Below is a glossary of terms you may encounter in the course of reading or discussion.

If you notice any errors, take issue with a particular definition or want to suggest any additions, please email me at

(Sources are cited at the bottom of this page.)

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There are currently 1693 terms in this directory
a posteriori
where knowledge is possible only subsequent, or posterior, to certain sense experiences, in addition to the use of reason.

a priori
where knowledge is possible independently of, or prior to, any experience, and requires only the use of reason

absent vote
A vote cast by voters who are out of their division but still within their State or Territory which may be cast at any polling place in that State or Territory.

absolute majority
(50%+1 vote). A term used to compare the least votes a winning candidate may need in a preferential single member voting system compared with that of first- past-the-post systems of other countries where a “majority” may well be less than 50%.  Also a concept used in some parliamentary votes where a simple majority of all members present is not enough.

absolute zero
The lowest theoretical temperature (0K = -273.16°C) where all molecular activity ceases.

brief summary covering the main points of a written article or research project.

Rate of change of velocity (Source:

A company which supplies office space, marketing services, etc., in exchange for payment, to help get new companies started.

A diplomatic agreement that does not have the same binding force as a treaty.

accountable care organization
Group of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to specific patients, most often Medicare patients.

Growth or increase in the value or amount of something.

The accumulation of payments or benefits over time.

To adapt to a different culture on fairly equal terms. During this process, individuals or groups adopt certain aspects of another culture in respectful, unforced ways. This term is different from assimilation, which is forced and one–sided.

achievement gap
A consistent difference in scores on student achievement tests between certain groups of children and children in other groups. The data document a strong association between poverty and students' lack of academic success as measured by achievement tests. And while poverty is not unique to any ethnicity, it does exist in disproportionate rates among African Americans and Hispanics, and among English learners. The reasons behind the achievement gap are multifaceted. They do to some degree stem from factors that children bring with them to school. However, other factors that contribute to the gap stem from students' school experiences.

achievement test
A test to measure a student's knowledge and skills.

A compound that yields hydrogen ions (H+) when in aqueous solution.  Acids have a sour taste and turn blue litmus red.

acid rain
the precipitation of dilute solutions of strong mineral acids, formed by the mixing in the atmosphere of various industrial pollutants -- primarily sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides -- with naturally occurring oxygen and water vapor.

A jury verdict that a criminal defendant is not guilty, or the finding of a judge that the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction.

A set of college admissions tests and the organization that makes them, the American College Testing Program, located in Iowa City, Iowa. Most colleges now accept either the SAT or the ACT for admissions purposes.

activation energy
The energy required to initiate a chemical reaction

active listening
The active process of hearing and understanding what someone is saying. To be a good listener, one must learn to empathize with the speaker(s) by trying to put oneself into another person’s place in order to understand his or her perspective(s) and stories.

A person who intentionally acts to bring about civic, cultural, economic, political, or social change. This person’s actions support or oppose one side of a controversial argument. Activism may refer to a variety of actions, including protest, writing letters to newspapers or politicians, participating in rallies and street marches, and many other tactics to bring about change that promotes and protects human rights.

Real costs, sales, etc., that have occurred, rather than estimations or expectations.

actuarial value
Health care expenses the health plan is expected to cover for a typical group of enrollees.

acute care
Medical care for an episode of injury or an illness.

ad hoc
Created or done for a particular purpose as necessary and not planned in advance.

ad hominem
Latin for “to the man”. Attacking the presenter of an argument rather than the argument itself. A.k.a.  “playing the man, not the ball”.

adaptive mechanism
a behavior, strategy, or technique for obtaining food and surviving in a particular environment.  Successful adaptive mechanisms provide a selective advantage in the competition for survival with other life forms.  For humans, the most important adaptive mechanism is culture.

added value 
Enables and justifies a profit in business.

An added section of information in a letter or report.

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
Adequate yearly progress is a set of annual academic performance benchmarks that states, school districts, schools, and subpopulations of students are supposed to achieve if the state receives federal funding under Title I, Part A of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). 

A person who identifies with some religious tradition.

Temporary interruption during a parliamentary session.

A thing which is added or attached as a supplementary, rather than an essential part of something larger or more important.

A term used to describe evidence that may be considered by a jury or judge in civil and criminal cases.

Advanced Placement (AP) program and AP exams
A cooperative educational program between high school students and institutions of higher education that offers high school students the opportunity to complete college-level courses and earn college credit for them. The College Board, which administers the AP program, currently offers 37 courses and examinations in 22 subject areas including biology, calculus, and American history. Examinations are graded on a five-point scale, five being the highest possible score. College credit is earned by achieving a satisfactory score on an AP exam, usually a three or better. In addition, many college admission officials favor students who have completed AP coursework and have taken the exams.

A season of preparation for Christmas, more characteristic of Western Liturgical Churches

a suspension of small liquid or solid particles in gas

A sworn signed statement of fact used as evidence in court whose signature has been witnessed by a commissioner of oaths or other authorized officer, for example a notary. Medieval Latin for 'he has stated on oath', from affidare, meaning to trust.

A company or person controlled by or connected to a larger organization. In web marketing an affiliate normally receives a commission for promoting another company's products or services.

affirmative action
The general designation for a wide range of programs designed to overcome the effects of past discrimination and to provide equal opportunity for historically subjugated groups, especially African Americans and women. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights defined affirmative action in 1977 as "...any measure, beyond simple termination of a discriminatory practice, adopted to correct or compensate for past or present discrimination or to prevent discrimination from recurring in the future."

Affordable Care Act
Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes known as Obamacare.

Unfair prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age.

the capacity for humans to make choices and to impose those choices on the world.

aggravated assault
Criminal assault accompanied by circumstances that make it more severe, such as the use of a deadly weapon, the intent to commit another crime, or the intent to cause serious bodily harm.

A whole consisting of the combination of smaller separate elements.

The percentage charged by a bank for exchanging one form of currency or money, into another that is more valuable.

A philosophical position neither affirming nor denying belief in a deity.

agrarian socialist
Originally applying to non urban, pre-industrial revolution peoples with traditional, conservative attitudes, those who believe in the collective ownership and control of primary industries, and to a lesser extent secondary industries, for the benefit of all, but otherwise not that committed to other socialist beliefs such as progressive/liberal approaches to domestic or international social concerns.

Farming industry on a large corporate scale.

air pollution
toxic or radioactive gases or particulate matter introduced into the atmosphere, usually as a result of human activity.

An international terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden in the 1980s. The organization seeks to establish a transnational Islamic empire that strictly adheres to Islamic law.

The degree to which assessments, curriculum, instruction, textbooks and other instructional materials, teacher preparation and professional development, and systems of accountability all reflect and reinforce the educational program's objectives and standards.

A base that is soluble in water.

A term in Islam, meaning "God" in Arabic. In the Koran, Allah is viewed as merciful and compassionate along with being all powerful 

Gene variant

A substance formed by the combination of two or more elements, at least one of which must be a metal.

A person who is not LGBT but shows support for LGBT people and promotes equality in a variety of ways.

alternative energy
energy that is not popularly used and is usually environmentally sound, such as solar or wind energy (as opposed to fossil fuels).

alternative fuels
transportation fuels other than gasoline or diesel. Includes natural gas, methanol, and electricity

The devotion to the interests of others above that of the self. The opposite of egoism.

When two or more companies combine or unite to form one large organization.

The highest official diplomatic representative of the U.S. government to a foreign nation. The ambassador lives and works in that nation and represents U.S. interests (as an agent of the U.S. Department of State)

American Exceptionalism
American exceptionalism refers to the theory that the United States is qualitatively different from other countries.

amino acids
Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen compounds the composition of which are determined by genes

 A group of the Mennonites who broke away in the late seventeenth century, led by the minister Jacob Amman. He supported a strict interpretation of discipline and the practice of avoidance, shunning excommunicated members.

To gradually reduce and write off the cost of an asset in a company's accounts over a period of time.

A condition of lawlessness and disorder brought about by the absence of any controlling authority.

1) A Greek term referring to a curse in the New Testament. 2) In Catholicism, it refers to an open condemnation against immorality, heresy, or blasphemy by church authorities

ancillary services
Special services ordered by your physician such as laboratory, radiology, durable medical equipment, and pharmacy services.

A state or society ruled by men where moral authority and control of property may also be exclusively in the hands of males. a.k.a.  andrarchy or phallocracy.

Identifying and/or presenting as neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine.

Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)
Federal law fast-tracked through Congress in 2006 that severely restricts freedom of speech and assembly and labels as terrorism any act that so much as "interferes" with businesses that deal with or profit from animal use or animal products.

animal rights
Refers to the position that the interests of nonhuman animals, including their interest in not suffering, should be afforded the same consideration as the interests of humans and that nonhuman animals have rights and inherent value independent of their usefulness to humans.

animal welfare
Refers to the well-being and treatment of animals. The animal welfare position objects to what it considers unnecessary suffering and seeks to improve treatment of animals, but it does not object to animal use generally or to harm it considers necessary or justifiable.

The belief in an inner soul that represents the main identity for all humans, animals, plants and places. It places a large emphasis on ritualistic activities (Esposito et al. 

A negative ion

Annual Measurable Objective (AMO)
A measurement used to determine compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). States must develop annual measurable objectives (AMOs) that will determine if a school, district, or the state as a whole is making adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward the goal of having all students proficient in English language arts and mathematics by 2013-14. 

Often used to provide a pension. An annuity is a fixed regular payment payed over a number of years to a person during their lifetime.

An interesting and humorous metaphorical description of something (for example a product or service or concept) that is obsolete, old-fashioned or primitive, or devised a long time ago.

the broad scientific study of human culture and biology.  Anthropologists are interested in what it is to be human in all of our many different societies around the world today and in the past.  In North American universities, the study of anthropology is usually divided into four main sub-disciplines: cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics.

also called personification - this refers to giving human characteristics to an non-human thing, such as an animal, or a tree, or the Sun, Moon, a god, cartoon character, etc., for dramatic, visual, metaphorical, and amusing effect, etc.

Opposition to the influence of religion in government and legislative affairs.

Unreasoning hostility toward and discrimination against the Jews.

In Christian literature, the Antichrist is an evil figure that deceives people into thinking that he is holy. In the end-times, according to the Christian tradition, Jesus will come back and defeat the Antichrist

Catastrophic end-times battle between good and evil, in which good will triumph over evil. 

The argumentation or defense on behalf of a certain religious faith. 

Departing or falling away from a religious faith

It refers to both the mission and representational authority of someone sent on a mission by a superior. In Christianity, “apostle” refers to the authoritative mission conferred to Christ on his disciples, with special emphasis on the Twelve Apostles and other specific people, to continue his mission on earth after his resurrection-ascension (Reid et al.

A member of communist party machine; derogatory term for a political party zealot.

A request made after a trial by a party that has lost on one or more issues that a higher court review the decision to determine if it was correct. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the "appellant;" the other party is the "appellee."

The party who appeals a district court's decision, usually seeking reversal of that decision.

About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgment of a lower court (trial court) or tribunal. For example, the U.S. circuit courts of appeals review the decisions of the U.S. district courts.

the process through which legislative seats are allocated to different regions.

the setting aside of funds for a designated purpose

approval voting
‘First Past the Post’ voting but with the added concept that one can tick (approve of) as many candidates’ names as one wishes. A simpler form of preferential voting eliminating the chances of minority candidates winning when too many mainstream candidates run against each other.

the controlled rearing of fish or shellfish by people or corporations who own the harvestable product, often involving the capture of the eggs or young of a species from wild sources, followed by rearing more intensively than possible in nature

underground source of water.

A person who settles a dispute or has the ultimate authority to decide the outcome of a matter.

An independent person or body officially appointed to settle a dispute.

the systematic study of the material remains of human behavior in the past.  Archaeologists reconstruct the prehistory and early history of societies and their cultures through an examination and interpretation of such things as house foundations, broken tools, and food refuse.

A term referring to the battle between god and evil in the last days.

A proceeding in which a criminal defendant is brought into court, told of the charges in an indictment or information, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.

Malicious burning to destroy property.

The complete renunciation of physical pleasures and other bodily desires in order to foster spiritual development. 

The lack of a sexual attraction or desire for other people.

Ash Wednesday
The first day of the Lent in the Western calendar, where individuals spread ashes on their forehead as a sign of penitence or mortality 

Asian American
Americans of Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Asian Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Thai, Bangladeshi, Burmese, Indonesian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Amerasian, or Eurasian descent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The threat or use of force on another that causes that person to have a reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact; the act of putting another person in reasonable fear or apprehension of an immediate battery by means of an act amounting to an attempt or threat to commit a battery.

assault and battery
Assault in conjunction with actual battery.

assault with intent
Any of several assaults that are carried out with an additional criminal purpose in mind, such as assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to rob, assault with intent to rape, and assault with intent to inflict great bodily injury.

Another name for a test. An assessment can also be a system for testing and evaluating students, groups of students, schools, or districts.

Anything of value which is owned by an individual, company, organization, etc.

To be structurally and/or culturally absorbed by a dominant group. During this process, an individual or a group is largely forced to shed its own culture and take on the culture of the dominant group. Assimilation may not be done on equal terms and thus is one–sided.

astral projection
The experience of one’s soul traveling outside the physical body into unknown realms of the universe. The belief in astral projection is found in many occult systems 

Belief and practice of determining the influence of stars

A belief that God does not exist 

The Hindu concept that the soul resides in the heart, and is the source of life energy and spiritual awareness.

atomic energy
energy released in nuclear reactions. When a neutron splits an atom's nucleus into smaller pieces it is called fission. When two nuclei are joined together under millions of degrees of heat it is called fusion.

atomic number
The number of protons in an atom.

atomic symbol
The letters representing each of the elements

atomic weight
The average weight of an atom

Composite particles of protons, neutrons and electrons.  The smallest part of a substance that can take part in a chemical reaction.  

A term in both Judaism and Christianity referring to the forgiveness of sins. 

The process of reducing the number of employees in an organization by not replacing people who leave their jobs.

A qualified person who officially examines the financial records of a company to check their accuracy.

A form of government where unlimited power is held by one single individual.

Offensively self-assured or given to exercising unwarranted power. Expecting to be obeyed and not caring about the opinions and feeling of others. 

A limited form of independence where, for example, a state or colony can control its own domestic affairs but has no say over its foreign affairs.

avant garde
New or original and often unconventional techniques, concepts, products, etc, usually associated with the arts and creative areas.

a proposition that is not proved or demonstrated but considered to be self-evident and taken for granted.

The highest rank of Shi'ite Muslim clerics.

A member of Parliament (government or opposition) who is not in a leadership role in their party but merely sits literally on the back bench.

The release, prior to trial, of a person accused of a crime, under specified conditions designed to assure that person's appearance in court when required. Also can refer to the amount of bond money posted as a financial condition of pretrial release.

In retail sales, when customers are lured by advertisements for a product at a low price, then find that the product is not available but a more expensive substitute is.

balance of power
The leverage a small party in the legislature possesses, in being able to give, or hold back, voting support to a large, albeit still minority party, to allow it to have a majority on a vote.

balance sheet
A financial statement of an individual, company or organization, which shows assets and liabilities (money owed) at a specific date.

A method of secret voting, normally in a written form.

ballot paper
A paper handed to each voter on election day to be marked, showing the names of the candidates (and sometimes the parties) who are standing for election.

In computing, the amount of information that can be transmitted through a communication channel over a given period of time, usually measured in 'bits per second' (bps).

A legal procedure for dealing with debt problems of individuals and businesses; specifically, a case filed under one of the chapters of title 11 of the United States Code (the Bankruptcy Code).

The rite of applying water to a person, usually marking his or her entrance into the Christian church.

Protestants that originated from 17th century English Puritanism. 

bar mitzvah
This Jewish ceremony, usually performed when a boy is 13, marks his passage into adulthood.

A compound that yields hydroxide (OH- ) ions when in aqueous solution.  Bases have a bitter taste, feel greasy and turn red litmus blue.

bat mitzvah
A Jewish ceremony, usually performed when a girl is 12, which marks her transition into adulthood.

The application of force to another, resulting in harmful or offensive contact.

bean counter
An informal derogatory term for an accountant, especially one who is perceived or suggested to be overly concerned about expenditure detail.

bear market
In the stock market a period of declining prices in which investors continue selling shares, expecting the prices to fall further.

believed behavior
what people honestly believe that they are doing in their lives rather than what they think they should be doing or what they actually are doing.  In most societies there is a discrepancy between these three kinds of behavior.  It is important for anthropologists to distinguish between actual, believed, and ideal behavior when they learn about another society and its culture.

A small entity whose characteristics happen to reflect that of the whole state or nation. The American state of Nevada is a bellwether state for presidential elections in that, with only one exception, it has voted the same as the whole country for a century. The Australian electorate of Eden-Monaro has voted in a government MP at every election since 1972. A bellwether is a ram with a bell attached to indicate to the farmer where the flock is when not in sight.

bench trial
A trial without a jury, in which the judge serves as the fact-finder.

A detailed description of a specific level of student achievement expected of students at particular ages, grades, or developmental levels. Benchmarks are often represented by samples of student work. A set of benchmarks can be used as checkpoints to monitor progress in meeting performance goals within and across grade levels.

beta test 
The second test of a product, such as computer hardware, software, or even a website, under actual usage conditions, before the final version is used by or sold to the public.

Bhagavad Gita
The most popular scripture in contemporary Hinduism. 

Bible, Christian
The sacred text for Christians, comprising the Old and New Testaments. 

Bible, Hebrew
The sacred text of Judaism, also known as the Old Testament for Christians.

bicameral / unicameral
Government with either two or one house of legislature. France, Sweden, South Korea and New Zealand all have unicameral governments.

A person who refuses to discuss, consider or listen to, beliefs or theories contrary to his own. Derived from the Middle Ages French term of abuse for religious Normans who would frequently use the term “By God”.

The ability to read, speak, understand, and write well in two languages.

The name for proposed legislation entered into the house / houses of parliament to be debated upon for approval. If approved at all stages it then becomes an act and thus law.

Bill of Rights
aka Charter of Rights or Declaration of Rights. A list of entrenched fundamental human rights as perceived by the declarer. Whereas a nation’s enacted laws are deemed to protect people from the malevolent deeds of their fellow citizens, a B.o.R is deemed to protect the citizenry from the excesses of their rulers. Term derived from the 1689 Bill of Rights enacted by the British Parliament after the Glorious Revolution.

waste material composed primarily of naturally-occurring constituent parts, able to be broken down and absorbed into the ecosystem. Wood, for example, is biodegradable, for example, while plastics are not.

a large number and wide range of species of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms. Ecologically, wide biodiversity is conducive to the development of all species.

The biological identification of human features, such as eyes, voices and hands, increasingly used to identify individuals, e.g., in laptop computers, entry systems and passports.

1. the part of the earth and its atmosphere in which living organisms exist or that is capable of supporting life; 2. the living organisms and their environment composing the biosphere.

The production of cellular material.

Adjective to describe a situation where the normally opposing political parties come together to agree on an initiative. Technically two parties coming together.

Prejudice, fear or hatred directed toward bisexual people.

A person emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender or gender identity though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree.

A senior member of the clergy who is in charge of a diocese or association of congregations or parishes

A significant digital currency, divided into 100 million units called satoshis, created by the pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto, first described by the creator(s) in 2008, broadly as an anonymous, peer-to-peer, electronic payments system.

An act or verbal offense that mocks beliefs, sacred beings, or objects in a certain religion. In some religions, like Islam, blasphemy and heresy are sometimes used interchangeably 

block grant
A financing mechanism that allocates funds based on a formula that uses statistical factors, like population. Block grants limit the amount of federal spending in advance and do not require a state match.

block voting
In multi-member electorates, each voter having the same number of votes as the number of vacant seats (must tick off [say] three names). This has the effect of minimizing the chances of minority candidates winning seats.

blue chip
On the stock market, shares of a large company with a good reputation, whose value and dividends are considered to be safe and reliable.

A section of standard text, especially a contract clause, inserted into legal documents, or instead increasingly referring to a standard section of code inserted into computer programs or other digital applications. 

bond (chemical)
A chemical link between atoms

bond (finance)
The financial meaning of a bond is normally a debt/investment instrument issued by a company or country for a period of more than a year, with fixed interest rates and a firm and full repayment date. 

Book of Mormon
The sacred text of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), along with the Bible.

Book of Revelation
An important book in Christian apocalypticism and millenarianism

A wasteful government financed infrastructure developed at a cost much greater than its value, undertaken for local or political gain.

A term used by Jesus in the New Testament that is now employed to describe the conversion experience for many evangelical and fundamentalist Christians. The conversion experience includes the feeling of knowing Jesus, sensing the Holy Spirit, and putting off the old sinful self.  A term used by Jesus in the New Testament that is now employed to describe the conversion experience for many evangelical and fundamentalist Christians. The conversion experience includes the feeling of knowing Jesus, sensing the Holy Spirit, and putting off the old sinful self 

Marxist term now used to describe middle class professionals living a relatively luxurious life style.

A Hindu concept referring to the world spirit that arises at creation. 

The corrupt payment, receipt, or solicitation of a private favor for official action.

A written statement submitted in a trial or appellate proceeding that explains one side's legal and factual arguments.

Belligerent diplomatic relations where at least one party is prepared to risk all and go to the brink of war/ economic ruin/ or whatever calamitous situation, to get what they want. In modern times the most artful in this practice would be the government of North Korea.

bubble economy
An unstable boom when the economy experiences an unusually rapid growth, with rising share prices and increased employment.

It literally means one who has "awakened," reaching enlightenment and escaping rebirth (see samsara). This also is the name given to Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of the Buddhist religion

A world religion founded by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha in the sixth or fifth century BCE in India. 

bull market 
On the Stock Market, a prolonged period in which share prices are rising and investors are buying.

burden of proof
The duty to prove disputed facts. In civil cases, a plaintiff generally has the burden of proving his or her case. In criminal cases, the government has the burden of proving the defendant's guilt. (See standard of proof.)

burka (burqa)
The garment that covers a Muslim woman’s entire body

business plan
A written document which sets out a business's plans and objectives, and how it will achieve them, e.g. by marketing, development, production, etc.

Purchase of a company where outside investors buy more than 50% of the shares, so they can take over the company

A word or phrase which has become fashionable or popular, or sounds technical or important and is used to impress people

Not a law but a government rule or regulation. see ‘delegated legislation’.

The ‘board of directors’ of executive government.  Made up of the President / Prime Minister as chairman and each director as a secretary or minister responsible for the relevant government departments such as defense, environment, trade etc.

cafeteria plan
A system which allows employees to choose from a selection of benefits which may be tax-advantaged, such as retirement plan contributions, health benefits, etc., in addition to their salary.

Confined animal feeding operation

A term used mostly for the marketing of eggs. The term is not regulated and does not guarantee so-called humane treatment. Most birds in operations labeled as cage-free still suffer the same injuries, cruelties, and disregard as their counterparts on factory farms.

calculated risk
A risk which has been undertaken after careful consideration has been given to the likely outcome.

A title for the political leader of the Muslim community. 

A state ruled by a caliph, who is considered to be the chief Islamic civil and religious ruler, regarded as the successor in line from Muhammad.

Also known as Reformed theology, Calvinism is a Protestant theological tradition based on the works of John Calvin (1509-1564). Calvin believed in the absolute sovereignty of God and the total depravity of humans. 

A person who stands for election to Parliament. In Australia candidates can be nominated by political parties or stand as independents.

A general term for an authoritative set of sacred texts

cap and collar 
The upper and lower limits of interest rates on a loan, usually fixed for a specific period of time.

The net worth of a business, including assets, cash, property, etc., which exceeds its liabilities (debts). The amount of money invested in a business to generate income.

capital gains tax
Tax payable on profits made on the sale of certain types of assets by a company or individual.

capital offense
A crime punishable by death.

An economic system based on the recognition of private property rights, where prices are dictated by supply and demand, and where the means of production and distribution of goods and services derive from privately owned resources, or capital, operating within an unregulated market.

The major energy source within plants and animals: sugars, starches and glucose polymers.

The basic element in all organic compounds

carbon dioxide (CO2)
a naturally occurring greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, concentrations of which have increased (from 280 parts per million in preindustrial times to over 350 parts per million today) as a result of humans' burning of coal, oil, natural gas and organic matter (e.g., wood and crop wastes).

carbon tax
a charge on fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) based on their carbon content. When burned, the carbon in these fuels becomes carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the chief greenhouse gas.

substances that cause cancer, such as tar.

A papal-appointed position in the Roman Catholic Church responsible for electing new popes. 

