toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books
Book Menu

The Fountainhead
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

(click/touch triangles for details)
abstract
6 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
abstract thought
Peter Keating had never felt the need to formulate abstract convictions.
abstract = a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstract means:
of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance

or more rarely:

describing someone as distracted — thinking about something outside of the immediate conversation or circumstances
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
aesthetic
15 uses
I am not in the habit of asking for the esthetic opinions of my draftsmen.
esthetic = opinions of what is beautiful
DefinitionGenerally aesthetic means:
related to beauty or good taste — often referring to one's appreciation of beauty or one's sense of what is beautiful

or:

beautiful or tasteful
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.7
Web Links
alternative
8 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
an alternative plan
In which case, the name of another architect, one Gordon L. Prescott, has been mentioned most favorably as an alternative.
alternative = someone available as another possibility
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.10
Web Links
ascetic
3 uses
Then she did not want him to stop or glance at her, because she wanted to watch the ascetic purity of his person, the absence of all sensuality; to watch that—and to think of what she remembered.
ascetic = characteristic of someone who practices 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
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
contract   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
legal contract
...he signed the contract...
contract = legal agreement
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contract means:
an agreement - typically written and enforceable by law
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.11
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
the metal contracted
It had merely become distasteful; not enough to force a decision; not enough to make him clench his fists; just enough to contract his nostrils.
contract = make smaller (in this case tightening the nostril muscles)

(editor's note: This is a less common sense of contract; though not uncommon generally and very common in engineering or physiology.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contract means:
when something gets shorter or smaller
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
denounce
12 uses
I picked the one architect you spent all your time denouncing when you were on the Banner.
denouncing = strongly criticizing
DefinitionGenerally denounce means:
to strongly criticize or accuse publicly

or more rarely:  to inform against someone (turn someone into the authorities)
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.12
Web Links
dogmatic
1 use
It may be worth mentioning, in passing, that dogmatic discipline is the only thing which makes true originality possible...
dogmatic = unquestioned
DefinitionGenerally dogmatic means:
prone to stating opinions as absolute truth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 10 uses
1  —9 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
The 'common good' of a collective—a race, a class, a state—was the claim and justification of every tyranny ever established over men.†
established = created
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library21 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.12
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
He stared at the flames, unblinking, to force himself into a complete obedience to an established truth.†
established = known
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3.2
Web Links
fastidious
12 uses
He looked like a drawing from a men's magazine, fastidiously groomed, a white handkerchief in the breast pocket of his dark suit.
fastidiously = with careful attention to detail
DefinitionGenerally fastidious means:
giving careful attention to detail

or:

excessively concerned with cleanliness or matters of taste
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.7
Web Links
incredulous
16 uses
She stared at him incredulously.
incredulously = in disbelief
DefinitionGenerally incredulous means:
unbelieving; or having difficulty accepting something so unexpected
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
insolent
26 uses
You'd better not be insolent. I can have you fired at a moment's notice, you know.
insolent = rudely disrespectful
Word Statistics
Book26 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.14
Web Links
integrity
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a person of high integrity
he took it as an insult to his journalistic integrity
integrity = honesty and other moral principles
DefinitionGenerally this sense of integrity means:
having strong moral principles — especially honesty
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.1
Web Links
philanthropy
5 uses
EARLY IN May, Peter Keating departed for Washington, to supervise the construction of a museum donated to the city by a great philanthropist easing his conscience.
philanthropist = someone who helps others — especially by donating money to worthy causes
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
reproach
22 uses
"I don't want you to make excuses for me." He said it simply, without reproach.
reproach = criticism
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism
Word Statistics
Book22 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.9
Web Links
repudiate
1 use
I haven't asked you to repudiate it.
repudiate = strong rejection
DefinitionGenerally repudiate means:
strong rejection — especially when the idea or thing being rejected was once embraced
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.3
Web Links
resignation   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
He hoped she would resign. He could not face the thought of having to fire her.
resign = quit (from her 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 2.13
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
Then he stood straight, but with a kind of quiet resignation,
resignation = look of having accepted the need to endure (suffer through) something undesired
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 4.3
Web Links
servile
2 uses
I find myself liking only those who are servile.
servile = submissive and eager to serve and please
DefinitionGenerally servile means:
submissive — typically excessively so (so submissive or eager to serve and please that one seems to have no self-respect)

or:

relating to the work that requires obeying demeaning commands

or:

slave-like or relating to slaves
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.18
Web Links
Take Quiz
Go to Book Menu
Browse with Large-Screen
(more words/choices)
† 
Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which is not affiliated with verbalworkout.com™, and does not endorse this site.