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The Great Gatsby
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abstract
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
abstract thought
If he left the room for a minute she'd look around uneasily, and say: "Where's Tom gone?" and wear the most abstracted expression until she saw him coming in the door.
abstracted = distracted (thinking about something outside of the immediate conversation or circumstances)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstract means:
of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance

or more rarely:

describing someone as distracted — thinking about something outside of the immediate conversation or circumstances
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
affectation
1 use
The bored haughty face that she turned to the world concealed something — most affectations conceal something eventually, even though they don't in the beginning — and one day I found what it was.
affectations = things done in an artificial way to make an impression
DefinitionGenerally affectation means:
behaving in an artificial way to make an impression
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
coherent
4 uses
About three o'clock the quality of Wilson's incoherent muttering changed - he grew quieter and began to talk about the yellow car.
incoherent = not sensible or understandable
DefinitionGenerally coherent means:
sensible and clear; or describing parts as fitting together in a consistent or pleasing manner
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
contrast
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
there is a contrast
I lived at West Egg, the — well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.
contrast = notable difference
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
a difference — especially a notable difference; or the side-x-side arrangement of things that draws attention to an unmissable difference
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
convey
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
convey her thoughts
It was one of those rare smiles ... [that] concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of  you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.
convey = communicate or express
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
credulous
1 use
As our credulity switched back to her she leaned forward with enthusiasm.
credulity = interest and willingness to believe
DefinitionGenerally credulous means:
gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
dilatory
2 uses
The dilatory limousine came rolling up the drive.
dilatory = cause of a delay; or tending to cause delay
DefinitionGenerally dilatory means:
inclined to delay (waste time or slow down); or intended to delay
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
florid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
florid color
I had expected that Mr. Gatsby would be a florid and corpulent person in his middle years.
florid = having a reddish complexion
DefinitionGenerally this sense of florid means:
a reddish color — (especially about someone's complexion or in various medical contexts)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
garrulous
1 use
I suppose there'd be a curious crowd around there all day with little boys searching for dark spots in the dust, and some garrulous man telling over and over what had happened, until...
garrulous = talkative
DefinitionGenerally garrulous means:
talkative — especially about trivial matters
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
grotesque
6 uses
This is a valley of ashes — a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.
grotesque = distorted and ugly
DefinitionGenerally grotesque means:
distorted and unnatural in shape or size — especially in a disturbing way

or:

ugly or gross
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
irrelevant
2 uses
"Let's go back, Tom. Tomorrow!" Then she added irrelevantly: "You ought to see the baby."
irrelevantly = not related to what is being discussed
DefinitionGenerally irrelevant means:
not relevant (not related to the subject being considered, or not important enough to want to consider)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
jaunty
5 uses
I noticed that she wore her evening-dress, all her dresses, like sports clothes — there was a jauntiness about her movements as if she had first learned to walk upon golf courses on clean, crisp mornings.
jauntiness = appearing cheerful, lively, and self-confident
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
magnanimous
1 use
She looked at Tom, alarmed now, but he insisted with magnanimous scorn.
magnanimous = kind and generous

(editor's note:  Tom is being magnanimous toward Daisy, but scornful toward Gatsby after the confrontation over Daisy and Gatsby's affair.)
DefinitionGenerally magnanimous means:
kind and generous in spirit — especially toward those defeated in battle
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
obscure
4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
the view or directions are obscure
Blinking away the brightness of the street outside, my eyes picked him out obscurely in the anteroom, talking to another man.
obscurely = in a manner that was not clear
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 4
Web Links
?  —3 uses
exact meaning not specified
or not quizzed
persistent
5 uses
I followed him over a low whitewashed railroad fence, and we walked back a hundred yards along the road under Doctor Eckleburg's persistent stare.
persistent = continuous
DefinitionGenerally persistent means:
continuing — especially despite difficulties or opposition
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
precipitate
1 use
1  —1 use
adj as in: a precipitate decision
His wife and his mistress, until an hour ago secure and inviolate, were slipping precipitately from his control.
precipitately = at dangerous speed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of precipitate means:
acting with great haste — often without adequate thought
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 2000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
prodigal
1 use
Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word.
prodigality = abundance (extravagance in amount)

(editor's note:  This is a less common sense of prodigality, which more commonly refers to wastefulness.)
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 3
Web Links
supercilious
2 uses
The supercilious assumption was that on Sunday afternoon I had nothing better to do.
supercilious = showing arrogant disdain of those one views as unworthy
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
transitory
1 use
for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent ... face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
transitory = lasting a short time
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
vacuous
1 use
people were doing "stunts" all over the garden, while happy, vacuous bursts of laughter rose toward the summer sky.
vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
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