A pejorative term to describe outsiders taking advantage of a situation where others would normally be expected to benefit. A carpet bag was a fashionable form of luggage of the time used by northern “Yankees”, political appointees or businessmen, who moved down to southern states during the American post-Civil War Reconstruction era taking advantage of the instability, power vacuum and fire sale prices of the property market.

case law
The law as established in previous court decisions. A synonym for legal precedent. Akin to common law, which springs from tradition and judicial decisions.

cash cow
A steady dependable source of income which provides money for the rest of a business.

caste system
A complex network of interdependent, yet separated, hereditary, occupationally specialized, and hierarchal social groups in India.

A substance that reduces the activation energy of a reaction

A manual of instruction in the basics of the Christian faith. 

Catholicism, Roman
The largest of Christianity’s three main branches, which include the Eastern Orthodox Church and Protestantism.

A positive ion

a meeting of a political party, usually to appoint representatives to party positions.

the law that states that each cause has a specific effect, and that this effect is dependent on the initial identities of the agents involved.

caveat emptor 
When the buyer takes the risks and is responsible for checking the condition or quality of the item purchased. (Latin - Let the buyer beware)

The renunciation of marriage and sexual relations as part of a religious vocation.

The smallest independent part of an organism

A count of all citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors, and illegal immigrants in the United States. The United States Constitution mandates that the census be taken at least once every 10 years, and that the number of members of the United States House of Representatives from each state be determined accordingly. In addition, census statistics are used for apportioning federal funding for many social and economic programs. Decennial U.S. Census figures are based on actual counts of persons dwelling in U.S. residential structures. In recent censuses, estimates of uncounted housed, homeless, and migratory persons have been added to the directly reported figures.

Chapter 11
A reorganization bankruptcy, usually involving a corporation or partnership. A Chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. Individuals or people in business can also seek relief in Chapter 11.

Chapter 12
The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for adjustment of debts of a "family farmer" or "family fisherman," as the terms are defined in the Bankruptcy Code.

Chapter 13
The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for the adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income, often referred to as a "wage-earner" plan. Chapter 13 allows a debtor to keep property and use his or her disposable income to pay debts over time, usually three to five years.

Chapter 15
The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code dealing with cases of cross-border insolvency.

Chapter 7
The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for "liquidation," that is, the sale of a debtor's nonexempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors. In order to be eligible for Chapter 7, the debtor must satisfy a "means test." The court will evaluate the debtor's income and expenses to determine if the debtor may proceed under Chapter 7.

Chapter 9
The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for reorganization of municipalities (which includes cities and towns, as well as villages, counties, taxing districts, municipal utilities, and school districts).

The amount of unbalanced electricity in a system.  Either positive or negative.

charter school
A public school operated independently under a performance agreement with a school district, a county office of education (COE), or the State Board of Education. Charter schools are funded on a per-pupil basis, freed from most state regulations that apply to school districts and COEs, usually able to hire their own teachers and other staff, and subject to closure if they fail to meet their promises for student outcomes. 

chemical (empirical) formula
The ratio of elements in a substance.  For example: the chemical formula of common salt is NaCl, sodium and chlorine in a ratio of 1:1.

chemical reaction
The transformation of substances by the rearrangement of their atoms.

child exploitation
The hiring, employment, persuasion, inducement, or coercion of child to perform in obscene exhibitions and incident shows, whether live, on video or film, or to pose or act as a model in obscene or pornographic materials, or to sell or distribute said materials.

a highly reactive halogen element, used most often in the form of a pungent gas to disinfect drinking water.

chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) 
stable, artificially-created chemical compounds containing carbon, chlorine, fluorine and sometimes hydrogen. Chlorofluorocarbons, used primarily to facilitate cooling in refrigerators and air conditioners, have been found to damage the stratospheric ozone layer which protects the earth and its inhabitants from excessive ultraviolet radiation.

Christian Coalition
A conservative political pressure group composed of white evangelicals and Catholics that was established in 1989 by Pat Robertson after he failed to receive the Republican nomination in the presidential election.

The largest of the world religions, comprising a third of the world’s population.

A Christian holiday generally celebrated on December 25th that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.

DNA molecules that contain the set of instructions required to build and maintain cells.

chronic illness
An illness that lasts a long time or will never be cured such as diabetes and arthritis.

In Judaism, the cutting of the penis's foreskin as a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham's offspring.

A term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth.

civic engagement 
To participate in public life, encourage other people to participate in public life, and join in common work that promotes the well–being of everyone.

Civil Rights Act of 1964
Passed in 1964, legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity by any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. In years following, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 included prohibitions on discrimination on the basis of gender, disability, and age.

A request by you or your provider for the payment of funds or the provision of services under the terms of an insurance contract or policy.

class action
A lawsuit in which one or more members of a large group, or class, of individuals or other entities sue on behalf of the entire class. The district court must find that the claims of the class members contain questions of law or fact in common before the lawsuit can proceed as a class action.

Class Size Reduction (CSR)
A program initiated in the 1996-97 school year for kindergarten through third grade. The state now has two programs that provide incentive funding for schools to reduce or maintain class sizes of no more than 20 students per teacher. One program covers kindergarten through third grade classes. A separate program supports smaller classes for core academic subjects in 9th grade.

Attitude, action, and institutional practices that subordinate one class to a dominant class.

clean fuel
fuels which have lower emissions than conventional gasoline and diesel. Refers to alternative fuels as well as to reformulated gasoline and diesel.

clear and present danger
A concept in American constitutional law to describe a situation where fundamental constitutional principles can be overlooked in exigent circumstances.

a logging technique in which all trees are removed from an area, typically 20 acres or larger, with little regard for long-term forest health

Ordained leaders who carry out religious duties. 

client state
A country that is economically or militarily dependent upon another, but not actually controlled politically by the patron state as in the case of a ‘puppet state’.

climate change
a regional change in temperature and weather patterns. Current science indicates a discernible link between climate change over the last century and human activity, specifically the burning of fossil fuels.

Describes an LGBT person who has not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Stands for the federal law under which an employee and/or dependents can remain in the employer's group health contract after a qualifying event such as termination of employment or divorce.

The process of transforming principles or practices into written legal form.

Forcing someone, by some method or other, to do something or abstain from doing something against their will.

You share the cost of health services provided to you by paying a percentage of the charge for the services.

Cold War
The period in world affairs from c. 1947 - 1990, marked by ideological, economic, and political hostility and competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and drawing in other powers at various levels of involvement.

Property that is promised as security for the satisfaction of a debt.

The extension of a nation's sovereignty over territory and people outside its own boundaries in order to facilitate domination over natural resources, labor, and markets. The term also refers to a set of beliefs used to legitimize or promote this system, especially the belief that the mores of the colonizer are superior to those of the colonized.

coming out
The process in which a person first acknowledges, accepts and appreciates his or her sexual orientation or gender identity and begins to share that with others.

In finance, a payment based on percentage of transaction value, according to the local interpretation of value (e.g., based on total revenue, or gross profit, etc).

The conversion of a living being, principle, or natural environment into an "object" that is used, exchanged, or consumed for profit or other desired gain

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
The Common Core State Standards, often referred to as “Common Core” are a set of educational standards that describe what students should know and be able to do in English language arts and math in each grade from kindergarten through 12th grade.

common law
The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States, which relies on the articulation of legal principles in a historical succession of judicial decisions. Common law principles can be changed by legislation

1) The Christian commemoration of Christ's last supper by partaking of the elements of bread and wine (or grape juice). The various churches and denominations are divided on whether these elements actually become Christ's body and blood or symbolize them (see Transubstantiation). Communion also is known as the Eucharist in some Christian traditions. 2) The fellowship of all Christians on earth and in heaven. 3) A specific Christian church or family of churches 

The concept of collective, rather than individual, ownership of all the nation’s assets, as well as the duty by those able, to create and / or manage those assets.

community college
A two-year college, also referred to as a "junior college." 

comparative advantage
The ability of a party to produce a particular good or service at a lower marginal or opportunity cost than another. If country A can produce both apples and oranges cheaper than country B, with apples significantly cheaper, it is more efficient for it to concentrate on growing and exporting only apples while importing oranges, even though the oranges imported would not be as cheap as those if home grown.

A written statement that begins a civil lawsuit, in which the plaintiff details the claims against the defendant.

compliance officer 
A corporate official whose job is to ensure that a company is complying with regulations, and that its employees are complying with internal policies and procedures.

process whereby organic wastes, including food wastes, paper, and yard wastes, decompose naturally, resulting in a product rich in minerals and ideal for gardening and farming as soil conditioners, mulch, resurfacing material, or landfill cover.

A substance containing more than one element.

compound interest
Interest which is calculated on not only the initial loan, but also on the accumulated interest.

Heat or electricity transfer through molecular interaction, eg: heat passing along a metal bar.

A form of federalism where the individual regions that make up the sovereign state exercise a larger degree of autonomy. Often the right to secede and the sole right to raise taxes, the funding of the central government coming from the regions. The pre-Civil War slave states of America united to form the Confederated States of America to maintain states’ rights.

A sacrament in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches in which a penitent confesses his or her sins to a priest and is absolved of them. In Roman Catholicism, confession is only one part of the entire sacrament of penance 

This ceremony marks the reception of young Christians (usually in their early teen years) into full participation in the life of the church. Confirmation is most often celebrated in the Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian denominations 

conflict resolution 
Reconciling opposing perspectives, stories, or experiences and deciding on a response that promotes and protects the human rights of all parties concerned.

A Chinese religion founded by Confucius (551-479 BCE), whose goal was to foster social harmony through a combination of self-cultivation and social rites. Chinese Immigrants brought Confucianism to the United States in the 19th century 

A Chinese philosopher who taught concepts of righteousness and of "being fully human."

A corporation which consists of several smaller companies with different business activities.

Any local gathering of believers for worship.

the faculty which perceives and identifies things that exist, and the relationship between oneself and one's environment.

Often taken as synonymous with right wing with a penchant for censorship and state control to protect against ‘immoral’ personal behavior, but technically an attitude of belief in the established order and suspicious of change.

A group of businesses, investors or financial institutions working together on a joint venture.

A citizen residing in a particular MP’s area or district.

The set of basic rules by which a country or state is governed. Sometimes includes a Bill of Rights.  The ultimate set of laws to which all other laws made by contemporary governments are subservient to. The strength and integrity of a constitution is often reflected by the difficulty it is to be changed.

constitutional referendum
A proposal to alter the Constitution being put to the public vote. In Australia at a referendum the proposed alteration must be approved by a 'double majority': a national majority of voters in the States and Territories; and a majority of voters in a majority of the States.

An expert who is paid by a company, individual, etc., to give advice on developing plans and achieving goals.

An individual who uses goods and services but who may not have been the purchaser.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)
A measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers (about 87% of the total U.S. population) for a market basket of consumer goods and services. Salary adjustments and other costs can be linked to the CPI, which is sometimes used as a factor to measure inflation.

consumption tax
A tax levied on goods and services such as sales tax, GST, VAT or an excise tax. A tax on the spending of income rather than the earning of it, so as to include people who might otherwise evade income tax such as those in the black economy or successful with tax avoidance schemes.

The policy pursued by the U.S. toward the Soviet Union c. 1947 - 1989, the aim of which was to deny Moscow opportunities to expand its political influence abroad, and to draw a line and contain the Soviets within their own borders.

the status of facts that are not logically necessarily true or false (the possibility of something happening or not happening).

contingent liability
This is recorded as a debt on a company's accounts which may or may not be incurred, depending on the outcome of a future event, such as a court case.

Goods prohibited by law from being exported or imported. Smuggling.

An individual, company, etc., who agrees to provide goods and/or services to another individual or company under the terms specified in the contract.

controlling interest
The ownership of more than 50% of the voting shares in a company, which enables the owner of these shares to make decisions, direct operations, etc.

Heat transfer through the movement of a fluid, eg: warm air rising.

A legally binding agreement between nations designed to protect human rights (used interchangeably with treaty and covenant). Conventions are considered to have more legal force than declarations because governments are legally bound to enforce the agreements that they have ratified. When the UN General Assembly adopts a convention, it creates international standards for action and behavior. Once a convention is adopted by the UN General Assembly, Member States can then ratify it, thereby promising to uphold it. Governments that violate the standards set forth in a convention can then be censured by the UN and by governments.

A turning away from one way of life to another. 

Refers to a security (bonds or shares) which can be exchanged for another type of security in the same company.

A judgment of guilt against a criminal defendant.

On a computer, coded information that an Internet website you have visited sends to your computer which contains personal information, such as identification code, pages visited, etc., so that the website can remember you at a later time.

Coordination of Benefits (COB)
Rules and procedures that determine how health care claims are paid when you are covered by more than one health insurance plan. Together, the health plans cannot pay more than the charge for the services.

A dollar amount that you pay for a covered health care service. For example, your health plan may require that you pay $20 each time you go to the doctor.

An exclusive legal right to make copies, publish, broadcast or sell a piece of work, such as a book, film, music, picture, etc.

A large company or a group of companies which is legally authorized to act as a single entity, separate from its owners, with its liabilities for damages, debts, etc., limited to its assets so that its shareholders and owners are protected from personal claims.

cottage industry 
A small business in which production of goods or services are based in the home rather than in a factory or on business premises.

Legal advice; a term also used to refer to the lawyers in a case.

An allegation in an indictment or information, charging a defendant with a crime. An indictment or information may contain allegations that the defendant committed more than one crime. Each allegation is referred to as a count.

The forging, copying, or imitating of something (usually money) without a right to do so and with the purpose of deceiving or defrauding.

coup d’ėtat
Sudden and often violent overthrow of a government.

court reporter
A person who makes a word-for-word record of what is said in court, generally by using a stenographic machine, shorthand or audio recording, and then produces a transcript of the proceedings upon request.

covalent bond
A bond formed between atoms that share electrons

A legally binding agreement between nations (used synonymously with convention and treaty). The major international human rights covenants, both adopted in 1966 (and entered into force in 1976), are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

Cost-Per-Impression (cost per view) - an advertising method/term, commonly used in online advertising, by which advertising costs are based on the number of times an advert is displayed or viewed. 

The belief that the creation account of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, is historically and scientifically correct. 

credit history 
A record of an individual's or company's debt repayment, used by lenders to asses a borrower's ability to repay a loan, mortgage, etc.

credit union
A financial institution, similar to a bank, whose members create the funds from which they can obtain loans at low rates of interest.

A person to whom or business to which the debtor owes money or that claims to be owed money by the debtor.

A set of fundamental beliefs or guiding principles. A creed can be either religious or secular.

criminal homicide
Homicide prohibited and punishable by law, such as murder or manslaughter.

A principal or standard by which other things or people may be compared, or a decision may be based.

critical mass
The minimum amount of customers, resources, etc., needed to maintain or start a business, venture, etc. The point at which change occurs e.g., when a company is able to continue in business and make a profit without any outside help

critical thinking
Analyzing and contemplating past and present experiences, as well as future possibilities, by taking into account multiple perspectives on a story or narrative.

In business and politics, showing favoritism to friends and associates by giving them jobs or appointments with no regard to their qualifications or abilities.

crop dusting
the application of pesticides to plants by a low-flying plane

crossing the floor
An MP crossing the floor of Parliament to vote with his/her opposition. An act rarely forgiven in Commonwealth countries but common in the USA.

A method of funding and underpinning a project or business venture which became increasingly popular and visible in the 21st century, whereby users or other interested people are involved as investors at project inception, and therefore agree and commit to support a development of one sort or another. 

Term first coined by Jeff Howe in 2006 in Wired magazine. Crowdsourcing refers to an organization, group or individual delegating a task to a large number of people via the internet, thereby using the general public or a community of followers, users, experts, etc., to do research, make suggestions, solve a problem, etc., usually without being paid. 

A cross bearing the figure of Christ.

A term used to refer to products and practices that eliminate intentional cruelty and harm. For example, personal care products that contain no animal ingredients and that are not tested on animals may bear a "cruelty-free" label or emblem

Medieval military campaigns of the eleventh through fifteenth centuries waged by Christians to recapture Jerusalem from Muslims

Blame or liability for harm or damage to others, from Latin culpa meaning fault.

1) A new and unconventional religious movement that is often founded on the teachings of a new prophet and/or new sacred text. 2) The ARDA and other scholars tend to use the term "new religious movements" rather than cults because the latter term carries negative political and social connotations and prejudices associated with those belonging to such groups. 3) In popular use, people often refer to sects as cults 

cultural anthropology
the study of contemporary and recent historical cultures all over the world.  The focus is on social organization, culture change, economic and political systems, and religion.  Cultural anthropology is also referred to as social or sociocultural anthropology.

cultural relativity
suspending one's ethnocentric judgments in order to understand and appreciate another culture.  Anthropologists try to learn about and interpret the various aspects of the culture they are studying in reference to that culture rather than to their own.  This provides a better understanding of how such practices as polygamy and cannibalism can function and even support other cultural traditions.

cumulative voting
A type of block voting but where the voter can choose, from the list of (for example) ten candidates running for four seats, his preferred four, or just two or even one. In such decisions, the selected candidates would get one quarter of a vote each, or half a vote, or where only one candidate received the vote, the whole vote.

The courses of study offered by a school or district. 

Crimes committed electronically

The act of threatening, harassing, or annoying someone through multiple email messages, as through the Internet, especially with the intent of placing the recipient in fear that an illegal act or an injury will be inflicted on the recipient or a member of the recipient’s family or household.

An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others.

damage control
The concerted defensive mode of response a political player sometimes adopts to offset the negative publicity when an embarrassing “situation” develops, such as a controversial comment, evidence of a scandal, egregious hypercritical actions or abuse of public position.

Money that a defendant pays a plaintiff in a civil case if the plaintiff has won. Damages may be compensatory (for loss or injury) or punitive (to punish and deter future misconduct).

dark horse candidate
An unexpected, somewhat unknown candidate with little public exposure who has potential to win an election against established candidates. Term originated by British politician and author, Benjamin Disraeli.

dark net 
A term for online private websites and networks concealed from and inaccessible to unauthorized users in which materials are shared, normally illegally and anonymously.

de facto
Latin, meaning "in fact" or "actually." Something that exists in fact but not as a matter of law.

A minister ranking below a priest in the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox churches.

The surgical removal and manipulation of tissue in a dog's vocal cords to drastically quiet his or her natural bark. Debarking does not address the underlying reasons that a dog may be barking excessively, and the dog will continue to bark, albeit more quietly or silently. Illegal in the United Kingdom, it is still allowed in the United States.

The mutilation of a young bird's beak. The days-old chick or weeks-old turkey is held tightly while a hot guillotine-like blade is used to slice off one-third to one-half of the bird's beak, through horn, bone, and highly sensitive tissue. The severe immediate pain persists even following the mutilation, which also permanently hinders the bird's ability to properly eat, drink, and preen.

A person who has filed a petition for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

A document comprising standards that nations agree upon, but which are not legally binding like treaty provisions. UN conferences, such as the 1993 UN Conference on Human Rights in Vienna and the 1995 World Conference for Women in Beijing, usually produce two sets of declarations: one written by government representatives and one written by Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs). The UN General Assembly often issues influential declarations.

The surgical removal of a cat's claws, in a painful procedure akin to cutting off toes up to the first knuckle. Recovery is painful as well, given that the cat must continue to walk on and use the litter box with freshly operated-on paws. Illegal and considered inhumane in the United Kingdom and other European countries, it is still a common practice in the United States.

The amount of money you are required to pay for health care services before your health plan starts paying the bill. Not all plans require deductibles.

deductive reasoning
reasoning that proceeds from general principles or premises to derive particular information (what follows necessarily from given premises).

deep web 
Also known as the Invisible Web, said to contain about 500 times more information than the generally accessible world-wide web, the Deep Web comprises data held by secure organizations, for example military and government.

An individual (or business) against whom a lawsuit is filed.

deficit / national debt
The shortfall in any one year of a nation’s income as compared to its expenditure / the total unpaid accumulated debt of the government over time.

deficit spending
Government intentionally spending more money than it takes in.

Economic decline typified by falling costs of goods and services; falling levels of employment; limited money supply or credit; reduced imports; lower wage increases, often caused by lower personal spending or investment, and/or a reduction in government spending. Deflation is broadly the opposite of inflation.

A rationalistic religion based on religion and nature instead of revelation. 

delegated legislation
a.k.a. enabling legislation. Rules, regulations, by-laws, ordinances etc made by a government official under the authority of a specific act of parliament which sets out the broad purpose of what is desired, but delegates to that official’s office, the authority to create the minutia, the delegated legislation, necessary.  Whereas all parliamentary legislation is final and cannot be challenged in court (apart from constitutional inconsistencies) delegated legislation can be challenged in court if it is shown to violate the purpose of the original act.

A leader who gains popularity by appealing to prejudice and basic instincts. Considered manipulative and dangerous.

Majority rule, by which the biggest proportion of members of a group determine decisions for the whole group. Democracy typically refers to a country's political system, in which government is elected through majority vote.

To officially decide that a particular coin or banknote can no longer be used as currency

A larger religious organization or structure to which a congregation may be a member. Usually, congregations within a denomination are united by some historical and/or theological tradition. 

The mass per unit volume in a substance

The concept of moral obligation and binding duty. As compared to consequentialism, where an act is judged by its consequences (the ends justify the means), D. is where goodness or righteousness is judged by the act alone (the means justify the means).

Department of Social Services (DSS) 
State department administrating welfare, social services, community care licensing and disability evaluation.

A sworn statement of evidence by a witness taken outside of the court proceedings before a trial.

A prolonged and very deep economic recession, in a country or wider region. 

The reduction or removal of government regulations from an industry or business

The breaking down of imposed racial separation. Desegregation has always been a fundamental aim of the civil rights movement in this country and was given special impetus by the Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education that ruled segregated schools unconstitutional.

The efforts of an actor to dissuade the opponent from doing something considered against the actor's interests by making the costs of action outweigh the benefits with threat of punishment, the implicit or explicit purpose of this strategy being to avoid actually fighting war.

A government deliberately deciding to lower the value of its currency relative to other currencies

developing nations
A term used to refer to nation states whose economic and political structures are not well developed, in relation to the wealthier, industrialized world. 

Transfer of powers from the national or central government to state or local government.

The proper course of conduct, norms and ultimate realities in the Buddhist religion.

the exchange of arguments and counter-arguments, respectively advocating propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses), in arriving at a conclusion (synthesis).

The dispersion of a religious people outside their geographic homeland, where they must live as a minority among others

Describes works of literature or art which are intended to be informative or instructional, especially morally, rather than entertaining. From the ancient Greek word didaskein, which means to teach.

a petroleum-based fuel which is burned in engines ignited by compression rather than spark; commonly used for heavy duty engines including buses and trucks.

The deviation in the path of a wave that encounters the edge of an obstacle.

The random movement of molecules within a fluid.

digital divide
Refers to less affluent, often minority Americans' disproportionately limited access to the Internet and other information technology.

digital wallet 
Computer software used to store a person's bank account details, name, address, etc., to enable them to make automatic payments when they are making purchases on the Internet.

The wider regional structure connecting parishes and other local organizations that is overseen by a bishop 

a man-made chemical by-product formed during the manufacturing of other chemicals and during incineration. Studies show that dioxin is the most potent animal carcinogen ever tested, as well as the cause of severe weight loss, liver problems, kidney problems, birth defects, and death.

The practice of nation states (or multinational groupings) negotiating with each other over matters of interest. 

diplomatic corps
The Ambassador and additional State Department staff assigned to diplomatic service in a particular country. 

direct marketing
The marketing of products, services, etc., directly to individual potential customers by sending them catalogues, leaflets, brochures, etc., by mail (including e-mail), calling them on the telephone or calling door-to-door

At an official level, directives are instructions, guidelines or orders issued by a governing or regulatory body. They may amount to law. In a less formal way a directive equates to an instruction issued by an executive or manager or organizational department.

An individual is considered to have a "disability" triggering the ADA's protections if he or she has 1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of his or her major life activities (such as walking, hearing, working); 2) a record of having such an impairment; or 3) is regarded as having such an impairment.

Disability Discrimination Act
An Act of Parliament passed in Britain in 1995 which promotes the civil rights of disabled people and protects them from discrimination in employment, education, renting property, access to transport, etc.

To pay out money from a large fund, e.g. a treasury or public fund.

A pupil who is attached to a specific teacher or way of life

disclosure statement
A written document prepared by the chapter 11 debtor or other plan proponent that is designed to provide "adequate information" to creditors to enable them to evaluate the chapter 11 plan of reorganization.

Procedures used to obtain disclosure of evidence before trial.

discretionary income
The amount of income a person is left with after taxes and living essentials, such as food, housing, etc., have been deducted.

Distinction between individuals not based on legitimate terms; arbitrary bias for or against an individual or a group that fails to take true account of their characteristics or treat an individual or a group in a just and equitable manner. Discrimination can be based on age, birth, color, creed, disability, ethnic origin, familial status, gender, language, marital status, political or other opinion, public assistance, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.

