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The Grapes of Wrath
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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apprehensive
8 uses
Thomas looked apprehensive.
apprehensive = worried
DefinitionGenerally apprehensive means:
worried over possible misfortune
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
baptism
10 uses
Baptized both of you in the irrigation ditch at once.
baptized = "spiritually renewed" in a Christian ceremony
DefinitionGenerally baptism means:
a Christian ceremony signifying spiritual cleansing and rebirth

or:

a challenging experience that initiates or purifies
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
contempt
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
...and the storekeepers hated them because they had no money to spend. There is no shorter path to a store-keeper's contempt,
contempt = disrespect with dislike
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 26
Web Links
contract   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
legal contract
Well, this here fella's got a contract to pick them peaches or chop that cotton.
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 16
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
the metal contracted
The house cracked loudly as the cooler night air contracted the wood.
contracted = shrank

(editor's note:  Wood, like most materials, gets a little smaller as it cools.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contract means:
when something gets shorter or smaller
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
cultivate
7 uses
the land was cultivated.
cultivated = ready for growing crops
DefinitionGenerally cultivate means:
enhance growth or development — such as:
  • to grow crops or prepare land for them
  • enhance a relationship — especially for a purpose
  • develop discernment (better recognition of differences) in taste or judgment
  • to grow a culture in a petri dish
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
culvert
11 uses
In the gray starlight she could see the embankment and the black round hole of the culvert where she always left Tom's food.
culvert = a pipe that carries runoff water beneath something
DefinitionGenerally culvert means:
a pipe or other enclosed channel that carries runoff water beneath a road, railroad, or sidewalk
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 29
Web Links
grave
4 uses
Pa shook hands gravely.
gravely = in a serious and solemn manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn

The exact meaning of this sense of grave is often subject to its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad (with a heavy heart)
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — sincere and dignified without humor
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
listless
6 uses
The old eyes turned listlessly to him.
listlessly = with a lack of energy
DefinitionGenerally listless means:
lacking energy and normal enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
migrant
17 uses
They were not farm men any more, but migrant men.
migrant = (people who) move from one place to another
DefinitionGenerally migrant means:
a person (or animal) that moves from one place to another — sometimes seasonally
Word Statistics
Book17 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
parole
17 uses
If they raised a stink, they'd get sent back for breakin' parole.
parole = things they promised to do in return for early release from imprisonment
DefinitionGenerally this sense of parole means:
conditional early release from imprisonment in which a person is required to comply with special conditions
Word Statistics
Book17 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
pauper
5 uses
You got to report a death, an' when you do that, they either take forty dollars for the undertaker or they take him for a pauper.
pauper = someone who is very poor
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
proprietor
17 uses
The proprietor leaned forward in his chair, the better to see the ragged dirty man.
proprietor = owner of a business
DefinitionGenerally proprietor means:
the owner of a business
Word Statistics
Book17 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
protrude
7 uses
Al pointed to a big nail protruding from the flat casing.
protruding = sticking out
DefinitionGenerally protrude means:
to stick out from
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
restive
5 uses
Ma stirred restively, but she held her peace.
restively = uneasily or impatiently
DefinitionGenerally restive means:
uneasy, impatient, and difficult to control
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
squatter
11 uses
Last night a band of citizens, infuriated at the agitation going on in a local squatters' camp, burned the tents to the ground and warned agitators to get out of the county.
squatters = people who live in an unoccupied place without the legal right
DefinitionGenerally squatter means:
someone who lives in an unoccupied place without the legal right
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
sullen
22 uses
Connie's eyes were sullen.
sullen = showing a gloomy or bad mood
DefinitionGenerally sullen means:
showing a gloomy or bad mood — often by not interacting with others in a friendly way
Word Statistics
Book22 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 26
Web Links
tone
19 uses
The questions of the driver had the tone of a subtle examination.
tone = general feel
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tone means:
the general feeling, mood, or attitude of something — especially of something said or written
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
vagrant
7 uses
You know a vagrant is anybody a cop don't like.
vagrant = someone who is poor and has no regular home or job (in this case, indicating violation of the then legal definition of vagrant which was a violation of the law)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
wizened
8 uses
The wizened face looked in again.
wizened = lean and wrinkled
DefinitionGenerally wizened means:
thin and wrinkled — typically from age or illness
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
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