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An Ideal Husband

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
affectation
3 uses
I hate this affectation of youth, sir.
affectation = behaving in an artificial way to make an impression
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
allude
2 uses
The affair to which you allude was no more than a speculation.
allude = to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAct 3
Web Links
candid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
your candid opinion
Sir Robert Chiltern is on the brink of accepting the Prime Minister's offer, when he sees [his] wife looking at him with her clear, candid eyes.
candid = honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 4
Web Links
contempt
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
She would have turned from me ... in contempt.
contempt = disrespect and dislike
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
desecrate
1 use
you whose lips desecrated the word love,
desecrated = violate the sacred character of
DefinitionGenerally desecrate means:
violate the sacred nature of something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
discretion
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
Parental discretion advised.
Has she never in her life done some folly—some indiscretion—that she should not forgive your sin?
indiscretion = behavior that displays a lack of good judgment

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in indiscretion means not and reverses the meaning of discretion. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discretion means:
good judgment or good taste
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useAct 3
Web Links
eloquent
2 uses
Not a subject on which much eloquence is possible.
eloquence = powerful use of language
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 4
Web Links
fraudulent
6 uses
It is because your husband is himself fraudulent and dishonest that we pair so well together.
fraudulent = intentionally dishonest to trick people
DefinitionGenerally fraudulent means:
intentional deception — usually for financial gain or ego
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
grave
7 uses
It is a matter of the gravest importance, Phipps.
gravest = most serious
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn
The exact meaning of this sense of grave can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad or solemn
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — in a sincere and serious manner
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 1
Web Links
indignant
5 uses
with mock indignation
indignation = anger or annoyance at something unjust or wrong

(editor's note:  mock means pretending)
DefinitionGenerally indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 1
Web Links
infamous
5 uses
She is a vile, an infamous thing!
infamous = having an exceedingly bad reputation
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 4
Web Links
invariably
3 uses
She invariably finds it out.
invariably = always
DefinitionGenerally invariably means:
never changing; or always the same
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
loathe
3 uses
Think of their loathsome joy, of the delight they would have in dragging you down,
loathsome = disgusting or very bad
DefinitionGenerally loathe means:
hate, detest, or intensely dislike
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
morbid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a morbid curiosity
that is morbid of you
morbid = showing an unhealthy interest
DefinitionGenerally this sense of morbid means:
suggesting death and decay; or an unhealthy interest in disturbing thoughts — such as of death or cruelty
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
opera
5 uses
I hear she went to the Opera on Monday night,
opera = a classical music play in which most of the dialogue is sung
DefinitionGenerally opera means:
a musical play with orchestra in which most dialogue is sung — (typically associated with classical music and often in a language foreign to the audience)

or:

the art form (or describing something as related to it) that consists of musical plays with orchestra in which most dialogue is sung
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
philanthropy
2 uses
And philanthropy seems to me to have become simply the refuge of people who wish to annoy their fellow-creatures.
philanthropy = helping others
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
remorse
2 uses
I don't say that I suffered any remorse.
remorse = regret for doing something that was wrong
DefinitionGenerally remorse means:
a feeling of deep regret for doing something that was wrong
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
scrupulous
3 uses
Years ago you did a clever, unscrupulous thing; it turned out a great success.
unscrupulous = unethical

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unscrupulous means not and reverses the meaning of scrupulous. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 1
Web Links
tedious
7 uses
What I don't like are tedious, practical people.
tedious = boring
DefinitionGenerally tedious means:
boring — especially because something goes on too long or without variation
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
yield
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
yield to pressure
I had no idea that you, of all men in the world, could have been so weak, Robert, as to yield to such a temptation as Baron Arnheim held out to you.†
yield = give in, give way, or give up
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to give in, give way, or give up
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
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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