Vocabulary lesson 3

Definitions and samples

  • persecute (v.) to harass; to annoy continuously

- They are trying to investigate anarchists and persecute them for their beliefs.

  • martyrdom (n.) extreme suffering; the state of being a martyr (one who chooses death or makes a sacrifice rather than give up religious faith or other belief)

- He has mentioned that he welcomed his execution as a path to martyrdom.

  • destitute (adj.) devoid; poor; impoverished; without the basic necessities of life

- A destitute socialite considers marriage as a way out of her financial problems.

  • autonomy (n.) independence; the quality of being self-governing

- The Dalai Lama says that he wants autonomy, but not independence, for the region.

  • ambivalence (n.) having conflicting feelings, such as love and hate, about a person, object, or idea

- Despite adoring her son, Olivia suffered the ambivalence of the gymslip mother.

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