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Dubliners

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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allude
13 uses
"...what shall I call them?—the Three Graces of the Dublin musical world."
The table burst into applause and laughter at this allusion.
allusion = an indirect reference

(editor's note:  In Greek mythology, The Three Graces are goddesses of such things as charm, beauty, and creativity)
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
amiable
7 uses
I watched my master's face pass from amiability to sternness;
amiability = the quality of being friendly and agreeable
DefinitionGenerally amiable means:
friendly, agreeable, and likable
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
bronze   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
bronze won't corrode in salt water
On his fourth trial he had been awarded a bronze medal.†
bronze = made of a brownish metal
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bronze means:
a brownish-colored metal with red or yellow hues that is made of copper and (usually) tin
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
a bronze tan
He was standing at the gate, his peaked cap pushed back on his head and his hair tumbled forward over a face of bronze.
bronze = a suntanned color
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bronze means:
a reddish-brown or yellowish-brown color like that of one of the metals with the same name — often used to refer to a suntan or a dark glowing complexion
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
candid
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
your candid opinion
Do you know what my private and candid opinion is about some of those little jokers?
candid = honest and straightforward
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
complacent
1 use
They were both well dressed, stout and complacent and they brought a breath of opulence among the company.
complacent = contented (unworried and happy)
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 13
Web Links
deprecate
1 use
"O no, sir!" cried the girl, following him. "Really, sir, I wouldn't take it."
"Christmas-time! Christmas-time!" said Gabriel, almost trotting to the stairs and waving his hand to her in deprecation.
deprecation = a manner indicating that it was of little importance or value

(editor's note:  He is indicating that the gift is a little thing that should be accepted in the spirit of Christmas.)
DefinitionGenerally deprecate means:
to diminish or treat something as unimportant or of low quality; or to express disapproval
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
descend   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
descend the mountain
She moved her hand about here and there in the air and descended on one of the saucers.†
descended = moved downward
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
move or slope downward
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
thieves descended upon us
THE grey warm evening of August had descended upon the city and a mild warm air, a memory of summer, circulated in the streets.
descended = come
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
to come or arrive — especially suddenly or from above or as an attack
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
diffident
2 uses
Gabriel waited again and then, fearing that diffidence was about to conquer him, he said abruptly: "By the way, Gretta!"
diffidence = hesitancy and unassertiveness due to a lack of self-confidence
DefinitionGenerally diffident means:
hesitant and unassertive — often due to a lack of self-confidence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
distend
1 use
"Give him air. He's fainted."
The ring of onlookers distended and closed again elastically.
distended = extended outward
DefinitionGenerally distend means:
to extend — especially the swelling outward of a part of the body; e.g., the stomach
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
dubious
3 uses
asked Lenehan dubiously.
dubiously = doubtfully or suspiciously
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful
in various senses, including:
  • doubtful that something should be relied upon — as in "The argument relies on a dubious assumption."
  • doubtful that something is morally proper — as in "The company is accused of using dubious sales practices to influence minors."
  • bad or of questionable value — as in "The state has the dubious distinction of the highest taxes."
  • doubtful or uncertain — as in "She is dubious about making the change."
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
ebullient
1 use
He was extremely nervous and extremely jealous of other tenors and he covered his nervous jealousy with an ebullient friendliness.
ebullient = happy and energetic
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
exonerate
1 use
The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence and exonerated Lennon from all blame.
exonerated = freed (of blame)
DefinitionGenerally exonerate means:
to free someone from blame

or more rarely:

to free someone from an obligation
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
furtive
3 uses
From the street door he walked on furtively on the inner side of the path towards the corner and all at once dived into a doorway.
furtively = while taking pains to avoid being observed
DefinitionGenerally furtive means:
taking pains to avoid being observed

or:

in a manner indicating nervousness (being cautious or appearing suspicious)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
impetuous
1 use
Perhaps she had felt the impetuous desire that was in him, and then the yielding mood had come upon her.
impetuous = impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impetuous means:
impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought) — often with an unfortunate consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
minute
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
minute size
The lower teeth and gums were covered with clotted blood and a minute piece of the tongue seemed to have been bitten off.†
minute = small
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minute means:
small, exceptionally small, or insignificant
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
mitigate
1 use
The arc of his social rise intersected the arc of his friend's decline, but Mr. Kernan's decline was mitigated by the fact that certain of those friends who had known him at his highest point of success still esteemed him as a character.
mitigated = made less harmful or unpleasant
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
pious
6 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
They are very good men, the monks, very pious men.
pious = highly religious and moral
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
resignation
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
accepted it with resignation
She said he just looked as if he was asleep, he looked that peaceful and resigned.
resigned = as one having accepted what could not be avoided
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
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