Information that is false or misleading deliberately disseminated for strategic gain. a.k.a. black propaganda.

disposable income
Income not reasonably necessary for the maintenance or support of the debtor or dependents. If the debtor operates a business, disposable income is defined as those amounts over and above what is necessary for the payment of ordinary operating expenses.

An individual or company who buys products, usually from manufacturers, and resells them to retail outlets or direct to customers. A wholesaler

The act or strategy of growing a business/brand by developing its range of products, services, investments, etc., into new market sectors, horizontally or vertically. 

diversion/product diversion
In marketing and business 'diversion' refers to the unofficial distribution/availability of branded consumer products. In other words, this is the supply of branded products through unauthorized stockists or retailers or other suppliers, notably via the web. 

In the context of work/organizations, diversity is a business/employment term originating in the late 1900s, referring to the quality of a workforce (and potentially a group of users/customers or audience) as defined by its mixture of people according to ethnicity, race, religion, disability, gender, sexuality, age, etc. 

In business, divest/divestment refers to a corporation selling subsidiary interests, especially a subsidiary company. 

A portion of profits paid by a company to its shareholders. Shareholders of commercial private and public limited companies generally receive a return/profit from their investment in two ways: firstly the increasing value of the business is reflected in an increasing value of the shares held; secondly the value of a dividend paid (typically annually), based on a per-share rate, normally determined by the board of directors, which represents a proportion of the profit made by the business for the year.

A term frequently used prior to the 20th century to refer to the study of theology or the "science of divine things."

A log containing the complete history of each case in the form of brief chronological entries summarizing the court proceedings.

The truths and their systematic presentations which all Christians must accept.

dollar-cost averaging
The practice of investing a fixed amount of money at fixed times in particular shares, whatever their price. A higher share price means less shares are purchased and a lower share price means more shares can be purchased.

domestic violence
Violence between members of a household, usually spouses; an assault or other violent act committed by one member of a household against another.

dominance hierarchy
a group of individuals arranged in rank order in terms of relative dominance and subservience.  In some non-human primate species, each community has a distinct male and female dominance hierarchy.  Every individual is ranked relative to all other community members of the same gender.  Those who are higher in the dominance hierarchy usually have greater access to food, sex, and other desirable things.

an internet business, or the internet business sector

double indemnity
A clause in a life insurance policy where the insurance company agrees to pay double the face value of the policy in the event of accidental death.

double-dip recession
A recession during which there is a brief period of economic growth, followed by a slide back into recession, before final recovery.

The practice, usually regarded as unethical, of receiving two incomes or benefits from the same source, for example receiving a pension and consultancy income from the same employer.

Using language to distort or even reverse the meaning of unpalatable information that has to be given. Allegedly the amalgam of two George Orwell’s creations from his novel 1984, Doublethink and Newspeak.

due process
In criminal law, the constitutional guarantee that a defendant will receive a fair and impartial trial. In civil law, the legal rights of someone who confronts an adverse action threatening liberty or property.

dump sites
waste disposal grounds

duumvirate / triumvirate / quadrumvirate
Latin terms to describe a group of two / three / four people joined in authority or office.

A sequence of hereditary rulers.

Alternative to Utopia. Nightmare vision of society beyond that of even a failed, dysfunctional state, where the system is actually planned by those in power, creating, most often, a totalitarian society.  Fictional examples are Jack London’s The Iron Heel and George Orwell’s 1984.

Electronic Commerce. The buying and selling of products and services over the Internet.

Freelance working using the Internet to sell services or goods anywhere in the world.

An electronic magazine which is published on the internet, or delivered by e-mail

ear cropping
An unnecessary, painful cosmetic surgery performed on dogs in which a large part of the earflap is cut off to make the ear stand erect. Illegal in the United Kingdom and other countries but still legal and common in the United States.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) 
The EITC is a subsidy to low-wage workers. This policy essentially makes a minimum wage job paying $4.25 worth $6.00 an hour for a family with two or more children. Together with food stamps, the expanded EITC can lift families with full-time workers out of poverty.

A Christian holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his crucifixion

A broad term for anyone who specializes in religion.

a scientist concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environment.

a branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environment

Using mathematics and statistics to study the economy.

economic globalization
The continuing integration of markets through global trade by way of trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), trade organizations, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and regional economic blocs, such as the European Union (EU). Economic Globalization is the subject of heated debate: Supporters argue that globalization generates wealth, increases trade, and spurs development, while critics argue that globalization leads to environmental degradation, exploitation of the poor by powerful states and companies, and does not support sustainable development.

The management of money, currency and trade of a nation. The efficient management of resources.

an interconnected and symbiotic grouping of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms.

A movement supporting closer relations and unity between Christians. 

Believing that everyone is equal and should all have the same rights and opportunities in life.

Egyptian Book of the Dead
A collection of more than 200 prayers, spells, and illustrations to ensure a peaceful afterlife for the dead.

The ability of a body to regain its original shape after deformation

elective procedure
A medical procedure that a patient and doctor plan in advance for a condition that is not life-threatening.

In practice the name often given by governments to voters in normal elections, or to those who have been appointed to a certain level so as to vote their choice to a higher office. Eg. the American Electoral College to choose the President. Technically, a voter who is successful in helping to get his preferred candidate elected. Term possibly used to disguise the fact that approximately half of all voters in SMV systems end up electing nobody.

Geographical areas used as a criterion for political representation. Australia is divided into 150 (federal) voting districts or divisions which are known as electorates. One member is elected from each electorate to the House of Representatives. In Parliament the electorate of Batman will be represented by the Member for Batman who will have the Seat of Batman.

electric current
A flow of electrons through a conductor, the size of the current is proportional to the rate of electron flow.

electric vehicles
vehicles which use electricity (usually derived from batteries recharged from electrical outlets) as their power source

An ion solution that is an electrical conductor

electromagnetic waves
Waves with both an electric and magnetic component.  They are: radio, micro, infra-red, visible light, ultraviolet, X and gamma rays.

Negatively charged atomic particles

A substance composed of atoms all with the same atomic number.  A substance that cannot be split chemically into smaller substances.

The illegal transfer of money or property that, although possessed legally by the embezzler, is diverted to the embezzler personally by his or her fraudulent action.

the way complex systems and patterns arise (emerge) out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.

Emergency Assistance (EA) 
Provides assistance to families with children in order to cover emergency needs including homelessness, eviction or utility shut-off.

emissions cap 
a limit on the amount of greenhouse gases that a company or country can legally emit.

The ability to listen deeply to another person’s story or experience and connect to the person’s feelings and story.

Information derived from experience, observation or experiment rather than from theory or subjective opinion. From Greek - empeiros, meaning skilled - in turn from peira, meaning trial or experiment.

Convert data into code which cannot be easily understood by people who have no authorization to view it.

The belief that the world is coming to an end and God’s kingdom will be established

Employment Non-Discrimination Act ("ENDA"); legislation that would provide a federal remedy for discrimination against lesbians and gay men in most workplaces employing 15 or more employees. It would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, compensation, and most terms and conditions of employment.

endangered species
species in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant part of its range.

endothermic reaction
A reaction in which heat is absorbed ie: melting or boiling.

The capacity to do work.  Work is done by transferring energy from one form to another.  For example, the chemical energy in a fuel is converted to thermal energy as it burns.  

energy efficiency
technologies and measures that reduce the amount of electricity and/or fuel required to do the same work, such as powering homes, offices and industries.

English Learner (EL)
Students whose home language is not English and who qualify for extra help. EL students were formerly known as "Limited English Proficient" (LEP)

A company or business. A business project, often one which is sometimes difficult and/or risky.

something that has a distinct and separate existence, although not necessarily a material existence.

An ambitious person who starts new business ventures in order to make a lot of money, often taking financial risks.

The state of disorder in a thermodynamic system: the more energy the higher the entropy.

An individual who is concerned about the protection, conservation and improvement of the natural environment.

Biological catalysts, proteins that control specific processes within the body.

A person's name or another sort of name which is used as the name or title or brand for something such as a business or brand or book or other product or concept.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Created by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC is the federal agency with the responsibility for enforcing the anti-bias employment provisions of the 1964 act but also the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The EEOC has been the object of a policy dispute over whether it should concentrate on individual cases of specific discrimination or pursue more widespread instances of "patterns and practices" of discrimination in an industry or large company.

Equal Rights Amendment
Although this amendment would have written a ban on sexual bias, equal pay for equal work, and a guarantee of equal opportunity into the Constitution, it fell three states short of ratification in 1982.

This human rights principle mandates the same treatment of persons. The notion of fairness and respect for the inherent dignity of all human beings, as specified in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

equalization aid
Funds allocated, on occasion, by the Legislature to address perceived inequalities and raise the funding level of school districts with lower revenue limits toward the statewide average based on size and type of district.

A stable situation in which products and reactants are balanced.

Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy (see damages). A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something (e.g., injunction). In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases.

The value of a debtor's interest in property that remains after liens and other creditors' interests are considered. (Example: If a house valued at $60,000 is subject to a $30,000 mortgage, there is $30,000 of equity.)

equity law
An auxiliary part of common law where the courts not only have authority to modify existing common law to adapt to modern times, but in fact have the power to create original law, overriding existing common law, in circumstances where it is deemed that without it, “unconscionable” conduct would occur.  

escape clause
A condition in a contract which allows the contract to be broken in particular circumstances

These words (adjective/noun) refer to language, communications or concepts which are understood only by people of expertise or good knowledge of the subject concerned. 

the attributes that make an object or substance what it fundamentally is, and that it has necessarily.

a bay or inlet, often at the mouth of a river, in which large quantities of freshwater and seawater mix together. These unique habitats are necessary nursery grounds for many marine fishes and shellfishes.

Technology, invented by The Xerox Corporation, which connects computers in a local area network (LAN).

A practice of consciously or unconsciously privileging one’s own ethnic group over others that involves judging other groups by the values of one's own group.

anthropological research in which one learns about the culture of another society through fieldwork and first hand observation in that society.  Ethnography is also the term used to refer to books or monographs describing what was learned about the culture of a society.

an anthropological study that systematically compares similar cultures.  An example of an ethnological study would be a comparison of what cultures are like in societies that have economies based on hunting and gathering rather than agriculture.  The data for this sort of ethnology would come from the existing ethnographies about these peoples.  In other words, an ethnology is essentially a synthesis of the work of many ethnographers.

The Christian ritual that focuses on the life, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

the study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding.

the replacement of a strong/offensive word or phrase with an alternative word or phrase considered to be milder/inoffensive.

The killing, or the allowance of the death of, a being out of mercy and for the sake of the animal, when that being is "hopelessly sick or injured." Imprecise, euphemistic use of the term to refer to the killing of healthy animals is controversial.

The Christian practice of sharing the gospel of Christ with non-believers

The change of state of a substance from a liquid to a gas below its boiling point.

Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case in favor of one side or the other.

Natural selection is the driving force behind evolution and is measured by a species viability and fecundity. Governed by Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection

ex officio
“by virtue of one’s office”. The power to do something or hold an office by virtue of the fact that one holds an earlier office. The American Vice President is, ex officio, the President of the Senate.

exceptional needs
Any needs beyond the average. These can include needs for disabled or gifted students.

exchange rate
The relationship of the values of any two country’s currencies. Any one-off reading is informative when taking into account what each country’s unit of currency will buy in its own domestic market. Also relevant is when the rate changes over time indicating one country’s economy is not doing as well as the other.

Charges, services, or supplies that are not covered under an insurance policy.

The banishment of an individual from a religious community. 

exculpatory evidence
Evidence indicating that a defendant did not commit the crime.

executive agreement
A formal agreement between the President of the United States and a foreign country, which has the effect of law.

exit strategy
A plan by an investor to dispose of an investment, such as shares in a company, to make a profit, or a business owner to dispose of their company, e.g., by selling the business, floating it on the stock market, ceasing to trade, handing it over to another family member, etc.

exothermic reaction
A reaction from which heat is lost eg: combustion.

The legal procedure for sealing a record of an arrest and/or criminal conviction from public view.

Obtaining money or property by threat to a victim’s property or loved ones, intimidation, or false claim of a right (such as pretending to be an IRS agent).

The estimation or determination of what will happen in the future by extending (extrapolating) known information or data. 

factory farming
The industrial, large-scale system of meat, dairy, and egg production in which extreme confinement and the most inhumane of animal cruelties are standard.

factory price
The price charged for goods direct from the factory, not including transport costs, etc. Factory Price is often quoted by retailers or in advertisements to show that products are for sale at a very low price.

faith healing
A term usually limited to the Christian practice of restoring health by means of prayer, divine power or the intervention of the Holy Spirit

any sort of mistake in reasoning or inference (essentially, anything that causes an argument to go wrong).

family practitioner
A physician who provides primary health care for individuals and families.

A derogatory term for someone overly zealous in their religious faith

An authoritarian and nationalist political ideology that embraces strong leadership, singular collective identity and the will to commit violence or wage war to further the interests of the state. Averse to concepts such as individualism, pluralism, multiculturalism or egalitarianism. The name derives from the collective identity, the league connotation of the Italian fascio, or English faggot, for a bound collection of sticks. The symbol originally used by Mussolini was a ‘fascio’ of sticks bound with that connotation of war, an axe.

The religious practice of abstaining from food for a certain period of time. 

fat cat
A wealthy person living off investments or dividends, or a chief executive of a large company or organization who is on a very large salary, huge pension, etc.

The belief that all events are predetermined, and human effort is therefore irrelevant

Molecules of fatty acids or glycerol.  Used as a food store, insulation and for shock absorption

The legal opinion of a private religious scholar concerning Islamic law.

the total animal population that inhabits an area.

The ability to breed

A system under which governmental powers are divided between the central government and the states or provinces all within the same geographical territory. Opposite to a unitary system as exists in the UK, New Zealand and Japan.

An organization which has been formed by the joining together of a group of companies, clubs, etc.

Payment made to a physician or other practitioner each time a patient is seen or a service is rendered.

a plot of ground used to feed farm animals.

A serious crime, usually punishable by at least one year in prison.

fence mending
A politician returning to his electorate hoping to restore his reputation with the voters.

fidelity bond
Also known as Fidelity Insurance. Protects an employer against any losses incurred because of dishonesty, or damage caused, by an employee

Describes an organization or individual who manages money or property for a beneficiary

A region in space that is defined by a vector function.  Common fields are: gravitational, electric and magnetic

fifteenth amendment
Ratified in the wake of the Civil War, this amendment guaranteed the right to vote regardless of race or color.

fifth columnist
In a military or political environment, a person who surreptitiously undermines a group or entity from within. Term derived from a Nationalist General during the Spanish Civil War who boasted he had four columns of troops attacking Madrid, together with a fifth column of sympathizes inside the city. The practice of the F.C. is sometimes described as ‘entryism’. The Alec Guinness character in the film Dr. Zhivago was a war-time fifth columnist.

In business, organizations, politics, etc., a person who holds an important position or office but lacks real power or authority; a 'front man'. Derived from the carved painted figurehead models which traditionally were fixed to the front of sailing ships

A form of legislative obstruction by an MP by continuing a parliamentary speech for the mere sake of preventing a vote. As the clerk of parliament will set an agenda calendar allocating certain bills for certain days, if the business of reading, debating and voting on one bill is not completed on its allotted day it may be a considerable period of time before it again comes before the house.

To provide or obtain funds for a business, commercial project, an individual, etc. The management of money. To sell or provide goods on credit

A system in a computer which prevents unwanted or unauthorized access, but allows the authorized user to receive information.

first-degree murder
Murder that is willful, deliberate, or premeditated, or that is committed during the course of another serious felony (often limited to rape, kidnapping, robbery, burglary, or arson). All murder perpetrated by poisoning or by lying in wait is considered first-degree murder.

an established area where fish species are cultivated and caught.

Splitting the nucleus of an atom into smaller units.

Five Pillars of Islam
The five essential practices of Islam. These include shahada (profession of faith), salat (worship), zakat (alms-giving), saum (fasting) and Hajj(pilgrimage). The observance of these pillars differs between Sunni and Shi’ite traditions 

fixed assets
Assets, such as property, equipment, furniture, vehicles, etc., which are owned by a company and which are needed to operate the business

fixed term
Concept to describe the set term of office of representatives (eg US House of Reps is a strict two years) as compared to other democracies like the UK where the House of Commons is a maximum of five years but can be shorter at the discretion of the Prime Minister.

fixed term contract
Also known as Temporary Contract. A contract of employment which ends on a specific date, or on completion of a task or project. Fixed term employees have the rights to the same pay, conditions and benefits as full-time employees.

To send a rude or unacceptable message by e-mail, or to post a message on an Internet forum which is offensive or inciteful.

flash drive
A small portable device such as a 'pen drive' which connects to a USB port on a computer and is used to store data which can then be transferred to another computer. 

the total vegetation assemblage that inhabits an area.

food stamps
A supplemental program providing the poor with vouchers for the purchase of food.

An action (transfer of energy) that will accelerate a body in the direction of the applied force.

foreign aid
Donations of money, goods, or services from one nation to another. Such donations can be made for a humanitarian, altruistic purpose, or to advance the national interests of the giving nation. 

foreign policy
Approaches and goals pursued by a nation in its interactions with other nation states, in furtherance of its national interests. Foreign policy can include economic, diplomatic, military, social, and cultural relations with other nations.

The act of fraudulently making a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine.

Fortune 500 
Published by Fortune magazine, an annual list of the 500 US corporations with the largest revenue.

fossil fuel
a fuel, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, produced by the decomposition of ancient (fossilized) plants and animals; compare to alternative energy.

fourteenth amendment
Ratified in 1868, this amendment made all people born in the United States citizens of both the nation and the state in which they reside, reversing Dred Scott v. Sandford.  It also prohibited states from denying any citizen due process or equal protection of the laws. 

fourth estate
The unofficial political institution and authority comprising the press and other forms of the media. Term comes from the first three estates of the French States-General which were the church, the nobility and the townsmen.

The right to vote.

An authorization or license - effectively a business methodology, which can be bought - enabling someone (franchisee) to use the franchisor's company name and trademarks to sell their products services, etc., and usually to receive certain support, in a particular town, area of a country, or international region. 

A knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment.

free enterprise
An economic system in which private businesses have the freedom to compete with each other for profit, with minimal interference from the government.

free market
A market in which prices of goods and services are affected by supply and demand, rather than government regulation.

free rider
Someone who unintentionally is able to receive the benefits of government policy without incurring the costs.

free trade
The buying and/or selling of goods and services across international borders with few or no restrictions 

free will
the capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives.

A description and label applied to certain chicken and egg farms that many assume ensures some kind of natural, happy life for the animals. In reality, "free range" is not a well-regulated label, and most of these animals still suffer in confined, poor conditions for most or all of their lives. See cage-free.

Computer software that is copyrighted by the author and offered, usually on the Internet, free of charge.

The rate as which periodic motion repeats itself.

The interaction between surfaces: a measure of the resistance felt when sliding one body over another.

1) A movement of Protestants embracing similar beliefs as evangelicals, although usually in a more conservative direction, stressing separation from the world and from more liberal Christian bodies. The term derives from a series of booklets entitled The Fundamentals, which were published in the early 20th century on what were viewed to be the basic doctrines of Christianity. 2) The term also is used to describe similarly conservative movements in other religions, particularly Islam 

1.  Change of state of a substance from a solid to a liquid.  2.  The joining together of two atomic nuclei.

gag order
A legal order issued by a court to prevent the public reporting of a court case

game theory
Sometimes called Games Theory, this is a potentially highly complex branch of mathematics increasingly found in business which uses the analysis of competing strategies (of for example market participants) and their effects upon each other to predict and optimize outcomes and results. 

Sex cells (spermatozoa or ova) that carry the genes donated by each parent.

gap analysis
Enables a company to assess the gap between its actual performance and its potential performance, by comparing what skills, products, etc. are available to what is required to improve performance, output, etc.

To take part of someone's wages, by law, to pay their debts, e.g. child support, alimony.

petroleum fuel, used to power cars, trucks, lawn mowers, etc.

A person in an organization who controls access to the people in the organization, and/or controls access to information or goods, or even a market.

A person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to members of the same gender.

Acronym for Gross Domestic Product, a significant measure of economic performance. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the market value of national final goods/services. GDP per capita (per head) is generally considered an indicator of national standard of living.

gender dysphoria
Clinically significant distress caused when a person's assigned birth gender is not the same as the one with which they identify. According to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the term - which replaces Gender Identity Disorder - "is intended to better characterize the experiences of affected children, adolescents, and adults."

gender expression
External appearance of one's gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.

gender identity
The gender with which a person identifies; whether one perceives oneself to be a man, a woman, or describes oneself in some less conventional way. The term can also be used to refer to the gender that other people attribute to the individual on the basis of what they know from gender role indications, like social behavior or clothing. Gender identity may be affected by a variety of social structures, including the person's ethnic group, employment status, religion or irreligion, and family.

gender non-conforming
A broad term referring to people who do not behave in a way that conforms to the traditional expectations of their gender, or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category.

gender transition
The process by which some people strive to more closely align their internal knowledge of gender with its outward appearance. Some people socially transition, whereby they might begin dressing, using names and pronouns and/or be socially recognized as another gender. Others undergo physical transitions in which they modify their bodies through medical interventions.

Conveys a wider, more flexible range of gender identity and/or expression than typically associated with the binary gender system.

Genderqueer people typically reject notions of static categories of gender and embrace a fluidity of gender identity and often, though not always, sexual orientation. People who identify as "genderqueer" may see themselves as being both male and female, neither male nor female or as falling completely outside these categories.

A unit of inheritance.  A section of DNA.  comprising a sequence of four bases: adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine.

general election
Either an election that is not local but is for the state or national governments or an election that is the final arbiter after the preliminary ones have been dispensed with. Can be contrasted to council, primary or by-elections.

A person who has a broad general knowledge at a high level, and/or many skills

Generation X
A term used for people born during the 1960s and 1970s, who are often described as disaffected and irresponsible.

A crime defined in international law as acts intended to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group of human beings.

The collective noun for a set of genes.  The human genome contains 100 000 genes.

Anyone not Jewish

A government or political system which is ruled by old men (elders).

The distorted drawing of electoral lines to give an unfair advantage to one group. The word comes from a combination of salamander and Elbridge Gerry (I 744-1814), a Revolutionary era governor of Massachusetts and signer of the Declaration of Independence. According to one story, the word has its roots in an electoral district drawn by Gerry's party for the 1812 election that looked like a salamander.

gestation crate
Small metal crate in which a mother pig spends almost her entire adult life, with not enough room to even turn around.

gift tax
A tax payable on gifts over a certain annual value made during the lifetime of the giver.

An excessively “friendly” person, typically a politician, who greets another effusively but insincerely in an attempt to gain popularity.

A policy that commits government to greater accountability and visibility, such as freedom of information laws. Russian for ‘publicness’.

glass ceiling 
An invisible barrier in the workplace which prevents women and minority groups from advancing to positions of leadership in a company, although some do manage to 'break through' the glass ceiling.

Combination of Glitter and Literati. Glamorous, rich, famous people, often connected to show business.

global warming
increase in the average temperature of the earth's surface.

the view that the people and nations of the world should become more economically and politically integrated and unified.  Those who advocate globalism generally believe that ethnocentrism, nationalism, and tribalism are obstacles that must be overcome.

The development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor markets.

A term used for a category of religions that emphasize knowledge as a means to salvation. 

Gross National Product is the total output of goods and services annually produced by a country, whether on or off shore. Gross Domestic Product is the total amount produced on shore, whether by local or foreign entities.

Godwin’s Law
Theory by American journalist Mike Godwin that as an online discussion / argument grows longer the probability of one party comparing the other to Nazis approaches 1.

going negative
A campaigning style where an election candidate will emphasize the negative attributes of the opponent rather than his/ her own positive ones or plans for future governance. Sometimes a legitimate action if the opponent has serious character or competency issues, but otherwise often used to cover up the fact the candidate has little to offer the electorate in experience, vision or concrete plans.

golden parachute 
A company's agreement with an employee, usually a top executive, which promises a significant amount of money and/or benefits if the employee is forced to leave their job, usually because of a change of company ownership, outside of the control of the original employer company.

Golden Rule
A popular moral maxim espoused by Jesus in the New Testament Gospel According to Matthew. It states, "Do to others what you would have them do to you" 

Good Friday
The Friday before Easter and an important Holy Week observance for Christians

The narratives of the life of Jesus found in the beginning of the New Testament of the Bible in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

The act or process of governing, especially the decision-making and implementation of public policy in a political unit. The authority, leadership, or agent responsible for promoting and protecting human rights.

grand jury
A body of 16-23 citizens who listen to evidence of criminal allegations, which is presented by the prosecutors, and determine whether there is probable cause to believe an individual committed an offense. See also indictment and U.S. attorney.

grandfather clause
A provision in a new law which allows the person or business already engaged in the activity, which may have been made illegal, to continue to be so engaged.

grass roots
The ordinary and common people, often agrarian. Term generally refers to movements / political parties created by them rather than by professionals, elitists or established leaders.

