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Atlas Shrugged
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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aesthetic
3 uses
...he felt was the sheer pleasure of the sight, the purest esthetic pleasure he had ever experienced.
esthetic = sensation of beauty
DefinitionGenerally aesthetic means:
related to beauty or good taste — often referring to one's appreciation of beauty or one's sense of what is beautiful

or:

beautiful or tasteful
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
apathy
2 uses
and the empty white face staring at the universe in stagnant apathy would be the limit placed on her effort.
apathy = lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
arbitrary
17 uses
Now I saw that one man was to be bound by it, but the other was not, one was to obey a rule, the other was to assert an arbitrary wish-his need-and the law was to stand on the side of the wish.
arbitrary = unfair (based on chance or impulse rather than fair reasoning)
DefinitionGenerally arbitrary means:
based on chance or impulse (rather than upon reasoning, consistent rules, or a proper sense of fairness)
Word Statistics
Book17 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.7
Web Links
austere
25 uses
His face was hard; it had an expression of severity, an inner severity directed at himself; it looked austere and lonely.
austere = without comfort or luxury
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
Book25 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
belligerent
12 uses
...in the belligerently righteous style of a third-rate tabloid; her economics consisted of the assertion that "we've got to help the poor."
belligerently = with a manner 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
Book12 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
benevolent
7 uses
Entering Rearden's office, Dr. Floyd Ferris wore the expression of a man so certain of the success of his quest that he could afford a benevolent smile.
benevolent = kind and generous
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
capricious
2 uses
But you expect industrial giants-who plan in terms of decades ... to continue to function and produce, not knowing what random caprice in the skull of what random official will descend upon them at what moment to demolish the whole of their effort.
caprice = impulsive and unpredictable idea
DefinitionGenerally capricious means:
impulsive or unpredictable or tending to make sudden changes — especially impulsive behavior
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.7
Web Links
deride
11 uses
She was startled to see him looking at her with a touch of derision, as if he were mocking her estimate...
derision = contempt and ridicule (lack of respect and making fun of)
DefinitionGenerally deride means:
laugh at or make fun of—while showing a lack of respect
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
erudite
1 use
...existence and consciousness-are axioms you cannot escape, ...implied in any action you undertake, in any part of your knowledge and in its sum, from the first ray of light you perceive at the start of your life to the widest erudition you might acquire at its end.
erudition = deep scholarly knowledge
DefinitionGenerally erudite means:
having or showing deep scholarly knowledge
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.7
Web Links
expedient
6 uses
-that we must act on the expediency of the moment-you don't want to risk your job, do you?
expediency = an action that is speedy or practical
DefinitionGenerally expedient means:
a practical action — especially one that accepts negative tradeoffs due to circumstances

or:

convenient, speedy, or practical
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
fastidious
3 uses
She stood there, fastidiously groomed, wearing a...
fastidiously = giving careful attention to detail
DefinitionGenerally fastidious means:
giving careful attention to detail

or:

excessively concerned with cleanliness or matters of taste
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
hypothesis   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
a study to test her hypothesis
  "There's a market for Rearden Metal and I intend to take full advantage of it."
  "Isn't the market somewhat hypothetical? The public response to your metal has not been encouraging."
hypothetical = based on assumptions rather than facts
DefinitionGenerally this sense of hypothesis means:
seemingly reasonable, but unproven idea or explanation based upon known facts
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
assume as a working hypothesis
"Miss Taggart," he asked sadly and cautiously, "would you say that if—this is just a hypothetical question—if the equipment now in use on the Rio Norte Line were made available, it would fill the needs of our transcontinental main-line traffic?"†
hypothetical = based on something temporarily treated as true to advance a discussion or to further investigation
DefinitionGenerally this sense of hypothesis means:
something that may or may not be true, but is temporarily treated as true to advance a discussion or to further investigation
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.5
Web Links
indolent
2 uses
...with vacant eyes staring in indolent stupor out of stagnant layers of flesh,
indolent = lazy
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
ostentatious
11 uses
But tonight she wore an ostentatious display:
ostentatious = intended to attract notice and impress others
DefinitionGenerally ostentatious means:
intended to attract notice and impress others — especially with wealth in a vulgar way
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
prosaic
1 use
The absence of so prosaic a commodity as grapefruit juice had suddenly made real to him, for the first time, what it was that would happen to the city of New York if anything happened to the Taggart Bridge.
prosaic = lacking anything unusual, interesting, or challenging
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.8
Web Links
refute
4 uses
They neither refuted nor agreed; they merely looked as if her arguments were beside the point.
refuted = argued against
DefinitionGenerally refute means:
to prove or argue that something is false
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
reprehensible
1 use
They're all scrambling to get statements into the newspapers to the effect that they have no connection whatever with the John Galt Line and how reprehensible an undertaking they think it is.
reprehensible = bad and unacceptable
DefinitionGenerally reprehensible means:
bad and unacceptable — deserving severe criticism
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
scrupulous
7 uses
Eddie's eyes were blue, wide and questioning; he had blond hair and a square face, unremarkable except for that look of scrupulous attentiveness and...
scrupulous = diligent and ethical
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
taint
1 use
Had she fed him tainted refuse, he thought, had she mixed poison into his food, it would have been more kind and less fatal.
tainted = spoiled or contaminated
DefinitionGenerally taint means:
to spoil something so it is not desirable — as when bacteria contaminates a food; or as when a rumor makes people distrust a person
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.6
Web Links
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