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The Brothers Karamazov
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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ascetic
8 uses
He had been a celebrated ascetic, rigid in fasting and silence,
ascetic = someone who practices self-denial (especially to encourage spiritual growth)
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
Book8 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
austere
7 uses
And even that austere and cautious man, though he frowned as he read the news of the "miracle," could not completely restrain some inner emotion.
austere = stern and practicing great self-denial
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
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
candid
3 uses
They were splendid children ... "and I can't look at their innocent candid faces, I am unworthy."
candid = honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
capricious
9 uses
And mamma is capricious and tearful and insane!
capricious = impulsive or unpredictable
DefinitionGenerally capricious means:
impulsive or unpredictable or tending to make sudden changes — especially impulsive behavior
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
complacent
5 uses
"Don't be anxious about my nature," Kolya interrupted, not without complacency.
complacency = a lack of concern — often to a fault
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
contempt
17 uses
1  —17 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
Smerdyakov stared at him, not simply with contempt, but almost with repulsion.
contempt = dislike and disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book17 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
contrary   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 77 uses
1  —13 uses as in:
a contrary idea
No, no; quite the contrary.
contrary = opposite
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrary means:
different (perhaps opposite or mutually exclusive)
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
contrary to
But before three o'clock in the afternoon that something took place to which I alluded at the end of the last book, something so unexpected by all of us and so contrary to the general hope, that, I repeat, this trivial incident has been minutely remembered to this day in our town and all the surrounding neighborhood.
contrary to = in opposition to
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
3  —62 uses as in:
on the contrary
He is not at all angry, I assure you; on the contrary, he is surprised that you could suppose so.
on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
Word Statistics
Book62 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
disdain
15 uses
She looked disdainfully at Alyosha as he came in.
disdainfully = with 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
Book15 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
enigma
12 uses
But the future life—it is such an enigma!
enigma = mystery
DefinitionGenerally enigma means:
something mysterious that seems unexplainable
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 11 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
In this way his reputation as "a desperate character," was established for ever.†
established = set
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
establish that there is a need
But man seeks to worship what is established beyond dispute, so that all men would agree at once to worship it.†
established = demonstrated or proved
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
heresy
9 uses
tomorrow I shall condemn Thee and burn Thee at the stake as the worst of heretics.
heretics = people with opinions or actions most people consider immoral
DefinitionGenerally heresy means:
opinions or actions most people consider immoral
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
impetuous
6 uses
It was the same impetuous Katya who had thrown herself on the mercy of a young profligate to save her father;
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
Book6 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
obstinate
13 uses
But this time Pyotr Ilyitch was as obstinate as a mule.
obstinate = stubbornly not doing what others want
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
orthodox
10 uses
the prosecutor's charge of uttering unorthodox opinions
unorthodox = in violation of what is commonly accepted
DefinitionGenerally orthodox means:
thinking and behavior that is (or was) commonly accepted
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
philanthropy
6 uses
He became active in philanthropy too, founded and helped to maintain many institutions in the town,
philanthropy = helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
refute
3 uses
he scarcely tried to refute his evidence
refute = prove or argue that something is false
DefinitionGenerally refute means:
to prove or argue that something is false
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
scoundrel
90 uses
Dmitri Karamazov is a scoundrel, but not a thief.
scoundrel = someone without good moral principles
DefinitionGenerally scoundrel means:
someone without moral principles
Word Statistics
Book90 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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