detail    speak
a. stinging; sharp in taste or smell; caustic
I'm bracing myself to be met by heat, humidity, and what Kerry describes as a pungent odor.
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putrid
Detail    speak
a. decomposed and foul-smelling; rotten; decayed
The gangrenous condition of the wound was indicated by the putrid smell when the bandages were removed.
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pyromania
Detail    speak
n. person with insane desire to set things on fire
The detectives searched the area for the pyromania who had set these costly fires.
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quagmire
Detail    speak
n. soft wet boggy land; complex or dangerous situation from which it isn't easy to free oneself
Up to her knees in mud, Myra wondered how on earth she would extricate herself from this quagmire.
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qualm
Detail    speak
n. a sudden feeling of sickness or faintness; sudden attack of illness
My main qualm is the lack of consistency and logical plotting.
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quell
Detail    speak
v. extinguish; put down forcibly; suppress;  pacify or quiet
Miss Minchin's demeanor was so stern and forbidding that she could quell any unrest among her students with one intimidating glance.
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