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Catch-22
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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approach   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
approached the city
When his inspiring dissertation was finished, he gave the men the colors of the day still one more time, stressed the angle of approach and reviewed the weather conditions again.†
approach = getting near
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
to get closer to
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library88 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
use the best approach
Why can't we take a more positive approach?†
approach = technique (way of doing something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
a way of doing something; or a route that leads to a particular place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
ascetic
2 uses
I can't help thinking of the Hippolytus of Euripides, where the early licentiousness of Theseus is probably responsible for the asceticism of the son that helps bring about the tragedy that ruins them all.
asceticism = practice of extreme 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
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
despondent
11 uses
'It's the end,' Milo agreed despondently.
despondently = in a depressed manner
DefinitionGenerally despondent means:
emotionally depressed — especially a feeling of grief and hopelessness after a loss
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
direct   (5 meanings)
5 meanings, 29 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
depart directly
McWatt set course directly back toward the field.†
directly = immediately
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
without delay, or in the quickest manner, or without going somewhere else first
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
2  —19 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
Snowden rolled his head to the other side of his neck in order to stare at Yossarian more directly.†
directly = in a straight line
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The road runs directly to Las Vegas." — straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • "It was a direct hit." — exact
  • "The plant is in direct sunlight." — unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • "She wants a direct meeting with him." — personal (without other people in between)
  • "She paid direct attention to what he was reading." — close
  • "a direct gaze" — straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 35
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
was direct in my instructions
Yossarian was stunned by their overbearing vigor and zeal, by their practical, direct efficiency.†
direct = straightforward (uncomplicated)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 32
Web Links
4  —5 uses as in:
directed the jury to...
'Be quiet, damn you!' directed Yossarian.†
directed = commanded
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
5  —2 uses as in:
directed the movie
I didn't think I should, since I was in Orvieto at the time directing the antiaircraft fire.†
directing = supervising
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
supervise, control, or to be in charge of
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 33
Web Links
elated
14 uses
Yossarian thumbed his nose at Major Danby and laughed with smug elation.
elation = high-spirited delight
DefinitionGenerally elated means:
full of happiness and excitement
Word Statistics
Book14 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
There was no established procedure for evasive action.†
established = generally accepted
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library21 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
Men like Hungry Joe glowered at him with blameful hatred, and Appleby subjected him to vindictive discourtesy now that he had established himself as a hot pilot and a ping-pong player who never lost a point.†
established = proven or demonstrated
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 10
Web Links
illustrate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
as illustrated by this example
The planes were decorated with flamboyant squadron emblems illustrating such laudable ideals as Courage, Might, Justice, Truth, Liberty, Love, Honor and Patriotism that were painted out at once by Milo's mechanics with a double coat of flat white and replaced in garish purple with the stenciled name M & M ENTERPRISES, FINE FRUITS AND PRODUCE.†
illustrating = helping to make clear
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
impetuous
2 uses
He felt an urgent desire to be alone with her again soon and sprang up impetuously from his table and went running outside and back down the street toward...
impetuously = impulsively (acting suddenly without much thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impetuous means:
impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought) — often with an unfortunate consequence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
perspective   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
Look at it from her perspective
He leaned back once more to inspect his chart admiringly from an objective perspective.†
perspective = way of seeing and thinking about things
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perspective means:
a particular way of seeing or thinking about things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
Keep it in perspective
Everywhere he looked was a nut, and it was all a sensible young gentleman like himself could do to maintain his perspective amid so much madness.†
perspective = sensible view
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perspective means:
a sensible view of a situation that considers its different parts in a balanced way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
a perspective of the entire block
The tops of the sheer buildings slanted in weird, surrealistic perspective, and the street seemed tilted.†
perspective = view
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perspective means:
a view — often stressing that the view is different from a view from another location
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 39
Web Links
positive   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 16 uses
1  —15 uses as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
'Certainly I would,' he added a few moments later, in a less positive manner.†
positive = certain
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
certain (having no doubt; or used for emphasis)
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a positive attitude
Why can't we take a more positive approach? Why can't we all pray for something good, like a tighter bomb pattern, for example?†
positive = optimistic
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
optimistic (expecting or focusing good things); or agreeable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
repudiate
2 uses
Nately plunged back into debate with him, determined to repudiate his vile logic and insinuations
repudiate = reject and prove wrong
DefinitionGenerally repudiate means:
strong rejection — especially when the idea or thing being rejected was once embraced
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
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