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Babbitt

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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advocate
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
to advocate
do you mean to say you advocate these strikes?
advocate = support
DefinitionGenerally this sense of advocate means:
to recommend or publicly support (someone or something)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 32
Web Links
amiable
8 uses
As they passed down the hall Gunch demanded amiably, "George, old scout, you were soreheaded about something, here a while back."
amiably = in a friendly way
DefinitionGenerally amiable means:
friendly, agreeable, and likable
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
apathy
1 use
He accepted Frink with vast apathy; he grunted, "Poor boob!"
apathy = lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
austere
5 uses
He had, without explanation, the impression of a slaggy cliff and on it, in silhouette against menacing clouds, a lone and austere figure.
austere = stern; or without comfort
DefinitionGenerally austere means:
a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

or:

of a person:  stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
belligerent
6 uses
he was annoyed by such background thoughts as had never weakened him in his days of belligerent conformity.
belligerent = hostile (with the attitude of one eager to fight)
DefinitionGenerally belligerent means:
hostile (the attitude of one eager to fight); or one already engaged in a fight or war
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
benevolent
5 uses
"Wish there were more folks that were so generous with their machines," dutifully said the victim of benevolence.
benevolence = kindness and goodwill
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 29
Web Links
censure
2 uses
If he took her to dinner, if he were seen by censorious friends—But he went on ardently:
censorious = tending to express harsh criticism
DefinitionGenerally censure means:
harsh criticism; or formal criticism from an organization — such as the U.S. Senate
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
condescending
9 uses
...Babbitt accepted favors with the condescension one always shows a patient nurse.
condescension = a manner that treats others as inferiors

(editor's note:  The suffix "-sion", 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 admission from admit, discussion from discuss, and invasion from invade.)
DefinitionGenerally condescending means:
treating others as inferior; or doing something considered beneath one's position or dignity
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 29
Web Links
denounce
8 uses
He wanted to denounce them but (standing in the snow, peering round the dark corner) he did not dare.
denounce = to strongly criticize or accuse publicly

or more rarely:  to inform against someone (turn someone into the authorities)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 26
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
It was Mrs. Babbitt who had made this discord in their spiritual harmony,
discord = conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
establish a positive tone
There was no court to decide whether the second son of a Pierce Arrow limousine should go in to dinner before the first son of a Buick roadster, but of their respective social importance there was no doubt; and where Babbitt as a boy had aspired to the presidency, his son Ted aspired to a Packard twin-six and an established position in the motored gentry.†
established = settled
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
When he had thus established himself as a person unemotional and interested only in business, he sauntered out.†
established = proven or demonstrated
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 28
Web Links
pious   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
[after talking about dieting] She stooped over her story while he piously sliced and gulped down the apple, discoursing: "One thing I've done: cut down my smoking."
piously = in a highly moral manner (doing what is thought to be the right thing)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
a pious hypocrite
And crooked—Say, if I told the prosecuting attorney what I know about this last Street Traction option steal, both you and me would go to jail, along with some nice, clean, pious, high-up traction guns!
pious = self-righteous (acting as though one is highly moral when it is not true)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
self-righteous (acting as though one is, or believing one is highly moral when it is not true)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
repudiate
1 use
Babbitt utterly repudiated the view that he had been trying to discover how approachable was Miss McGoun.
repudiated = strongly rejected
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 23
Web Links
resolute
11 uses
for however resolute he might be at dawn, he could not, for a single evening, check his drift.
resolute = firm in purpose
DefinitionGenerally resolute means:
firm in purpose or belief
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
reticent
7 uses
"Yuh—" Then he was pouring it out nakedly, robbed of reticence.
reticence = reluctance
DefinitionGenerally reticent means:
reluctant — especially to speak freely
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
socialism
12 uses
New York Assembly has passed some bills that ought to completely outlaw the socialists!
socialists = people who want an economic system based on government ownership or control of all important companies — with the ideal of equal benefits to all people
DefinitionGenerally socialism means:
an economic system based on government ownership or control of all important companies — with the ideal of equal benefits to all people
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
speculative
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
a speculative venture
The room displayed a modest and pleasant color-scheme, after one of the best standard designs of the decorator who "did the interiors" for most of the speculative-builders' houses in Zenith.
speculative = without certainty of payment

(editor's note:  A speculative builder is someone who builds something with the hope that someone will buy it. This is in contrast to someone who is hired to build something.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of speculative means:
done with uncertainty—often a risky investment for profit
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
zenith
188 uses
It is not for nothing that Zenith is in matters social rapidly becoming known as the choosiest inland city in the country.
zenith = (in this novel) the name of Babbit's city

(editor's note:  As a common noun (not capitalized) zenith means "the highest point" and is often used as a metaphor to describe something that is very good. It is not a coincidence that city was given that name.)
DefinitionGenerally zenith means:
the highest point - physically or as a metaphor
Word Statistics
Book188 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
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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