Lucy suffering from the most grievous wrong which this world has yet discovered: diplomatic advantage had been taken of her sincerity, of her craving for sympathy and love.

1. diplomatic  [͵dɪpləˋmætɪk] (adj.) able to deal with people in a sensitive way that does not upset or offend them

    Example: a diplomatic answer

    (adj.) relating to the profession or skill of preserving or creating friendly relationship between countries

    diplomat (n.) an official whose job is to represent their government in a foreign country

    (n.) someone who is good at dealing with people in a sensitive way that does not upset or offend them

    diplomacy (n.) the profession or skill of preserving or creating friendly relationships between countries

    (n.) the ability to deal with people in a sensitive way that does not upset or offend them

2. crave  [krev] (v.) to want something very much and in a way that is very hard to control: long for

    Example: He'd craved the attention of the older kids.

    Example: Lewis still craves for the recognition he feels he lacks in America.

Lucy cried aloud: "It isn't true. It can't all be true. I want not to be muddled. I want to grow older quickly."

3. muddle  [ˋmʌd!] (v.) to put things into a untidy state or the wrong order

    Example: His business files were muddled up with his personal files.

    muddle or muddle up to think that someone or something is another person or thing as a result of a mistake

    Example: I'm sorry, but I get your names muddled.

    muddle along or muddle on (phrasal vb) to continue to live or do something without having a clear idea of what you want to achieve

    Example: They're content to just muddle along.

    muddle through (phrasal vb) to succeed in doing something despite having no clear plan, method, or suitable equipment

    muddled (adj.) not clear or effective

    Example: muddled thinking

"Lucy, I want to ask something of you that I have never asked before."

At the serious note in his voice she stepped frankly and kindly towards him.

"What, Cecil?"

"Hitherto never─not even that day on the lawn when you agreed to marry me─"

He became self-conscious and kept glancing round to see if they were observed. His courage had gone.

4. hitherto [͵hɪðɚˋtu] (adv.) [ very formal ] until the present time

    Example: Wight's book includes hitherto unpublished material.

5. self-conscious (adj.) embarrassed or worried about how you look or what other people think of you

    Example: Knowing they were watching me made me feel very self-conscious.

    (adj.) not successful in creating a particualr effect because of being too obvious

    Example: a self-conscious attempt to give the entire film a romantic atmosphere

    self-consciously (adv.), self-consciousness (n.)

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