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Atlas Shrugged
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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ascetic
2 uses
I've always known that under that ascetic look of yours you were a plain, crude sensualist who sought nothing from a woman except an animal satisfaction which I pride myself on not having given you.
ascetic = extremely self-denying
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
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
contempt
19 uses
1  —19 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
He laughed in their faces, with bitterly incredulous contempt,
contempt = disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
credulous
1 use
this task of pretending, distorting, deceiving, with the credulous stare of...
credulous = gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.8
Web Links
depravity
41 uses
Now the planners are asking their people not to blame the government, but to blame the depravity of the rich,
depravity = complete immorality or evilness
Word Statistics
Book41 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
dogmatic
1 use
We're not stubborn, theoretical dogmatists-we're flexible.
dogmatists = people who state their opinions as absolute truth
DefinitionGenerally dogmatic means:
prone to stating opinions as absolute truth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.8
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 12 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
He wondered why he felt it with such urgency and why it had seemed so crucially important to re-establish the Comet's run.†
re-establish = restore
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.10
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
establish that there is a need
It is, I believe, an established fact that women don't go for that stuff about the mind.†
established = known or proven
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.5
Web Links
evade
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
evade the question
...you are free to think or to evade that effort.
evade = try to avoid (in this case the responsibility of)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of evade means:
to avoid or try to avoid either a responsibility or telling the whole truth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.7
Web Links
futile
48 uses
But her quest had remained futile.
futile = unproductive
DefinitionGenerally futile means:
effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book48 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
hypothesis
5 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
a study to test her hypothesis
  "There's a market for Rearden Metal and I intend to take full advantage of it."
  "Isn't the market somewhat hypothetical? The public response to your metal has not been encouraging."
hypothetical = based on assumptions rather than facts
DefinitionGenerally this sense of hypothesis means:
seemingly reasonable, but unproven idea or explanation based upon known facts
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
?  —1 use
exact meaning not specified
or not quizzed
incredulous
55 uses
...this country displayed to an incredulous world what greatness was possible to man, what happiness was possible on earth.
incredulous = unbelieving
DefinitionGenerally incredulous means:
unbelieving; or having difficulty accepting something so unexpected
Word Statistics
Book55 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
mystic
101 uses
Once he surrendered reason, he was left at the mercy of ... a body moved by unaccountable instincts and of a soul moved by mystic revelations...
mystic = relating to realities that are outside of scientific understanding and normal experience
DefinitionGenerally mystic means:
relating to realities that are outside of scientific understanding and normal experience; or one who attempts to tune into such realities
Word Statistics
Book101 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
objective
3 uses
This was the stamp James Taggart had dreaded, from which there was no escape: the stamp and proof of objectivity.
objectivity = a reality based on facts without the influence of personal feelings or preferences
DefinitionGenerally this sense of objective means:
fact-based without the influence of personal feelings or preferences
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
perspective   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
Look at it from her perspective
Then, as if a single, sudden blow to his brain blasted a moment's shift of perspective, he felt an immense astonishment at what he was doing here and why.†
perspective = way of seeing and thinking about things
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perspective means:
a particular way of seeing or thinking about things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a perspective of the entire block
Rearden stood at the window of his office, his hand pressed to the pane; in the perspective of distance, his hand covered half a mile of structures, as if he were trying to hold them.†
perspective = view (appearance from where looking)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perspective means:
a view — often stressing that the view is different from a view from another location
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
rational
95 uses
They cannot be reached by a rational argument.
rational = reasonable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rational means:
reasonable
in various senses, including:
  • "It's not rational to treat 2+2 as 5." — logical as contrasted to illogical
  • "I know you're upset, but please think about this in a rational manner." — based on reason as contrasted to emotion
  • "When I was 10-years-old, I wasn't very smart, but I was still rational." — capable of using reason as contrasted to being insane or lacking the ability to reason
  • "In matters of the heart, I trust my intuition more than my rational analysis." — based on a logical analysis as contrasted to intuition, instinct, custom, tarot-card reading, or some other system of decision making
Word Statistics
Book95 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
reproach
43 uses
Philip's face assumed a look of reproach.
reproach = a criticism; or to express criticism
Word Statistics
Book43 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
repudiate
2 uses
It's the easiest of all debts to repudiate.
repudiate = strong rejection
DefinitionGenerally repudiate means:
strong rejection — especially when the idea or thing being rejected was once embraced
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.10
Web Links
resignation   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
the general manager had resigned and vanished three days ago
resigned = quit (the job)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
to quit — especially a job or position; or a document expressing such an act
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.7
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
...he sensed the answer to his question by the look of resignation on the man's face.
resignation = having accepted something undesired as unavoidable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.10
Web Links
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