To do or give something without payment. Free of charge

The attraction that all bodies have for one another.

gravy train
A business activity which makes a large profit for an individual or an organization without much effort. To have it easy.

green card
In the US, a legal document which allows an immigrant to become a permanent resident, to work legally and to become eligible for citizenship.

An informal term for US paper money, i.e., the dollar, derived from the color of the money.

a building made with translucent (light transparent, usually glass or fiberglass) walls conducive to plant growth.

greenhouse effect
the process that raises the temperature of air in the lower atmosphere due to heat trapped by greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and ozone.

grievance debate
Short speeches allowed by any MP on any subject but only granted at a specific time per week for a few hours.

Gross Domestic Product

water below the earth's surface; the source of water for wells and springs.

group insurance
A health care plan that is purchased for a group of eligible people, usually by an employer for its employees. In Minnesota there are two forms of group insurance: small group insurance (for groups of 2-50 individuals) and large group insurance (for groups of 51 or more individuals).

An attitude often existing in academia or the media where there is found to be unanimity in approaches to certain issues, either due to laziness in research, or fear of the consequences of going against the prevailing wisdom.

Adjective of Governor.

habeas corpus
Latin, meaning "you have the body." A writ of habeas corpus generally is a judicial order forcing law enforcement authorities to produce a prisoner they are holding, and to justify the prisoner's continued confinement. Federal judges receive petitions for a writ of habeas corpus from state prison inmates who say their state prosecutions violated federally protected rights in some way.

the natural home of an animal or plant; (2) the sum of the environmental conditions that determine the existence of a community in a specific place.

Derogatory term for a writer or journalist of very ordinary, unexceptional talents employed to do routine work. Derived from the term for an old saddle horse still performing basic duties.

a person who breaks into or 'hacks' into the secure computer systems of an organization, especially websites and online systems, using online connection, often just as a technical challenge, or potentially with intent to steal, destroy, vandalize information, websites, etc. 

The time taken for the level of radioactivity in an element to halve.

Hanukkah (Chanukah, Chanukkah, or Chanuka)
An eight-day Jewish festival of lights commemorating the victory of the Hasmonean priests over the non-Jewish Seleucid rulers of Palestine in the second century BCE. On each night a candle is lit on a special Hanukkah menorah, and presents are exchanged 

Virtually all chickens raised and killed for eggs, including those at so-called humane operations, come from hatcheries. At only a day or two old, half of the chicks born at hatcheries are ground up alive, gassed, or thrown alive into trash bags, where they suffocate to death: male chicks, who cannot produce eggs, and deformed female chicks are useless to the egg industry.

hate crime
A crime committed because of the victim's membership in a protected class, such as race, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or sexual orientation.

Head Start
A pre-school program designed to give poor children early educational opportunities, and, by all accounts, one of the most successful of the Great Society's anti-poverty efforts.

To find a person who is specialized in a particular job, usually for a senior position in a company, and then persuade them to leave their present employment.

Health and Human Services
United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services.

health insurance
Financial protection against all or part of the medical care costs to treat illness or injury. Health insurance may also include benefits for preventive health care to help you stay healthy.

Health maintenance organization (HMO)
An HMO is a nonprofit organization which provides comprehensive health maintenance services, or arranges for the provision of these services, to enrollees on the basis of a fixed prepaid sum without regard to the frequency or extent of services furnished to any particular enrollee.

health savings account
An account used to pay for qualified medical services, used in conjunction with a high deductible individual health plan.

Healthy Start
A state grant program in which schools work with community organizations to provide children and families with access to health and human services, often at schools. 

Evidence presented by a witness who did not see or hear the incident in question but heard about it from someone else. With some exceptions, hearsay generally is not admissible as evidence at trial

hedge fund
A type of investment fund, which is unregulated and usually very high risk, used by individuals and organizations (not the general public) with large amounts of money to invest.

Dominance or leadership of one state or social group over another.

Either a rejection of doctrines taught by a communal authority or a choice to advocate an alternative doctrine/interpretation opposed to the authoritative conventional teaching.

the study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts (often the Bible)

A concept within psychology referring to instinctive thinking based on learned 'rules', habits and tendencies (increasingly understood and defined by experts) which people use to make judgements and decisions

An Arabic term referring to any partition separating two things, but most commonly it refers to a veil or head covering worn by Muslim women

The name given for the majority religion of India. 

hoi polloi
The common people, as compared to the wealthy, higher educated or elite.

holding company
A company which is formed for owning and holding controlling shares in other companies

hollow men
Conviction free, consensus driven politicians who live by the polls and whose only goal appears to be to achieve and maintain political power. Found in major parties on both sides of the political divide but generally more prevalent with conservative parties. Term derived from the T.S. Eliot poem of that name in reference to the ‘men of straw’ described.

The tendency towards a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes

The killing of one person by another. This is the generic legal term for killing a person, whether lawfully or unlawfully. Unlawful homicide comprises the two crimes of murder and manslaughter.

The fear and hatred of or discomfort with people who are attracted to members of the same sex.

honeymoon period
The first few months of a new government during which the incumbent/s are granted a non-belligerent grace period by their political opposition and the media.

A facility or program that provides care for a terminally ill patient.

house of representatives
The largest and most influential house of Parliament. Appoints the cabinet and from which the Prime Minister usually comes. Similar to the British House of Commons and known in Australia as the 'People's House' as compared with the Senate being the ‘State’s House’. Each of the 150 members represents approximately 120,000 people or 80,000 voters.

human resources
HR. The people who are employed by and operate a business or organization. The department within a company which deals with recruitment, training, employee benefit, etc.

human rights 
The rights people have simply because they are human beings, regardless of their ability, citizenship, ethnicity, gender, language, nationality, race, or sexuality; human rights become enforceable when they are codified as conventions, covenants, or treaties, as they become recognized as customary international law, or as they are accepted in national or local law.

Cultural movement during the Renaissance emphasizing secularism and classical learning from ancient Greece and Rome; the doctrine that emphasizes the human capacity for self-fulfillment without religion.

hush money
A bribe or payment, which is often illegal, given to someone to stop them from disclosing information, usually to prevent bad publicity or to hide a crime.

Compounds containing only hydrogen and carbon atoms.

relating to electric energy produced by moving water.

used as solvents and cleaners in the semiconductor industry, among others; experts say that they possess global warming potentials that are thousands of times greater than CO2.

energy or power produced by moving water.

the theory which conceptually identifies substance as matter and form, such that substances are conceived as forms inhering in matter.

Hyperbole is an extreme and figurative exaggeration or overstatement, which in strict grammatical terms is not generally expected to be taken seriously or interpreted literally

An extraordinarily high rate of economic inflation during which a country's prices rise and currency loses its value uncontrollably in a vicious cycle, usually occurring during severe political instability or war. 

identity politics
Political theories or advocacy which, rather than proposing better ways to fight crime, improve the economy or save the environment etc, orientate towards the victimhood, or alleged victimhood, of certain people because of their demographics, ie age, religion, gender, race etc.

identity theft
Identity Theft primarily involves either “true name” or “account takeover” fraud. With “true name” someone uses a consumer’s personal information to open new accounts in his or her name. With “account takeover” someone gains access to a person’s existing account(s) and makes fraudulent charges. Another form of identity theft occurs when a criminal provides a victim’s personal information to law enforcement when the criminal gets arrested. The victim may then have a criminal record or outstanding warrants attached to their name without even realizing it.

A pejorative term for the alleged worship of idols

The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.

The inability to read or write. Illiteracy can also refer to the ignorance of a set of terms or ideas that describe a concept. For example, human rights illiteracy is a lack of knowledge regarding human rights principles and norms.

For Sunni Muslims, the imam is the prayer leader of a mosque

immaculate conception
A teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that the Blessed Virgin Mary, by a singular grace and privilege of God, through the merits of her son Jesus Christ, was preserved from the stain or effects of original sin from the first moment of her conception by her parents. 

The movement of people from one nation-state to another.

To charge somebody, usually a government official, with serious misconduct. To cast somebody out of public office, for example a president or courtroom judge because of a serious crime or misdemeanor.

1. The process of calling a witness's testimony into doubt. For example, if the attorney can show that the witness may have fabricated portions of his testimony, the witness is said to be "impeached;" 2. The constitutional process whereby the House of Representatives may "impeach" (accuse of misconduct) high officers of the federal government, who are then tried by the Senate.

To seize and hold property, funds, etc., in custody (typically by a state-empowered authority), often during legal dispute.

Word that describes something that cannot be taken or given away. Human rights that individuals have cannot be taken away, surrendered, or transferred

income fund
An investment fund with high returns which pays the owners a regular income.

income tax
A tax paid by individuals to the government, the amount of which is dependent on how much a person earns from their salary and/or other sources of income.

An organization or company which provides support to new businesses to help them develop and grow.

inculpatory evidence
Evidence indicating that a defendant did commit the crime.

The current holder of a seat in the legislature or of an office of authority.

indecent exposure
An offensive display of one’s own body in public, especially of the genitals.

To insure and offer financial protection against loss, damage or liability.

indemnity plan
An insurance contract where individuals are reimbursed for medical expenses covered by the contract which they purchase from a licensed insurance company.

To formally charge someone with a crime.

The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies. See also information.

indigenous peoples
People who are the original or natural inhabitants of a land. Native Americans/American Indians, for example, are the Indigenous Peoples of the United States. 

individual rights
A term referring to what one is allowed to do and what can be done to an individual; the rights possessed by individuals.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
A reauthorization in 1977 of the federal Education For All Handicapped Children Act of 1975. This law guarantees children with exceptional needs a free and appropriate public education and requires that each child's education be determined on an individual basis and designed to meet his or her unique needs in the least restrictive environment. It also establishes procedural rights for parents and children

Word that describes something that cannot be divided or reduced. Human rights should be addressed as an indivisible body, including civil, political, social, economic, cultural, and collective rights.

The introduction and training of a member of staff in a new job or position in a company.

inductive reasoning
reasoning that proceeds from particular information to derive general principles (arriving at a reliable generalization from observations)

A person who owns or runs a large industrial enterprise. They are often referred to as a Business Magnate.

Tendency of a body to remain at rest or move in straight line.

infinite regress
a causal relationship transmitted through an indefinite number of terms in a series, with no term that begins the causal chain (going back through a chain forever).

Normally referring to the economy of a country, inflation is the gradual increase in the price of goods and/or services, and the consequential devaluing of the national currency

inflection point
In business, when important significant changes take place in an organization

A portmanteau word (made from information and graphic) referring to a picture or diagram which conveys information.

inheritance tax
A tax imposed by the government which much be paid on the total value of the estate of a deceased person.

A court order preventing one or more named parties from taking some action. A preliminary injunction often is issued to allow fact-finding, so a judge can determine whether a permanent injunction is justified.

Denying fair, moral, and impartial treatment of the human rights of all persons.

A person admitted to a health care facility to receive health care services

substances used to kill insects and prevent infestation.

Not having enough finances or assets available to pay all your debts.

insurance adjuster
Also known as a Claims Adjuster. An independent person who investigates insurance claims for an insurance company and evaluates the damage caused and decides whether the claims are valid, and if they are, how much should be paid in settlement to the insured party.

intellectual capital
The skills and knowledge of a company's employees, which can be used to make the company more successful than its competitors.

intellectual property
Commonly abbreviated to IP, an idea or creation, e.g., artwork, writing, etc., that belongs to an individual or organization, which has commercial value and therefore cannot be copied or sold without the owner's permission.

intelligent design
A theory that posits that both the universe and individual organisms are too complex to be a result of either chance or random selection, thus pointing to an "intelligent designer."

Human rights concerns appear in all spheres of life, such as in home, school, workplace, court, and markets. Human rights violations are interconnected; the loss of one right detracts from other rights. Similarly, promotion of human rights in one area supports other human rights.

interest rate
A fee which is charged for borrowing money, e.g., a loan from a bank or financial institution, lease arrangement, goods bought through hire purchase, etc.

A mediator or agent who negotiates between two parties who are unable or unwilling to reach an agreement by themselves.

International Labor Organization (ILO)
Organization established in 1919 as part of the Versailles Peace Treaty to improve working conditions and promote social justice; the ILO became a specialized agency of the UN in 1946.

international law
A set of rules generally regarded and accepted as binding in relations between states and nations. International human rights law is a part of international law designed to protect people against torture, inhuman treatment, arbitrary killings, discrimination, failure to take steps to provide adequate food, shelter, healthcare, and other human rights abuses.

internet fraud
Internet fraud generally refers to any type of fraudulent use of a computer and the Internet, including the use of chat rooms, email, message boards, discussion groups and web sites, to conduct fraudulent transactions, transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions, or to steal, destroy or otherwise render unusable (the proliferation of viruses for example) computer data vital to the operation of a business.

An interval of normal government, such as between administrations.

A form of discovery consisting of written questions to be answered in writing and under oath.

The policy of a government to intervene and manipulate a country's (often its own) affairs and/or economy.

intrinsic value 
The actual or real value of a business, commodity, asset, etc., rather than the market value or share price.

invisible hand
The free market theory of 18th century economist Adam Smith that there is an invisible hand to guarantee, that without government, there will always be a supply to placate demand. “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.”

involuntary manslaughter
Homicide in which there is no intention to kill or do grievous bodily harm, but that is committed with criminal negligence or during the commission of a crime not included within the felony-murder rule.

Atom with an unbalanced electrical charge caused by the loss or gain of one or more electrons.

ionic bond
A bond formed by the electro-magnetic attraction between ions of opposite charge.

The religion founded by the Prophet Muhammad (570-632), who is believed by followers to be the final prophet. 

A policy of isolating one’s country from military alliances or other commitments  with all other countries as a best resort to avoiding foreign entanglements. Historically a strong sentiment in the USA. President Woodrow Wilson won a second term in 1916 in promising (falsely) to keep America out of WWI, and the US was conspicuous in not joining the newly formed League of Nations. Prior to WWII aviator Charles Lindberg was prominent in the popular America First Committee which attempted to prevent the US being a participant in that war.

Chemical compounds with the same composition but different shapes.

An element that has more or less neutrons than normal.  Many isotopes are radioactive.

issue price
On the Stock Exchange, the price at which a new share, stock, etc., is offered to the public

An ancient Indian religion that teaches no supreme deity, although some Hindu gods are recognized. 

Jehovah’s Witnesses
A worldwide Christian society noted for their use of “Jehovah” as the name of God and their assertive proselytizing efforts through door-knocking. Charles Taze Russell founded the movement in the 1880s with hopes of restoring the Church to the beliefs of first-century Christianity. 

Jesus Christ
The founder of the Christian religion. “Christ” is a Hebrew term for "messiah," meaning Christians believe that he is the savior of humanity. Jesus was born in Palestine under Roman occupation around 6 BCE. Many Christians believe that he is the Son of God, who died for human sin, and was raised in order for all humans to have salvation. 

A term derived from Arabic that means "to struggle." 

Jim Crow
The name that was given to the de jure, or legal segregation of blacks from whites before the civil rights movement. The name itself comes from a black minstrel caricature popularized in song during the 1830s. Thus, laws restricting African Americans to the back of a bus or creating separate restrooms, drinking fountains or eating facilities were known as "Jim Crow" laws.

A nineteenth and twentieth century term to describe chauvinistic, bellicose expressions of nationalism, especially in warlike pursuits. The term is often associated with US President Teddy Roosevelt.

Job Corps
A vocational training program aimed at providing job training for the poor.

job costing
A system of calculating the cost of each individual job or project carried out by a business, includes time, labor, materials, etc.

Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) Program
Administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, JOBS is the centerpiece of the 1988 Family Support Act. Its primary objective is to enroll welfare recipients in education and training programs.

joint stock company 
A company or organization owned by joint shareholders, which is a type of corporation and partnership. The stockholders run the company and share its profits and debts.

Joseph Smith
The founder and prophet of the Church of Latter-day Saints.

A monotheistic religion based on the Torah, Talmud and other texts in the Hebrew Bible.

An official of the Judicial branch with authority to decide lawsuits brought before courts. Used generically, the term judge may also refer to all judicial officers, including Supreme Court justices.

The official decision of a court finally resolving the dispute between the parties to the lawsuit.

Judgment Day
A Christian term for the imminent last period of the world when Jesus will render a verdict of salvation or damnation for human beings

judicial activism
A judicial philosophy advocating that courts are allowed to take an active role, not supported by existing law, to remedy alleged wrongs in society.

junk bond
Also known as High Yield Bonds. A high risk bond with a high interest rate, often used by companies to raise finances in order to take over other companies

A clique, faction or cabal, often military, taking power after an overthrow of the government. From the latin ‘juncta’ for join.

The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a certain type of case. It also is used as a synonym for venue, meaning the geographic area over which the court has territorial jurisdiction to decide cases.

The study of law and the structure of the legal system

The group of persons selected to hear the evidence in a trial and render a verdict on matters of fact. See also grand jury.

jus ad bellum
The alleged justification a country will use to go to war.

Fairness, equity, and morality in action or attitude in order to promote and protect human rights and responsibilities. In most societies, people work for justice by organizing through different categories of rights, such as civil, political, economic, social, and cultural.

justifiable homicide
The killing of another in self-defense when faced with the danger of death or serious bodily injury. (same as excusable homicide)

The Jewish mystical teachings which offer esoteric interpretations of Jewish law.

A term in Sanskrit referring both to an action and its consequences.

Theories of very influential economist of the twentieth century, John Maynard Keynes, who advocated government taxing and spending to keep control on the economy. In times of recession he advocated high government spending on public works as well as intervention into the economy wherever it was thought necessary.

A bribe or illegal payment made to someone in exchange for a successful referral for a job or transaction.

kinetic energy
The energy possessed by a body in motion.

kitchen cabinet
An informal name for the chief executive’s closest advisers.

Cynical term used to describe highly corrupt governments where politicians, bureaucrats and their protected friends engage in sales of government licenses, perquisites, etc.

The sacred text of Muslims, and the ultimate authority in Islam regarding law, religion, and ethics. It literally means "recitation."

Jewish dietary laws that include permissible and restricted foods from one’s diet.

Fr. for “allow to do”. An economic system with total or near total abstinence of state interference.

Non-ordained members of Christian churches. 

disposal area where garbage is piled up and eventually covered with dirt and topsoil.

The crime of unlawfully taking someone else's property or money. Theft.

large cap
On the Stock Exchange, a company that has a large market capitalization, i.e., a high total value of shares.

Last Rites
The Catholic sacrament preparing members for death, which usually involves applying oil to the dying person and hearing his or her last confession

Last Supper
The New Testament narrative of Jesus' last meal with his disciples prior to his arrest, trial and crucifixion. This event is commemorated through the Christian rite of Communion, also known as the Eucharist

Latter-day Saints Family (Mormonism)
A 19th century religious movement in America founded by Joseph Smith

law of non-contradiction
the basic law of logic which states that it is not possible for something to be and not be at the same time

A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty which resulted in harm to the plaintiff.

A means of purchasing an item by paying a small deposit to reserve it and then paying the balance in installments. When the total purchase price has been paid the customer can then take delivery of the goods.

lead poisoning
damaging the body (specifically the brain) by absorbing lead through the skin or by swallowing.

Leader of the House
A lower house MP of the ruling party who has been appointed to organize and arrange the various proceedings of that house.

leading indicator 
A particular measure of a country's economic activity, used to predict near future economic trends.

lease purchase
A finance agreement in which an item, usually a car, is leased for a certain period of time with an option to purchase at the end of the contract.

An arrangement between a purchaser of a property and the vendor in which the vendor immediately leases the property back from the purchaser.

left wing
see ‘right wing / left wing’

An informal term for technical legal language, especially in documents intended for public/consumer readership, such as house conveyancing contracts, insurance policies, financial documents, especially loan arrangements, all sorts of terms and conditions, employment contracts, and general 'small print' in contracts. 

A defective product which is poor quality and fails to function as promised. Particularly used in the automotive industry, specifically for a poor-quality second-hand car, or a sub-standard new vehicle.

Light modifier.  Convex lenses focus and concave lens diffuse light waves.

A 40-day period of fasting that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter. 

A woman who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to other women.

a form of bone marrow cancer marked by an increase in white blood cells

An acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.”

An acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning

Debts which are owed to someone, obligations or responsibilities which are legally binding.

liberal democracy
A vague term to reflect democracy controlled by restraints that only allow the seemingly good. Ie. A constitution or entrenched common law that protects such institutions as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, a moderately free market, an independent judiciary, the rule of law, separation of powers, minority rights and the notion of the individual.

Loosely described as a modern philosophy which favors change for change’s sake, as well as encompassing a compromising and compassionate attitude to personal lifestyle, law and order, foreign affairs and immigration, where policy decisions are often orientated towards those in more straitened circumstances.

A political philosophy of self-reliance, reason and maximum non-interference by the state in matters of both economic and personal affairs. Straddling both left and right, a libertarian would believe in the right to bear arms, access to IVF or hallucinatory drugs for any adult, a free market capitalist economy and the abolition of censorship.

The freedom to act.

A charge on specific property that is designed to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation. A debtor may still be responsible for a lien after a discharge.

The word lieu rarely appears outside of the expression 'in lieu of', which means 'instead of', or 'in place of'. For example, 'time off in lieu' means (and is a shortening of) time given off work instead of payment for extra hours worked

Limited English Proficient (LEP)
Refers to students who are not fluent in English. As the Supreme Court and Congress have made clear, federal antidiscrimination law requires that schools must provide LEP students with the skills necessary to compete academically with their peers who are fluent in English.

limited government
A right wing concept that espouses the practice that any public service that could reasonably be solely supplied by the market, or harmful action that could be self-regulated or otherwise controlled by public censure, should be.

limited liability
In law, the owners and/or shareholders of a limited company only lose the amount they have invested if the company gets into debt.

The most important person or thing in a business or organization.

the comparative study of the function, structure, and history of languages and the communication process in general.  Linguistics is also referred to as linguistic anthropology.

The closing down of a business by selling its assets to pay its debts.

The sale of a debtor's property with the proceeds to be used for the benefit of creditors.

The ability to read and write in one or more languages. Literacy can also refer to the ability to understand a set of ideas and terms related to a central concept. For example, human rights literacy is the ability to understand and speak in terms of human rights principles and norms.

A person or party who is involved in a court action or lawsuit

To legally settle a dispute in, or take a claim to, a court of law

A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.

To routinely or enthusiastically take legal action to settle disputes

A set order of public worship, often comprised of chants, prayers and readings. Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican churches have more ornate liturgies than other churches that stress preaching and the singing of hymns

living trust
A trust created in which assets can be transferred to someone while the grantor (the person who owns the assets) is still alive. Living Trusts avoid dealing with the legalities of a will.

loan shark 
Someone who offers unsecured loans at excessive rates of interest.

Someone who acts professionally to serve as a go-between for people or business with a complaint about specific legislation and the relevant government minister/secretary. It is in the interests for politicians to not only keep attuned of the effect of possibly problematic legislation but also to have that communicated in quick and efficient manner by an experienced and knowledgeable operator. The fact that corruption often occurs in the lobbying process does not deny that lobbying is still mostly a legitimate function. Term derived from hotel lobbies where politicians were originally approached by applicants.

cutting down trees for commodity use.

A practice in American legislatures where two or more members agree to support each other’s bills.

long term liability
Taxes, leases, loans, etc., which are payable over a period greater than one year.

long-term care
Health care services prescribed by a physician and provided in a nursing facility or by a home health agency.

An unintentional mistake in a contract or a law which allows people to evade an obligation in the contract, or to get round the law without actually breaking it.

Lord’s Prayer
The most popular prayer in Christianity, and widely recited by Christians today. It comes from a passage in the Gospel According to Matthew, where Jesus’ disciples ask him how to pray. It begins (in the King James Bible): "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name…" 

low yield
A term used to describe investments which are low risk and do not produce a high level of income.

low-emission vehicles
vehicles which emit little air pollution compared to conventional internal combustion engines.

lower house
In Australia the House of Representatives or (state wide) the Legislative Assembly. Generally, the more populous and influential legislative house. 

A derogatory term for someone who opposes or disapproves of new technology and/or new methods of working, often because the changes threaten jobs. 

Term for those in society Marx identified as the miscreants, lacking class consciousness and useless to the revolutionary struggle: beggars, prostitutes, gangsters, racketeers, swindlers, petty criminals, tramps, chronic unemployed or unemployable.

