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Of Human Bondage
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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aesthetic
7 uses
As the weaver elaborated his pattern for no end but the pleasure of his aesthetic sense, so might a man live his life,
aesthetic = appreciation of beauty
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
Book7 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 2000
1st useChapter 17-18
Web Links
ascetic
5 uses
He was pleased to think that his shaven face gave him the look of a priest, and in his youth he had possessed an ascetic air which added to the impression.
ascetic = suggesting 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
Book5 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7-8
Web Links
austere
6 uses
he was touched by her child-like delight, and reproached himself for the austerity with which he had treated her.
austerity = sternness (strict or grim manner)
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
Book6 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 91-92
Web Links
corpulent
9 uses
He was a man of middle height and of a corpulent figure; he had sandy hair, worn very short and now growing gray, and a small bristly moustache.
corpulent = with excessive body fat
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3-4
Web Links
disdain
9 uses
Philip had disdained humanity in the mass; he adopted the attitude of one who wraps himself in solitariness and watches with disgust the antics of the vulgar;
disdained = rejected as not good enough
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
Book9 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 83-84
Web Links
elaborate
8 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
an elaborate wink
She coughed elaborately at the door so that Philip should have time to compose himself, she felt that he would be humiliated if she came upon him in the midst of his tears, then she rattled the door handle.
elaborately = in an exaggerated manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elaborate means:
to exaggerate an action
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 9-10
Web Links
?  —5 uses
exact meaning not specified
or not quizzed
enigma
5 uses
Sometimes she said things that were enigmatic, and he was puzzled.
enigmatic = mysterious and seeming unexplainable
DefinitionGenerally enigma means:
something mysterious that seems unexplainable
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 67-68
Web Links
facetious
8 uses
Philip thought this answer would cause the boy a certain awkwardness, but Venning was not to be turned from his facetiousness for so little.
facetiousness = trivial humor
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9-10
Web Links
flippant
7 uses
There was never here any of that flashing humour which made the other masters suspect him of flippancy.
flippancy = an inappropriate lack of seriousness
DefinitionGenerally flippant means:
showing an inappropriate lack of seriousness
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15-16
Web Links
futile
10 uses
it distressed him to realise that his magnificent struggle was futile:
futile = pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
DefinitionGenerally futile means:
effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 67-68
Web Links
induce
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
induce him to
He had quite made up his mind that nothing would induce him ever to see her again.
induce = persuade (convince)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of induce means:
to persuade somebody to do something
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 43-44
Web Links
irony   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
situational irony
It was a triumph of irony for that outcast poet to die amid the trappings of vulgar respectability;
irony = being very different than what might be expected
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
when what happens is very different than what might be expected; or when things seem incongruous together — especially when amusing or an entertaining coincidence
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 85-86
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
verbal irony
With a blank face Philip offered his congratulations, and Flanagan was so busy congratulating himself that he did not catch the note of irony which Philip could not prevent from coming into his voice.
irony = saying or writing one thing, while meaning the opposite — usually as humor or sarcasm
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
saying or writing one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 49-50
Web Links
notwithstanding
32 uses
Sometimes, notwithstanding the cold, a couple came on to the balcony and stood for a moment to get some fresh air; and Philip, imagining that they were in love with one another, turned away and limped along the street with a heavy hurt.
notwithstanding = despite (in this case, even though it was cold, they came out to the balcony)
DefinitionGenerally notwithstanding means:
in spite of; or in spite of the thing mentioned
(Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nevertheless, nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book32 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 1-2
Web Links
obstinate
12 uses
He had a great deal of work to do, and could not waste more time on a boy who seemed to him insanely obstinate.
obstinate = stubbornly unyielding to other's wishes
DefinitionGenerally obstinate means:
stubbornly not doing what others want
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 59-60
Web Links
reproach
25 uses
He reproached Philip for laziness, asked him when he was going to start work,
reproached = criticized
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism
Word Statistics
Book25 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 37-38
Web Links
supercilious
8 uses
As he limped along the high street of Blackstable he looked with a tinge of superciliousness at the people he passed.
superciliousness = showing arrogant disdain of those one views as unworthy
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 35-36
Web Links
transitory
2 uses
He was one of the few people who was acutely conscious of the transitoriness of life, and how necessary it was to make the most of it.
transitoriness = shortness
DefinitionGenerally transitory means:
lasting a short time
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 121-122
Web Links
tremulous
8 uses
And the night before he was to go back to school he went up to bed tremulous with excitement.
tremulous = quivering (shaky)
DefinitionGenerally tremulous means:
quivering (shaky) — usually from weakness or fear — especially of the voice
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13-14
Web Links
vulgar
56 uses
It was a triumph of irony for that outcast poet to die amid the trappings of vulgar respectability;
vulgar = common (and so thought to be of unsophisticated)
DefinitionGenerally vulgar means:
of bad taste — often crude or offensive

or:

unsophisticated (or common) — especially of taste
Word Statistics
Book56 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 27-28
Web Links
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