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A Tale of Two Cities
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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alacrity
1 use
"I willingly obey the orders of my Chief," said The Vengeance with alacrity, and kissing her cheek.
alacrity = quickness; and/or cheerful eagerness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.14
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)
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
contempt
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
looked down upon him with the loftiest contempt.
contempt = lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.22
Web Links
denounce
20 uses
I denounce them to Heaven and to earth.
denounce = to strongly criticize or accuse publicly
DefinitionGenerally denounce means:
to strongly criticize or accuse publicly

or more rarely:  to inform against someone (turn someone into the authorities)
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.8
Web Links
engender
5 uses
Physical diseases, engendered in the vices and neglects of men, will seize on victims of all degrees;
engendered = caused
DefinitionGenerally engender means:
cause — usually a feeling (possibly a situation)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
It had been established voluntarily some time ago, among the more thorough patriots; but, was now law for everybody.†
established = set in place (accepted and expected)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.10
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
Here again: Mr. Lorry's inquiries into Miss Pross's personal history had established the fact that her brother Solomon was a heartless scoundrel who had stripped her of everything she possessed, as a stake to speculate with, and had abandoned her in her poverty for evermore, with no touch of compunction.†
established = shown
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.6
Web Links
illustrate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
as illustrated by this example
We will say, to put a case and for the sake of illustration, that he had been used, in his bad time, to work at a little forge.†
illustration = to clarify or demonstrate
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 2.19
Web Links
impetuous
1 use
the impetuous confidence of his manner
impetuous = impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impetuous means:
impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought) — often with an unfortunate consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.2
Web Links
Monsieur
126 uses
Good day, monsieur.
Monsieur = Mr. (in French)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of Monsieur means:
French equivalent to Mr. in English

or:

French equivalent to sir in English (a polite way to address a male)
Word Statistics
Book126 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.15
Web Links
obscure   (4 meanings)
4 meanings, 12 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
it obscured my view
Haunted by her feverish apprehensions, she could not bear to have her sight obscured for a minute at a time by the dripping water, but constantly paused and looked round to see that there was no one watching her.
obscured = hidden or made less visible
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.23
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
the view or directions are obscure
Troubled as the future was, it was the unknown future, and in its obscurity there was ignorant hope.
obscurity = the condition of being unseen or unknown
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not clearly seen, understood, or expressed
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.1
Web Links
3  —2 uses as in:
knows the famous and the obscure
From the farmer-general of seventy, whose riches could not buy his life, to the seamstress of twenty, whose poverty and obscurity could not save her.
obscurity = the condition of not being famous or distinguished
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not known to many people; or unimportant or undistinguished
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.12
Web Links
4  —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
passage
2 uses
That, Virtue, as had been observed by the poets (in many passages which he well knew the jury would have, word for word, at the tips of their tongues; whereat the jury's countenances displayed a guilty consciousness that they knew nothing about the passages), was in a manner contagious; more especially the bright virtue known as patriotism, or love of country.†
passages = short parts of longer written works
DefinitionGenerally this sense of passage means:
a short part of a longer written work
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
remonstrate
6 uses
sufficiently disturbing the darkness to elicit loud remonstrance from an owl
remonstrance = protest
DefinitionGenerally remonstrate means:
argue in protest or opposition
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.9
Web Links
repudiate
1 use
But, the same consideration that suggested him, repudiated him; he lived in the most violent Quarter, and doubtless was influential there, and deep in its dangerous workings.
repudiated = strongly rejected
DefinitionGenerally repudiate means:
strong rejection — especially when the idea or thing being rejected was once embraced
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.3
Web Links
sagacious
4 uses
If your sagacity, knowledge, and experience, could put me on the right track, I might be able to do so much; unenlightened and undirected, I can do so little.
sagacity = wisdom — especially through long experience and thoughtfulness
DefinitionGenerally sagacious means:
wise — especially through long experience and thoughtfulness
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.4
Web Links
yield   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —1 use as in:
will yield valuable data
Sow the same seed of rapacious license and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.
yield = produce
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to produce (usually something wanted); or the thing or amount produced
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3.15
Web Links
2  —5 uses as in:
yield to pressure
An hour or two hence, and the low companions and low habits that I scorn but yield to, will render me less worth such tears as those, than any wretch who creeps along the streets.
yield = give in
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to give in, give way, or give up
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
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