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Heart of Darkness
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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allude
5 uses
He alluded to Susan without mentioning her name.
alluded = indirectly referenced
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
appalling
8 uses
The live in appalling conditions.
appalling = shockingly terrible or horrible
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
ascetic
1 use
The ascetic life has been more pronounced in Hinduism and Buddhism than in other major religions.
ascetic = the practice of self-denial
DefinitionGenerally ascetic means:
someone who practices self-denial (often to encourage spiritual growth); or relating to such self-denial

or:

severely plain (without decoration)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
candid
1 use
Don't worry about my feelings. I'd like your candid opinion.
candid = honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
contempt
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
Familiarity breeds contempt.
contempt = lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
I defer to her expertise.
defer = submit or yield
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
submit or yield (typically to another person's opinion because of respect for that person or their knowledge)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
desolate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 9 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
felt desolate
I heard a low desolate wail.
desolate = very sad
DefinitionGenerally this sense of desolate means:
sad or miserable—and often lonely
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a desolate place
The photos show the desolate surface of the moon.
desolate = empty, providing no shelter or sustenance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
digress
1 use
She always digresses when telling a story.
digresses = wanders from a direct course
DefinitionGenerally digress means:
wander from a direct or straight course — especially verbally
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
disdain
1 use
She tries to be polite, but cannot hide her disdain for authority.
disdain = 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
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
disparage
1 use
She has a reputation for disparaging the efforts of her co-workers.
disparaging = criticizing or making seem less important
DefinitionGenerally disparage means:
to criticize or make seem less important — especially in a disrespectful or contemptuous manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
eloquent
9 uses
Her eloquence is unquestioned even amongst those who disagree with her.
eloquence = the powerful use of language
DefinitionGenerally eloquent means:
powerful use of language
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
futile
4 uses
It was a futile effort that was doomed form the start.
futile = effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
guile
1 use
Her cleverness and inventiveness was exceeded only by her guile.
guile = cunning (shrewdness and cleverness) and deceit
DefinitionGenerally guile means:
cunning (shrewdness and cleverness) and deceitful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
luminous
5 uses
The sky was luminous with stars.
luminous = glowing or shining
DefinitionGenerally luminous means:
glowing or shining

(also used metaphorically to describe beauty or intelligence)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
ominous
8 uses
I'm beginning to hear ominous rumblings of discontent.
ominous = threatening (suggestive of, or foreshadowing bad things to come)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
philanthropy
2 uses
Her primary interests are family and philanthropy.
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 useChapter 1
Web Links
pretense
4 uses
The country maintains a pretense of a free press.
pretense = an appearance to help pretend
DefinitionGenerally pretense means:
an appearance or action to help one pretend
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
profound
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
Her apology was heartfelt—expressing profound sorrow and regret.
profound = of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
serene
4 uses
While I lie awake worrying, she sleeps serenely.
serenely = calmly and peacefully
DefinitionGenerally serene means:
calm and untroubled
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
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