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pickle    [‘pɪk(ə)l]

英文释义:informal termsfor a difficult situation

e.g. On the trail of real wildlife smugglers,our correspondent finds himself in a journalistic pickle. -New York Times (Nov 3, 2017)

Pickle originally referred to any sauce that was used to preserve meat andto make it more tasty, so to be in apickle was to be served up, covered in sauce, about to be devoured. No oneis sure where the word pickle comes from, but it was probably borrowed fromMiddle Dutch at the beginning of the fifteenth century. By the beginning of theEighteenth century, the word had come to mean “cucumber preserved in brine”,its most common definition today.

conundrum    [kə’nʌndrəm]  难题;谜

英文释义:a difficultproblem

e.g. It highlights beneficial applications,risks, and ethical conundrumsof virtual reality,including its misuse or excessive use, in a possible not-too-distant future. – Slate(Nov 2, 2017)

A conundrum , which means a riddle or a puzzle, sounds like one ofthose words with a long, complex Latin history, and that’s exactly the point —to sound like one, without actually being one. Conundrum was made up by OxfordUniversity students in the 1590s when, without electricity, which meant noradios or televisions, never mind iPhones, scholars would amuse themselves bymaking words up in pseudo-Latin.


plight   [plaɪt]   困境;境况;誓

英文释义:a situationfrom which extrication is difficult

e.g. Fiji and other Pacific island nations are particularly vulnerable to rising seas and changing weather and want the worldto understand their plight. – Seattle Times(Nov 5, 2017)


buffalo   [‘bʌfələʊ]

英文释义:intimidate oroverawe

e.g. I’m not some newcomer that you can buffalowiththat nonsense.

The verb buffalo is less well-known than the city in New York or the animal. It means to “be overwhelmed, overawed, with alarm,” the reaction anervous person might have to being in a pickle. When you simply don’t know howto handle or get out of a situation, you can say that the situation has youbuffaloed .


muddle   [‘mʌd(ə)l]   糊涂;困惑;混浊状

英文释义:a confusedmultitude of things

e.g. In the less-successful stage adaptation,directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne, which opened Tuesday at the Kennedy Center, the ending is somewhat of a muddle. -Washington Post (Oct 11, 2017)


discombobulated    [,dɪskəm’bɒbjʊleɪt]   使混乱;使泄气;使困

英文释义:havingself-possession upset; thrown into confusion

e.g. “Everyone on the sideline was discombobulated. Just shock. Like, ‘what now?’,”WashingtonPost (Oct 30, 2017)

Discombobulated is, like conundrum, a word that someone just came up with. It embodies the state of being completely confused. It is important to point out that in terms of usage, discombobulated does not refer to everyday,run-of-the-mill confusion. Confusion that leaves you discombobulated is notconfusion you can just brush off. To be discombobulated is to be shaken to the core by something that doesn’t make sense.


confounded     [kən’faʊndɪd]  困惑的;糊涂的;讨厌的;惊慌失措

英文释义:perplexed bymany conflicting situations or statements

e.g. He worked at the intersection of engineering practice, academic physics and abstract mathematics, and wrotepapers that confounded all three audiences. – Nature (Sep 12, 2017)


quandary   [‘kwɒnd(ə)rɪ]   困惑;窘境;为

英文释义:state ofuncertainty in a choice between unfavorable options

e.g. Guo’s asylum request poses a diplomatic quandaryfor the Trump administration, which must decide whether to expel ahigh-profile Chinese dissident or risk infuriating Beijing. – Washington Post(Sep 7, 2017)


dilemma   [dɪ’lemə; daɪ-]    困境;进退两难;两刀论

英文释义:state ofuncertainty in a choice between unfavorable options

e.g. As with many long-running games, thissuccess creates an interesting dilemmafor its developers: how doyou build something new without disrupting the existing audience? – The Verge(Nov 8, 2017)

The word dilemma refers to the type of situation where you have two choices, both of which are equally unfavorable or equally wonderful, and youcan’t decide. The problem with a dilemma is that often one is forced to choose between the two options, and it is necessary to opt for the lesser of two evilsor the least painful outcome.


predicament    [prɪ’dɪkəm(ə)nt]   窘况,困境;状

英文释义:an unpleasantor difficult situation

e.g. Alex’s predicament presented a different typeof puzzle to solve, twisted and dark and untidy with the quirks of the human mind. – Washington Post (Oct 13, 2017)


dumbfound    [dʌm’faʊnd]   使惊呆;使人惊愕失

英文释义:be a mystery or bewildering to

e.g. Dumbfounded I stared at him speechlessand he said to me “what’s a matter? – Washington Times (Oct 18, 2017)

This word is a good one to describe how someone appears when the yare really puzzled, just absolutely amazed and mystified at how severely trapped they really are. Dumb – in this instance refers to a meaning the word has had since Old English, “mute, speechless.” The – found element comes from the second part of confound, a word which means “to mix up or confuse”.


mystify    [‘mɪstɪfaɪ]   使神秘化;使迷惑,使困

英文释义:be a mysteryor bewildering to

e.g. Princeton historian Sean Wilentz, who isimpatient with academics who are vain about being unintelligible, confesseshimself mystified by the “circulating” jargon. – Washington Post(Nov 3, 2017)


perplex    [pə’pleks]   使困惑,使为难;使复杂

英文释义:be a mysteryor bewildering to

e.g. On Monday’s show, Rachel described this dynamic as “strange to the point of perplexing,” which is clearly correct. – MSNBC (Oct 25, 2017)


bemuse  [bɪ’mjuːz]  使发呆;使茫然;使困

英文释义:cause to beconfused emotionally

e.g. She seems vaguely bemused by any attempts to frame her career as anything more than a series of lucky opportunities and intuitive choices. – Economist (Jun 30, 2017)


imbroglio   [ɪm’brəʊlɪəʊ] 纠葛;纷乱;纷

英文释义:an intricateand confusing interpersonal situation

e.g. During the campaign, Ryan’s support for Trump fluctuated during various imbroglios in which Trump was caughtup, while McConnell largely stayed above the fray. – Washington Post (Feb 16,2017)

This word refers to an entire situation that is a mess, not just individual people in a bind. An imbroglio is a jumble, from the Italian word imbrogliare which means “to confuse or tangle.” Imbroglio is really only properly used if someone set you up in a big elaborate scheme, not just a jam you got yourself into. Imbroglios involve mistaken identities, revenge plots,accomplices — the stuff of drama, not everyday trials and tribulations.


墨尔本PTE 澳大利亚语言学校AIL
墨尔本PTE 澳大利亚语言学校AIL
墨尔本PTE 澳大利亚语言学院PTE备考课程一共四周,由听说读写四项组成。课程将包含大量PTE官方考题资料以及应试技巧,帮助学生在四周的时间内熟悉PTE的考试形式,破题方法以及完成基础词汇的累积。