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The Scarlet Letter

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
countenance   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 12 uses
1  —9 uses as in:
a pleasant countenance
Old Roger Chillingworth knelt down beside him, with a blank, dull countenance, out of which the life seemed to have departed.
countenance = face
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
facial expression; or face; or composure or manner
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
giving countenance
...society was inclined to show its former victim a more benign countenance than she cared to be favoured with, or, perchance, than she deserved.
countenance = tolerance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
to tolerate, approve, or show favor or support
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
imbue
6 uses
Thus, therefore, the floor of our familiar room has become a neutral territory, somewhere between the real world and fairy-land, where the Actual and the Imaginary may meet, and each imbue itself with the nature of the other.
imbue = fill
DefinitionGenerally imbue means:
to fill with or diffuse throughout — especially an emotional quality
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
infirm
14 uses
Conscious of his own infirmity—that his tempered steel and elasticity are lost—he for ever afterwards looks wistfully about him in quest of support external to himself.
infirmity = weakness

(editor's note:  When the suffix "-ity" is added to infirm, it means "the state of being infirm". This is the same pattern seen in words like equality, complexity, and possibility.)
DefinitionGenerally infirm means:
weak from old age or disease
Word Statistics
Book14 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
iniquity
5 uses
It irks me, nevertheless, that the partner of her iniquity should not at least, stand on the scaffold by her side.
iniquity = immorality
DefinitionGenerally iniquity means:
immorality; or an immoral act
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
magistrate
31 uses
undergoing stern question before a magistrate
magistrate = judge
DefinitionGenerally magistrate means:
a judge or judicial official
The exact meaning of magistrate varies widely depending upon the context. For example:
  • in the U.S. federal court:  assists district court judges by handling minor offenses or administrative tasks such as preliminary hearings (often referred to as a magistrate judge rather than just a magistrate)
  • in some U.S. states:  a judge in the state court
  • in France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, and other civil law countries:  a sitting magistrate is a judge and a standing magistrate is a prosecutor
  • in England:  may be a volunteer without formal legal training who performs a judicial role with regard to minor matters
  • in ancient Rome:  a powerful officer with both judicial and executive power
Word Statistics
Book31 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
pious
16 uses
1  —16 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
It is not for me to talk lightly of a learned and pious minister of the Word, like the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale.
pious = highly religious and moral
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
Puritans
24 uses
As the two wayfarers came within the precincts of the town, the children of the Puritans looked up from their play,—or what passed for play with those sombre little urchins—and spoke gravely one to another.
Puritans = Protestants who in the 16th and 17th centuries wanted more purity and less ritual in worship, and who stressed hard work above pleasure
DefinitionGenerally Puritans means:
English Protestants who in the 16th and 17th centuries wanted more purity and less ritual in worship, and who stressed hard work above pleasure

(a Protestant is any of the Western Christian religious denominations that broke off from the Catholic Church. In the US, the bets known are Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians.)
Word Statistics
Book24 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
purport
11 uses
1  —11 uses as in:
The purport of the letter was...
The men of rank and dignity, who stood more immediately around the clergyman, were so taken by surprise, and so perplexed as to the purport of what they saw—unable to receive the explanation which most readily presented itself, or to imagine any other—that they remained silent and inactive spectators of the judgement which Providence seemed about to work.
purport = meaning
DefinitionGenerally this sense of purport means:
the general meaning, purpose, intent, or significance of something
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
revere
28 uses
What imagination would have been irreverent enough to surmise that the same scorching stigma was on them both!
irreverent = disrespectful

(Editor's note:  The prefix "ir-" in irreverent means not and reverses the meaning of reverent. This prefix is sometimes used before words beginning with "R" as seen in words like irrational, irregular, and irresistible.)        
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book28 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
somber   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 14 uses
1  —10 uses as in:
a somber mood
As the two wayfarers came within the precincts of the town, the children of the Puritans looked up from their play,—or what passed for play with those sombre little urchins—and spoke gravely one to another.
sombre = very solemn or serious

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use somber.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of somber means:
serious and without humor or fun — perhaps sad
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
somber colors
Her own dress was of the coarsest materials and the most sombre hue, with only that one ornament—the scarlet letter—which it was her doom to wear.
sombre = gloomy or dark

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use somber.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of somber means:
lacking brightness or color — perhaps gloomy
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
stigma
5 uses
What imagination would have been irreverent enough to surmise that the same scorching stigma was on them both!
stigma = mark of societal disapproval
DefinitionGenerally this sense of stigma means:
societal disapproval or shaming associated with a behavior or a condition — (often used to describe unreasonable disapproval or shaming)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
tempered
7 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
bad news tempered by kindness
...speaking in an authoritative voice, although tempered with respect towards the youthful clergyman whom he addressed:
tempered = made less extreme
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —4 uses
tempestuous
5 uses
They had fortitude and self-reliance, and in time of difficulty or peril stood up for the welfare of the state like a line of cliffs against a tempestuous tide.
tempestuous = violently turbulent
DefinitionGenerally tempestuous means:
strongly turbulent — as of a storm or unstable emotions
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
trifle   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 8 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
a trifling matter
Nothing is too small or too trifling to undergo this change, and acquire dignity thereby.
trifling = of small importance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trifle means:
something of small importance; or a small quantity
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
trifle with her affections
A mockery, indeed, but in which his soul trifled with itself!
trifled with = treated thoughtlessly
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trifle with means:
to treat somebody or something thoughtlessly or without respect
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
unrequited
9 uses
I thank you, and can but requite your good deeds with my prayers.
requite = repay

(editor's note:  Today this word is more commonly seen with the prefix un- in the form unrequired especially with regard to unreturned love. But this book uses the unprefixed word 9 times to refer to giving something in return for something received.)
DefinitionGenerally unrequited means:
not returned in kind
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
wrought   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 20 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
wrought iron
He bears no letter of infamy wrought into his garment, as thou dost, but I shall read it on his heart.
wrought = worked (crafted)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of wrought means:
worked — as when iron is shaped to fit by bending or beating
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —15 uses as in:
the damage she has wrought
She recognises, believe me, the solemn miracle which God hath wrought in the existence of that child.
wrought = made
DefinitionGenerally this sense of wrought means:
caused to happen or occurred as a consequence
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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