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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
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAct 2
Web Links
arduous
1 use
She undertook the arduous work of caring for twins.
arduous = difficult
DefinitionGenerally arduous means:
difficult  — especially requiring great effort over an extended period of time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
candid
4 uses
Don't worry about my feelings. I'd like your candid opinion.
candid = honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
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
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 3
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
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
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 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
however
12 uses
1  —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
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —11 uses
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
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."

For example, Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players." Shakespeare is not saying the world is really a stage and all people are actors, but there are similarities he wants us to recognize.
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 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
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
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
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 2
Web Links
speculate
4 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
Book4 uses
Library16 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
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
Library5 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
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
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