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vocabulary
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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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aesthetic
31 uses
This supreme quality is felt by the artist when the esthetic image is first conceived in his imagination.
esthetic = related to beauty — often referring to one's appreciation of beauty or one's sense of what is beautiful
DefinitionGenerally aesthetic means:
related to beauty or good taste — often referring to one's appreciation of beauty or one's sense of what is beautiful

or:

beautiful or tasteful
Word Statistics
Book31 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 2000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
contrite
5 uses
he heard his own voice full of the quietude of humility and contrition.
contrition = sorrow or regret for a fault or offense
DefinitionGenerally contrite means:
feeling sorrow or regret for a fault or offense
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred the decision
He was impatient of their voices and could not keep his feet at rest. But the teller still deferred the serving of
others...
deferred = postponed (held off)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
postpone (hold off until a later time)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
disdain
3 uses
he had done well to leave the room in disdain.
disdain = a lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
divine   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 4 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
to forgive is divine
chosen by divine design
divine = having come from God
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
divined from tea leaves
...holding his furled umbrella a span or two from him like a divining rod.
divining = used to discover something supernaturally
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
to predict or discover something supernaturally (as if by magic)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
divined through intuition
...whatever he had heard or divined in childhood of the strange and terrible.
divined = learned through intuition or reflection
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
to discover something — usually through intuition or reflection
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
engender
1 use
in dead bodies worms are engendered by putrefaction,
engendered = caused
DefinitionGenerally engender means:
cause — usually a feeling (possibly a situation)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
heresy
10 uses
This fellow has heresy in his essay.
heresy = opinions most people consider immoral
DefinitionGenerally heresy means:
opinions or actions most people consider immoral
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
Jesuit
21 uses
From force of habit he had written at the top of the first page the initial letters of the jesuit motto:
Jesuit = the Society of Jesus (known for their schools and missionary work)
DefinitionGenerally Jesuit means:
a member of the Society of Jesus (known for their schools and missionary work)
Word Statistics
Book21 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
languid
9 uses
A gradual warmth, a languorous weariness passed over him descending along his spine from his closely cowled head.
languorous = slow, relaxed, or with little energy
DefinitionGenerally languid means:
lacking energy or relaxed or moving slowly
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
lucid
4 uses
leaving his mind lucid
lucid = capable of thinking clearly
DefinitionGenerally lucid means:
of a person:  capable of thinking clearly

or:

of language:  clearly expressed so it is easily understood
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
novel
1 use
He too returned to his old life at school and all his novel enterprises fell to pieces.
novel = new and original
DefinitionGenerally this sense of novel means:
new and original — typically something considered good
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
penitent
8 uses
The penitent emerged from the side of the box.
penitent = a person who expresses remorse (sorrow) for misdeeds (in this case exiting a Catholic confessional box where a priest is asked to extend forgiveness)
DefinitionGenerally penitent means:
feeling or expressing sorrow for having done wrong; or a person who does such
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
pious
19 uses
Why did you turn aside from your pious practices and good works?
pious = behaving in a highly moral or religious manner
DefinitionGenerally pious means:
behaving in a highly moral or religious manner

or less commonly:  behaving highly moral in a self-righteous or holier-than-thou manner
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
prodigal
1 use
Stephen looked at the English convert with the same eyes as the elder brother in the parable may have turned on the prodigal.
prodigal = the person, in the commonly referenced Christian parable, The Prodigal Son

Editor's notes:
  • A parable is a story told to teach a moral lesson
  • The Prodigal Son is about extreme forgiveness.
  • In the story, a younger son is forgiven by his father, but his elder brother is less forgiving.
  • 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 5
Web Links
repentance
26 uses
No matter how many or how foul the sins if you only repent of them they will be forgiven you.
repent = to feel regret for having done something wrong and to resolve to be a better person in the future
DefinitionGenerally repentance means:
the feeling or expression of regret for having done something wrong with a firm decision to be a better person in the future
Word Statistics
Book26 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
sloth
6 uses
His thoughts were lice born of the sweat of sloth.
sloth = laziness (an unwillingness to work or exert oneself)

or:

a type of animal that seldom moves and is typically very slow when it does move
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
squalor
5 uses
He was conscious of failure and of detection, of the squalor of his own mind and home, and felt against his neck the raw edge of his turned and jagged collar.
squalor = (describing a place) extremely dirty and unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
subtle
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a subtle poison
He had felt a subtle, dark, and murmurous presence penetrate his being...
subtle = hidden and harmful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
working in an indirect or hidden way
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
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