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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
SAT®*top 1000
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 use 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
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 91-92
Web Links
complacent
3 uses
She gave a little laugh of happy complacency.
complacency = satisfaction
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 25-26
Web Links
depravity
4 uses
He was frankly horrified at the idea that had come to him, it was murder that he was meditating; and he wondered if other people had such thoughts or whether he was abnormal and depraved.
depraved = completely immoral or evil
DefinitionGenerally depravity means:
complete immorality or evilness
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17-18
Web Links
deride
3 uses
He was an elderly man ... who had painted a number of decorations for the State, but these were an object of derision to the students he instructed:
derision = disrespect — typically while laughing at or making fun of
DefinitionGenerally deride means:
laugh at or make fun of—while showing a lack of respect
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 41-42
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
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 83-84
Web Links
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
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 67-68
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
illustrate
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
an illustrated children's book
He went to sleep and dreamt that he was suddenly sound of foot and out at the Cape in a regiment of Yeomanry; the pictures he had looked at in the illustrated papers gave materials for his fancy; and he saw himself on the Veldt, in khaki, sitting with other men round a fire at night.†
illustrated = accompanied by drawings
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to draw pictures (or provide photographs) to accompany a book or other writing
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9-10
Web Links
induce
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
induce her 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 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 43-44
Web Links
irony   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
situational irony
It was a triumph of irony for that outcast poet to die amid the trappings of vulgar respectability;
irony = when what happened was very different than what might have been expected
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
when what happens is very different than what might be expected; or when things are together that seem like they don't belong together — especially when amusing or an entertaining coincidence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 49-50
Web Links
2  —2 uses 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 one thing while meaning the opposite
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 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
SAT®*top 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
ostentatious
4 uses
Louisa was always against ostentation.
ostentation = actions intended to attract notice and impress others
DefinitionGenerally ostentatious means:
intended to attract notice and impress others — especially with wealth in a vulgar way
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5-6
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
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 use 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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