toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books

The Picture of Dorian Gray - 20 chapter version
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

(click/touch triangles for details)
abstruse
1 use
The subject is not so abstruse as I thought it was.
abstruse = difficult to understand
DefinitionGenerally abstruse means:
difficult to understand; or not known by the great majority of people
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
ascetic
1 use
the asceticism that deadens the senses
asceticism = self-denial
DefinitionGenerally ascetic means:
someone who practices self-denial (often to encourage spiritual growth); or relating to such self-denial

or:

severely plain (without decoration)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
assume
3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
She assumed power
...Pietro Barbi, the Venetian, known as Paul the Second, who sought in his vanity to assume the title of Formosus, and whose tiara, valued at two hundred thousand florins, was bought at the price of a terrible sin;
assume = take (power or responsibility)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assume means:
beginning to take power or responsibility
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
?  —2 uses
exact meaning not specified
or not quizzed
blasphemy
1 use
This is blasphemy, Dorian!
blasphemy = something said or done that is disrespectful of something considered sacred
DefinitionGenerally blasphemy means:
something said or done that is disrespectful of something considered sacred — especially God or religion
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
doleful
1 use
...a huge cylindrical drum, covered with the skins of great serpents, like the one that Bernal Diaz saw when he went with Cortes into the Mexican temple, and of whose doleful sound he has left us so vivid a description.
doleful = sorrowful (full of sadness)
DefinitionGenerally doleful means:
expressing or causing sadness
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
dominate
16 uses
Campbell felt dominated by him.
dominated = controlled
DefinitionGenerally dominate means:
to control; or to be most influential, powerful, or conspicuous
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
grave
8 uses
"Yes," answered Hallward, gravely, and with deep-toned sorrow in his voice—"to see your soul."
gravely = in a serious and solemn manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn

(see word notes for more detailed definitions based on context)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
hedonist
2 uses
Be afraid of nothing... A new Hedonism—that is what our century wants.
hedonism = the belief that the pursuit of pleasure is the highest good
DefinitionGenerally hedonist means:
someone most motivated by pleasures — often sensual pleasures
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
hideous
34 uses
How perfectly hideous they are!
hideous = extremely ugly, offensive, and/or frightening
Word Statistics
Book34 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
indifferent
13 uses
The next time he calls, you will be perfectly cold and indifferent.
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
Book13 uses
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
indolent
1 use
the Embassy at Paris, a post to which he considered that he was fully entitled by reason of his birth, his indolence, the good English of his despatches, and his inordinate passion for pleasure.
indolence = laziness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
infinite
13 uses
When he entered, she looked at him, and an expression of infinite joy came over her.
infinite = unlimited; without boundaries
DefinitionGenerally infinite means:
unlimited; without boundaries; or too numerous to count
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
lethargic
1 use
What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.
lethargy = laziness
DefinitionGenerally lethargic means:
lacking energy
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
mockery
17 uses
You mock at everything, and then suggest the most serious tragedies.
mock = make fun of
DefinitionGenerally mockery means:
ridicule (to make fun of)

or:

something so inadequate it is ridiculous (silly)
Word Statistics
Book17 uses
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
obscure
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
the view or directions are obscure
The style in which it was written was that curious jewelled style, vivid and obscure at once, full of argot and of archaisms, of technical expressions and of elaborate paraphrases, that characterises the work of some of the finest artists of the French school of Symbolistes.
obscure = difficult to understand
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 10
Web Links
obsequious
1 use
The elaborate character of the frame had made the picture extremely bulky, and now and then, in spite of the obsequious protests of Mr. Hubbard, who had the true tradesman's spirited dislike of seeing a gentleman doing anything useful, Dorian put his hand to it so as to help them.
obsequious = excessively eagerness to serve
DefinitionGenerally obsequious means:
excessively eager to flatter or serve
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
penitent
1 use
"I am in Lady Agatha's black books at present," answered Dorian, with a funny look of penitence.
penitence = feeling or expressing sorrow for having done wrong
DefinitionGenerally penitent means:
feeling or expressing sorrow for having done wrong; or a person who does such
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
petulant
3 uses
"I don't want a life-sized portrait of myself," answered the lad, swinging round on the music-stool, in a wilful, petulant manner.
petulant = unreasonably upset
DefinitionGenerally petulant means:
unreasonably annoyed or upset

or:

easily annoyed or upset
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
querulous
1 use
"I don't know how we could manage without him," answered the elder woman, querulously.
querulously = in a tone expressing complaint
DefinitionGenerally querulous means:
habitually complaining — especially in a high-pitched whiny voice
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
sanguine
1 use
to find his way through the sanguine labyrinth of passion through which he was wandering.
sanguine = optimistic and cheerful
DefinitionGenerally sanguine means:
confidently optimistic and cheerful
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
Take Quiz
Return to Book Menu
Go to Large-Screen Version
(more words)