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The Importance of Being Earnest

Extra Credit Words with Typical Sample Sentences

instructions
capacious
1 use
She carries a capacious bag.
capacious = very large
DefinitionGenerally capacious means:
large in capacity
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
consternation
1 use
Much to the consternation of Congress, raising the tax decreased tax collections as manufacturers moved to other countries.
consternation = dismay (unhappiness and worry)
DefinitionGenerally consternation means:
dismay (unhappiness, worry, and often confusion) — typically over something unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
effrontery
1 use
She had the effrontery to laugh at the mayor's request.
effrontery = rudeness
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
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
equanimity
1 use
She accepted the problem with equanimity and grace.
equanimity = steadiness of mind under stress
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
essential
1 use
The essential feature of the pen is that it writes so consistently.
essential = absolutely necessary; or of greatest importance
DefinitionGenerally essential means:
necessary or important or relating to the basic nature of something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library24 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 3
Web Links
forte
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
it is her forte
cooking is his forte
forte = strength (strong ability)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of forte means:
strengths (strong abilities)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
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 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
Book5 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 1
Web Links
heresy
1 use
It is a hardline form of Sunni Islam that condemns all other strains as heresy.
heresy = something immoral
DefinitionGenerally heresy means:
opinions or actions most people consider immoral
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
however   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 12 uses
1  —11 uses as in:
However, complications may...
Most college application deadlines are in January and February. However, early admission deadlines are around November and some scholarships require even earlier deadlines.
however = despite that (a transition word use to connect contrasting ideas)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
though (or another expression that connects contrasting ideas)

(Based on idea 1 we might not expect idea 2, but this is a way of saying that even though idea 1 exists, we still have idea 2.  Synonyms include in spite of that, , nevertheless, nonetheless, on the other hand, in contrastand but.)
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library61 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAct 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
However much she tried...
However hard he tried, he couldn't do it.
however = no matter how
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
to whatever degree (regardless of how much; or whatever unspecified amount)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses 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, 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
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
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
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
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
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
positive
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
I'm positive I've seen her before.
positive = certain
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
certain (having no doubt; or used for emphasis)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
pretense
1 use
The country maintains a pretense of a free press.
pretense = false appearance
DefinitionGenerally pretense means:
a false appearance or action to help one pretend
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
recumbent
1 use
She likes a recumbent bicycle.
recumbent = lying down (a bicycle ridden in a reclined position)
DefinitionGenerally recumbent means:
lying down; or horizontal
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
sententious
2 uses
Too often, she answers a tough question with a sententious banality.
sententious = trying (but failing) to be verbally impressive
DefinitionGenerally sententious means:
annoying attempt to sound smart or important

or more rarely (and typically in classic literature):

expressing wisdom or knowledge concisely
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
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
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
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
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