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The Importance of Being Earnest
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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capacious
1 use
She carries a capacious bag.
capacious = large in capacity
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
consternation
1 use
With a look of consternation, her teacher asked if anyone had done the reading.
consternation = dismay (unhappiness, worry, and often confusion) — typically over something unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
deceit
1 use
I'll never forget her deceit.
deceit = the act of deceiving (lying to or misleading someone)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
effrontery
1 use
She had the effrontery to laugh at the mayor's request.
effrontery = impolite boldness
DefinitionGenerally effrontery means:
rude and disrespectful behavior — often made by someone who does not realize they are being rude — as when someone is presumptuous or impolitely bold
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
grave
5 uses
Her smile disappeared as she suddenly realized the gravity of her situation.
gravity = seriousness or importance (weightiness)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn

The exact meaning of this sense of grave is often subject to 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 (with a heavy heart)
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — sincere and dignified without humor
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 1
Web Links
impetuous
1 use
She regretted her impetuous promise.
impetuous = impulsive (made 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 useAct 2
Web Links
indifferent
2 uses
About a third are in favor of the change, a third are opposed, and a third are indifferent.
indifferent = without interest
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest — in various senses such as:
  • unconcerned
  • unsympathetic
  • impartial
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
indignant
8 uses
She was indignant, but agreed to be searched when they accused her of shoplifting.
indignant = angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 1
Web Links
lax
1 use
Lax safeguards contributed to the oil spill.
lax = relaxed; or lacking in strictness or strength
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
mercenary
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a mercenary attitude
She has mercenary motives.
mercenary = marked by materialism or a profit orientation
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
misanthrope
1 use
Homer Simpson's boss is a greedy misanthrope.
misanthrope = person who dislikes other people
DefinitionGenerally misanthrope means:
someone who dislikes people — and often distrusts them
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
neologism
1 use
Google was so popular, its name became a neologism meaning "search".
neologism = a newly invented word or phrase
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
ostentatious
1 use
Although wealthy, the family is not ostentatious.
ostentatious = showy (trying to attract notice and impress others in a manner seen as in bad taste)
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 useAct 3
Web Links
pretense
1 use
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
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
quixotic
1 use
a quixotic law that was supposed to end excessive influence of special interests in government
quixotic = impractical due to excessive romanticism or idealism
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
recumbent
1 use
She likes a recumbent bicycle.
recumbent = lying down
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
speculate
2 uses
philosophers have speculated on the question of God for thousands of years
speculated = thought and guessed without certainty
DefinitionGenerally this sense of speculate means:
to guess without certainty

or:

to think about or consider something

or (more rarely):

to risk money in a financial venture
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 1
Web Links
supercilious
1 use
I have come to hate her supercilious smile.
supercilious = arrogant
DefinitionGenerally supercilious means:
arrogant (acting as if better, more important, and superior in ideas than others)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
utilitarian
1 use
She likes plain utilitarian kitchenware.
utilitarian = designed for usefulness rather than beauty or style
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
vacillate
1 use
She was determined and did not vacillate in the least.
vacillate = to change one's mind back and forth between conflicting ideas
DefinitionGenerally vacillate means:
to change one's mind back and forth between conflicting ideas

or:

to sway back and forth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
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