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Great Expectations
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acquisition
2 uses
He advised my attending certain places in London, for the acquisition of such mere rudiments as I wanted, and my investing him with the functions of explainer and director of all my studies.
acquisition = getting or obtaining
DefinitionGenerally acquisition means:
obtaining possession of something; or the thing possessed
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
avenge
4 uses
I felt that the pale young gentleman's blood was on my head, and that the Law would avenge it.
avenge = take revenge
DefinitionGenerally avenge means:
take revenge for a perceived wrong
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
benevolent
3 uses
It was right to do it, it was kind to do it, it was benevolent to do it, and he would do it again.
benevolent = kind or generous
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
candid
2 uses
putting such a quantity of warm water into my milk that it would have been more candid to have left the milk out altogether,
candid = honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
complacent
3 uses
...looked up at us complacently, and said,
complacently = with contentment  (unworried and satisfied)
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 31
Web Links
desist
1 use
Faint and sick with the pain of my injured arm, bewildered by the surprise, and yet conscious how easily this threat could be put in execution, I desisted, and tried to ease my arm were it ever so little.
desisted = stopped
DefinitionGenerally desist means:
to not do something
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 53
Web Links
grindstone
1 use
After grinding a number of dull blades,—of whom it was remarkable that their fathers, when influential, were always going to help him to preferment, but always forgot to do it when the blades had left the Grindstone,—he had wearied of that poor work and had come to London.
grindstone = a revolving stone shaped like a disk that is used to grind, sharpen or polish
DefinitionGenerally grindstone means:
a revolving stone shaped like a disk that is used to grind, sharpen or polish

or:

work — as in the expressions "back to the grindstone" (back to work) or "keep your nose to the grindstone" (keep working hard)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
obscure   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
it obscured my view
I kept an eye on Orlick after that night, and, whenever circumstances were favorable to his dancing at Biddy, got before him to obscure that demonstration.
obscure = to block from view or make less visible
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 2000
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
the view or directions are obscure
He appeared to me to have obscurely hinted in his letter at some distant idea he had of seeing you in England here.
obscurely = in a manner that is not clearly expressed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not clearly seen, understood, or expressed
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 2000
1st useChapter 40
Web Links
3  —2 uses as in:
knows the famous and the obscure
As I passed the church, I felt (as I had felt during service in the morning) a sublime compassion for the poor creatures who were destined to go there, Sunday after Sunday, all their lives through, and to lie obscurely at last among the low green mounds.  I promised myself that I would do something for them one of these days, and formed a plan in outline for bestowing a dinner of roast-beef and plum-pudding, a pint of ale, and a gallon of condescension, upon everybody in the village.
obscurely = in an unknown or undistinguished manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not known to many people; or unimportant or undistinguished
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 2000
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
obstinate
7 uses
not looking at her, but obstinately looking at the opposite side of the room,
obstinately = stubbornly
DefinitionGenerally obstinate means:
stubbornly not doing what others want
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
penitent
10 uses
...I lay there, penitently whispering, "O God bless him!"
penitently = feeling remorse (sorrow) for misdeeds
DefinitionGenerally penitent means:
feeling or expressing sorrow for having done wrong; or a person who does such
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
prodigal
1 use
swine were the companions of the prodigal.
prodigal = the person who receives extreme forgiveness, in the commonly referenced Christian parable, The Prodigal Son

Editor's notes:
  • A parable is a story told to teach a moral lesson.
  • At one point in the story, the main character ate and slept with pigs (swine).
  • This is a common usage of prodigal; though it more generally refers to anyone (not just the Prodigal Son) who is recklessly wasteful; or perhaps long absent.
DefinitionGenerally prodigal means:
recklessly wasteful

or more rarely:

abundant (extravagant in amount)

or more rarely still:

long absent (someone who has been away a long time)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
querulous
1 use
Mr. Jaggers was querulous and angry with me for having "let it slip through my fingers," and said we must memorialize by and by, and try at all events for some of it.
querulous = complaining
DefinitionGenerally querulous means:
habitually complaining — especially in a high-pitched whiny voice
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 55
Web Links
remonstrate
11 uses
The last word grated on me; but how could I remonstrate!
remonstrate = argue in protest or opposition
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
repudiate
2 uses
...and should in my heart of hearts have repudiated the idea.
repudiated = strongly rejected
DefinitionGenerally repudiate means:
strong rejection — especially when the idea or thing being rejected was once embraced
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
servile
3 uses
Standing at this table, I became conscious of the servile Pumblechook in a black cloak and several yards of hatband, who was alternately stuffing himself, and making obsequious movements to catch my attention.
servile = submissive, and eager to serve and please
DefinitionGenerally servile means:
submissive — typically excessively so (so submissive or eager to serve and please that one seems to have no self-respect)

or:

relating to the work that requires obeying demeaning commands

or:

slave-like or relating to slaves
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
subsequent
3 uses
The influences of his solitary hut-life were upon him besides, and gave him a savage air that no dress could tame; added to these were the influences of his subsequent branded life among men, and, crowning all, his consciousness that he was dodging and hiding now.
subsequent = following
DefinitionGenerally subsequent means:
following something else
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
vacillate
1 use
asked the landlord, vacillating weakly.
vacillating = changing his mind (or doubting his earlier opinion)
DefinitionGenerally vacillate means:
to change one's mind back and forth between conflicting ideas

or:

to sway back and forth
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 54
Web Links
wretch
6 uses
Why don't you cry again, you little wretch?
wretch = a person of bad character
DefinitionGenerally wretch means:
someone  you feel sorry for

or:

a person of bad character
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
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