conspiracy : the activity of secretly planning with other people to do something bad or illegal
I think there was a conspiracy to keep me off the committee.
seismic : having very great and usually damaging effects
The news that the chairman would resign set off seismic waves in the business community.
precipitous : If a slope is precipitous, it is very steep
a precipitous mountain path
echelon : a particular level or group of people within an organization such as an army or company
These salary increases will affect only the highest echelons of local government.
sprawl : (especially of a city) to cover a large area of land with buildings, especially gradually over a period of time
The refugee camps sprawl across the landscape.
laborious : needing a lot of time and effort
Direct measurements are laborious and costly, and are usually only possible over a limited time span and number of sites.
Herpes simplex is the virus responsible for cold sores on the lips and face, and is also involved in genital infection.
genital : connected with the outer sexual organs, especially the penis or vulva
The government’s record will be subjected to/come under (close) scrutiny in the weeks before the election.
scrutiny : the careful and detailed examination of something in order to get information about it
Politicians are increasingly mindful that young voters are turning away from traditional parties.
mindful : careful not to forget about something
Until we have official permission to go ahead with the plans we’re in limbo.
limbo : an uncertain situation that you cannot control and in which there is no progress or improvement