To parry is to ward something off or deflect it.
To pare something down is to reduce or lessen it.
When something is severed, it is cut off, split, or separated from a whole.
An apparatchik is a very loyal subordinate to someone or something, especially to a particular political organization or leader.
When you prepare for something, such as a test, you get ready for it.
If two or more things are separate, they are not joined and so are apart from each other.
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