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The Great Gatsby

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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assert   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
asserted her opinion that...
"I've done some nice things out on Long Island," asserted Mr. McKee.
asserted = said
From page 32.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assert means:
to say that something is true — especially something disputed
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1, p.17.7
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
asserted her authority
Her body asserted itself with a restless movement of her knee, and she stood up.
asserted = was forceful
From page 18.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assert means:
to be forceful in exercising influence or rights
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1, p.18.1
Web Links
conscientious
3 uses
Gatsby got himself into a shadow and, while Daisy and I talked, looked conscientiously from one to the other of us with tense, unhappy eyes.
conscientiously = with a desire to do what was right

(editor's note:  This is when Gatsby saw Daisy for the first time in five years and was concerned that the meeting go well.)
From page 87.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
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, p.87.5
Web Links
contingency
2 uses
He was employed in a vague personal capacity — while he remained with Cody he was in turn steward, mate, skipper, secretary, and even jailor, for Dan Cody sober knew what lavish doings Dan Cody drunk might soon be about, and he provided for such contingencies by reposing more and more trust in Gatsby.
contingencies = things that might happen
From page 100.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally contingency means:
something that might happen — especially something that it is hoped will not happen

or more rarely:

something available in case of an event — especially an event that it is hoped will not occur
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6, p.100.5
Web Links
corroborate
2 uses
He looked at me anxiously, as if he hoped I'd corroborate this.
corroborate = support an opinion
From page 154.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally corroborate means:
to support an opinion — typically with additional evidence or testimony
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1, p.19.7
Web Links
desolate
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
felt desolate
About half way between West Egg and New York the motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile, so as to shrink away from a certain desolate area of land. This is a valley of ashes...
desolate = miserable (and providing no support for life)

(editor's note: In those days, cities created a lot ashes (i.e., what remains of things after they are burned up). In the novel, this area is where ashes were dumped. It symbolized the ugliness hidden from the view in nicer areas.)
From page 23.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of desolate means:
sad or miserable—and often lonely
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1, p.9.8
Web Links
dismal
2 uses
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
From page 24.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally dismal means:
of terrible quality or depressing; or dark and dreary (as when bad weather blocks the sun or when it is drizzly)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7, p.127.6
Web Links
elaborate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
an elaborate design
I was a little shocked at the elaborateness of the lie.
elaborateness = level of detail

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means state or degree of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
From page 33.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elaborate means:
having details and complexity — sometimes fancy or ornate
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2, p.33.9
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
an elaborate wink
[Nick describing Gatsby:]  ...I was looking at an elegant young rough-neck, a year or two over thirty, whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd.
elaborate = exaggerated
From page 48.5  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elaborate means:
to exaggerate an action
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3, p.48.5
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
From page 23.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally grotesque means:
distorted and unnatural in shape or size — especially in a disturbing way

or:

ugly, gross, or very wrong
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2, p.23.3
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
From page 102.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally haughty means:
arrogant or condescending (acting superior or self-important)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2, p.28.9
Web Links
imply
2 uses
After that I felt a certain shame for Gatsby — one gentleman to whom I telephoned implied that he had got what he deserved.
implied = said indirectly (said it without using such blunt words)
From page 169.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally imply means:
to suggest or say indirectly — possibly as a logical consequence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 2, p.32.4
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
From page 136.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally inquest means:
a formal inquiry or investigation — typically into the cause of an undesirable event — often an investigation of an unexpected death
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7, p.136.1
Web Links
paternal
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
paternal attitude
"Sit down, Daisy," Tom's voice groped unsuccessfully for the paternal note.
paternal = like a father
From page 131.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of paternal means:
kindness and concern like that of a father — sometimes implying that it is overly intrusive
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1, p.7.5
Web Links
portentous
2 uses
Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade.
portentous = indicating something important will happen
From page 135.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
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, p.127.5
Web Links
precipitate
1 use
1  —1 use
(adj) as in: a precipitate decision
There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind, and as we drove away Tom was feeling the hot whips of panic. His wife and his mistress, until an hour ago secure and inviolate, were slipping precipitately from his control.
precipitately = suddenly
From page 125.2  Typical Usage
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 2000
1st useChapter 7, p.125.2
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
From page 43.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally saunter means:
to walk leisurely
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2, p.24.5
Web Links
sensuous
3 uses
She was in the middle thirties, and faintly stout, but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can.
sensuously = in an attractive or sexy manner
From page 25.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally sensuous means:
relating to pleasure from the body's senses rather than from the intellect
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2, p.25.9
Web Links
solidarity
1 use
When the butler brought back Wolfshiem's answer I began to have a feeling of defiance, of scornful solidarity between Gatsby and me against them all.
solidarity = agreement and mutual support
From page 165.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally solidarity means:
a state of agreement and support — especially for political action
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 9, p.165.9
Web Links
transcendent
1 use
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.
transcendent = beyond the ordinary range of human experience
From page 23.4  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally transcendent means:
beyond the ordinary range of human experience or understanding

or:

surpassing usual limits of excellence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2, p.23.4
Web Links
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