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A Tale of Two Cities

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acquiesce
2 uses
Defarge looked gloomily at his wife, and gave no other answer than a gruff sound of acquiescence.
acquiescence = reluctant compliance
DefinitionGenerally acquiesce means:
reluctant or unenthusiastic compliance, consent, or agreement
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.3
Web Links
attribute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I attribute it to...
Since the state of your mind that you describe, is, at all events, attributable to some influence of mine—this is what I mean, if I can make it plain—can I use no influence to serve you?
attributable = traceable (caused by)

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-able" means able to be. This is the same pattern you see in words like breakable, understandable, and comfortable.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something)
in two typical senses:
  • "I attribute it to her work." — to say who or what made something happen
  • "Remember to attribute any quotations in your paper." — indicate the source of a quotation or idea
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.13
Web Links
benevolent
2 uses
gifts bestowed upon him towards the execution of this benevolent purpose
benevolent = kind or generous
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.8
Web Links
complacent
4 uses
Sydney Carton looked at his punch and looked at his complacent friend;
complacent = contented (unworried and happy)
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.16
Web Links
deference
5 uses
with less internal deference than he made an outward show of
deference = polite respect
DefinitionGenerally deference means:
polite respect — often when submitting to another's wishes
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.10
Web Links
despondent
5 uses
Up one minute and down the next; now in spirits and now in despondency!
despondency = depression
DefinitionGenerally despondent means:
emotionally depressed — especially a feeling of grief and hopelessness after a loss
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.5
Web Links
disparage
2 uses
That, he (Mr. Attorney-General) was prepared to hear some disparagement attempted of this admirable servant; but that, in a general way, he preferred him to his (Mr. Attorney-General's) brothers and sisters, and honoured him more than his (Mr. Attorney-General's) father and mother.
disparagement = criticism
DefinitionGenerally disparage means:
to criticize or make seem less important — especially in a disrespectful or contemptuous manner
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
dubious
4 uses
Mr. Cruncher was soothed, but shook his head in a dubious and moral way.
dubious = doubtful or suspicious
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful
in various senses, including:
  • doubtful that something should be relied upon — as in "The argument relies on a dubious assumption."
  • doubtful that something is morally proper — as in "The company is accused of using dubious sales practices to influence minors."
  • bad or of questionable value — as in "The state has the dubious distinction of the highest taxes."
  • doubtful or uncertain — as in "She is dubious about making the change."
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.12
Web Links
eccentric
4 uses
From these pilgrimages to the jug and basin, he returned with such eccentricities of damp headgear as no words can describe; which were made the more ludicrous by his anxious gravity.
eccentricities = things reflecting unconventional or strange behavior
DefinitionGenerally eccentric means:
unconventional or strange; or a person with such traits
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2.5
Web Links
incessant
3 uses
The footsteps were incessant, and the hurry of them became more and more rapid.
incessant = continuous (never stopping)
DefinitionGenerally incessant means:
continuous — often in an annoying way
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.14
Web Links
latent
5 uses
The latent uneasiness in Darnay's mind was roused to vigourous life by this letter.
latent = potentially existing but not presently active
DefinitionGenerally latent means:
potentially existing but not presently evident or active
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.24
Web Links
lethargic
3 uses
He had gradually dropped to the floor, and lay there in a lethargy, worn out.
lethargy = a state with a lack of energy
DefinitionGenerally lethargic means:
lacking energy
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.17
Web Links
obscure
12 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
was obscure, but now bright
The mildewy inside of the coach, with its damp and dirty straw, its disagreeable smell, and its obscurity, was rather like a larger dog-kennel.
obscurity = darkness (making it hard to see)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
dark or dingy; or inconspicuous (not very noticeable)
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —6 uses
obstinate
3 uses
But it is the obstinate custom of such creatures hardly ever to say what is set down for them.
obstinate = stubbornly not doing what others want
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.1
Web Links
olfactory
1 use
Monsieur Defarge's olfactory sense was by no means delicate, but the stock of wine smelt much stronger than it ever tasted, and so did the stock of rum and brandy and aniseed.
olfactory = smelling
DefinitionGenerally olfactory means:
relating to the sense of smell
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.16
Web Links
ostentatious
3 uses
Mr. Cruncher could not be restrained from making rather an ostentatious parade of his...
ostentatious = intended to attract notice and impress others
DefinitionGenerally ostentatious means:
intended to attract notice and impress others — especially with wealth in a vulgar way
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.8
Web Links
redundant
1 use
a little man with a redundancy of gesture
redundancy = more than is needed
DefinitionGenerally redundant means:
more than is needed — often something that is unnecessarily repeated

or in technical usage:  a secondary component designed to work if the primary component fails; or of such a system
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3.5
Web Links
servile
1 use
Then, what submission, what cringing and fawning, what servility, what abject humiliation!
servility = behavior of someone who is so excessively submissive or eager to please that they seem to lack self-respect
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 2.7
Web Links
soliloquy
1 use
"I hope there ain't, but I can't make so 'Nation sure of that," said the guard, in gruff soliloquy.
soliloquy = a speech you make to yourself or as a long uninterrupted part of a conversation
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
transitory
1 use
Many a night he vaguely and unhappily wandered there, when wine had brought no transitory gladness to him;
transitory = lasting a short time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.13
Web Links
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