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The Grapes of Wrath
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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belligerent
3 uses
"A fella got to eat," he began; and then, belligerently, "A fella got a right to eat."
belligerently = as though ready for a fight
DefinitionGenerally belligerent means:
hostile (the attitude of one eager to fight); or one already engaged in a fight or war
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
complacent
1 use
"You do not see," she said, and she smiled her complacent smile and went into the house.
complacent = contented (unworried and happy)
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
contrite
1 use
And Ruthie was instantly contrite.
contrite = feeling sorrow or regret for a fault or offense
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
decorum
1 use
Tom looked down the line of tents and he saw Ruthie and Winfield standing in front of a tent in decorous conversation with someone inside.
decorous = manners and conduct considered to be proper and in good taste
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
denounce
1 use
There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation.
denunciation = (beyond the requirement of) strong public criticism
DefinitionGenerally denounce means:
to strongly criticize or accuse publicly

or more rarely:  to inform against someone (turn someone into the authorities)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 25
Web Links
doleful
1 use
'Born outa too much joy'll be a doleful boy.'
doleful = full of sadness
DefinitionGenerally doleful means:
expressing or causing sadness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
exhort
4 uses
And now gradually the sentences of exhortation shortened, grew sharper, like commands;
exhortation = the act of urging strongly
DefinitionGenerally exhort means:
to urge strongly
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
implement
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
a small implement
And the men in the seat were tired and angry and sad, for they had got eighteen dollars for every movable thing from the farm: the horses, the wagon, the implements, and all the furniture from the house.
implements = small tools and other useful objects
DefinitionGenerally this sense of implement means:
a small tool or other useful object
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
obscure
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
it obscured my view
The black barn was nearly obscured by the rain.
obscured = hidden
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
ostracize
2 uses
And with the laws, the punishments—and there were only two—a quick and murderous fight or ostracism;
ostracism = to exclude someone from a community or group
DefinitionGenerally ostracize means:
exclude someone from a community or group
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
passage
1 use
"I'm just tryin' to get along without shovin' nobody around." ... He waited to let the whole emphasis of the preceding passage disappear and be forgotten.
passage = what was recently said
DefinitionGenerally this sense of passage means:
a short part of a longer written work
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
perplex
5 uses
The danger is here, for two men are not as lonely and perplexed as one.
perplexed = confused or puzzled
DefinitionGenerally perplex means:
to confuse
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
perspective
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
perspective in art
The gray dusty truck, in the yard before the door, stood out magically in this light, in the overdrawn perspective of a stereopticon.†
perspective = 3-dimensional appearance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perspective means:
giving a 2-dimensional picture a 3-dimensional appearance by making parts that are farther away look smaller than things that are close;  or a picture drawn in such a manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
prodigal
1 use
Casy suggested elaborately, "Maybe Tom'll kill the fatted calf like for the prodigal in Scripture."
prodigal = the person, in the commonly referenced Christian parable, The Prodigal Son

Editor's notes:
  • A parable is a story told to teach a moral lesson
  • The Prodigal Son is about extreme forgiveness.
  • In the parable, a "fatted calf" is killed and served at a feast.
  • This is a common usage of prodigal; though it more generally refers to anyone (not just the Prodigal Son) who is recklessly wasteful; or perhaps long absent.
DefinitionGenerally prodigal means:
recklessly wasteful

or more rarely:

abundant (extravagant in amount)

or more rarely still:

long absent (someone who has been away a long time)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
querulous
1 use
Pa observed querulously, "That Rosasharn is gettin' awful scary..."
querulously = in a tone expressing complaint
DefinitionGenerally querulous means:
habitually complaining — especially in a high-pitched whiny voice
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
repress
3 uses
The land fell into fewer hands, the number of the dispossessed increased, and every effort of the great owners was directed at repression.
repression = subjugation (oppressing or holding others down)
DefinitionGenerally repress means:
to hold something back

or:

to subjugate (oppress or hold others down)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
servile
1 use
Tom said, "Well" and then his voice took on a servile whine.
servile = submissive
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
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
venerate
1 use
Cockily, he walked close before he recognized Tom; and when he did, his boasting face changed, and admiration and veneration shone in his eyes, and his swagger fell away.
veneration = feelings of respect and reverence
DefinitionGenerally venerate means:
regard with feelings of respect and reverence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
vivacious
1 use
Sometimes he looks up at the vivaciousness in Mae's voice, and then he scrapes the griddle with a spatula, scrapes the grease into an iron trough around the plate.
vivaciousness = engaging liveliness
DefinitionGenerally vivacious means:
an engaging liveliness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
zenith
2 uses
...and the sun passed the zenith and started down.
zenith = its highest point
DefinitionGenerally zenith means:
the highest point - physically or as a metaphor
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
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