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King Lear
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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antipathy
1 use
No contraries hold more antipathy Than I and such a knave.
antipathy = strong dislike

(editor's note: No Fear Shakespeare paraphrases this as:  "I couldn't hate that jerk over there any more than I do.")
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.2
Web Links
auspicious
1 use
Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out,
Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
To stand auspicious mistress,
auspicious = favorable; or suggestive of good things to come

(editor's note:  No Fear Shakespeare paraphrases this as: "He was standing here in the dark with his sword pointing at me. He was mumbling some black magic spells, appealing to the moon to help him in his evil plans.")
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.1
Web Links
beseech
8 uses
I beseech you, sir, pardon me.
beseech = ask strongly or beg
DefinitionGenerally beseech means:
to ask strongly or beg for something
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.1
Web Links
censure
3 uses
to censure them
censure = criticize
DefinitionGenerally censure means:
harsh criticism; or formal criticism from an organization — such as the U.S. Senate
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.5
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits
To laughter and contempt; that she may feel
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!
contempt = dislike and disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.4
Web Links
contentious
1 use
this contentious storm
contentious = argumentative or likely to cause disagreement
DefinitionGenerally contentious means:
causing or likely to cause disagreement; or argumentative
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.4
Web Links
countenance
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a pleasant countenance
Found you no displeasure in him by word or countenance?
countenance = facial expression

(editor's note:  No Fear Shakespeare paraphrases this line as:  "Did he express any dissatisfaction with you, either in his words or his face?")
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
facial expression; or face; or composure
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
credulous
1 use
A credulous father!
credulous = too willing to believe
DefinitionGenerally credulous means:
gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
diligent
3 uses
If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there afore you.
diligence = hard work and care
DefinitionGenerally diligent means:
hard work and care in tasks — often continuing when others might quit because of difficulties
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.4
Web Links
discern
1 use
You should be ruled and led by some discretion, that discerns your state better than you yourself.
discerns = understands — notices things that are not obvious (in this case, "not obvious to you")
DefinitionGenerally discern means:
to notice or understand something — often something that is not obvious
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.4
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason;
discord = conflict and disagreement
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
disposition
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a kind disposition
I now perceive it was not altogether your brother's evil disposition made him seek his death;
disposition = normal mood, personality, or inclination
DefinitionGenerally this sense of disposition means:
someone's normal mood, personality, or inclination
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.5
Web Links
entreat
7 uses
neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor any way sustain him.
entreat = ask or attempt to persuade
DefinitionGenerally entreat means:
to ask or attempt to persuade — especially while trying hard to overcome resistance
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
forbearance
4 uses
Dear sir, forbear!
forbear = refrain (hold back) from acting
DefinitionGenerally forbearance means:
refraining (holding back) from acting

or:

patience, tolerance, or self-control
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
malicious
2 uses
How malicious is my fortune, that I must repent to be just!
malicious = wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 3.5
Web Links
obscure
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
it obscured my view
Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
That by thy comfortable beams I may
Peruse this letter.—Nothing almost sees miracles
But misery:—I know 'tis from Cordelia,
Who hath most fortunately been inform'd
Of my obscured course;
obscured = hidden
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 2.2
Web Links
rigorous
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a rigorous math class
the rigour of our state
rigour = difficulties and demands
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rigorous means:
difficult and demanding
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 5.1
Web Links
superfluous
2 uses
Our basest beggars are in the poorest thing superfluous.
superfluous = (having) more than is needed (in this case, having some meager possessions they don't absolutely need to survive)
DefinitionGenerally superfluous means:
more than is needed, desired, or required
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.4
Web Links
sustain
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
sustained by her faith
When I desired their leave that I might pity him, they took from me the use of mine own house; charged me on pain of perpetual displeasure, neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor any way sustain him.
sustain = provide support
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
provide support or necessities
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useScene 3.3
Web Links
usurp
2 uses
My fool usurps my body.
usurps = takes control of

(editor's note:  She is referring to her husband when she says My fool.)
DefinitionGenerally usurp means:
seize or take control without authority
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 5.2
Web Links
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