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Arrowsmith
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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amiable
17 uses
Martin, in ... his distaste for the amiable dullness of Irving Watters, turned to the roaring Clif as to something living and experimenting.
amiable = friendly and kindly
Word Statistics
Book17 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
ascetic
4 uses
he could not forget the cool ascetic hours in the laboratory
ascetic = relating to self-denial (of comfort and luxury)
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
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
assert
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
asserted her opinion that...
Gottlieb had asserted that they produced doubtful vaccines,
asserted = said (something is true — especially something disputed)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assert means:
to say that something is true — especially something disputed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
bacteria
32 uses
you may have hit on the supreme way to kill pathogenic bacteria.
bacteria = microorganisms (living creatures so small it takes a microscope to see them)

(editor's note:  Something that is pathogenic causes disease.)
DefinitionGenerally bacteria means:
microorganisms (living creatures so small it takes a microscope to see them) that can both cause disease and be beneficial. They are different and larger than viruses.
Word Statistics
Book32 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
benevolent
8 uses
There was at the time, in certain places, a doubt as to how benevolent the United States had been to its Little Brothers—Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua—and the editors and politicians were grateful to Martin for this proof of their sacrifice and tender watchfulness.
benevolent = kind or generous
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
denounce
21 uses
Martin hastened to Terry, declaring that he would resign—would denounce— would expose— Yes!
denounce = accuse publicly
DefinitionGenerally denounce means:
to strongly criticize or accuse publicly

or more rarely:  to inform against someone (turn someone into the authorities)
Word Statistics
Book21 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
didactic
1 use
He had in three years of practice already become didactic and incredibly married; he had put on weight and infallibility; and he had learned many new things about which to be dull.
didactic = excessively inclined to instruct
DefinitionGenerally didactic means:
describing something intended to instruct; or someone excessively inclined to instruct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
digress
1 use
He could recall nothing save the philosophy of Max Gottlieb, occasional scoldings of Angus Duer, one out of ten among Madeline Fox's digressions, and the councils of Dad Silva which was above the level of Alec Ingleblad's barber-shop.
digressions = verbal wanderings (in various directions)
DefinitionGenerally digress means:
wander from a direct or straight course — especially verbally
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
disdain
5 uses
They ignored traffic regulations, they disdained the people, returning from theaters and movies, who dotted the streets which unrolled before the flying gray hood.
disdained = treated as inferior
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
Book5 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
eccentric
5 uses
You always want to make folks think you're eccentric, Mart.
eccentric = unconventional or strange
DefinitionGenerally eccentric means:
unconventional or strange; or a person with such traits
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
indolent
6 uses
they liked her, the more because she was a heretic whose vices, her smoking, her indolence, her relish of competent profanity, disturbed Mrs. Pickerbaugh and Mrs. Irving Watters.
indolence = laziness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
perceive
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
though blind, can perceive light
Martin perceived new avenues of exciting research;
perceived = saw (became aware of or viewed things in a certain way so as to believe)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perceive means:
to become aware of — especially by using the senses (to see, hear, smell, feel, or taste)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 26
Web Links
philanthropy
3 uses
a philanthropist who was generous only because it larded his vanity.
philanthropist = someone who helps others

(editor's note:  larded is a synonym for embellished or adorned)
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 39
Web Links
pious
9 uses
I am a pious agnostic.
pious = behaving in a highly moral or religious manner

(editor's note:  an agnostic is someone who says they do not know if God exists or not)
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
Book9 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
pretense
11 uses
He had stopped his pretense of working; he was standing before her, arms akimbo, dark eyes demanding.
pretense = an appearance or action to help one pretend
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
resolute
10 uses
Clif had risen, not too steadily, though his voice and his eyes were resolute.
resolute = firm in purpose or belief
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
reticent
4 uses
But she was flustered by Angus's sleek assurance, by his homage to her eyes and wit and reticence.
reticence = reluctance
DefinitionGenerally reticent means:
reluctant — especially to speak freely
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
scrupulous
5 uses
I owe my city the most scrupulous performance of duty in safeguarding it against disease
scrupulous = careful and diligent
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 27
Web Links
vacuous
2 uses
In the study of the profession to which he had looked forward all his life he found irritation and vacuity as well as...
vacuity = lack of intelligent thought
DefinitionGenerally vacuous means:
lacking intelligent thought
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
zeal
6 uses
His friendly zeal was drab compared with that of his wife.
zeal = active interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
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