Lutheran Family
Christian churches following the teachings of sixteenth century reformer Martin Luther, particularly his teaching on justification by faith and scripture alone (sola scriptura). It is one of the most liturgical Protestant movements, along with Episcopalianism.

Derogatory term for pretentious artistic or theatrical people claiming and /or receiving special benefits or privileges.

a tumor marked by swelling in the lymph nodes.

Large, intimidating, medieval, hand held weapon. Appears with the speaker in lower houses and used as a symbol of authority.

Adjective to describe manipulative and cynical political activity where morals and principles have little account. Somewhat unfairly attributed to Renaissance political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli who wrote for an age where government and diplomacy had more life or death consequences.

In a computer, a single instruction which results in a complete series of more detailed instructions being put into effect.

MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction)
Strategic doctrine which guarantees that each side in a nuclear exchange would survive a first strike by its opponent with enough arms intact to launch a second strike sufficient to destroy the aggressor

magic bullet
A simple effective solution to a serious or complex problem, especially in medicine, for example a cure for a disease.

magistrate judge
A judicial officer of a district court who conducts initial proceedings in criminal cases, decides criminal misdemeanor cases, conducts many pretrial civil and criminal matters on behalf of district judges, and decides civil cases with the consent of the parties.

maiden speech
The first ever speech given by an MP in Parliament and traditionally granted the courtesy of no interjections.

A large powerful central computer to which a network of smaller computers are connected, used commonly by large organizations.

A term applied to activities, ideas, products/services, etc., that are used/followed/supported by most people. 

majority preferential
Preferential voting in single member electorates.

an animal that feeds its young with milk secreted from mammary glands and has hair on its skin.

managed care
Strategies used by health plan companies to control the cost of providing health care while providing high quality services.

The alleged command, and thus authority, a winning political party has to institute its pre-election policies because of the fact it had a convincing win.

The unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought.

The difference in the price of producing a product and the price it sells for, calculated as a percentage, i.e., profit margin.

margin account
An account held by an investor with a broker in which the broker lends the investor money to purchase shares, etc., which are then used as collateral against the loan

marginal seat
A S.M.V. electorate where the winning candidate/party only just won the last election and could well lose the next.

The commercial activity of buying and selling goods and services. The customers who buy goods and services

market research
The process of gathering and analyzing information about customers, competitors, etc., in order to make decisions and solve problems connected with selling products or services

market test
The testing of a product or service in several areas of the country to see if customers will like it and want to buy it.

The promotion and/or selling of a company, product, service, etc.

In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, a martyr is someone who dies, typically premature and violently, for a sacred cause.

Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs
Developed by Abraham Maslow in 1943. A fundamental motivational theory describing five stages of human needs which must be met in a particular order.

The quantity of matter in a body.

mass market
Describes products or services which have mass appeal and are aimed at large numbers of people or a whole population.

maternity leave 
The time a pregnant employee is entitled to take off from her job before and after the birth of her baby. Entitlement to Maternity Leave depends on how long the woman has been with her employer.

maternity pay 
An employee benefit paid to pregnant women when they take time off from their job to have their baby

An expert, often self-proclaimed, in a particular field.

An independent thinker who does not conform to accepted opinion on certain matters and takes a stand from other people.

means test
In anti-poverty programs, a method for determining eligibility in which benefits are granted if a participant's income falls below a certain threshold.

The most holy city in Islam, located in modern-day Saudi Arabia. 

Government subsidized health care program for the poor, roughly comparable to Medicare.

A federal health insurance program for people over 65 and for certain people with disabilities.

A process of serious contemplation that is common in Eastern religions.

A large congregation with 2,000 or more people attending services. 

a large city expanding so fast that city government cannot adjust to provide services

member states 
Countries that are members of intergovernmental organizations, such as the United Nations.

Unskilled typically poorly paid work.

A seven-branched candle stand first mentioned in the Book of Exodus.

Someone who is experienced and gives guidance and support to a person less experienced to help them develop and grow and achieve their goals.

Relating to trade or commerce.

A broad, command type, economic doctrine, practiced from the 16th to the 18th centuries, which predicated state power in international affairs as the predominate goal. Policies utilized would be: export subsidies; maintaining a positive balance of payments; developing colonies; forbidding trade to be carried in foreign ships; restricting colonies’ trade to only the mother country; maintaining a large as possible precious metal reserve; limiting domestic consumption such as with sumptuary laws.

The joining of two or more companies, organizations etc.

In business, a system in which people advance because of their abilities rather than their connections or wealth, etc.

The long-awaited king who will come in the last days. 

Meta means an additional useful part of the whole thing, usually data or communication of some sort, and usually hidden or underlying and coded.

Elements characterized by their opacity, malleability and thermal and electrical conductivity.

Methodist-Pietist Family
Consists of churches that stress the importance of internal faith, spirituality and Christian living over adherence to formal creeds and doctrine. The largest among these churches is the United Methodist Church, which follows the teachings of John Wesley, who in the 18th century broke away from the Church of England because of his emphasis on personal holiness.

methyl bromide
the gaseous compound CH3Br used primarily as an insect fumigant; found to be harmful to the stratospheric ozone layer which protects life on earth from excessive ultraviolet radiation.

A type of blogging allowing users to post or broadcast pictures and/or short messages or articles typically in the range of 140-200 characters

In the US, small companies on the stock exchange that have shares which are very low in total value.

A branch of economics which studies individual parts of the economy, such as households, industries and businesses, and how they make decisions about spending money, use of goods and services, etc.

middle management 
In organizations and business, managers who are in charge of small departments and groups of people while reporting to upper management.

A person who arranges business or political deals between people, usually for a commission or fee, or, more generally, any person or company buying goods from a supplier and selling them to customers, usually at a profit.

In advertising, the development of consumer awareness of a product or brand.

minimum wage
The legal lowest wage an employee can be paid by an employer.

A low-ranking loyal and often favored servant or worker.

1) One who performs a number of church duties. 2) The title for a preacher or pastor in many Protestant churches

An offense punishable by one year of imprisonment or less. See also felony.

mission statement
A brief statement which sets out the activities and objectives of a company or organization.

mission/missionary movements
The organized effort to spread one's religion to others, often by traveling to other nations

An invalid trial, caused by fundamental error. When a mistrial is declared, the trial must start again with the selection of a new jury.

To make something less severe or dangerous, e.g., using 'Mitigating Circumstances' as an excuse to try to make an offence seem less serious than it appears

Organelles that convert glucose into energy.

mixed economy
An economic system which embraces some aspects of free enterprise together with elements of socialism.

A technique or mechanism, popularly called a 'memory-aid', for helping to remember something

An arbitrator or mediator. Someone who presides over a debate.

Also called a tycoon. A very rich, powerful business person.

molecular formula
The number and types of atom in a molecule.  For example, the molecular formula of methane is CH4, one atom of carbon and four atoms of hydrogen.

A group of atoms bonded together.  It is the smallest part of a substance that retains the chemical properties of the whole.

The persecution or harassment of someone, as in the molestation of a witness. The act of making unwanted and indecent advances to or on someone, especially for sexual gratification.

mom-and-pop/mom-and-pop shop
Chiefly and originally an American term for a small shop or business 

The product of mass times velocity.  Momentum is conserved in any system of particles.

A form of religious organization that emphasizes strict ascetic practices and individual salvation.

The theory that the economy is controlled by raising or lowering the money supply.

money laundering
The federal crime of transferring illegally obtained money through legitimate persons or accounts so that its original source cannot be traced.

Male member of a monastic community

Rule by one person (not necessarily anti-democratic).

Small molecules that link together to form a polymer.

A situation where there is only one seller of a good or service due to either protection by legislation or the impracticality of other parties to enter the market.

A single buyer market for goods or services. Opposite to monopoly.

The belief that there is only one God, shared by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Acronym for 'Massive Open Online Course' - conceivably the future of most higher/further education globally 

moral relativism
Loosely described as a philosophical concept whereby an act universally identified as immoral in the home country is however excused when observed in another because of the culture or history of that country.

legislative action which prevents a federal agency from taking a specific action or implementing a specific law.

A member who belongs to a church in the Latter-day Saint Family

A loan acquired from a bank, building society, etc., with which to buy property or land, usually to be paid back with interest over a specified number of years at regular monthly intervals. To borrow money from a bank, etc., using your property as collateral, giving the lender the right to own your property if the loan is not repaid.

The Islamic building for public worship.

The main circuit board of a computer which has all the components to make everything in the computer work together, such as the monitor, keyboard, mouse, DVD drive, etc.

motherhood statement
A ‘feel good’ platitude supporting an uncontroversial cause that few would dare disagree with.

A request by a litigant to a judge for a decision on an issue relating to the case.

A journalist / author whose goal is to only find the negative character traits / history of his subject. Term coined by Teddy Roosevelt in reference to a Pilgrim's Progress character with a muckrake who could only look down.

Muhammad (Mohammad)
The founder and last prophet in Islam.

leaves, straw or compost used to cover growing plants to protect them from the wind or cold.

Involving or agreed upon by three or more groups, nations, companies, etc.

multinational force
A military force comprising members from more than two nations. For instance, when the United Nations sends a peacekeeping force to a troubled area, it usually assembles a multinational force.

Murphy's Law 
Humorous saying: Anything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong

An adherent of Islam

mutual company
A type of organization, business, etc., which is owned by members and has no shareholders. The members usually have a share of the profits

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator 
A psychometric questionnaire or personality test in which people answer questions about themselves, which helps identify strengths and personal behavioral preferences

A form of spirituality stressing union with God and religious experience, rather than doctrine. Mystical traditions transcend religious traditions, evident in the three major world religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism

Nation of Islam
An American movement founded in the early 20th century that emphasizes that Islam is the true religion of black people and that African-Americans should leave the distorted white religion of Christianity.

national debt
The total amount of money owed by a nation's government.

National School Lunch Program
A federal program to provide food-typically lunch and/or breakfast-for students from low-income families. The number of students participating in this free/reduced price meal program is increasingly being used as a way to measure the poverty level of a school or district population. The number of children in this program can affect schools' or districts' eligibility for grants or other funding aimed at helping lower-income families.

A sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on the promotion of its economic and political interests and culture over those of other nations.

To convert a business or industry from private ownership to government control and ownership.

negative equity 
A term commonly used in the property market during a recession when a property is worth less in value than the outstanding balance of the loan with which it was purchased. This usually only affects the borrower if they need to sell the property during this time.

negative rights / positive rights
The right to do, or refrain from, an action or otherwise be free from interference, as compared to the right to gain a specific benefit that would have a monetary value. The right to speak freely / the right to having legal representation supplied when in court. Term derives from the obligation on society for supplying those rights: a positive obligation to supply the cost of a lawyer while there is no (negative) cost to allow someone the right of free association.

negligent homicide
Homicide resulting from the careless performance of a legal or illegal act in which the danger of death is apparent; the killing of a human being by criminal negligence.

A word or expression which has been newly invented but is not yet in common use, or an old word which has a new meaning. There are a few in this very dictionary listing.

In business and organizations, nepotism refers to those in power showing favoritism towards friends and family, for example by giving them jobs because of their relationship rather than their abilities. The word came into English from French in the mid-1600s and originally derives from the Italian nipote, nephew, and the tradition of giving privileges to the 'nephews' of popes, who were typically actually illegitimate sons. Nepotism is a common source of conflict of interest.

nest egg
A sum of money which someone has saved for the future.

net profit margin
Usually expressed as a percentage, in business, the money earned after costs, expenses, taxes, etc., have been deducted.

A set of informal rules and regulations that govern Internet etiquette, i.e., the acceptable behavior of people on the World Wide Web.

A group of health care providers that form an affiliation and contract as a group with an HMO or insurer.

A reaction in which the characteristics of an acid or base disappear

Particles with zero charge forming part of an atomic nuclei.

New Age
A loosely based movement that emerged in the late 1960s stressing experiential spirituality, the interconnectedness of life and the immanence (or nearness) of the sacred to the world, drawing on a blend of occult, Eastern and human potential teachings.

New Testament
Canonized scripture in addition to the Old Testament that constitutes the Christian Bible.

NGO (Non-Governmental Organization)
Any private organization involved in activities that have transnational implications.

niche market
A specialized market in which a specific product is sold to a particular type or group of customers. A product or service for which there is sometimes little demand and often little or no competition.

Nielsen Rating
In the US, a system which measures TV audiences, i.e., which programs are watched by which type of person. Companies use this information to decide when to advertise their products, and TV companies use this information to set prices for advertisement slots.

Nikkei Index
A share price index for the 225 stocks traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Japan

nineteenth amendment
Ratified in 1920, this amendment gave women the right to vote.

The main religious goal in major forms of Hinduism and Buddhism. The term comes from Sanskrit, meaning "blowing out."

nitrogen oxides
harmful gases (which contribute to acid rain and global warming) emitted as a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion.

No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)
The 2002 re-authorizaton of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Originally passed in 1965, ESEA programs provide much of the federal funding for K-12 schools. NCLB's provisions represent a significant change in the federal government's influence in public schools and districts throughout the United States, particularly in terms of assessment, accountability, and teacher quality. It increases the federal focus on the achievement of disadvantaged pupils, including English learners and students who live in poverty, provides funding for "innovative programs" such as charter schools, and supports the right of parents to transfer their children to a different school if their school is low-performing or unsafe.

Refers to the movement for no-kill policies and shelters, where only unadoptable animals or those unable to be rehabilitated are killed.

no-load fund
A fund which does not impose a sales or commission fee on the investor for the buying and selling of stocks and shares.

noble gases
Elements with zero valency.  They form group 0 in the periodic table and are non-reactive.

noise pollution
environmental pollution made up of harmful or annoying noise.

A prerequisite to standing as a political candidate. Made only after the writ for an election has been issued. A financial deposit (which will be returned on the candidate receiving a reasonable number of votes) must also be lodged.

non sequitur
in communications/debate, logic, and notably the law, non sequitur basically refers to a conclusion which is false or unsupported by its argument.

A signed formal agreement in which one party agrees to keep certain information secret. Often used in business when products or projects are being developed.

A set of assumptions about morality, power, and conflict that leads its proponents to reject the use of violence in efforts to attain social or political goals. While often used as a synonym for pacifism, since the mid-20th century the term nonviolence has come to embody a diversity of techniques for waging social conflict without the use of violence, as well as the underlying political and philosophical rationale for the use of these techniques.

indicative of how things should or ought to be (as opposed to positive or descriptive).

A person, usually a solicitor, officially authorized to witness signatures and certify legal documents

nuclear energy
energy or power produced by nuclear reactions (fusion or fission).

nuclear reactor
an apparatus in which nuclear fission may be initiated, maintained, and controlled to produce energy, conduct research, or produce fissile material for nuclear explosives.

1. Organelle containing the chromosomes.  2.  That part of an atom containing the protons and neutrons.

numbered account
Often called a Swiss Bank Account. An account, offered by certain banks, which can only be identified by a number, so the account holder is known only to a restricted number of the bank's employees.

A term referring to any Catholic, Orthodox or Anglican woman who is an avowed member of the religious community

Nurse practitioner (NP)
A registered nurse specially educated and licensed to provide primary and/or specialty care.

The state of becoming obsolete or out of date. Old-fashioned

Occam's Razor/Ockham's Razor 
a guiding principle or maxim for theorists, writers, communicators, etc., which asserts that the most effective (and arguably most reliable) explanations and theories employ minimal assumptions. In other words, in choosing between competing theories or explanations for uncertain things, the most reliable theory will be that which entails the least use of assumptions and other unknowns. 

The practices and beliefs relating to "hidden" spiritual truths or esoteric insights.

the study of the ocean and ocean life.

Mob rule. Also known as Mobocracy.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Founded in 1961 to stimulate world trade and economic progress, a group of 34 first world countries, committed to democracy and the market economy, who organize mutual plans to maintain taxation conventions and fiscal stability, combat corruption and bribery as well as other endeavors such as annual publications on the world economic outlook.

A person who does not wish to be in 'the system' (for example has no bank account, employment or tax identification, no fixed address, etc.). May instead refer to a person who lives self-sufficiently in terms of gas, electric, water, sewerage services, etc. Or someone not connected to the internet.

Refers to accounts, investments, banks, etc., which are in countries where there are lower taxes and/or little government control

oil spills
the harmful release of oil into the environment, usually in the water, sometimes killing area flora and fauna. Oil spills are very difficult to clean up.

Old Testament (Hebrew Bible)
The first portion of the Christian Bible. It also is known as the Hebrew Bible in Judaism.

A form of government where rule is by the few and in their own interest.

A market in which a small number of companies control the supply of certain goods and services.

A concept, originally Swedish, where parliament appoints a person to act as an official watchdog over bureaucracy on behalf of the public. On its own initiative or from public complaints, the Ombudsman will investigate government officials or departments and report its finding to parliament, whereupon action may be taken. The office of the Ombudsman itself has no power to penalize, although in some jurisdictions the Ombudsman can launch criminal prosecutions.

the study of conceptions of reality, existence and the nature of being.

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Companies. The cartel of oil producers formed to control the price and supply of oil on world markets.

operating income
The gross earnings of a company minus operating costs, excluding taxes and interest.

A judge's written explanation of the decision of the court.

The practice of exploiting and taking advantage of opportunities which present themselves, with no regard for other people or eventual consequences.

opportunity cost
Term which refers to the value or benefit of something which will be lost in order to achieve or pursue something else.

The systematic exploitation of one societal group by another for its own benefit. The phenomenon involves institutional control, ideological domination, and the imposition of the dominant group’s culture on the oppressed.

optional preferential voting
Preferential voting where one has the option to choose to mark off only the number of preferences as one wishes.

oral argument
An opportunity for lawyers to summarize their position before the court and also to answer the judges' questions.

ordinary vote
As compared with a postal vote, a vote cast at a polling place in the elector's home division on polling day.

The setting apart of some members by a church for ministerial or priestly leadership

Specialized organs within cells.

organic compounds
Substances that contain Carbon.

orphan product
In medicine, a test, device, drug, etc., which may be useful for certain rare diseases or disorders but is not financially viable, so is therefore not developed for commercial use.

This is usually assessed in reference to affirming a series of beliefs representing "traditional" religious views, such as stances on sacred texts or belief in miracles

out-of-pocket costs
Health care expenses paid by you because they are not paid by an insurer or HMO.

Exposing someone’s lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identity to others without their permission. Outing someone can have serious repercussions on employment, economic stability, personal safety or religious or family situations.

The total amount of money which has to be spent to acquire an asset or start a project, including costs, taxes, delivery charges, etc.

A patient who goes to a health care facility for services and leaves without staying overnight

An arrangement in which a company produces goods or provides services for another company, usually in the same country.

expansion or development of land to the point of damage.

A company's surplus, such as money or goods, which is available but exceeds the amount needed or required.

Refers to the amount of money that is owed to a bank because withdrawals from an account exceed deposits. An arrangement in which a bank extends credit to a customer, usually up to a maximum amount.

An isotope of oxygen that blocks ultra-violet radiation.  Normally found in the stratosphere.

ozone hole
a hole or gap in the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere

An informal practice occurring in Parliamentary systems (where voting cannot be by proxy) where a member of one party will agree not to vote on a specific bill if an opposing member would prefer not to be present. The understanding is that the favor may be reciprocated at a later date.

Palm Sunday
The first day of Holy Week that commemorates Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. 

palm tree justice
Expedient justice applied in good faith but absent of the rule of law: paying little or no attention to existing law, precedent or fundamental principles. Reminiscent of primitive societies where justice was received by the wise old man sitting under the palm tree.

The act or offense of recruiting a prostitute, finding a place of business for a prostitute, or soliciting customers for a prostitute. The act or offense of selling or distributing textual or visual material openly advertised to appeal to the recipient’s sexual interest.

1. In appellate cases, a group of judges (usually three) assigned to decide the case; 2. In the jury selection process, the group of potential jurors; 3. The list of attorneys who are both available and qualified to serve as court-appointed counsel for criminal defendants who cannot afford their own counsel.

The belief that all of reality is divine. It can be cosmic in the sense that God is equated with nature, or acosmic in the sense that experience is illusory and only the divine is real

paper mills 
mills (factories) that produce paper from wood pulp.

An office worker who has a boring job dealing with paperwork all day.

parachute in
The central office of a political party appointing the candidate for a certain electorate at the next election, rather than the usual practice of being appointed by the local branch.

paradigm shift 
Term first used by Thomas Kuhn in 1962 to describe when an important or significant change occurs in the perception of things. A sudden change in point of view.

a statement or sentiment that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense, and yet is perhaps true in fact, or a statement that is actually self-contradictory (and therefore false) even though it appears true.

A legal assistant who is not a qualified lawyer, but who is trained to work in or with the law.

parent company
A company or organization which owns more than 50% of the voting shares in another company, therefore the Parent Company controls management and operations in the other (subsidiary) company.

Another name for a congregation found predominantly in Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican churches 

parliamentary government
A system of government where ultimate authority is vested in the legislative body. The cabinet, including the chief executive, is from, appointed by and responsible to, the legislature (the Parliament). Alternative to what is known as a presidential system, where both the legislature and executive are independently appointed by the voters.

parliamentary privilege
The privilege while (physically) in Parliament that allows an MP to say anything without fear of prosecution for slander. Also Parliament itself has the privilege to summon, cross-examine, judge and punish entities that have deemed to offend against it. In Italy P.P. grants an MP immunity from arrest for criminal charges.

parochial schools
Parish-supported Catholic, usually elementary, schools

The release of a prison inmate – granted by the U.S. Parole Commission – after the inmate has completed part of his or her sentence in a federal prison. 

participant observation 
physically and emotionally participating in the social interaction of another society on a daily basis in order to learn about its culture.  In practice this usually requires living within the community as a member, learning their language, establishing close friendship ties, eating what they eat, and taking part in normal family activities.  By becoming an active participant rather than simply an observer, ethnographers reduce the cultural distance between themselves and the host society.  

participating performance share
A type of share/stock which gives a company's shareholder the right to receive dividends and also extra payments relating to the company's profits.

participating providers
Health care providers who are under contract with an insurer or HMO.

participation rate
The share of the potential workforce (15-65, not institutionalized), working or seeking work.

of or relating to minute discrete particles; a particulate substance.

A business which is owned by two or more people, all sharing the profits and responsibility for managing the business.

party line voting
Despite the fact that MPs in Parliament ‘represent’ the residents of their specific electorates, at voting time they will almost always vote (unless an independent) strictly according to their party’s call, i.e. as directed by their leader rather than according to the wishes of their own constituents.

party list voting
Above the line only proportional representation voting. Voters do not cast preferences but the candidates/parties themselves choose (before the election) the list of preferred other candidates to which their unused votes will go.

A computer language which is used to write programs, also used in teaching programming.

The condition of being inactive or submissive.

A seven-day Jewish holiday commemorating the story in Exodus where God saved the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt

Ordained leader of a congregation. In Catholicism, the term can also mean the head priest of a parish

An official document which grants an inventor or manufacturer sole rights to an invention or product.

patent pending
A phrase sometimes printed on goods to show that a patent has been applied for but not yet granted.

paternity leave
The right of employees, male or female, to take time off from their job following the birth of their partner's baby. Entitlement to Paternity Leave depends on how long they have been with their employer.

paternity pay
An employee benefit paid to partners of pregnant women so they can take time off from their job after the birth of the baby to give support to the mother. Entitlement to Paternity Pay depends on how long the partner has been with their employer.

1) The head bishop of an Eastern Orthodox Church. 2) A historical title for the bishops in the ancient cities of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, and Jerusalem. 3) A term for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Hebrew Bible

A person who purchases goods or services, often on a regular basis, from a shop or company. A benefactor or sponsor who supports and/or gives money to an individual or an organization, such as a charity.

A money lender who lends cash at a high rate of interest in exchange for the borrower's personal possessions, such as jewelry, as security, which is returned when the loan is fully paid. If the loan is not repaid the Pawnbroker sells the item.

pay equity
A remedy for addressing pay discrimination that depresses wages paid to jobs traditionally held by women and/or people of color. Pay equity requires employers to provide equal pay for work of equal value, as measured by the skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions needed to perform the jobs.

pecking order
The hierarchy in businesses, organizations, etc., i.e., the order of people at different ranks. 

Relating to, or involving money

Also abbreviated to P2P, this describes computer systems which act as servers and are connected to each other via the internet, allowing people to share files, so there is no need for a central computer, or traditional authority/body/agent.

penny share 
Describes shares which have a very low value and therefore appeal to speculators.

A private or government fund from which regular payments are made to a person who has retired from work, or who is considered too ill to carry on working.

pension fund
A fund set up to collect money on a regular basis from employers and employees, which pays the employee's pension when they retire from work

The annual Christian celebration commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus as recorded in the biblical book of Acts. The term derives from Greek, literally meaning "50 days," traditionally the time between the Passover feast and the wheat harvest. 

