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vocabulary
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Babbitt
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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advocate
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
to advocate
do you mean to say you advocate these strikes?
advocate = support
DefinitionGenerally this sense of advocate means:
to recommend or publicly support someone or something
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 32
Web Links
amiable
8 uses
As they passed down the hall Gunch demanded amiably, "George, old scout, you were soreheaded about something, here a while back."
amiably = in a friendly way
DefinitionGenerally amiable means:
friendly and kindly
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
austere
5 uses
He had, without explanation, the impression of a slaggy cliff and on it, in silhouette against menacing clouds, a lone and austere figure.
austere = stern; or without comfort
DefinitionGenerally austere means:
a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

or:

of a person:  stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
belligerent
6 uses
he was annoyed by such background thoughts as had never weakened him in his days of belligerent conformity.
belligerent = hostile (with the attitude of one eager to fight)
DefinitionGenerally belligerent means:
hostile (the attitude of one eager to fight); or one already engaged in a fight or war
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
benevolent
5 uses
"Wish there were more folks that were so generous with their machines," dutifully said the victim of benevolence.
benevolence = kindness and generosity
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 29
Web Links
condescending
9 uses
...Babbitt accepted favors with the condescension one always shows a patient nurse.
condescension = a manner that treats others as inferiors
DefinitionGenerally condescending means:
treating others as inferior; or doing something considered beneath one's position or dignity
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 29
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards him
He was dismayed by a sudden contempt for his surest friends.
contempt = lack of respect
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 useChapter 9
Web Links
credulous
5 uses
He who had been a boy very credulous of life was no longer greatly interested in the possible and improbable adventures of each new day.
credulous = gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
denounce
8 uses
He wanted to denounce them but (standing in the snow, peering round the dark corner) he did not dare.
denounce = to strongly criticize or accuse publicly

or more rarely:  to inform against someone (turn someone into the authorities)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 26
Web Links
diligent
5 uses
You remember that in the Bible about—about being diligent in the Lord's business, or something?
diligent = hard work and care
DefinitionGenerally diligent means:
hard work and care in tasks — often continuing when others might quit because of difficulties
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
It was Mrs. Babbitt who had made this discord in their spiritual harmony,
discord = conflict or disagreement
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form "discordant"):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
incessant
6 uses
he was angry at Eddie Swanson for the incessant family bickering.
incessant = continuously/annoyingly
DefinitionGenerally incessant means:
continuous — often in an annoying way
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
notorious
5 uses
From newspaper pictures he knew that the speaker must be the notorious freelance preacher, Beecher Ingram, of whom Seneca Doane had spoken.
notorious = well known for something bad
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
philanthropy
1 use
The advertisements were truly philanthropic.
philanthropic = helping others
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
pious
5 uses
He condemned magnificently and forgave piously
piously = in a highly moral manner
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
Book5 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
prosaic
1 use
Sassburger telephoned for ice, and the bell-boy who brought it said, prosaically and unprompted, "Highball glasses or cocktail?"
prosaically = in a matter-of-fact manner (lacking anything unusual, interesting, or challenging)
DefinitionGenerally prosaic means:
lacking anything unusual, interesting, or challenging
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
repudiate
1 use
Babbitt utterly repudiated the view that he had been trying to discover how approachable was Miss McGoun.
repudiated = strongly rejected
DefinitionGenerally repudiate means:
strong rejection — especially when the idea or thing being rejected was once embraced
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
resolute
11 uses
for however resolute he might be at dawn, he could not, for a single evening, check his drift.
resolute = firm in purpose
DefinitionGenerally resolute means:
firm in purpose or belief
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
socialism
12 uses
New York Assembly has passed some bills that ought to completely outlaw the socialists!
socialists = people who want an economic system based on government ownership or control of all important companies — with the ideal of equal benefits to all people
DefinitionGenerally socialism means:
an economic system based on government ownership or control of all important companies — with the ideal of equal benefits to all people
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
zenith
188 uses
It is not for nothing that Zenith is in matters social rapidly becoming known as the choosiest inland city in the country.
zenith = (in this novel) the name of Babbit's city

(editor's note:  As a common noun (not capitalized) zenith means "the highest point" and is often used as a metaphor to describe something that is very good. It is not a coincidence that city was given that name.)
DefinitionGenerally zenith means:
the highest point - physically or as a metaphor
Word Statistics
Book188 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
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