toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books

The Importance of Being Earnest
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

(click/touch triangles for details)
allude
3 uses
Do you allude to me, Miss Cardew, as an entanglement?
allude = to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useAct 2
Web Links
arduous
1 use
My dear guardian, with the assistance of Miss Prism, has the arduous task of looking after me.
arduous = difficult
DefinitionGenerally arduous means:
difficult  — especially requiring great effort over an extended period of time
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
candid
5 uses
Personally, darling, to speak quite candidly, I don't much care about the name of Ernest.
candidly = with honesty and directness
DefinitionGenerally candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useAct 1
Web Links
celibate
3 uses
I am a celibate, madam.
celibate = someone who abstains from sexual intercourse
DefinitionGenerally celibate means:
abstaining from (i.e., never having) sexual intercourse

or:

an unmarried person who has taken a religious vow of chastity
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
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
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards him
...seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life...
contempt = dislike and disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
credulous
1 use
His voice alone inspires one with absolute credulity.
credulity = 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 useAct 3
Web Links
divine
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
to forgive is divine
It is a divine name.
divine = wonderful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
domestic
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
domestic happiness
neglect his domestic duties
domestic = relating to the home or family
DefinitionGenerally this sense of domestic means:
relating to a home or family
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useAct 1
Web Links
eccentric
1 use
He was eccentric, I admit.
eccentric = unconventional or strange
DefinitionGenerally eccentric means:
unconventional or strange; or a person with such traits
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
equanimity
1 use
The absence of old friends one can endure with equanimity.
equanimity = steadiness of mind under stress
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
heresy
1 use
They savour of the heretical views of the Anabaptists,
heretical = characterized by opinions or actions most people consider immoral
DefinitionGenerally heresy means:
opinions or actions most people consider immoral
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
induce
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
induce him to
Algernon.  Nothing will induce me to part with Bunbury, and if you ever get married, which seems to me extremely problematic, you will be very glad to know Bunbury.
induce = persuade (convince)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of induce means:
to persuade somebody to do something
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useAct 1
Web Links
metaphor
3 uses
I spoke metaphorically.
metaphorically = using a figure of speech
DefinitionGenerally metaphor means:
a figure of speech in which a similarity between two things is highlighted by using a word to refer to something that it does not literally denote — as when Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players." Shakespeare is not saying the world is really a stage and all people are actors, but there are similarities he wants us to recognize.
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
philanthropy
2 uses
I don't quite like women who are interested in philanthropic work.
philanthropic = helping others
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
reconcile
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
reconciled their differences
It's pleasant, is it not, to see so perfect a reconciliation?
reconciliation = two people making up (to bring into agreement)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reconcile means:
to bring into agreement

(see word notes for more detailed definitions based on context)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
refute
1 use
They savour ... views that I have completely refuted in four of my unpublished sermons.
refuted = proved or argued that something is false
DefinitionGenerally refute means:
to prove or attempt to prove that something is false
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useAct 3
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
After we had all been resigned to his loss, his sudden return seems to me peculiarly distressing.
resigned = forced to accustom ourselves (having accepted the loss as unavoidable)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useAct 2
Web Links
tedious
3 uses
A man who marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it.
tedious = boring
DefinitionGenerally tedious means:
boring — especially because something goes on too long or without variation
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
vulgar
4 uses
It is very vulgar to talk about one's business.
vulgar = in bad taste (unsophisticated or crude)
DefinitionGenerally vulgar means:
of bad taste — often crude or offensive

or:

unsophisticated (or common) — especially of taste
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
Take Quiz
Return to Book Menu
Go to Large-Screen Version
(more words)