People's Temple
A controversial religious movement that was founded by Jim Jones in the 1960s. The congregation was known for its racial diversity, emphasizing anti-racial themes along with socialist ideals. 

per capita
For each person in the population. Per head. An expression of something (for example car ownership, consumption, etc) in relation to the population of a particular city, nation, etc.

per diem
Latin for 'Per Day'. Often refers to money paid to employees for daily expenses or reimbursements

percentile ranks
One way to compare a given child, class, school, or district to a national norm. Students in the first percentile are outranked by everyone who took the test. Students in the 99th percentile outrank everyone. Students at the 50th percentile are exactly in the middle. Percentiles are ranks, not scores. 

Term to denote political, bureaucratic or economic restructuring first coined by Mikhail Gorbachev with regards to the former Soviet Union.

The act or an instance of a person’s deliberately making material false or misleading statements while under oath.

Violation of the rights of an individual or group by another individual or group. The most common forms are ethnic, racial, and religious persecution. These types of persecution overlap to some degree, as religion is commonly an aspect of culture and ethnic identities are often intertwined with racial identities. The most common persecution scenario is a majority group mistreating a minority group.

personal liability
An individual's legal responsibility in the event of injury to someone, damage to property and/or the debts of their own company.

The people who work for a business or organization. An administrative department in an organization which deals with employees and often liaises between departments.

chemical agents used to destroy pests.

The document that initiates the filing of a bankruptcy proceeding, setting forth basic information regarding the debtor, including name, address, chapter under which the case is filed, and estimated amount of assets and liabilities.

petty cash
A small amount of cash kept by a business to pay for small purchases.

Holding up a debate by quibbling or fussing over trivial, irrelevant matters.

pH Scale
The strength of acids and bases.  Pure water has a pH value of 7, acids have a lower value and bases higher.

Relating to or engaged in the process of making and selling medicinal drugs.

Promotion of the welfare of others, typically through financial provision (a philanthropist is one who does this). From the Greek philanthropos, meaning man-loving.

The branch of knowledge which deals with the study of the history of language and literature. Historical linguistics.

A type of fraud carried out on the internet by sending people legitimate-looking e-mails asking for their personal information, such as bank account details, passwords, etc., and using them to steal their money.

photo op
A photo op (opportunity) is a situation where a politician accepts an invitation to, or arranges an event, or pseudo-event, where the setting and circumstances are such that they will attract the media and thus give him/her exposure.

Fundamental quantum particles.  It is the interaction of photons with other particles that drives the universe.

The conversion of water and carbon-dioxide by plants into glucose and oxygen.  Light is used as an energy source.

physical anthropology
the study of the non-cultural, or biological, aspects of humans and near humans.  Physical anthropologists are usually involved in one of three different kinds of research: 1) non-human primate studies (usually in the wild), 2) recovering the fossil record of human evolution, and 3) studying human biological diversity, inheritance patterns, and non-cultural means of adapting to environmental stresses.  Physical anthropology is also referred to as biological anthropology.

pink slip 
an official notice of job termination given to an employee.

The unauthorized copying of CDs, DVDs, computer programs, etc., in order to sell them or give them away

A person or business that files a formal complaint with the court.

The political agenda of a candidate or party.

plausible deniability
The position a member of the executive or some person in charge of an organization attempts to maintain, by keeping a distance from the control of certain operations or practices such that, if an operation ‘goes south’ and attracts unfavorable publicity, there is no evidence linking him or her to the chain of command.

In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges. See also nolo contendere.

plebeian / patrician
The two citizen classes of ancient Rome. The allegedly course and crude, ordinary Plebeians and the wealthy, educated and aristocratic ‘born to rule’ Patricians. Both terms used today in a derogatory manner. US President G.H.W. Bush was often described as patrician due to his being born into a wealthy political family, treating political life as a duty rather than as an opportunity for reformist zeal, and allegedly not being in touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans.

A public vote to gauge public opinion on an issue (such as conscription) which does not affect the constitution nor is otherwise legally binding.   

plenary/plenary session
Plenary essentially means full or complete. In the context of formal organized gatherings it means fully attended by everyone together. The term 'plenary session' is very commonly used in business and management to refer to a session which all attendees attend at a conferences or other event, notably to differentiate from smaller sessions of sub-groups concerned with different topics and held in different locations/rooms.

The existence or toleration of diverse religious groups in a society. 

Government controlled by or greatly influenced by, the wealthy.

a heavy, radioactive, man-made, metallic element (atomic number 94) used in the production of nuclear energy and the explosion of nuclear weapons; its most important isotope is fissile plutonium-239, produced by neutron irradiation of uranium-238

poison the well
When made aware of a new topic/program your opponent is about to discuss, to get in early and do your best to publicly criticize or deride the issue so as to ‘poison’ the public against having an open mind to your opponent’s suggestion.

political correctness/pc/non-pc 
commonly abbreviated to pc or PC, and more usually in the negative form 'non-pc'. 'Political correctness' is the practice of not using words, expressions, actions, etc., which could cause offence to (especially) minority groups, or in fact to any group which might reasonably be offended by the words or actions concerned.

One interested or engaged in politics.

Form or process of civil government; organized society; the state.

A research survey as well as another word for an election.

poll tax
A fee imposed by a state or local government as a condition of voting, historically used as a way to prevent African Americans from voting.

polling place/booth
Numerous centers set up in each division to take the votes of the local people.

the marriage of one woman to several men at the same time.  This is a rare type of polygamy.  It usually takes the form of "fraternal polyandry", which is brothers sharing the same wife.

the generic term for marriage to more than one spouse at the same time.  It occurs as polygyny or, more rarely, polyandry.

the marriage of one man to several women at the same time.  This is the most common form of polygamy.  It often takes the form of "sororal polygyny", which is two or more sisters married to the same man.

Long chain molecules such as PVC, nylon or DNA produced by the polymerisation of monomers.

The belief in many gods

Ponzi Scheme 
Named after Charles Ponzi, a fraudulent investment scheme, similar to a Pyramid Scheme, in which people are offered high returns, while their money is used to pay earlier investors, so that later investors often end up with little or no return because new investors can't be found.

On a computer screen, a small window containing an advertisement, etc., which appears on a page on top of the content which is being viewed.

The appointed leader of the Roman Catholic Church

The common people.

Political campaigning orientated towards true democracy (voting for specific benefits, liberties, law and order programs, etc.)  rather than representative democracy where one votes for a team of alleged responsible candidates who will, at a measured pace and after due deliberation, institute a program under some general theme (even if specific legislation is mentioned). Populists will promise their agenda despite whatever institutional obstructions may exist, while non-populists will take a more conservative approach respecting the judiciary, the constitution, the bureaucracy and the examples of international approaches to the same issues.

populist democracy
Ultimate democracy not restricted by a constitution or any other reviewing authority to the passage of legislation or executive orders. The alternative to liberal democracy.

pork barrel spending
Politicians arranging big spending government contracts in their own electorates so as to enhance their reputation with their constituents. More prevalent in governments with SMV electoral systems.

port of entry
A place in a country where people and/or goods can officially leave or enter.

On the Internet, a website, usually a search engine, which is the point of entry to other websites, and offers services such as e-mail, news, shopping, etc.

A collection of investments, such as shares, bonds, etc., which are owned by an individual or organization.

A word formed from parts of two separate words, whose combined meanings generally produce the new meaning also

Term used to describe the way a company, product, service, etc., is marketed in order to make it stand out from the competition by choosing a niche according to brand, price, packaging, etc.

positivist / naturalist law
Two opposing branches of legal philosophy, either of which judges use to aid decision making. Naturalist law theory is that law is the ageless law of nature, deduced by the reasoning process of the interpreter or the teachings of God, and should be followed even where it may conflict with duly constituted legislation. Positivist law theory is simply following the democratically instituted law of the land no matter how rational and just it may, or may not, appear to be. 

potential energy
Amount of usable energy within a body at rest.

Condition of being unable to achieve an adequate standard of living. Today, standards of living vary greatly among and within nations. Nonetheless, the effects of poverty remain constant: hunger, homelessness, lack of education, and lack of resources to fulfill basic human needs. For example, one of the main causes of hunger is poverty. Most people who are starving do not have the means to obtain the food that they need.

poverty line
Technically the minimal income one needs to cover the basic necessities of a healthy life: fuel, food, clothing, shelter and basic household and personal items. However some economists and other commentators tend to use the term to describe a different concept, Relative Poverty, whereby the line is set as a percentage of the country’s median income (the OECD and the European Union use 60%), immaterial of how much it would fluctuate with the nation’s GDP.

Amount of work done per second

Pay-Per-Click (also called CPC, Cost-Per-Click) - A method of internet/website/electronic advertising by which an advertiser pays according to the number of visitors/users who click on an ad

A non-ideological approach to political issues where “the merits of the particular case” may take a higher than normal precedence.

State owned and controlled newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1921 and 1991. Russian for ‘truth’.  Derogatory term for media organs such as TV or newspapers which are owned by, or to some degree supported by, government.

pre-poll votes
Voting prior to election day by post or attending a special AEC office. Permitted when the voter would be absent on election day.

A court decision in an earlier case with facts and legal issues similar to a dispute currently before a court. Judges will generally "follow precedent" - meaning that they use the principles established in earlier cases to decide new cases that have similar facts and raise similar legal issues. A judge will disregard precedent if a party can show that the earlier case was wrongly decided, or that it differed in some significant way from the current case.

Voting Rights Act provisions that require certain jurisdictions (with a history of discriminating against minority voters) to receive advance federal approval for any changes in voting practices or procedures.

predatory lending
Lending practices that exploit vulnerable borrowers, such as minorities, women, and the elderly. Such practices may include persuading borrowers that debt consolidation or mortgage refinancing is advantageous when it actually means lengthening the mortgage's term and diminishing the amount of the borrower's equity. They may also include charging exorbitant interest rates and fees, or making loans to borrowers that are almost inevitably headed for foreclosure.

The belief that every human being, before birth, was predestined by God to either heaven or hell

that which is affirmed or denied concerning the subject of a proposition (i.e. how we describe the subject of a proposition). The predicate is one of the two main constituents of a sentence (the other being the subject), containing the verb and its complements.

An adj. used to describe some action designed to forestall or deter an anticipated negative outcome. A preemptive military strike, for instance, is one taken before the other party has taken military action, based on the belief that the other party would otherwise strike.

preexisting condition
A health condition that has been diagnosed or treated within the six months before applying for insurance.

preferential voting
Also known as Choice Voting, the Alternative Vote or Instant Runoff Voting. Voters do not simply tick off one candidate/party but vote for a number in order of their preference with the intention that at the least, one choice will be elected. In Australia the term is sometimes curiously used as a synonym for single member voting.

Preferred provider organization (PPO)
A network of medical providers that contracts with an insurer to provide services at pre-negotiated fees. PPOs are associated with insurance companies.

An attitude, opinion, or feeling formed without adequate prior knowledge, thought, or reason. Prejudice can be prejudgment for or against any individual, group, or object. Any individual or group can hold prejudice(s) towards another individual, group, or object.

one of the propositions in a deductive argument. Essentially, it is a claim that is a reason for, or objection against, some other claim.

The amount that you and/or your employer pay for health insurance, usually paid in installments.

premium income
The revenue received by an insurance company from its customers.

Presbyterian-Reformed Family
The Protestant tradition based on the teachings of reformer John Calvin

presidential system
As opposed to parliamentary government, a constitutional framework where the executive is directly appointed by and responsible to, the people. e.g., France, South Korea, Philippines & USA.

preventive care
Health care that focuses on healthy behavior and providing services that help prevent health problems. This includes health education, immunizations, early disease detection, health evaluations and follow-up care.

price fixing
The, often illegal, practice of prices being fixed, by agreement, by competing companies who provide the same goods or services as each other.

An ordained person who performs religious duties in the Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox churches, as well as in world religions such as Hinduism

primary care
Health services usually provided by physicians or other practitioners in general practice or in fields such as family practice, obstetrics, pediatrics, and internal medicine.

primary data
Data which is collected by a company, business, etc., itself for its own use, using questionnaires, case studies, interviews, etc., rather than using other sources to collect the data.

primary election
Mostly occurring in America, an election where the successful candidate wins no actual office but merely becomes eligible to contest the upcoming official election representing a particular party.

primary vote
The number of first choice votes that a candidate receives in Preferential voting systems.

prime cost
In manufacturing, etc., the cost of direct materials and labor required to make a product.

Term to denote the son of an hereditary monarch but also that of a non-hereditary ruler in his or her own right. Developed from the Latin “princeps” for chief, or most distinguished ruler. Machiavelli’s seminal treatise on political philosophy and how to acquire and maintain power was titled “The Prince”.

In finance, principal (the principal, or the principal sum/amount) refers to an amount of money loaned or borrowed. The term is used particularly when differentiating or clarifying an amount of money (loaned/borrowed/invested) excluding interest payments. Separately, more generally, in business the term 'the principal' refers to the owner of a business or brand, as distinct from an agent or representative, such as a franchisee.

private company/private corporation
A company whose shares are not offered to the general public on the open market.

private member’s bill
Proposed legislation introduced not by the government or opposition but by just an individual MP.

private sector
The part of a country's economy which is owned and run for profit by private businesses rather than being government controlled.

To change or sell a government controlled business or industry to privately owned companies.

pro bono
Short for Pro Bono Publico (Latin for 'The Public Good'). Work carried out in the public interest for no fee or compensation, e.g. by a lawyer.

pro rata 
In proportion to. Refers to the division of costs, profits, income, etc., depending on the size of each person's share in the whole amount.

pro tem
Abbreviation of the Latin pro tempore, meaning “for the time being”. The phrase to describe a person who temporarily takes the role of an absent superior. Eg. “She is mayor pro tem until the elected mayor returns.”

probability sample
a sample of people that is carefully chosen so that it will be representative of the entire community or population.  Choosing who will be in the sample can be difficult, especially at the beginning of anethnographic research project when the first contacts are made and the composition of the society and its culture are still poorly understood.  Depending on the nature of the society and the research questions, one of three different kinds of probability samples may be employed.  They are random sample, stratified sample, and judgment sample.  

Sentencing option in the federal courts. With probation, instead of sending an individual to prison, the court releases the person to the community and orders him or her to complete a period of supervision monitored by a U.S. probation officer and to abide by certain conditions.

probation officer
Officers of the probation office of a court. Probation officer duties include conducting presentence investigations, preparing presentence reports on convicted defendants, and supervising released defendants.

Complete integrity. Having strong moral principles and total honesty.

product liability
Area of the law in which a manufacturer or retailer is legally responsible for any damage or injury caused by a defective product.

product placement
Also called Embedded Marketing. A type of advertising where a company pays a fee to have one or more of its products used as props in a film or television show.

The rate at which goods are produced based on how long it takes, how many workers are required, how much capital and equipment is needed, etc.

The substances produced in a chemical reaction

professional liability
The legal liability of a professional, such as a doctor, accountant, lawyer, etc., who causes loss, harm or injury to their clients while performing their professional duties.

profit sharing
An incentive scheme in which a business shares some of its profit, usually in cash or shares, with its employees.

progressive / flat /regressive tax
Progressive income tax, as espoused in ‘plank’ 2 of Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto, is a graduated tax where the rate increases as the income of the tax payer gets higher. Flat tax is where all tax payers pay the same rate of their income to the state, (eg. 15%). Regressive taxation is where the rate decreases as the income of the payer increases. In all three situations high earners pay more actual tax than low earners, but when progressive tax is utilized what manifests is more effort and resources spent on creating (and combating) tax avoidance schemes.

Preventing or discouraging something, for example people are discouraged from buying a product because the price is prohibitive, i.e., too high.

Term used in Marxist ideology to describe the working class who don’t own property and whose only value is their labor.

The use of marketing and/or advertising to bring attention to a product, brand, service, company, etc., usually in order to increase sales. The raising of an employee to a higher rank in an organization.

Politically motivated publication or writing designed to influence thinking or action, usually in a misleading way. When carried out by a government or other authority this may also be referred to in more modern terms as 'spin'. 

property right
The right to use, control, benefit and exclude others from any tangible or intangible object.

A mode of communication between the divine and specific humans, known as prophets. Prophecy can be understood as a dialogue, not just a one-way message from God. 

The intermediary between the divine and the human audience, communicating with god/gods on behalf of other humans.

proportional representation
A voting system where the whole state is just one electorate and parties win seats in proportion to the total votes they receive in an election. Hybrid systems often exist where the state is divided up into a number of multi-member electorates whereby seats won are approximately proportional to the votes cast.

the content or meaning of an assertion or declarative sentence, which is capable of being either true or false.

To temporarily bring parliament to an end (such as for a summer break) as compared with a dissolution which occurs before an election.

To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government

The practice of seeking to convert people from other religions or no religion to another faith

A document published by a company which is offering its shares for sale, disclosing information such as the company's activities, objectives, finances, etc. A book published by a university or school containing information about courses, etc.

Protecting your economy from the international economy by imposing various restrictions on the flow of imports or exports of goods or services into or out of your country

Amino acid polymers with specific biological functions, especially the growth, regeneration and repair of cells.

A branch of Christianity dating back to the Reformation of the 15th century, when Reformers, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, first sought to reform the Catholic Church but increasingly left to start their own churches.

In computing, a set of rules which determine the way data is transmitted between computers. The code of conduct in an organization, etc.

Positively charged particles forming part of atomic nuclei. 

An original design or working model of something, often used in demonstrations.

The origins and history/development/movement of a created work (originally referring to art work, but now extending to any created work, such as writings, computer programs, etc) such as to provide record and evidence of the creator, reliability, ownership, adaptation, etc., of the work, thereby demonstrating or supporting the work's authenticity and quality. 

A person or an institution that provides health care services.

provisional vote
Votes cast at an election in circumstances where a voter's name cannot be found on the roll or has already been marked off the roll. They are not counted until a careful check of enrollment records has been made.

A clause in a contract which makes a condition or stipulation.

A person who has been given the authority to act for another person, e.g., a proxy can vote on behalf of a shareholder.

Aside from its usual general meaning of carefulness in judgment and decision-making, prudence particularly refers to caution in commercial/financial/economic risk-taking, and to the typically great caution exercised by financial folk (accountants and bankers notably) in planning, budgeting, forecasting, granting loans, extending credit, defining standards and policies, and accounting practice as a whole, etc.

Greek for voting with pebbles. The statistical and / or predictive study of elections.

Pronounced 'sudo', this is a prefix which can be put before many different words to represent a fake or false quality which often attempts to imitate or behave as the real thing.

a false name, commonly adopted by a writer seeking to hide their true identity.

public choice theory
The study of politics from an economic perspective. Rather than assuming politicians, civil servants and voters are all motivated by what should be done, the analysis of how all three very often take self-interest into account when making decisions.

public company
A company whose shares are traded on the Stock Market.

public domain 
Something that is not protected by copyright and is openly available for anyone to use, look at, etc.

public relations
PR. The promotion of an organization or person with the aim of creating a favorable relationship with the public.

public works
Buildings and structures constructed by the government for public use, such as roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, etc.

A publicity or press agent who publicizes organizations, people, etc.

raw material made from trees used in producing paper products.

pump and dump 
The illegal practice of artificially boosting share prices by false and misleading statements in order to sell the originally cheap shares at much higher prices.

A commentator with knowledge of contemporary politics. Hindi for “learned one”.

Inflicting or concerned with punishment, for example punitive taxes, punitive justice.

punitive damages
Damages awarded, over and above general damages, by a court of law against a defendant who has committed a malicious act which has resulted in injury to a person or damage to property, in order to deter the defendant from committing similar acts in future.

puppy mills
Large-scale dog-breeding operations notorious for their substandard care and cruelties, including overbreeding, overcrowding, lack of veterinary care, and inadequate food and shelter. Puppy mills sell through pet stores, Web sites, and advertisements.

The place, state or condition of departed Christian souls in which they undergo purifying suffering before entering heaven

A Jewish holiday commemorating the events in the book of Esther, where Queen Esther saved the Jews of the Persian Empire from the designs of the villainous Haman. On this day, the scroll of Esther is read publicly in Jewish synagogues.

A company or person who supplies provisions, especially food.

pyramid scheme
Illegal in several countries, a scheme in which people are paid for recruiting others who pay a fee, part of which goes to the person who recruited them as a commission. In order to get their payment, the recruits then have to find new recruits to pay a fee. This goes on until there is no one left to recruit and the people who come into the scheme last end up losing their money. 

quadratic voting
A theory created by an economics academic Glen Weyl, and yet to be put into practice, whereby for referenda or plebiscites, those wishing to vote must not only pay the state for the privilege but have the option to pay a higher amount for multiple votes, thus accommodating a greater input for those with a greater stake in the issue at hand. To prevent simple vote buying, the cost of each extra vote is not linear, but quadratic. For example, if the cost of one vote was set at a dollar then two votes would cost the square of two, four dollars; three votes, nine dollars; four votes 16 dollars, etc.  Not so much a counter to the tyranny of the majority but a counter to the tyranny of the indifferent majority.

Quakers (Friends)
A seventeenth century Christian movement that originally arose in England, led by George Fox.

Associated with a thing's quality which cannot be measured, such as feel, image, taste, etc. Describes people's qualities which cannot be measured, such as knowledge, behavior, attitude, etc.

quality assurance
QA. A system in which the delivery of a service or the quality of a product is maintained to a high standard, especially by means of attention to every stage of the process.

Quasi Autonomous Non-Government Organization. A body financed by government but not under its direct control.

Related to or measured in numbers. Comparison based on quantity rather than quality.

quantum theory
The theory that energy can only be absorbed or radiated in discrete values or quanta.  All particles are subject to quantum theory.

Fundamental particles, incapable of independent existence, that combine to form particles such as protons and neutrons.

Question Time
One of the tenets of Responsible Government whereby, for a set period of time each sitting day in parliament, government ministers must be answerable to any MP’s questions, even though in practice there is nothing to prevent answers from being evasive.  

A term used to describe people who are in the process of exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The minimum number of people who must attend a meeting in order for valid business to be conducted.

In proportional representation systems, the percentage or actual number of votes a candidate needs to win one of the seats available. For Australian half-Senate elections it is approximately 14.3%

quota preferential
Preferential voting used in conjunction with proportional representation.

Quran (Qur'an)
See Koran

Research and Development. Investigative work carried out by a business to improve and develop products and processes.

The ordained leader of a synagogue in Judaism.

racial profiling
Refers to law enforcement strategies and practices that single out minorities as objects of suspicion solely on the basis of the color of their skin or accent.

An ideology of racial superiority and hierarchy based on discrimination.

A person who makes money through illegal business or crime, such as extortion, bribery, fraud, etc.

1.  Transfer of heat between bodies without a change in the temperature of the intervening medium.  2.  Any release of energy from its source.

radioactive waste 
the byproduct of nuclear reactions that gives off (usually harmful) radiation.

the spontaneous emission of matter or energy from the nucleus of an unstable atom (the emitted matter or energy is usually in the form of alpha or beta particles, gamma rays, or neutrons).

a cancer-causing radioactive gas found in many communities' ground water.

a large, dense forest in a hot, humid region (tropical or subtropical). Rainforests have an abundance of diverse plant and animal life, much of which is still uncatalogued by the scientific community.

An employee, often an executive, who brings a lot of business and income to a company.

The Islamic month of daytime fasting, and one of the Five Pillars of Islam. 

random sample 
a probability sample in which people are selected on a totally random, unbiased basis.  This can be accomplished by assigning a number to everyone in a community and then letting a computer or hand calculator generate a series of random numbers.  If a 10% sample is needed, then the first 10% of the random numbers will indicate who will be the focus of the research.  This sampling approach is reasonable for ethnographic research only when there does not seem to be much difference between the people in the population.  Since this is rarely the case, random sampling is not often used for ethnographic research.

rank and file
The ordinary members of a group, such as enlisted troops in an army, or members of a union, who have no power.

The renewal or establishment of friendly relations between states which were previously hostile towards each other.

The belief that Christians will be brought up to heaven and escape a time of tribulation and testing before the return of Christ 

rate of return
The amount of profit or loss generated by an investment, expressed as a percentage of the total sum invested.

To sanction formally. Validate an agreement with a vote or signature.

rating agency
A company which assesses and rates businesses on their credit-worthiness and/or their ability to repay debts.

The substances that take part in a chemical reaction.

real time
In computing, systems which receive information and update it at the same time.

The politics of realism. Rather than from principle, a self-interested approach to politics either from the standpoint of one’s party or, in international affairs, from one’s country.

