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A Christmas Carol
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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adapt
1 use
It would have been in vain for Scrooge to plead that the weather and the hour were not adapted to pedestrian purposes; that bed was warm, and the thermometer a long way below freezing; that he was clad but lightly in his slippers, dressing-gown, and nightcap; and that he had a cold upon him at that time.
adapted = made suitable (fitting)
DefinitionGenerally adapt means:
change to fit a different situation; or make suitable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
avarice
2 uses
His face had not the harsh and rigid lines of later years; but it had begun to wear the signs of care and avarice.
avarice = excessive desire for wealth
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
blithe
3 uses
And Scrooge said often afterwards, that of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard...
blithe = carefree and happy
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
comprehensive
2 uses
The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!
comprehensive = all inclusive (including everything)
DefinitionGenerally comprehensive means:
including everything or everything important
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
dismal
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a dismal expression
shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise,
dismal = hopeless and depressing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dismal means:
depressing or gloomy
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
endeavor
7 uses
I'll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family,
endeavour = try or attempt
DefinitionGenerally endeavor means:
to attempt; or a project or activity attempted
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
forbearance
2 uses
The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.
forbearance = self-control
DefinitionGenerally forbearance means:
refraining (holding back) from acting

or:

patience, tolerance, or self-control
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
foreshadow
1 use
"Men's courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead," said Scrooge.
foreshadow = be signs (of future events)
DefinitionGenerally foreshadow means:
to be a sign of future events
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
illustrate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
as illustrated by this example
The fireplace was an old one, built by some Dutch merchant long ago, and paved all round with quaint Dutch tiles, designed to illustrate the Scriptures.†
illustrate = help make clear
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 1
Web Links
inclined   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
I'm inclined to
Scrooge was at first inclined to be surprised that the Spirit should attach importance to conversations apparently so trivial;
inclined = with a tendency
DefinitionGenerally this sense of inclined means:
a tendency; in the mood; or an attitude that favors something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
on an incline or incline his head
The upper portion of the garment was contracted for an instant in its folds, as if the Spirit had inclined its head.
inclined = bowed or bent
DefinitionGenerally this sense of incline means:
to be at an angle or to bend
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
latent
2 uses
they had some latent moral for his own improvement
latent = potentially existing but not presently evident or active
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
melancholy
4 uses
He spoke before the hour bell sounded, which it now did with a deep, dull, hollow, melancholy ONE.
melancholy = sad
DefinitionGenerally melancholy means:
a sad feeling or manner — sometimes thoughtfully sad
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
notwithstanding
3 uses
[After Scrooge was rude] His nephew left the room without an angry word, notwithstanding.
notwithstanding = despite what just happened (in this case, even though Scrooge was rude to his nephew, the nephew did not express an angry word.)
DefinitionGenerally notwithstanding means:
in spite of; or in spite of the thing mentioned
(Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nevertheless, nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
oblige   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
I am obliged by law.
He was obliged to rub the frost off with the sleeve of his dressing-gown before he could see anything;
obliged = required (compelled)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of oblige means:
require (obligate) to do something
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
I'm much obliged for your kindness
Scrooge expressed himself much obliged, but could not help thinking that a night of unbroken rest would have been more conducive to that end.
obliged = grateful or indebted
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
phenomenon
2 uses
As Scrooge looked fixedly at this phenomenon, it was a knocker again.†
phenomenon = something seen that is of special interest
DefinitionGenerally phenomenon means:
something that exists or happened — especially something of special interest — sometimes someone or something that is extraordinary
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
resolve   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
He resolved to lie awake until the hour was passed;
resolved = decided
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
Her resolve weakened.
But scorning rest, upon his reappearance, he instantly began again, though there were no dancers yet, as if the other fiddler had been carried home, exhausted, on a shutter, and he were a bran-new man resolved to beat him out of sight, or perish.
resolved = determined (having firm purpose or having firmly decided)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
firmness of purpose (strong determination to do something)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
specter
12 uses
Again the spectre raised a cry, and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hands.
spectre = ghost
DefinitionGenerally this sense of specter means:
a mental image of something frightening or disturbing

or:

a ghostly appearing image
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
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