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vocabulary
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The Importance of Being Earnest
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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capacious
1 use
I had also with me a somewhat old, but capacious hand-bag in which I had intended to place the manuscript of a work of fiction that I had written during my few unoccupied hours.
capacious = large in capacity
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
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consternation
1 use
Lady Bracknell.  [In a severe, judicial voice.]  Prism!  [Miss Prism bows her head in shame.]  Come here, Prism!  [Miss Prism approaches in a humble manner.]  Prism!  Where is that baby?  [General consternation...]
consternation = dismay (unhappiness, worry, and often confusion) — typically over something unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
deceit
1 use
I felt that you were false and deceitful.
deceitful = misleading or not trustworthy
DefinitionGenerally deceit means:
the act of deceiving (lying to or misleading someone)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
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effrontery
1 use
What effrontery!
effrontery = impolite boldness
DefinitionGenerally effrontery means:
rude and disrespectful behavior — often made by someone who does not realize they are being rude — as when someone is presumptuous or impolitely bold
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
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grave
5 uses
But have you any grave doubts on the subject?
grave = serious (important)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn

(see word notes for more detailed definitions based on context)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useAct 1
Web Links
impetuous
1 use
What an impetuous boy he is!
impetuous = impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impetuous means:
impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought) — often with an unfortunate consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
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indifferent
2 uses
Even before I met you I was far from indifferent to you.
indifferent = without interest
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest — in various senses such as:
  • unconcerned
  • unsympathetic
  • impartial
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
indignant
8 uses
[Jack looks indignantly at him, and leaves the room.]
indignantly = angered at something unjust or wrong
DefinitionGenerally indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useAct 1
Web Links
lax
1 use
Lanes views on marriage seem somewhat lax.
lax = lacking in strictness or strength
DefinitionGenerally lax means:
relaxed; or lacking in strictness or strength
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
mercenary
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a mercenary attitude
But I do not approve of mercenary marriages.
mercenary = made due to considerations of wealth
DefinitionGenerally this sense of mercenary means:
marked by materialism or a profit orientation
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
misanthrope
1 use
A misanthrope I can understand—a womanthrope, never!
misanthrope = someone who dislikes people
DefinitionGenerally misanthrope means:
someone who dislikes people — and often distrusts them
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
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neologism
1 use
Miss Prism.  You are too much alone, dear Dr. Chasuble.  You should get married.  A misanthrope I can understand—a womanthrope, never!

Chasuble.  [With a scholar's shudder.]  Believe me, I do not deserve so neologistic a phrase.
neologistic = newly invented
DefinitionGenerally neologism means:
a newly invented word or phrase
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
ostentatious
1 use
Algernon is an extremely, I may almost say an ostentatiously, eligible young man.
ostentatiously = in a manner intended to attract notice and impress others
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 useAct 3
Web Links
pretense
1 use
This afternoon during my temporary absence in London on an important question of romance, he obtained admission to my house by means of the false pretence of being my brother.
pretence = pretending
DefinitionGenerally pretense means:
an appearance or action to help one pretend
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
quixotic
1 use
It is rather Quixotic of you.
quixotic = impractical due to excessive romanticism, idealism, and/or an overactive imagination
DefinitionGenerally quixotic means:
impractical due to excessive romanticism or idealism
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
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recumbent
1 use
Rise, sir, from this semi-recumbent posture.
recumbent = lying down
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
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speculate
2 uses
there is no use speculating on that subject.
speculating = thinking or guessing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of speculate means:
to guess without certainty

or:

to think about or consider something

or (more rarely):

to risk money in a financial venture
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 2000
1st useAct 1
Web Links
supercilious
1 use
Gwendolen.  [Superciliously.]  No, thank you.  Sugar is not fashionable any more.
superciliously = arrogant disdain of those one views as unworthy
DefinitionGenerally supercilious means:
showing arrogant disdain of those one views as unworthy
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
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utilitarian
1 use
Surely such a utilitarian occupation as the watering of flowers is rather Moulton's duty than yours?
utilitarian = useful, but without style
DefinitionGenerally this sense of utilitarian means:
designed for usefulness rather than beauty or style
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
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vacillate
1 use
I do not think that even I could produce any effect on a character that according to his own brother's admission is irretrievably weak and vacillating.
vacillating = changing one's mind back and forth between conflicting ideas
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 useAct 2
Web Links
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