The redrawing of legislative district lines following a census. The Constitution requires federal House of Representative districts to be redrawn following each decennial census with the aim of ensuring equitable representation based on shifts of population.

Change the name, packaging, etc., of an existing product or business and advertise it as new and improved.

Electoral procedure practiced in Canada and many American states whereby an elected official, including the chief executive, can be recalled from office by the voters if there are sufficient signatures on a petition.

Shown as assets on a balance sheet, money which is owed to a company by customers who have purchased goods or services on credit

A country’s economic status achieved following two consecutive quarters of a drop in real GNP.

Loosely meaning 'in return', based on the stricter mathematical sense of the word, found in financial and scientific theories, where reciprocal refers to the number or fraction which when multiplied by a specified other number or fraction will produce the number one.

Based on the notion of mutuality or return in the term 'reciprocal', reciprocity means give-and-take, such as to achieve a mutually agreeable balance.

reckless homicide
The unlawful killing of another person with conscious indifference toward that person’s life.

The period following the end of the Civil War until the 1870s, during which the former Confederate states were controlled by the federal government, often with a military presence. During this time, policies implemented in the Southern states expanded opportunities for African Americans, only to be abandoned following Reconstruction and replaced by Jim Crow laws imposing racial segregation.

To seek employees for a business or organization. To enlist military personnel.

system of collecting, sorting, and reprocessing old material into usable raw materials.

In SMV systems the periodical redrawing of electoral boundaries to ensure each electorate conforms to the prerequisites of the electoral laws, such as having equal numbers of voters for that State or Territory.

Marketing practices whereby certain lenders refuse to make loans in certain neighborhoods based on their racial and/or ethnic make-up.

act of purchasing or consuming less to begin with, so as not to have to reuse or recycle later.

A situation in which an employer intends to cease business, so therefore the workforce lose their jobs, or an employee is made redundant because their job no longer exists in the company they work for. Employees in these situations often qualify for redundancy pay.

A public vote with possibly legally binding consequences.

A written recommendation that you seek care from a specified health provider or practitioner for specified services.

The deflection of a wave as it passes from one medium to another, eg through a lens.

cooling substances, many of which contain CFCs and are harmful to the earth's ozone layer.

registered company
In the US, a company which has filed an SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) registration, and may issue new shares.

registered trademark
A distinctive symbol, name, etc., on a product or company, which is registered and protected by law so it cannot legally be used by anyone else.

A person in a company or organization who is in charge of official records

The belief that souls take up new bodies as part of an ongoing cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth 

The practice of sharing insurance risk among several insurance companies, in case of major disasters such as floods, hurricanes, etc.

The relative values of time, motion, mass and energy of a body in motion. 

Religion consists of very general explanations of existence, including the terms of exchange with a god or gods

Send back.

To pay a person for services rendered, goods, losses incurred, etc.

renewable energy
energy resources such as windpower or solar energy that can keep producing indefinitely without being depleted.

rent seeker
Term created by American economist Anne Krueger. Someone who attempts to make an income by manipulating the social or political or economic environment to his advantage, in the form of political lobbying, rather than actually creating goods or services himself. The “rent” coming to him is usually from government enforced monopoly privileges, or government grants paid for “services” which the free market might not otherwise see as of any value.

The sending back of someone to his country of origin such as an illegal immigrant or prisoner of war.

To take back property, goods, etc., usually from an individual or organization who has failed to repay a loan or has defaulted on a repayment plan.

representative democracy
In modern times what is commonly known as a democracy, even though the people do not directly vote on actual issues and laws but surrender that right to their duly elected representatives.

Defined by some sources as simply a democracy, but otherwise loosely described as a form of government where, in word or deed, rule is constrained by institutional frameworks and is not by the selected few. Not an oligarchy but not necessarily a democracy. The Roman Republic was the original precedent for republicanism. Apartheid South Africa, by this definition, was a republic.

Refusal to perform a contractual duty or repay a debt.

An official written request or demand for something.

To make void or cancel, for example a law or contract.

an artificial lake created and used for the storage of waste

Opposition to current flow in a conductor.

A state where the natural frequency of a body equals an applied frequency.

resource allocation
The process of assigning available finances, materials, labor, etc., to a project.

The production of energy by the oxidization of glucose.

responsible government
When government evolved from an independent authoritative monarch in conjunction with a people’s parliament to a subservient monarch together with a prime minister and parliament, it was said that government (the executive in the form of the prime minister and cabinet) became responsible to parliament. Now taken to be synonymous with parliamentary government.

Money paid by an offender in compensation for loss, damages or injury. To give something back to its rightful owner.

The belief that the dead will rise on some day in the future for final judgment

A business or individual who sells products or services directly to the customer.

A fee paid in advance to someone, such as a lawyer, to engage their services as and when they are required.

retrospective legislation
a.k.a. ex post facto laws. Laws defining behavior upon which one can be held criminally liable or responsible in civil court or otherwise liable for payment (such as taxation), even when that behavior may have happened before the enactment of said laws. More prevalent in autocracies as it violates the traditional concept of the rule of law, although is known to sometimes happen in democracies. 

return on investment
ROI. Also known as Rate Of Return. The percentage of profit earned by an investment in a business

cleaning and/or refurbishing an old product to be used again.

reverse discrimination
A charge made by critics of affirmative action to argue such programs discriminate against white males by favoring less qualified women or minorities.

revolving credit
A type of credit agreement, e.g., a credit card, in which a person is given a specified credit limit which can be paid in full or in part, usually on a monthly basis. If the amount owing is paid in full in the first month then usually no interest is charged. When the full credit limit has been reached a payment must be made before the credit card can be used again.

An attachment which makes amendments or provisions to an original contract or official document. In the entertainment industry, a rider is a list of demands made by a performer, usually before a show, sometimes including particular foods and drinks, hotels and transport, free tickets for friends and family, etc.

American acronyms to describe people embracing faux political positions. Republican In Name Only / Liberal In Name Only.

In business, especially insurance, the amount of money a company stands to lose, or the threat of an action or event which will have an adverse effect on a business.

See Return on Investment

The list of voters eligible to vote at an election.

Royal Commission
A one-off, open inquiry into a specific issue which has raised public concern, instigated by the executive government but operated independently from it. The commissioner is often a retired judge and his given terms of reference strictly limit the bounds of the investigation.  Despite that, the commissioner has considerably powers, from the summoning of witnesses, the granting of indemnity, allowing evidence not normally allowed in a court of law such as hearsay or government classified documents, to forcing testimony even from officials of the government itself.

A fee paid for the use of another person's property, for example a copyrighted work, a patent, a franchise, etc. A payment made to a writer, composer or singer when a book, CD or performance of their work is sold. A share of the profit paid to the owner of the land which an oil or mining company is leasing.

precipitation that the ground does not absorb and that ultimately reaches rivers, lakes or oceans.

The last day of the week, considered the day of rest by Jews according to the Book of Genesis. 

A period of leave which is granted to an employee, sometimes up to a year, in order for them to study, travel, rest, etc.

A term for a sacred rite or "holy act" of great significance.

Things set apart or forbidden

safe seat
Where the electorate is filled with supporters of predominately one party and thus is considered safe by that party at election time.   a.k.a. blue ribbon seat.

safety net 
The concept that the federal government should unconditionally provide for and take care of the poor.

A category of holy person. In Christianity, it can mean at least one of the following: a holy person who is venerated in life and after death, a term to designate a member of the Christian community, or a person who is publicly venerated in the liturgy as an intercessor in heaven.

An employee's wages which are paid on a regular basis for performing their job.

sales tax 
A tax based on the cost of a product or service which must be paid by the buyer. This tax does not apply to all goods or services.

The belief that humans require deliverance due to the problem of sin

same-gender loving
A term some prefer to use instead of lesbian, gay or bisexual to express attraction to and love of people of the same gender.

A penalty or other type of enforcement used to bring about compliance with the law or with rules and regulations.

In a court of law, the practice by a lawyer of not mentioning a possible error which has occurred during a trial in the hope that it goes unnoticed and the lawyer can then use it as a basis for appeal.

A test administered by the national College Board and widely used throughout the country as a college entrance examination. 

A malevolent figure in the Abrahamic religions, which include Judaism, Christianity and Islam

The worship of Satan or the devil.

A derogatory term for an employee who refuses to join a trade union, or who continues to work during a strike at their workplace. Also describes someone who accepts work or replaces a union worker during a strike.

The ability of a computer network, software, etc., to expand and adapt to increased demands of users. A system which can work on a small or large scale according to demand.

A quantity that is defined by its magnitude only (ie energy, temperature).

German word derived from Schaden (damage, harm) and Freude (joy). Malicious pleasure derived from the misfortune and suffering of others. Typically felt by individuals with low self-esteem.

A split or division in a group into opposing factions, caused by differences of opinion.

school board
A locally elected group, usually between three and seven members, who set fiscal, personnel, instructional, and student-related policies. The number of board members relates to the size of the district. A school district governing board also provides direction for the district, hires and fires the district superintendent, and approves the budget and contracts with employee unions.

school district
A local education agency directed by an elected local board of education that exists primarily to operate public schools. 

scientific method
the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

A new religious movement, founded in 1953 by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard. Scientologists believe that suffering is caused by ingrained records of past experiences ("engrams"). 

scorched-earth policy 
A situation in which a company tries to prevent a hostile take-over by selling off its most valuable assets, thereby making the company unattractive to a potential buyer. Derives from a military strategy of 'leaving nothing for the enemy' by burning crops, buildings, etc.

A term often used to denote sacred writings of different religions

The checking and counting of ballot papers to ascertain the result of an election. Political parties are allowed representatives on such occasions.

Second Coming
The belief that Jesus will return to earth to judge the world at the end of time

second-degree murder
Murder that is not aggravated by any of the circumstances of first-degree murder.

1) A religious group that separates from a larger religious movement or tradition. 2) Sociologists also refer to sects as religious groups making high demands on their members and holding a high level of tension with the rest of society

Someone or something not identified as religious or spiritual 

secured debt
Debt backed by a mortgage, pledge of collateral, or other lien; debt for which the creditor has the right to pursue specific pledged property upon default. Examples include home mortgages, auto loans and tax liens.

Securities and Exchange Commission
SEC. In the US, a government agency which is responsible for protecting investors against fraudulent and dishonest practices in the securities market.

securities market(s) 
Exchange(s) where investments such as stocks and shares, etc., are traded. Traditionally and originally these exchanges were buildings containing traders and brokers, etc., whereas nowadays such trading is conducted virtually using modern communications and IT systems, usually online, so that markets and exchanges are virtual, i.e., existing mostly through connections between people and organizations and systems, rather than necessarily requiring a physical grouping in a building.

security deposit 
A sum a buyer pays, which is not usually refundable, to protect the seller if the buyer does not complete a transaction or if a rented item gets damaged.

The strict financial meaning of a security is a document that proves ownership of stocks, shares, bonds, etc., or other investments or financial derivatives. 

Separation or isolation of a race or class from the rest of the population. In the United States, segregation has taken two forms: de jure and de facto. De jure segregation is where a set of laws mandates separation, like those that prevailed in the South from the end of Reconstruction. De facto segregation prevailed in the North after Reconstruction and is enforced by cultural and economic patterns rather than by law, especially in housing.

Term introduced by Kurt Goldstein in 1934, describing the need to realize one's full potential, being a basic life force, and later re-interpreted and popularized by Abraham Maslow as the highest order of needs in his Hierarchy of Needs theory.

Political independence on the part of a group without control by people outside of that area.

seller's market 
A situation in which there are more buyers than sellers, often resulting in high prices.

selling cost
Costs which are incurred for the advertising and distribution of a product.

semantic infiltration
Concept first highlighted by Daniel Patrick Moynihan where political players succeed in persuading opponents to accept their terms in the discussion of specific subjects, and by extension the policies and beliefs that accompany them. For example: freedom fighters / terrorists; benefits / entitlements; illegal immigrants / asylum seekers.

A business meeting for training purposes or for discussing ideas.

An institution that educates clergy, theologians and other professionals for religious service 

separation of powers
Derived by Charles Montesquieu, a traditional concept of liberalism where, for the sake of limiting abuse of power, the three branches of government: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary remain independent. In modern times the best examples are some American states where all branches have tangible power and, because of separate elections, no branch is appointed by nor can be removed by, another branch. Less than perfect examples would be parliamentary systems: the executive directly appointed, and removed, by the legislature, and the judiciary directly appointed by the executive.

To separate. Sometimes juries are sequestered from outside influences during their deliberations.

serial bonds 
Bonds which are issued on the same date but mature over a period of time, usually at regular intervals, so the issuer can spread the repayment to the investor.

A message on a religious topic preached by clergy and other leaders of a congregation during worship.

A computer which provides services, such as e-mail, file transfers, etc., to other computers connected to the network.

Parties to a lawsuit resolve their dispute without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in at least partial satisfaction of the other party's claims, but usually do not include the admission of fault.

Seventh-day Adventist Church
An evangelical sabbatarian church founded in the mid nineteenth century. 

Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping and oppression based on sex and gender; discrimination based on sex or gender.

Sending sexually explicit messages and/or pictures by mobile phone.

sexual harassment
In the workplace, sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual or sex-based conduct - such as unwanted touching, pressure for dates, or offensive remarks - that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment and interfere with the victim's ability to perform her job. Similarly, sexual harassment in the schools includes unwelcome sexual or sex-based conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent to limit the victim's ability to benefit from an educational opportunity. Sexual harassment can also include conditioning an employment or educational opportunity on the victim's submission to requests for sexual favors.

sexual orientation
Generally defined to mean heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.

shadow cabinet
The ‘would be’ cabinet of the opposition party in Parliament.

Intermediaries who attempt to connect this realm to another realm of existence that affects humanity.

Any of the equal units into which a company's capital stock is divided and sold to investors.

share buyback
Also known as Stock Repurchase. A situation in which a listed company buys back its own shares from shareholders.

share index
A list of certain companies' share prices, which can be compared on a day to day basis, i.e. showing whether prices have risen or fallen.

Also called Stockholder. An individual, business or group who legally owns one or more share in a company.

Copyrighted computer software which is available for a free trial, after which a fee is usually charged if the user requires continued use and support.

The canon law of Islam that seeks to guide human activity. 

Shi'ite Islam
A branch of Islam that split from Sunni Islam when the fourth caliph, Ali, was assassinated in 661 CE.

The indigenous religion of Japan, also known as the "way of the gods."

A very tight, barely adequate budget.

short selling
The sale of shares, etc., which are not owned by the seller but borrowed from a broker, on the understanding that they must be bought back, hopefully at a lower than what they were sold for in order to make a profit, and returned to the broker.

Give too little change in a cash transaction, and metaphorically meaning to treat someone unfairly or dishonestly, deprive someone of something, or cheat, usually from a position of control or dominance.

A sacred place usually commemorating a holy person or a holy event. Shrines typically house relics and sometimes are constructed over tombs. The Kaaba in Mecca functions as a shrine for Muslims

Latin for 'thus; in such a manner', used when quoting a passage to show that the original spelling or grammar, typically incorrect, has been retained.

Siddhartha Gautama
Also known as Gautama Buddha, he is the founder of Buddhism.

signature loan 
Also called Unsecured Loan or Character Loan. A loan which is not backed by any security, and which only requires the borrowers signature.

Emerged in central India and the Punjab region of India in the 16th century and was founded by Guru Nanak. 

Silicon Valley 
An area south of San Francisco, California, which is noted for its computer and high-technology industries.

simple interest 
Interest which is calculated on the original amount of money deposited or borrowed, and not on any interest which may have accrued.

An act against religious law.

sin tax
A tax on certain goods or services which are considered bad for people, such as cigarettes, alcohol, etc.

single member voting (SMV)
As opposed to proportional representation, the system where only one candidate represents all the citizens of an electorate/ geographical area. Also known as Majoritarian voting when preferences are allowed on the ballot paper.

single transferable vote (STV)
A proportional representation voting system where there is no “above the line” option to vote for a party, but only for individual candidates in preferred order. Thus a party’s winning candidates may not be in the same order as on the party’s “ticket”, and their voters’ preferences may not necessarily go where the party would have liked. However due to the relative complexity of voting and vote counting, invalid ballot papers would be higher and election results would take longer to ascertain.

Something, such as a film, book, share, etc., in which there is little interest but suddenly becomes a success.

slush fund
Funds which are raised and set aside for dishonest or illegal purposes, e.g., for bribing government officials.

small claims court
court in which hearings are generally informal, without jury, for the judgment of civil claims for small amounts of money, and where parties commonly represent themselves instead of hiring a solicitor or lawyer, although legal assistance or representation is permitted.

a dense, discolored radiation fog containing large quantities of soot, ash, and gaseous pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide, responsible for human respiratory ailments. Most industrialized nations have implemented legislation to promote the use of smokeless fuel and reduce emission of toxic gases into the atmosphere.

smoke and mirrors
Term based on a magician's illusions. To cover something up by drawing attention away from it.

snail mail 
Mail which is delivered in the traditional way by postal service, rather than e-mail.

social change
Refers to progress resulting from acts of advocacy for the cause of enacting positive change in society. 

social contract
that idea people give up some rights to a government and/or other authority in forming nations in order to jointly preserve or maintain social order and security.

social engineering
The practice certain people believe in whereby it is held that it is not enough that governments create for the citizenry an environment where there is an adequate standard of living together with good health care, minimum crime and basic freedoms. Governments, it is claimed, must also engineer that the beliefs, attitudes and practices of the citizenry conform to what is decreed, at the time, to be socially, physiologically and intellectually acceptable.

social networking
On the Internet, online communities which are built for people who share interests and activities, or to make and/or contact friends and family, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. The practice of making business and/or social contacts through other people.

social responsibility
The obligation to ensure that one’s actions produce an overall positive impact on society and on the promotion and protection of human rights.

Social Security
Policies that ensure that all people have adequate economic and social protection during unemployment, ill health, maternity, child rearing, widowhood, disability and old age, by means of contributory schemes for providing for their basic needs.

A method of government in which the means of planning and producing goods and services are controlled by a central government which also seeks to collect the wealth of the nation and distribute it evenly amongst its citizens.

A term varying in meaning from state to state, but generally referring to any type of sex act regarded by a legislature as “unnatural” or “perverted” In the narrowest and most traditional sense, the term refers to anal sexual intercourse between men, but it may extend to those or other acts between men and women (sometimes exemption married couples, sometimes not), or women and women, or people and animals. Also called a crime against nature, or an unnatural act.

soft sell
A subtle, persuasive way of selling a product or service, as opposed to Hard Selling.

A general term for programs, etc., used to operate computers.

solar energy
energy derived from sunlight

soldier of fortune
A mercenary. A person, sometimes ex-military, who is hired to work for another person or country. A freelance fighter.

A union of interests, purposes, or sympathies among members of a group.

Having enough funds to pay all your debts.

An electoral system whereby candidates do not win office by popular choice but by lottery.    Popular in ancient Greece but rarely used today even though occasionally advocated by reformists.

The animating force conjoined with the body in a human being.

The possession or exercise of full control by a government over a territorial or geographical area or limit. 

The adjudicator in lower house debates and divisions (votes). An elected MP who does not vote unless there would otherwise be a tie. Always a government MP unless the government has only a bare majority in which case independents are usually chosen. Upper house equivalent is President.

special education
Programs to identify and meet the educational needs of children with emotional, learning, or physical disabilities. Federal law requires that all children with disabilities be provided a free and appropriate education according to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) from infancy until 21 years of age.

A group of organisms that are able to interbreed all belong to the same species.  It follows then that organisms that are unable to interbreed belong to separate species.

Discrimination on the basis of species; oppression and judgment of an animal on the basis of that animal's species or that animal's non-membership in a species. The belief in human superiority over other animals or certain nonhuman animals' superiority over others.

To risk investment in property, shares, etc., in the hope of making a profit when selling them.

sphere of influence
A region of political influence or dominance in international affairs. The United Sates is said to have a wide sphere of influence in global affairs. Russia is said to exert influence on the countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union.

To tell a news story in a certain way so as to turn the emphasis in a politically favorable direction.

spin doctor 
A public relations official or press/media spokesperson, in government or corporate work.

General term for minor supernatural beings, especially disembodied ghosts 

A company or individual who helps to support, usually financially, a team, an event, such as a sports meeting or concert, etc., in return for publicity or to advertise their own company or product.

spot check
A random inspection or examination, often with no warning, of a sample of goods or work performance to check for quality.

On a computer, a program used for entering, calculating and storing financial or numerical data.

A person or group, such as shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers, etc., with a vested interest in, and can affect the success of, a company or organization, or successful completion of a project, e.g

standardized test
A test that is in the same format for all takers. It often relies heavily or exclusively on multiple-choice questions. The testing conditions-including instructions, time limits, and scoring rubrics-are the same for all students, though sometimes accommodations on time limits and instructions are made for disabled students. Reporting of scores to parents, students, or schools is the same. The procedures used for creating the test and analyzing the test results are standardized.

Star of David 
A six-pointed star that is an important symbol of Judaism, similar to the importance of the symbol of the cross in Christianity. In the Middle Ages, both Jews and Christians used the Magen David as a symbol to protect against the powers of demons. 

An organized political entity that occupies a definite territory, has a permanent population, and enjoys stable government, independence and sovereignty

state of nature
The natural condition of humankind living in a primitive environment before governments developed.  Existence was a perpetual struggle for sustenance, shelter and protection from the potential harm of others, and life was, to quote English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

A person who specializes in or works with statistics.

A law passed by a legislature.

statute of limitations
The time within which a lawsuit must be filed or a criminal prosecution begun. The deadline can vary, depending on the type of civil case or the crime charged.

statutory rape
Unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under the age of consent, regardless of whether it is against that person’s will.

A shorthand typist.

The imprinted wounds on the hands and feet that resemble the wounds of Jesus Christ.

A fixed, often modest, payment, usually made on a regular basis, to someone, e.g. an apprentice, for living expenses during a training period.

An investor's share of ownership in a company which entitles them to equity in the company, dividends, voting rights, etc.

stock exchange 
An organized market place where shares in companies are traded by professional stockbrokers.

stock ticker 
A display which automatically updates and shows the current prices and volumes of traded shares on the Stock Market.

A person or company who buys and sells shares, bonds, etc., on behalf of others, in return for a fee.

Stockholm Syndrome
The effect in which hostage victims form emotional attachment or fondness towards their captors.

stratified sample
a probability sample in which people are selected because they come from distinct sub-groups within the society. This approach may be used by ethnographers if the information that is being sought is not specialized knowledge such as the esoteric activities of a secret organization with restricted membership.

the upper portion of the atmosphere (approximately 11 km to 50 km above the surface of the earth).

straw man argument
Addressing and refuting an argument your opponents didn’t actually make, even though at first glance it might appear they could make it. A human figure made of straw such as a military target dummy or scarecrow is always easily destroyed or knocked down.

Streisand Effect 
The term refers to a situation where something becomes hugely publicized as a result of attempts to keep it private, banned, censored or forbidden. 

A work stoppage caused by a disagreement between employees and management over working conditions, pay etc.

strip mining
mining technique in which the land and vegetation covering the mineral being sought are stripped away by huge machines, usually damaging the land severely and limiting subsequent uses.

To hire someone to carry out some of the work that you have been contracted to do.

a regional, social, or ethnic group that is distinguishable from other groups in a society.  Members of a subculture often share a common identity, food tradition, dialect or language, and other cultural traits that come from their common ancestral background and experience.  Subcultures are most likely to exist in complex, diverse societies, such as the U.S. and Canada, in which people have come from many different parts of the world.

subliminal advertising
An illegal form of advertising. An image which is flashed onto a screen, usually for about one second, or a message played at low volume, that can influence the person watching or listening but they are not aware of what they have seen and/or heard.

Someone who is lower in rank than another person, and is subject to the authority of a manager, etc. Less important.

The act or process by which a person's rights or claims are ranked below those of others.

A command, issued under a court's authority, to a witness to appear and give testimony.

subprime market
The portion of the loan market consisting of borrowers who do not qualify for loans from mainstream lenders due to income or a low credit rating.

The right of an insurer, who has paid out a claim to an injured party, to sue the person, company, etc., who caused the injury.

sulfur dioxide (SO2) 
a heavy, smelly gas which can be condensed into a clear liquid; used to make sulfuric acid, bleaching agents, preservatives and refrigerants; a major source of air pollution in industrial areas.

A conference of top leaders (usually heads of state) called to negotiate or discuss bilateral or multilateral arrangements.

An official document which orders a person to appear in court to answer a complaint against them.

sunk cost
A company's past expenditures which cannot be recovered, and should not be taken into account when planning future projects.

