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The Importance of Being Earnest

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

instructions
allude
3 uses
He alluded to Susan without mentioning her name.
alluded = indirectly referenced
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAct 2
Web Links
candid
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
your candid opinion
Don't worry about my feelings. I'd like your candid opinion.
candid = honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 1
Web Links
celibate
3 uses
The priests are celibate.
celibate = having taken a religious vow of chastity (to not have sexual relations)
DefinitionGenerally celibate means:
abstaining from (i.e., never having) sexual intercourse

or:

an unmarried person who has taken a religious vow of chastity
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
Familiarity breeds contempt.
contempt = lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
credulous
1 use
The trick would fool none but the most credulous.
credulous = gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
divine
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
to forgive is divine
Her pies are divine.
divine = wonderful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
domestic
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
domestic happiness
We share the domestic chores.
domestic = household (relating to home or family)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of domestic means:
relating to a home or family
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 1
Web Links
eccentric
1 use
She's a little eccentric, but we don't mind because she's the best player on the team.
eccentric = unconventional or strange
DefinitionGenerally eccentric means:
unconventional or strange; or a person with such traits
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useAct 3
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
induce
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
induce her to
The baby wasn't getting enough nutrients and oxygen, so we induced labor.
induced = caused (in this case, childbirth to start)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of induce means:
to persuade somebody to do something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 1
Web Links
irrevocable
1 use
We agreed not to take any irrevocable action until after the meeting.
irrevocable = incapable of being undone
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
metaphor
3 uses
He was speaking metaphorically when he referred to being mugged by reality.
metaphorically = with a figure of speech in which a similarity between two things is highlighted by using a word to refer to something that it does not literally denote
DefinitionGenerally metaphor means:
a figure of speech in which a similarity between two things is highlighted by using a word to refer to something that it does not literally denote — as when Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage."

When Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players." he was not saying the world is really a stage and all people are actors. But he was pointing to the similarities he wants us to recognize.
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
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 useAct 2
Web Links
reconcile
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
reconciled their differences
She reconciled her checking account statement.
reconciled = brought into agreement (in this case, the statement from the bank with the record she kept in her check register)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reconcile means:
to bring into agreement
The exact meaning of reconcile can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "We reconciled our differences and are on friendly terms now." — settled or found a way to accept
  • "They did break up, but they reconciled since then." — made up
  • "I need to reconcile my goals with my abilities." — make compatible
  • "I need to reconcile my checkbook." — get the checkbook numbers and the bank statement to agree
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 2
Web Links
refute
1 use
The speaker refuted his opponent's arguments.
refuted = argued against
DefinitionGenerally refute means:
to disprove or argue against
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 3
Web Links
reproach
2 uses
She reproached him for being thoughtless and lazy.
reproached = criticized
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism — especially where a relationship makes the disapproval result in disappointment or shame
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useAct 2
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
It wasn't her first choice, but she accepted it with resignation.
resignation = (accepted) something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useAct 2
Web Links
speculate
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
don't know, but I'll speculate
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 think about, wonder, guess or theorize with much uncertainty
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 1
Web Links
tedious
3 uses
I'll have to endure one of her tedious lectures.
tedious = boring
DefinitionGenerally tedious means:
boring — especially because something goes on too long or without variation
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
vulgar
4 uses
Her vulgarity was a turnoff.
vulgarity = crudeness (showing of bad taste)
DefinitionGenerally vulgar means:
of bad taste — often crude or offensive

or:

unsophisticated (or common) — especially of taste
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
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