Meaning: an action or event serving as an introduction to something more important.
Synonym: preliminary, overture, opening, preparation
Sentence: "a ceasefire had been agreed as a prelude to full peace negotiations"
Meaning: a strong feeling that something is about to happen, especially something unpleasant.
Synonym: foreboding, presage, presentiment, prognostication
Sentence: "he had a premonition of imminent disaster"
Meaning: the quality or fact of being greater in number, quantity, or importance.
Synonym: prevalence, predominance, dominance
Sentence: "the preponderance of women among older people"
Meaning: a trial heat (as in rowing) in which first-round losers are given another chance to qualify for the semifinals
Sentence: The British would now have to row and win in a repechage the next day if they were to be one of the final six boats in the medal race.
Meaning: (especially of a woman) attractively lively and animated.
Synonym: lively, animated, full of life, spirited, high-spirited, effervescent
Sentence: "her vivacious and elegant mother"
Meaning: the responsibility for something
Synonyms: blot, stain
Sentence: he perpetually tries to shift the onus for any mistakes onto other team members
Meaning: something that one uses to accomplish an end especially when the usual means is not available
Synonyms: expedient, resource
Sentence: a toddler quickly learns that a tantrum is a surefire recourse when a polite request for something is met with parental indifference
Meaning: extreme patriotism
Synonyms: chauvinism, xenophobia
Sentence: the popular jingoism that swept the lower–middle classes
Meaning: the condition of being considered more important than someone or something else; priority in importance, order, or rank.
Synonym: outweigh, supersede,
Sentence: "his desire for power soon took precedence over any other consideration"
Meaning: a system in which members of an organization or society are ranked according to relative status or authority
Synonym: pecking order, ranking, grading, ladder, social order, social stratum
Antonym: disordered, free-for-all
Sentence: "the initiative was with those lower down in the hierarchy"