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The Importance of Being Earnest

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
allude
3 uses
Do you allude to me, Miss Cardew, as an entanglement?
allude = 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
Personally, darling, to speak quite candidly, I don't much care about the name of Ernest.
candidly = with honesty and directness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 1
Web Links
celibate
3 uses
I am a celibate, madam.
celibate = someone who abstains from sexual intercourse
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
...seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life...
contempt = dislike and disrespect
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
His voice alone inspires one with absolute credulity.
credulity = willingness to believe
DefinitionGenerally credulous means:
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
It is a divine name.
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
neglect his domestic duties
domestic = relating to the 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
He was eccentric, I admit.
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
What an impetuous boy he is!
impetuous = impulsive (acting 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
Algernon.  Nothing will induce me to part with Bunbury, and if you ever get married, which seems to me extremely problematic, you will be very glad to know Bunbury.
induce = persuade (convince)
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
Your decision on the subject of my name is irrevocable, I suppose?
irrevocable = final (incapable of being undone)
DefinitionGenerally irrevocable means:
incapable of being undone
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
metaphor
3 uses
I spoke metaphorically.
metaphorically = using a figure of speech
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
I don't quite like women who are interested in philanthropic work.
philanthropic = 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
It's pleasant, is it not, to see so perfect a reconciliation?
reconciliation = two people making up (to bring into agreement)

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
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
They savour ... views that I have completely refuted in four of my unpublished sermons.
refuted = disproved or 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
Whatever unfortunate entanglement my dear boy may have got into, I will never reproach him with it after we are married.
reproach = criticize
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
After we had all been resigned to his loss, his sudden return seems to me peculiarly distressing.
resigned = forced to accustom ourselves (having accepted the loss as unavoidable)
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
Oh! there is no use speculating on that subject.
speculating = thinking or guessing
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
A man who marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it.
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
It is very vulgar to talk about one's business.
vulgar = in bad taste (unsophisticated or crude)
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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