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The Great Gatsby
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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coherent
4 uses
About three o'clock the quality of Wilson's incoherent muttering changed - he grew quieter and began to talk about the yellow car.
incoherent = not sensible, or not said clearly enough to be understood
DefinitionGenerally coherent means:
sensible and clear; or describing parts as fitting together in a consistent or pleasing manner
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
conscientious
3 uses
I took dinner usually at the Yale Club — for some reason it was the gloomiest event of my day — and then I went up-stairs to the library and studied investments and securities for a conscientious hour.
conscientious = careful performance of duties
DefinitionGenerally conscientious means:
careful to do what is right—especially to perform duties in a thorough manner (as when guided by conscience)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
dilatory
2 uses
The dilatory limousine came rolling up the drive.
dilatory = slow or late
DefinitionGenerally dilatory means:
slow; or causing or tending to delay things
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
dismal
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a dismal expression
The valley of ashes is bounded on one side by a small foul river, and, when the drawbridge is up to let barges through, the passengers on waiting trains can stare at the dismal scene for as long as half an hour.
dismal = depressing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dismal means:
depressing or gloomy
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
ecstatic
4 uses
"Do they miss me?" she cried ecstatically.
ecstatically = with intense happiness and excitement
DefinitionGenerally ecstatic means:
feeling intense happiness and excitement (as when in a state of ecstasy)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
elude   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
she eluded the police
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... and one fine morning —
eluded = remained out of reach
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elude means:
to avoid, or get away from, or remain out of reach — as in:
  • "She eluded the police."
  • She eluded danger and finally arrived safely at home.
  • Success has eluded me so far.
  • She always messes up, but some how eludes taking responsibility
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
your point eludes me
— and suddenly I remembered the story about her that had eluded me that night at Daisy's.
eluded = escaped memory (couldn't be remembered)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elude means:
to escape understanding (not understood)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
grotesque
6 uses
This is a valley of ashes — a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.
grotesque = distorted and ugly
DefinitionGenerally grotesque means:
distorted and unnatural in shape or size — especially in a disturbing way

or:

ugly or gross
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
haughty
4 uses
Mr. Sloane didn't enter into the conversation, but lounged back haughtily in his chair;
haughtily = in a superior or self-important manner
DefinitionGenerally haughty means:
arrogant or condescending (acting superior or self-important)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
innuendo
2 uses
There were three married couples and Jordan's escort, a persistent undergraduate given to violent innuendo, and obviously under the impression that sooner or later Jordan was going to yield him up her person to a greater or lesser degree.
innuendo = suggestive sexual humor
DefinitionGenerally innuendo means:
something suggested indirectly — (often a negative comment about someone, or sexual humor)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
inquest
2 uses
The young Greek, Michaelis, who ran the coffee joint beside the ashheaps was the principal witness at the inquest.
inquest = investigation of a death
DefinitionGenerally inquest means:
a formal inquiry or investigation — typically into the cause of an unexpected death or other undesirable event
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
phenomenon
1 use
[T]here are, among other natural curiosities, two unusual formations of land. Twenty miles from the city a pair of enormous eggs, identical in contour and separated only by a courtesy bay.... They are not perfect ovals..., they are both crushed flat at the contact end.... [A] more arresting phenomenon is their dissimilarity in every particular except shape and size. I lived at West Egg, the — well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.
phenomenon = thing that exists
DefinitionGenerally phenomenon means:
something that exists or happened — especially something of special interest — sometimes someone or something that is extraordinary
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
portentous
2 uses
Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade.
portentous = indicating something important will happen
DefinitionGenerally portentous means:
very important; or indicating something important in the future

or:

acting overly important or serious
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
precipitate
1 use
1  —1 use
adj as in: a precipitate decision
His wife and his mistress, until an hour ago secure and inviolate, were slipping precipitately from his control.
precipitately = at dangerous speed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of precipitate means:
acting with great haste — often without adequate thought
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
profound   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —1 use as in:
profound idea
"Tom's getting very profound," said Daisy, with an expression of unthoughtful sadness. "He reads deep books with long words in them."
profound = deep or far-reaching in intellect or insight
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
deep or far-reaching in intellect or consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —5 uses as in:
profound sadness
...and it occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well.
profound = great in intensity
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
redolent
2 uses
For Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchids and pleasant, cheerful snobbery and orchestras which set the rhythm of the year, summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life in new tunes.
redolent = brought to mind
DefinitionGenerally redolent means:
reminiscent (serving to bring to mind)

or:

or smelling like something; or having a sweet fragrance
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
saunter
3 uses
With Jordan's slender golden arm resting in mine, we descended the steps and sauntered about the garden.
sauntered = walked leisurely
DefinitionGenerally saunter means:
to walk leisurely
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
supercilious
2 uses
Now he was a sturdy straw-haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner.
supercilious = arrogant
DefinitionGenerally supercilious means:
arrogant (acting as if better, more important, and superior in ideas than others)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
superficial
1 use
I lived at West Egg, the — well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.
superficial = relating to a surface rather than to anything deep or penetrating
DefinitionGenerally superficial means:
relating to a surface rather than to anything deep or penetrating (often of injuries or thinking)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
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