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The Age of Innocence

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
allude
20 uses
it was against all the rules of their code that the mother and son should ever allude to what was uppermost in their thoughts
allude = refer (even indirectly)
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
apathy
1 use
the writing of occasional articles in one of the reforming weeklies that were trying to shake the country out of its apathy.
apathy = lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 34
Web Links
betrothed
18 uses
Nothing about his betrothed pleased him more than her resolute determination to carry to its utmost limit that ritual of ignoring the "unpleasant" in which they had both been brought up.
betrothed = the person he promised to marry
DefinitionGenerally betrothed means:
promised to marry; or the person who has promised to marry
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
candid
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
your candid opinion
May met the question with her unshaken candour.
candour = honesty and directness

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use candor.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
consonant
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
consonant or vowel?
He had not even remembered that it was low-pitched, with a faint roughness on the consonants.
consonants = speech sounds that are not vowels
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consonant means:
a letter of the alphabet (or a speech sound) that is not a vowel
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
countenance   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
a pleasant countenance
After that there was still time to review, one by one, the familiar countenances in the first rows;
countenances = faces
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
facial expression; or face; or composure or manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
giving countenance
That is just like the extraordinary things that foreigners invent about us. They think we dine at two o'clock and countenance divorce!
countenance = approve of
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
to tolerate, approve, or show favor or support
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 33
Web Links
descend
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
thieves descended upon us
The immense accretion of flesh which had descended on her in middle life like a flood of lava on a doomed city had changed her from a plump active little woman with a neatly-turned foot and ankle into something as vast and august as a natural phenomenon.†
descended = come
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
to come or arrive — especially suddenly or from above or as an attack
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
disdain
1 use
Their own compatriots—save those previously known or properly accredited—they treated with an even more pronounced disdain; so that, unless they ran across a Chivers, a Dagonet or a Mingott, their months abroad were spent in an unbroken tete-a-tete.
disdain = a lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
dispose
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
disposed the troops along...
The old du Lac aunts at Rhinebeck had put their house at the disposal of the bridal couple, with a readiness inspired by the prospect of spending a week in New York with Mrs. Archer; and Archer, glad to escape the usual "bridal suite" in a Philadelphia or Baltimore hotel, had accepted with an equal alacrity.†
disposal = command

(editor's note:  When something is "at someone's disposal" it is "at their command," or "available for their use." They can use it as they please.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
the arrangement, positioning, or use of things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
indolent
2 uses
She was indolent, passive, the caustic even called her dull
indolent = lazy
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
irony   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
situational irony
it shed an ironic light on the situation to know...
ironic = indicating that what happened is very different than what might have be expected
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
when what happens is very different than what might be expected; or when things are together that seem like they don't belong together — especially when amusing or an entertaining coincidence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
verbal irony
She pronounced the "we" with a faint emphasis that gave it an ironic sound.
ironic = saying one thing while meaning another
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
mitigate
2 uses
The intended slight was emphasised by ... and by the uniform wording of the notes, in all of which the writers "regretted that they were unable to accept," without the mitigating plea of a "previous engagement" that ordinary courtesy prescribed.
mitigating = making less harmful or unpleasant
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
philanthropy
3 uses
The melancholy possibility of having to "kill time" (especially for those who did not care for whist or solitaire) was a vision that haunted her as the specter of the unemployed haunts the philanthropist.
philanthropist = someone who helps others — especially by donating money to worthy causes
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
prudent
5 uses
Better keep on the surface, in the prudent old New York way, than risk uncovering a wound he could not heal.
prudent = sensible and careful
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
repudiate
1 use
And then, as Archer made no effort to glance at the paper or to repudiate the suggestion, the lawyer somewhat flatly continued:
repudiate = reject
DefinitionGenerally repudiate means:
strong rejection — especially when the idea or thing being rejected was once embraced
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 33
Web Links
resignation
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
accepted it with resignation
To have to make this fact plain to her—and to witness her resigned acceptance of it—had been intolerably painful to him.
resigned = 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
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
scrupulous
4 uses
Old New York scrupulously observed the etiquette of hospitality, and no discussion with a guest was ever allowed to degenerate into a disagreement.
scrupulously = carefully
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 26
Web Links
ubiquitous
1 use
The ubiquitous handmaiden promptly appeared,
ubiquitous = seeming to be present everywhere
DefinitionGenerally ubiquitous means:
being present everywhere or all the time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
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Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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