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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

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
benevolent
2 uses
I must go, he said softly and benevolently,
benevolently = kindly
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 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

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
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
descend
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
thieves descended upon us
On each of the seven days of the week he further prayed that one of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost might descend upon his soul and drive out of it day by day the seven deadly sins which had defiled it in the past; and he prayed for each gift on its appointed day, confident that it would descend upon him, though it seemed strange to him at times that wisdom and understanding and knowledge were so distinct in their nature that each should be prayed for apart from the others.†
descend = arrive
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
to come or arrive — especially suddenly or from above or as an attack
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
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
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 5
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
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
languid
9 uses
A gradual warmth, a languorous weariness passed over him descending along his spine from his closely cowled head.
languorous = slow, relaxed, or with little energy
DefinitionGenerally languid means:
lacking energy or relaxed or moving slowly
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
liberal arts
1 use
We have the liberal arts and we have the useful arts.
liberal arts = studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
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
mollify
1 use
Very cool and mollifying.
mollifying = calming
DefinitionGenerally mollify means:
calm someone who is or may become angry or upset
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
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
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
penitent
9 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
Book9 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
pious
19 uses
1  —19 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
Why did you turn aside from your pious practices and good works?
pious = highly religious
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
repentance
28 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
Book28 uses
Library5 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
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
speculate
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
don't know, but I'll speculate
Through this image he had a glimpse of a strange dark cavern of speculation but at once turned away from it, feeling that it was not yet the hour to enter it.
speculation = thought or theorizing

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of speculate means:
to think about, wonder, guess or theorize with much uncertainty
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
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
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
venerate
1 use
a symbol behind which are massed twenty centuries of authority and veneration.
veneration = feelings of respect and reverence

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
DefinitionGenerally venerate means:
regard with feelings of respect and reverence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
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Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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