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The Fountainhead
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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abstract
6 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
abstract thought
We all agree that we want what's "best for the country", but that is an abstract concept and we cannot agree on which specific laws should be passed.
abstract = of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstract means:
of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance

or more rarely:

describing someone as distracted — thinking about something outside of the immediate conversation or circumstances
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
aesthetic
15 uses
It was not aesthetically pleasing.
aesthetically = in a manner that is beautiful or tasteful
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
Book15 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.7
Web Links
alternative
8 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
an alternative plan
Let's think of at least three alternatives before we decide what to do.
alternatives = possibilities
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.10
Web Links
altruism
32 uses
She is known for her kindness, compassion, and altruism.
altruism = unselfish concern for the welfare of others
Word Statistics
Book32 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.15
Web Links
ascetic
3 uses
The ascetic life has been more pronounced in Hinduism and Buddhism than in other major religions.
ascetic = the practice of self-denial
DefinitionGenerally ascetic means:
someone who practices self-denial (often to encourage spiritual growth); or relating to such self-denial

or:

severely plain (without decoration)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
assiduous
1 use
She is an assiduous student who expects to earn A's.
assiduous = diligent (showing care and persistent effort)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
contract   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
legal contract
She signed the contract.
contract = a written agreement that is enforceable by law
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contract means:
an agreement - typically written and enforceable by law
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.11
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
the metal contracted
When it is cold, the bridge contracts and the joints are further apart.
contracts = gets shorter or smaller
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contract means:
when something gets shorter or smaller
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
denounce
12 uses
She denounced him as a liar.
denounced = strongly criticized or accused publicly
DefinitionGenerally denounce means:
to strongly criticize or accuse publicly

or more rarely:  to inform against someone (turn someone into the authorities)
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.12
Web Links
dogmatic
1 use
The dogmatic coach is fond of saying, "My way's the right way. Your way's the wrong way!"
dogmatic = prone to stating opinions as absolute truth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 10 uses
1  —9 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
Which word choice best maintains the tone established in the first paragraph?
established = created
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 1.12
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
The passage is primarily about establishing the relationship between the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global temperature.
establishing = showing or demonstrating
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3.2
Web Links
incredulous
16 uses
I find it incredulous that you believe she is sincere.
incredulous = difficult to believe
DefinitionGenerally incredulous means:
unbelieving; or having difficulty accepting something so unexpected
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
insolent
26 uses
I don't recommend the hotel. The employees are insolent and unhelpful.
insolent = rudely disrespectful
Word Statistics
Book26 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.14
Web Links
integrity
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a person of high integrity
They agreed to have her judge the contest because everyone admires her integrity.
integrity = having strong moral principles — especially honesty
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.1
Web Links
philanthropy
5 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
Book5 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
reproach
22 uses
She reproached him for being thoughtless and lazy.
reproached = criticized
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism
Word Statistics
Book22 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.9
Web Links
resignation   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
I know you're unhappy there, but don't submit your resignation until you find a better job.
resignation = a document expressing that someone is quitting a job
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
to quit — especially a job or position; or a document expressing such an act
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.13
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
It wasn't her first choice, but she accepted it with resignation.
resignation = having 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 useChapter 4.3
Web Links
servile
2 uses
She acknowledged her submission in a servile tone.
servile = excessively submissive
DefinitionGenerally servile means:
submissive — typically excessively so (so submissive or eager to serve and please that one seems to have no self-respect)

or:

relating to the work that requires obeying demeaning commands

or:

slave-like or relating to slaves
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.18
Web Links
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