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Heart of Darkness
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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alacrity
1 use
He had a uniform jacket with one button off, and seeing a white man on the path, hoisted his weapon to his shoulder with alacrity.
alacrity = quickness (liveliness and eagerness)
DefinitionGenerally alacrity means:
quickness; and/or cheerful eagerness
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
apathy
1 use
Even extreme grief may ultimately vent itself in violence—but more generally takes the form of apathy.
apathy = lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
audacious
2 uses
there he was gallantly, thoughtlessly alive, to all appearance indestructible solely by the virtue of his few years and of his unreflecting audacity.
audacity = boldness and daring
DefinitionGenerally audacious means:
bold and daring (inclined to take risks) — especially in violating social convention in a manner that could offend others
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
candid
1 use
After all, this was the expression of some sort of belief; it had candor, it had conviction,
candor = honesty and directness
DefinitionGenerally candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
comprehend
7 uses
the murmurs of wild crowds, the faint ring of incomprehensible words cried from afar, the whisper of a voice speaking from beyond the threshold of an eternal darkness.
incomprehensible = not understandable

(editor's note: The prefix in- means not for this word. This is one of the common meanings of the prefix in- as seen in incorrect, independent, inexpensive, inefficient, inconsiderate, ...)
DefinitionGenerally comprehend means:
to understand something — especially to understand it completely
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
confound
8 uses
He appeared confounded for a moment.
confounded = confused
DefinitionGenerally confound means:
to confuse or cause to be unable to think clearly

or:

to refute or frustrate
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
despondent
2 uses
was in the uttermost depths of despondency.
despondency = depression
DefinitionGenerally despondent means:
emotionally depressed — especially a feeling of grief and hopelessness after a loss
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
dubious
1 use
He looked very dubious;
dubious = doubtful or suspicious
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful — such as:
  • uncertain that something can be relied upon
  • uncertain about the quality or wisdom of something
  • a relatively gentle way of saying that the quality of something described as good is in such doubt that it is considered bad
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
enigma
2 uses
like a ripple on an unfathomable enigma, a mystery...
enigma = something mysterious that seems unexplainable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
immutable
1 use
In the immutability of their surroundings the foreign shores, the foreign faces, the changing immensity of life, glide past, veiled not by a sense of mystery but by a slightly disdainful ignorance; for there is nothing mysterious to a seaman unless it be the sea itself, which is the mistress of his existence and as inscrutable as Destiny.
immutability = not subject or susceptible to change
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
innate
1 use
When they are gone you must fall back upon your own innate strength, upon your own capacity for faithfulness.
innate = of a quality:  present at birth or existing as an inseparable part of something greater
DefinitionGenerally innate means:
of a quality:  present at birth; or arising from within rather than having been learned or acquired
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
insidious
1 use
How insidious he could be, too, I was only to find out several months later and a thousand miles farther.
insidious = not appearing dangerous, but actually harmful
DefinitionGenerally insidious means:
not appearing dangerous, but actually very harmful over time

or:

treacherous  (dangerous due to trickery or from hidden or unpredictable risks)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
insipid
1 use
insipid, or savage
insipid = insignificant, feeble, or lacking flavor
DefinitionGenerally insipid means:
dull (uninteresting and unimpactful)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
morose
1 use
He was a young man, lean, fair, and morose, with lanky hair and a shuffling gait.
morose = unhappy — often with a withdrawn personality
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
obscure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
it obscured my view
A dark figure obscured the lighted doorway of the manager's hut, vanished, then, a second or so after, the doorway itself vanished too.
obscured = blocked the view of
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 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
knows the famous and the obscure
your power of devotion, not to yourself, but to an obscure, back-breaking business.
obscure = undistinguished
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not known to many people; or unimportant or undistinguished
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 2000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
obsequious
1 use
The wastes of his weary brain were haunted by shadowy images now—images of wealth and fame revolving obsequiously round his unextinguishable gift of noble and lofty expression.
obsequiously = excessively eager to flatter or serve to gain favor
DefinitionGenerally obsequious means:
excessively eager to flatter or serve
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
ostentatious
1 use
He carried his fat paunch with ostentation on his short legs,
ostentation = (in a manner that) attracted notice
DefinitionGenerally ostentatious means:
intended to attract notice and impress others — especially with wealth in a vulgar way
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
precipitate
1 use
1  —1 use
adj as in: a precipitate decision
He talked precipitately, and I did not try to stop him.
precipitately = with great haste — perhaps implying that he doesn't think enough about the ramifications of what he says
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 1
Web Links
sagacious
1 use
his sagacious relative lifted his head.
sagacious = wise
DefinitionGenerally sagacious means:
wise — especially through long experience and thoughtfulness
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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