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Macbeth
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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apparition
7 uses
FIRST APPARITION
apparition = a ghostlike figure
DefinitionGenerally apparition means:
a ghostlike figure or its appearance

or more rarely:

an unexpected or strange appearance
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.1
Web Links
avarice
3 uses
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
avaricious = excessive desire for wealth
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.3
Web Links
contend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
She contended with it
contending 'gainst obedience,
contending = struggling
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contend means:
to struggle
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 2.2
Web Links
credulous
1 use
modest wisdom plucks me from over-credulous haste:
credulous = gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 4.3
Web Links
disdain
1 use
For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name—
Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,
disdaining = showing no respect to

(editor's note:  No Fear Shakespeare paraphrases this and its continuation as:  "Brave Macbeth, laughing at Luck, chopped his way through...")
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
dispute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
She disputes his claim.
Dispute it like a man.
dispute = fight (challenge)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
challenge, argue about, or fight over
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useScene 4.3
Web Links
flourish
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
dismissed them with a flourish
SCENE IV. Forres. A Room in the Palace.
[Flourish. Enter Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox, and Attendants.]
flourish = fanfare played by trumpets to announce the entry or exit of royalty

(editor's note:  Today, flourish more commonly refers to any showy gesture.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of flourish means:
a showy gesture

or:

the act of waving — a hand or an item
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.4
Web Links
function
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
Its main function is to...
...Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings.
My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man, that function
Is smother'd in surmise; and nothing is
But what is not.
function = natural activity, work, or operability
DefinitionGenerally this sense of function means:
purpose, job, or natural activity
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 1.3
Web Links
impede
1 use
all that impedes thee from...
impedes = prevents
DefinitionGenerally impede means:
create difficulty so as to slow or prevent (something)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.5
Web Links
interpret
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
her interpretation of the data
—you should be women,
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
That you are so.
interpret = to understand or explain something in a particular way
DefinitionGenerally this sense of interpret means:
to understand or explain something in a particular way — often the meaning or significance of something
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useScene 1.3
Web Links
malicious
4 uses
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
malicious = wanting to see others suffer
DefinitionGenerally malicious means:
wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 4.3
Web Links
mortal   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
mortal body
they have more in them than mortal knowledge.
mortal = humans (especially merely humans)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of mortal means:
human (especially merely human); or subject to death
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.5
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a mortal wound
Hold fast the mortal sword,
mortal = deadly (causing death)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of mortal means:
causing death
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.3
Web Links
pernicious
2 uses
Let this pernicious hour stand aye accursed in the calendar!
pernicious = something spreading great harm in a gradual or subtle way
DefinitionGenerally pernicious means:
harmful or something spreading harm — especially in a gradual or subtle way
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.1
Web Links
provoke
4 uses
What three things does drink especially provoke?
provoke = cause in reaction
DefinitionGenerally provoke means:
to cause a reaction — typically an emotional reaction such as anger; and sometimes caused intentionally
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.1
Web Links
scorn
4 uses
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace, and fear:
scorn = treat with strong disrespect or disdain
DefinitionGenerally scorn means:
treat with a strong disrespect or disdain — sometimes accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 3.5
Web Links
temperate
2 uses
Who can be wise, amazed, temperate, and furious,
Loyal and neutral, in a moment?
temperate = calm (lacking extreme behavior)
DefinitionGenerally temperate means:
lacking extremes — especially of weather, climate, or behavior
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.3
Web Links
valor
5 uses
Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valor
As thou art in desire?
valor = courage
DefinitionGenerally valor means:
exceptional or heroic courage when facing danger — especially in battle
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.1
Web Links
wrought
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
wrought iron
Great business must be wrought ere noon.
wrought = worked

(editor's note:  This could be translated as "Much must be done before noon.")
DefinitionGenerally this sense of wrought means:
worked — as when iron is shaped to fit by bending or beating
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.3
Web Links
yield
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
yield to pressure
I will not yield,
To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet,
yield = surrender (give up)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to give in, give way, or give up
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.3
Web Links
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