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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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aesthetic
31 uses
This supreme quality is felt by the artist when the esthetic image is first conceived in his imagination.
esthetic = related to beauty — often referring to one's appreciation of beauty or one's sense of what is beautiful
DefinitionGenerally aesthetic means:
related to beauty or good taste — often referring to one's appreciation of beauty or one's sense of what is beautiful

or:

beautiful or tasteful
Word Statistics
Book31 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
complacent
1 use
I don't know, I'm sure, said Mr Dedalus, smiling complacently.
complacently = in a satisfied manner — without any concern
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
contrite
5 uses
he heard his own voice full of the quietude of humility and contrition.
contrition = sorrow or regret for a fault or offense
DefinitionGenerally contrite means:
feeling sorrow or regret for a fault or offense
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred the decision
He was impatient of their voices and could not keep his feet at rest. But the teller still deferred the serving of
others...
deferred = postponed (held off)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
postpone (hold off until a later time)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
disdain
3 uses
he had done well to leave the room in disdain.
disdain = a lack of respect
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
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
divine   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 4 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
to forgive is divine
chosen by divine design
divine = having come from God
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
divined from tea leaves
...holding his furled umbrella a span or two from him like a divining rod.
divining = used to discover something supernaturally
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
to predict or discover something supernaturally (as if by magic)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
divined through intuition
...whatever he had heard or divined in childhood of the strange and terrible.
divined = learned through intuition or reflection
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
to discover something — usually through intuition or reflection
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
engender
1 use
in dead bodies worms are engendered by putrefaction,
engendered = caused
DefinitionGenerally engender means:
cause — usually a feeling (possibly a situation)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
heresy
10 uses
This fellow has heresy in his essay.
heresy = opinions most people consider immoral
DefinitionGenerally heresy means:
opinions or actions most people consider immoral
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
lucid
4 uses
leaving his mind lucid
lucid = capable of thinking clearly
DefinitionGenerally lucid means:
of a person:  capable of thinking clearly

or:

of language:  clearly expressed so it is easily understood
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
novel
1 use
He too returned to his old life at school and all his novel enterprises fell to pieces.
novel = new and original
DefinitionGenerally this sense of novel means:
new and original — typically something considered good
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
obscure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
it obscured my view
A dusk like that of the outer world obscured his mind as he heard the mare's hoofs clattering along the tramtrack on the Rock Road and the great can swaying and rattling behind him.
obscured = clouded (made less clear)
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 useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
the view or directions are obscure
He would know obscure things, hidden from others,
obscure = mysterious (hard for others to understand)
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
Web Links
penitent
8 uses
The penitent emerged from the side of the box.
penitent = a person who expresses remorse (sorrow) for misdeeds (in this case exiting a Catholic confessional box where a priest is asked to extend forgiveness)
DefinitionGenerally penitent means:
feeling or expressing sorrow for having done wrong; or a person who does such
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
pious
19 uses
Why did you turn aside from your pious practices and good works?
pious = behaving in a highly moral or religious manner
DefinitionGenerally pious means:
behaving in a highly moral or religious manner

or less commonly:  behaving highly moral in a self-righteous or holier-than-thou manner
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
prudent
3 uses
Zeal without prudence is like a ship adrift.
prudence = good sense

(editor's note:  zeal is enthusiasm)
DefinitionGenerally prudent means:
sensible and careful
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
repentance
26 uses
No matter how many or how foul the sins if you only repent of them they will be forgiven you.
repent = to feel regret for having done something wrong and to resolve to be a better person in the future
DefinitionGenerally repentance means:
the feeling or expression of regret for having done something wrong with a firm decision to be a better person in the future
Word Statistics
Book26 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
scrupulous
4 uses
not before he had greased and brushed scrupulously his back hair
scrupulously = with extreme care
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
subtle
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a subtle poison
He had felt a subtle, dark, and murmurous presence penetrate his being...
subtle = hidden and harmful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
working in an indirect or hidden way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
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