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100 Words Every High School Freshman Should Know
by Editors of The American Heritage Dictionaries (Editor)

100 Words Every High School Freshman Should Know
Following the success of 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know, the editors of the American Heritage® Dictionaries have developed this new book of 100 words tailored especially to high school freshmen. This second book in the 100 Words series focuses on the kinds of words that a successful middle school graduate can learn from rigorous coursework in a variety of subjects and that nearly every freshman will encounter over the course of the school year. The words have been chosen with various criteria in mind. Some represent key concepts in important areas of the curriculum, while others are more familiar in meaning but present challenges of spelling or usage. All are words that students can expect to see regularly in their high school reading and beyond. Each word is fully defined as well as shown in typical contexts with example sentences and quotations, many of which are taken from award-winning authors such as Harper Lee, George Orwell, Katherine Paterson, and John Knowles. Together, these 100 words represent the increasingly sophisticated and complex vocabulary that freshmen must master as they continue their education at the next level. To learn them is not only to gain useful knowledge — it is to step into a broader world.

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Sample Entry:

kil·o·me·ter (k-lm'-tr or kl'-m'tr)
A unit of length equal to 1,000 meters or 0.62 of a mile.

Note: The metric system is a system of measurement that is based on the number 10. Because 12 inches make a foot, and 3 feet make a yard, calculating the number of inches in a given number of yards or miles can often be cumbersome. In the metric system, multiplication is easy. Kilo- is a prefix meaning "a thousand," so one kilometer is equal to a thousand meters, and one kilogram is equal to a thousand grams. Likewise, if you know something is 18 kilometers away, you can easily calculate that it's 18,000 meters away.

Some common prefixes in the metric system are:

• milli- "one thousandth"
• kilo- "one thousand"
• centi- "one hundredth"
• cento- "one hundred"
• deci- "one tenth"
• deca- "ten"

The basic units of measurement in the metric system are the gram, for weight; the liter, for volume; and the meter, for distance. The prefixes can be combined with these units to form different measurements: a centigram is a hundredth (1/100) of a gram; a milliliter is a thousandth (1/1000) of a liter.

But the metric system isn't limited to these units: a kilowatt is a thousand watts, and a millisecond is a thousandth of second.

There are even more prefixes for larger and smaller units!

• micro- "one millionth"
• mega- "one million"
• nano- "one billionth"
• giga- "one billion"
• pico- "one trillionth"
• tera- "one trillion"