Sunni Islam
A branch of Islam that teaches that the process of interpretation of the law was closed in the 10th century

sunset clause
A provision or clause inserted in legislation to declare its expiry date. Most legislation does not contain such clauses as the intention is that laws are permanent, at least until subsequent conflicting acts.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 
Provides cash benefits to low-income elderly people and low-income people with disabilities

supply and demand 
Supply is the amount of a product or service which is available, and demand is the amount which people wish to buy. When demand is higher than supply prices usually rise, when demand is less than supply prices usually fall.

supply chain
A chain through which a product passes from raw materials to manufacturing, distribution, retailing, etc., until it reaches the end consumer.

supply side economics
The economic theory espousing the concept that when the supply side of the economy (the producers) is taxed less and subject to less regulation it creates more profit and the tax on that increased profit, even at a lower rate, is equivalent to or even surpasses the original tax. Apotheosis of SSE is the flat rate income tax.

When a state receives more from other countries than it spends

sustainable communities
communities capable of maintaining their present levels of growth without damaging effects

A place, often a clothing factory, where people work long hours in poor conditions for low wages.

How electoral results change between elections. Eg: “There has been a 15% swing towards Labor in this seat since the 2001 election”

swing voter
Voters who are not loyal to any particular party but swing from one party to another according to the circumstances of the time.

A servile person or follower, not necessarily of low rank, who tries to please a (more) powerful or influential person by using flattery, and often by informing on others

a logical argument in which one proposition (the conclusion) is inferred from two others (the premises) of a certain form.

A meeting or conference at which experts discuss a particular topic, often with audience participation

The Jewish building for public worship

Early twentieth century revolutionary political doctrine whereby the means of production is taken over in a general strike by worker’s unions who then will effectively take over government.

The working together of two or more individuals, groups, companies, etc., to produce a greater effect than working individually.

An official meeting of ministers and other members of the Christian church. 

systemic change 
Process of enacting large-scale change while moving beyond thinking about individual organizations, single problems, and single solutions. Systemic change is a cyclical process in which the impact of change on all parts of the whole and their relationships to one another are taken into consideration. For example, the term entails thinking about many types of systems, such as educational systems, information systems, policy systems, social service systems, and technology systems.

Ta′mmany Hall
19th century headquarters of the American Democratic Party which became notorious for political corruption.

tabula rasa
the idea that individual human beings are born with no innate mental content, but their knowledge is built up gradually from their experiences and sensory perceptions of the outside world (literally, "blank slate").

A word or words assigned to or associated with electronic data, usually on a website, to aid searching, finding, analysis, display, organization, etc., of the data. Used as a verb also, for example, to tag or tagging articles, content, etc., when posted onto a website.

tail docking
Among dogs, the surgical amputation of the tail, usually for cosmetic reasons. The tails of pigs are docked because the stress and boredom of their lives in confinement can lead to tail-chewing.

take-home pay
The amount of money received by an employee after deductions, such as tax, insurance, etc.

The purchase of one company by another.

Islamic militants who were trained in Pakistani refugee camps during the Russo-Afghan war

A text of commentary and traditions supplementing the Torah and other Old Testament writings.

An esoteric tradition common to both Hinduism and Buddhism

One of the three "Great Teachings of China," along with Buddhism and Confucianism

A government tax on imported and exported goods.

task force 
A group of people formed to work on a particular project or assignment.

A fee imposed by a government on personal or corporate income, products, services, etc., in order to raise revenue to pay for public services.

tax allowance 
The amount of income that can be earned or received in one year before tax has to be paid.

tax bracket
Based on income levels, the higher the income the higher the tax bracket, therefore people earning more money have to pay a higher rate of tax on the part of their income which is below the lower tax bracket allowance.

tax evasion
Illegally avoiding paying tax, usually by making a false declaration of income.

Tea Party
A grass roots American political movement (not a political party) advocating adherence to the Constitution as well as reining in alleged excessive taxing and spending by the government. Term derived by advocates sending tea bags (symbolizing the Boston Tea Party) to congresspersons who had a reputation for supporting large spending bills.

Communicating over long distances by telephone, e-mail, etc.

A conference involving two or more people at different locations, using telecommunications equipment, such as computers, video, telephone, etc.

The selling of goods or services by contacting potential customers by telephone.

the belief that events occur with a natural purpose or design, or in order to achieve some specific goal.

Religious buildings for ritual activities and public worship

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 
TANF is the state-level, time-limited program for welfare families. It replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and emphasizes moving recipients off welfare rolls through rapid entry into the work force.

Ten Commandments (Decalogue)
Religious and moral laws given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai

An individual or business who pays a fee for the use of land, property, etc., to the owner. An occupant.

A system of due process and employment guarantee for teachers. After serving a two-year probationary period, teachers are assured continued employment in the school district unless carefully defined procedures for dismissal or layoff are successfully followed.

Politically motivated violence or intimidation directed against a civilian population by a subgroup within a population, by an outside group, or by clandestine agents of another country.

Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.

The Enlightenment
a.k.a. the Age of Reason. 18th century epoch of intellectual advancement where “humanity was brought into the light of reason out of the darkness of tradition and prejudice”. Originating in the UK but developing fully in continental countries such as France with thinkers such as Spinoza, Voltaire and Rousseau.

The belief in God

Government controlled by the church/priesthood or a proclaimed living god. Examples could be ancient Egypt and modern day Iran.

an attempt to reconcile the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the belief in an omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent God.

A person who systematically studies theology or some aspects of theology. 

the study of the nature of God and religious truth, which seeks to justify or support religious claims.

a statement which has been proven to be true by a rigorous argument.

the application of high heat, obtained via a fission explosion, to bring about fusion of light nuclei.

think tank
A non-government, non-profit, research institute of scholars / physical scientists generally dedicated to the advocacy of some broad political, economic or social belief.

third party 
A person or organization not principally involved with the other two parties but who has an interest in an agreement or contract. In an insurance policy, the third party is the person whose car, etc is damaged by you in an accident.

Third World
A term widely used in the past (now considered somewhat pejorative) to refer to those nations not aligned with the U.S. or the Soviet Union during the Cold War era. 

third-party payer
Anyone paying for the health care who is not the patient (first party) or the caregiver (second party).

thirteenth amendment
Ratified in 1865, this amendment abolished slavery.

The practice of not spending too much money or using up too many resources.

Tibetan Book of the Dead
A collection of Buddhist texts focused on the state between death and rebirth.

A lease on a (usually holiday) property jointly owned by several people who have the right to use it during agreed times of the year, usually for one or two weeks. The industry is often associated with high-pressure or unethical selling methods

title deed 
A legal document which proves a person's rights of ownership of property or land.

The practice of doing the minimum required, especially by law, by making small token gestures, such as employing or including a single person who represents a minority or ethnic group.

Tolpuddle Martyrs
Early 19th century British agricultural laborers who were convicted of the then crime of swearing oaths to each other (which happened to refer to a friendly society / union) and sentenced to transportation to Australia. Most eventually released due to public protest.

top brass 
The most important people in a company or organization.

The Hebrew term ("teaching") broadly refers to both the oral and written Jewish Law.

The tendency of a body to rotate under an applied force.

A civil, not criminal, wrong. A negligent or intentional injury against a person or property, with the exception of breach of contract.

A government that wishes to subordinate the individual to the state by controlling not only all political and economic matters, but also by seeking to control the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its population.

toxic emissions 
poisonous chemicals discharged to air, water, or land

toxic waste
garbage or waste that can injure, poison, or harm living things, and is sometimes life-threatening.

Exchange of goods. In the international realm, trade can occur between private entities, but usually refers to policies and transactions sanctioned and regulated by national governments.

trade agreement
An agreement, usually between countries, to limit or change their policies when trading with one another.

trade secret
A secret device or formula used by a company in the manufacturing of a product which gives it an advantage over the competition.

TM. A symbol, logo, word or phrase which is used exclusively by a company, individual, etc., so their products or services can be easily identified, A Trademark cannot legally be used by anyone else.

The act of transferring drugs from one location to another, usually on behalf of a second party.

tragedy of the commons
The concept espousing the impracticality of communally owned resources such as grazing land or ponds for fishing, etc. Individuals acting independently will maximize their benefits above others thus in time depleting the common resource. Alternatively, where resources are privately owned there is an incentive to moderate its exploitation so as to preserve for the owner further use.

An innovator or pioneer. An individual or company who is the first to do or discover something, and leads where others follow.

Describes part of a loan, investment, etc., which is a portion of the whole amount.

A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial, or during some other formal conversation, such as a hearing or oral deposition

transfer value
In preferential voting, proportional representation elections a winning candidate’s surplus votes are transferred to the next available candidate. This is achieved by transferring all of the ballot papers, but at a fraction of their value.

An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.

transitional benefits
Transitional benefits provide continued support after cash assistance ends.

The fear and hatred of, or discomfort with, transgender people.

A Catholic doctrine that the Eucharistic bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ in a literal sense. 

A person in a company, organization, club, etc., who is responsible for the management of funds and accounts

treasury bond
In the US, a long term security issued by the government which pays regular interest

A formal agreement between nations, which defines and modifies their mutual duties and obligations (a treaty which may be ratified by more than two States Parties is a multilateral treaty, sometimes known as a convention). When conventions are adopted by the UN General Assembly, they create legally binding international obligations for the Member States that have ratified the treaty.

trial balloon
A novel idea put forward, but not embraced, by a politician in order to gauge its popularity.

tribal sovereignty
refers to tribes' right to govern themselves, define their own membership, manage tribal property, and regulate tribal business and domestic relations; it further recognizes the existence of a government-to-government relationship between such tribes and the federal government

a profound loyalty to one's tribe or ethnic group and a rejection of others.  Those who promote tribalism generally believe that globalism is a threat that must be overcome.  A pattern of establishing ethnically "pure" nations through aggressive "ethnic cleansing" occurred in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990's.  Similar attempts to carve out tribal based nations have occurred in the former republics of the Soviet Union and in a number of African nations.

The Christian term for the community of God made of three "persons" (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). 

triple-dip recession 
A recession during which there is are two brief periods of economic growth, each followed by a slide back into recession, before final recovery. 

Trojan horse
An organization with an innocuous or ‘motherhood statement’ type title used to gain public acceptance so as to introduce programs, funding or legislation of a more partisan nature than one is led to believe.

To identify and solve problems which arise in the workplace.

trust fund
Property or funds which are legally held in control of a trustee on behalf of an individual or organization.

A government agent whose job is to break up monopolies or corporate trusts under the anti-trust laws.

The representative of the bankruptcy estate who exercises statutory powers, principally for the benefit of the unsecured creditors, under the general supervision of the court and the direct supervision of the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator. 

truth in lending act 
In the US, a law which protects consumers by requiring companies which offer loans, credit and charge cards, etc., to disclose full information regarding terms and interest rates.

turkey farm
A government agency or department of less than priority status staffed primarily with political appointments and other patronage hires.

The percentage of enrolled citizens who actually vote.

twenty-fourth amendment
Ratified in 1964, this amendment ended the practice of poll taxes.

The final tally for the two more popular candidates/parties of all votes (whether 1st 2nd or 3rd choice etc) in single member Preferential Voting systems.

A wealthy, prominent, successful business person, also referred to as a mogul, magnate, baron, etc.

tyranny of the majority
A concept first coined in the nineteenth century by French writer Alexis de Tocqueville and also embraced by John Stuart Mill, who claimed that even democracies had limitations in that minority rights could be forfeited in the pursuit of popular causes. Possible solutions to such tyranny could be a constitutionally entrenched bill of rights, proportional representation, or a democracy divided up into a federation where peoples of different beliefs and values could gravitate to separate geographical areas that maintained their own distinct laws and practices.

under class
A controversial concept, somewhat synonymous with what used to be called the "lower classes," and now often used to describe the poorest of the poor urban Americans. It is used to refer to that group of people with high levels of joblessness, illiteracy, illegitimacy, violence, and isolation from mainstream society.

To record fewer than the actual number of people in the U.S. in a census. Despite a massive effort, the Census Bureau has never been able to count every individual. The Supreme Court has ruled that only an actual head count can be used to apportion Congressional seats; however, cities and minority representatives have expressed the concern that that urban residents and minorities are undercounted. The Census Bureau will recount an area with disputed figures, provided the local government pays for the time and effort, but many local governments are unwilling to do so. This leads to under-representation of minorities and urban residents when apportioning Congressional seats.

To sell a product, service, etc., cheaper than the competition.

People with inadequate health insurance that does not cover all necessary medical care.

A person who assesses the risk and eligibility of an insurance company's potential client. On the Stock Market, an organization, such as a bank, that agrees to purchase any unsold shares which are offered for sale by a company.

Assessment of the risk of enrolling an individual or a group in a health plan.

undocumented immigrant
A person who is residing in the U.S. without the permission of the U.S. government. Undocumented immigrants enter the U.S. either illegally, without being inspected by an immigration officer or by using false documents, or legally, with a temporary visa and then remain in the U.S. after the visa has expired.

unearned income 
Personal income which has not come from employment but from investments, dividends, interest, etc.

An economic situation in which jobless people, often those who have been made redundant from their jobs, are actively seeking employment.

unfair dismissal
Term used when a person's employment is terminated by their employer without a good reason.

Unification Church
A new religious movement founded in Korea by Sun Myung Moon in 1954

Action by one party. In international affairs, the United States might act unilaterally, or on its own, rather than pursuing bilateral or multinational decisions or actions, if it believes that unilateral actions will best advance national interests.

The belief that there is only one God, and thus Jesus was not divine in essence.

United Nations
The international organization formed at the end of World War II to be a deliberative organization for all nation states, with the goal of avoiding war and promoting improvement of international relations.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
United Nations organization that works to promote the human rights of children throughout the world. UNICEF has a variety of programs that address the organization’s priority areas of child protection, early childhood, girl’s education, HIV/AIDS, and immunization.

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 
Body of the Unites Nations established to advance science and learning in the five areas of Education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, Culture, and Communication and Information. The mission of the Social and Human Sciences section of UNESCO is to spur advances and innovation that promote the universal principles of justice, freedom, and human dignity.

United Nations General Assembly 
One of the principal organs of the UN, consisting of representatives of all member states. The General Assembly issues declarations, adopts conventions on human rights issues, debates relevant issues, and censures states that violate human rights. The actions of the General Assembly are governed by the United Nations Charter.

Individuals or groups coming together for a single purpose.

The belief that ultimately all individuals will be saved

Certain moral and ethical values are considered to be common or shared in all regions of the world; governments and communities should recognize and uphold them. The universality of human rights does not mean, however, that the rights cannot change or that they are experienced in the same manner by all people.

unlimited liability
The obligation of a company's owners or partners to pay all the company's debts, even if personal assets have to be used.

Refers to company whose shares are not traded on the Stock Exchange.

A collection of texts at the end of the Vedas that record early Hindu speculations on Brahman, atman and moksha

To transfer data or programs from a smaller computer, camera, etc., or a computer at a remote location, to a larger computer system.

upper house
Often known as the Senate, and in federations as the 'States' House'. Traditionally the smaller but more elitist “house of review” populated by members of the titled, landed, financial or educational aristocracy. With some exceptions (Canada & the UK) candidates ability to join the upper house is now the same as for the lower house and members’ prestige is only higher because, as there are fewer in total, each member has more of a voting influence than in the lower house. Often elected by proportional representation. In both Australia and the United States each state sends the same number of senators (twelve and two respectively) to the federal house irrespective of that state’s population.

A sales technique in which the salesperson tries to persuade the customer to purchase more expensive and/or more goods than they originally intended.

On the Stock Market, a transaction or quote at a price above the preceding transaction for the same security.

upwardly mobile
Describes someone who is moving towards a higher social and/or economic position

a heavy, radioactive metal (atomic number 92) used in the explosion of nuclear weapons (especially one isotope, U-235).

urban planning
the science of managing and directing city growth.

Uniform/Universal Resource Locator - The address of a web page on the Internet.

Universal Serial Bus - A device on a computer which is used for connecting other devices, such as telephones, scanners, printers, etc. Bus is derived from busbar, a metal conductor strip within a switchboard.

useful idiot
Description for people of influence who support a cause they fail to understand the full ramifications of, and end up being exploited by the leaders of that cause. Originally attributed to Lenin (although research has failed to confirm this) in describing western personalities such as H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Paul Robeson and journalist Walter Duranty who visited the USSR during times of famine, were allowed to visit only select areas, and then returned home giving glowing reports of the new “workers’ paradise”.

Consequentialist philosophy originally espoused by 18th century writer Jeremy Bentham whereby the best policy is that which gives the greatest happiness to the greatest number.

companies (usually power distributors) permitted by a government agency to provide important public services (such as energy or water) to a region; as utilities are provided with a local monopoly, their prices are regulated by the permitting government agency.

An imaginary society or world or situation which is ideal and everyone has everything they want, from the highly revered English statesman, scholar, lawyer and writer, Sir Thomas More's 1516 century book Utopia, whose full Latin title loosely translates to mean 'On the Best State of a Republic and on the New Island of Utopia'.

A job opening which is offered by a company that wants to hire an employee. An available room in a hotel

A measure of the reactivity of an element.

value share
A share, etc., which is considered to be underpriced and is therefore a good investment prospect.

Plain and ordinary without any extras. Basic.

variable cost 
In business, costs which vary according to the changes in activity, production, etc. of the company, such as overheads, labor and material costs.

Value Added Tax. A tax paid by consumers which is added to the price of certain goods and services.

Vatican City
An independent state within the city of Rome governed by the pope

A quantity that is determined by its magnitude and direction: forces and fields 

As defined by the Vegan Society, the founders of which coined the term: "a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practical—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals." Vegans do not consume meat, dairy, eggs, or other animal byproducts; do not wear clothing derived from animals, such as leather, fur, and wool; and do not use products containing animal ingredients.

vegetarianism, lacto-ovo
A diet that excludes meat (including beef, poultry, and fish) but that includes dairy and eggs. Vegetarians may or may not still use clothing and products derived from animals.

vehicular homicide
The killing of another person by one’s unlawful or negligent operation of a motor vehicle

The rate of change of distance with respect to time

A person or business who sells goods, property, etc.

venture capital 
Money invested in a new business which is expected to make a lot of profit but which also involves considerable risk.

The decision of a trial jury or a judge that determines the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant, or that determines the final outcome of a civil case.

vertical integration 
A situation in which a company acquires one or more of the companies which are involved in the production or distribution processes of its goods/services, for example a brewer which buys a pub chain, or a clothing retailer which buys a knitwear factory.

vested interest 
When an individual, business or group has a special interest in something, such as property, an activity, etc., from which there is a personal or financial gain

To vote against. The right to block a law, etc.

Capable of being done or working successfully

viral marketing
An advertising and marketing technique which encourages people to pass on information about a product, etc., often by e-mail or from one Internet website to another.

the moral excellence of a person, or any trait valued as being good.

A computer program with a hidden code, designed to infect a computer without the owner's knowledge, and which causes harm to the computer or destroys data, etc.

The internal friction of a fluid, thick fluids have a high viscosity and thin fluids low.

The most popular Hindu deity.

Cutting or operating on a live animal. The term also refers more generally to experimentation on animals for medical research and product testing. Vivisection includes the cutting, burning, infecting, drugging, starving, blinding, and killing of animals for research, for the testing of drugs and treatments, and for the testing of consumer products, such as cleaners, food additives, and cosmetics.

An occupation for which a person is strongly suited and/or to which they are dedicated.

voice recognition
Technology which allows computers, mobile phones, etc., to be operated by being spoken to.

voluntary manslaughter
An act of murder reduced to manslaughter because of extenuating circumstances such as adequate provocation (arousing the “heat of passion”) or diminished capacity.

Voodoo (Vodou)
An African-Christian religion originating in Haiti. 

vote of no confidence
In parliamentary systems, where the executive can only exist at the behest of the majority of the legislature, a vote of no confidence (generally by the lower house) would be a death knell for the current administration, and would, unless another coalition of parties could form a majority, precipitate an election.

A formal statement in which someone gives up a right or privilege.

walking papers
A notification of dismissal from a job.

Wall Street 
A street in Lower Manhattan where the New York Stock Exchange and financial center is situated.

Court authorization, most often for law enforcement officers, to conduct a search or make an arrest.

watch list 
A list of investments being monitored because they are showing signs of unusual activity, often because the companies who own the shares may be takeover targets

A person or organization that monitors the practices of companies to ensure they are nor acting illegally.

Web-based seminar. A meeting, conference, etc., which is transmitted over the Internet, with each participant using their own computer to connect to the other participants

A person who is responsible for maintaining a website

The gravitational force exerted on a mass.

welfare to work
A national strategy focused on engaging community leaders to assist in the local transformation of the old welfare system of dependence to a new system of coordinated services, job opportunities, personal responsibility and strong connections between community development and business development goals.

British houses of parliament and name for a system where, amongst other attributes, the executive is divided between an ‘above-politics’ head of state and a chief executive appointed by the legislature, a career rather than politically appointed senior public service, and bicameral parliament.

land (marshes or swamps) saturated with water constantly or recurrently; conducive to wide biodiversity.

wets and dries
Terms used in British Conservative Party politics since the Thatcher era to describe the moderates and the hardliners. “Wet” originated from British public school vernacular to describe those perceived as weak as being ‘soppy’.  Canadian equivalent is known as a “Red Tory”.

A party whip is a party officer who ensures that his/her party members do the right thing such as being in attendance for certain crucial votes. A whip is also the notice sent by the aforesaid to members.

A person who informs the public (usually via websites or news media) and/or relevant authorities (watchdogs, government, ombudsman, standards body, etc) about wrong-doings, failings, corruption, or other illegal activities within an organization. 

white collar 
Refers to employees who work in offices or business rather than manual workers.

white paper
An explanatory document produced by a political group or government or business or other organization. 

The sale of goods in large quantities, usually to retailers who then sell them for a profit.

A small program which is run by certain computers. A small device, switch, gadget, etc., whose name is not known.

wildlife refuges
land set aside to protect certain species of fish or wildlife (administered at the federal level in the U.S. by the Fish and Wildlife Service).

wind farm
A large area of land, which has strong winds, on which a group of wind turbines are placed in order to produce electricity by driving generators.

A sudden, unexpected sum of money or piece of good fortune received by someone.

power or energy derived from the wind (via windmills, sails, etc.).

Either a non-proportional representation or a non-preferential electoral system as is common in both the UK and the USA.

A person called upon by either side in a lawsuit to give testimony before the court or jury.

Someone engrossed in the technicalities of some aspect of public policy.

The amount of energy transferred to a system.

worker's compensation
A state-mandated program requiring certain employers to pay benefits and furnish medical care to employees for on-the-job injuries and to pay benefits to dependents of employees killed in the course of employment.

World Trade Organization
WTO. An international organization, established in 1995, with more than 150 member nations, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The WTO monitors international trade, helping importers and exporters conduct their business, and provides assistance to developing countries.

Worship (Christianity)
The public and ritual honor given to God in the name of Jesus Christ. 

A written court order directing a person to take, or refrain from taking, a certain act.

writ of certiorari
An order issued by the U.S. Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case which it will hear on appeal.

In accounting, to reduce the book value of an asset, sometimes to zero, or cancel a debt which has not been, or is unlikely to be, paid.

The scientific study and/or research of alien cultures and biology.

yellow sheets
Published every day in the US by the National Quotation Bureau, a list which shows information and prices of corporate bonds.

A vernacular language of Ashkenazi Jews

The annual income earned from an investment, usually expressed as a percentage of the sum invested.

Two forces that oppose, yet complement each other in the world according to Confucianism, Taoism and religion in China. 

A term meaning "union," specifically referring to union with the divine.

Yom Kippur
A Jewish holiday 10 days after the Jewish New Year that entails a 25-hour fast day from dusk until nightfall the following day

Developed by Dr. Edward Altman of New York University in the 1960s, a measurement of the financial health of a company which predicts the probability of the company going bankrupt.

the intellectual and cultural climate of an era (literally, "the spirit of the age").

Zen Buddhism
A mystical school of Buddhism founded by Daosheng (Tao-sheng) (360-434 CE), who added to Buddhist meditative techniques the doctrine of instantaneous enlightenment—the attainment of enlightenment in one single act.

zero emission vehicles
vehicles (usually powered by electricity) with no direct emissions from tailpipes or fuel evaporation

zero-sum game
A situation in which what is lost by one person, company, etc., is matched by a gain by another/others.

1) A specific hill in Jerusalem. 2) The place from which God rules the world in the Hebrew Bible

It relates to the persistent belief that God's covenant with his people, the Jews, is linked to Palestine and Jerusalem, in particular, and that that land is rightfully theirs 

In computing, compressing data to make a file smaller in order for it to be stored or sent to another computer. Also, slang for nothing.

The religion founded by Zoroaster (c. 1400 BCE) that reforms ancient Persian polytheism into a monotheistic belief system. 

A fertilized egg, the fusion of a male and female gamete.



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