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Heart of Darkness
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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alacrity
1 use
He had a uniform jacket with one button off, and seeing a white man on the path, hoisted his weapon to his shoulder with alacrity.
alacrity = quickness (liveliness and eagerness)
DefinitionGenerally alacrity means:
quickness; and/or cheerful eagerness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
apathy
1 use
Even extreme grief may ultimately vent itself in violence—but more generally takes the form of apathy.
apathy = lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
apparent
6 uses
"Ye-e-es," he muttered, not very convinced apparently.
apparently = obviously
DefinitionGenerally apparent means:
clear or obvious; or appearing as such but not necessarily so
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library55 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
audacious
2 uses
there he was gallantly, thoughtlessly alive, to all appearance indestructible solely by the virtue of his few years and of his unreflecting audacity.
audacity = boldness and daring
DefinitionGenerally audacious means:
bold and daring (inclined to take risks) — especially in violating social convention in a manner that could offend others
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
comprehend
7 uses
the murmurs of wild crowds, the faint ring of incomprehensible words cried from afar, the whisper of a voice speaking from beyond the threshold of an eternal darkness.
incomprehensible = not understandable

(editor's note: The prefix in- means not for this word. This is one of the common meanings of the prefix in- as seen in incorrect, independent, inexpensive, inefficient, inconsiderate, ...)
DefinitionGenerally comprehend means:
to understand something — especially to understand it completely
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
despondent
2 uses
was in the uttermost depths of despondency.
despondency = depression
DefinitionGenerally despondent means:
emotionally depressed — especially a feeling of grief and hopelessness after a loss
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
dubious
1 use
He looked very dubious;
dubious = doubtful or suspicious
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
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
enigma
2 uses
like a ripple on an unfathomable enigma, a mystery...
enigma = something mysterious that seems unexplainable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
indifferent
2 uses
The swift and indifferent placidity of that look troubled me.
indifferent = uninterested or unsympathetic
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest
in various senses, including:
  • unconcerned — as in "She is indifferent to what is served to eat."
  • unsympathetic — as in "She is indifferent to his needs."
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context) — as in "an indifferent performance"
  • impartial — as in "We need a judge who is indifferent."
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
innate
1 use
When they are gone you must fall back upon your own innate strength, upon your own capacity for faithfulness.
innate = of a quality:  present at birth or existing as an inseparable part of something greater
DefinitionGenerally innate means:
of a quality:  present at birth; or arising from within rather than having been learned or acquired
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
insidious
1 use
How insidious he could be, too, I was only to find out several months later and a thousand miles farther.
insidious = not appearing dangerous, but actually harmful
DefinitionGenerally insidious means:
not appearing dangerous, but actually very harmful over time

or:

treacherous  (dangerous due to trickery or from hidden or unpredictable risks)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
morose
1 use
He was a young man, lean, fair, and morose, with lanky hair and a shuffling gait.
morose = unhappy — often with a withdrawn personality
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
obscure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
it obscured my view
A dark figure obscured the lighted doorway of the manager's hut, vanished, then, a second or so after, the doorway itself vanished too.
obscured = blocked the view of
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 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
knows the famous and the obscure
your power of devotion, not to yourself, but to an obscure, back-breaking business.
obscure = undistinguished
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not known to many people; or unimportant or undistinguished
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
ostentatious
1 use
He carried his fat paunch with ostentation on his short legs,
ostentation = (in a manner that) attracted notice
DefinitionGenerally ostentatious means:
intended to attract notice and impress others — especially with wealth in a vulgar way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
precipitate
1 use
1  —1 use
adj as in: a precipitate decision
He talked precipitately, and I did not try to stop him.
precipitately = with great haste — perhaps implying that he doesn't think enough about the ramifications of what he says
DefinitionGenerally this sense of precipitate means:
acting with great haste — often without adequate thought
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
prudent
3 uses
This was simple prudence, white men being so much alike at a distance that he could not tell who I might be.
prudence = good sense and caution
DefinitionGenerally prudent means:
sensible and careful
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
revere
1 use
with reverence and affection
reverence = feelings of respect and admiration
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
sagacious
1 use
his sagacious relative lifted his head.
sagacious = wise
DefinitionGenerally sagacious means:
wise — especially through long experience and thoughtfulness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
scrutiny
1 use
Often far away there I thought of these two, guarding the door of Darkness, ... one introducing ..., the other scrutinizing the cheery and foolish faces with unconcerned old eyes.
scrutinizing = looking at very carefully
DefinitionGenerally scrutiny means:
careful examination of something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
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