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Definition Exercise: Which Dictionary Definition?
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Review: Most words have more than one meaning. When you look up a word in the dictionary, you need to select the definition that makes sense in the context (in this case, the sentence) in which you saw or heard the word.

Directions: For each sentence below, write the number of the correct definition.

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  1. main participant in a situation or an event
  2. administrator of an elementary school, middle school, or high school
  3. a lead actor, singer, or dancer in a performance
  4. lead musician in an orchestra section of an orchestra
  5. money invested or borrowed or the part of that amount after payments have been made
  6. accomplice to a crime or perpetrator of a crime


The principal of the violinists has been a member of the symphony orchestra for eight years.

In the kidnapping case, the police identified the neighbor as the principal.

Halle Berry and Jamie Foxx are the principals in the new movie.

As I make monthly car payments, the principal decreases.

mouse (mous) noun

  1. any of several small rodents found all over the world that has a brown or grayish-brown coat, small rounded ears, and a long mostly hairless tail
  2. a hand-held, button-activated input device used for moving a pointer on a computer screen
  3. somebody who is viewed as timid or cowardly (used as an insult)
  4. a black eye; a dark swelling beneath the eye caused by a blow (out-of-date slang)


She never speaks up, and she's afraid of everything; she's such a mouse.

My cat caught a mouse in the basement.

If you use a mouse a great deal in your work, be sure to stop frequently to shake out and stretch your fingers and wrist.

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  1. to connect or attach something with a wire or wires
  2. to provide a place with a system of electrical wires
  3. to connect a piece of electrical equipment to a power source or to another piece of equipment
  4. to equip with a hidden electronic listening (eavesdropping) device (slang)
  5. to send a telegram to somebody; to send by telegraph
  6. to determine by physiological or neurological mechanisms; to hard-wire


The undercover drug officer was wired and sent into the nightclub to gain information about the drug lord.

Each month, José wires money to his family in Mexico.

Certain survival instincts are wired into the human brain.

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