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The Catcher in the Rye
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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alternative
2 uses
1  —2 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
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
annex
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
annex of the main building
The YMCA added an annex where younger children can play.
annex = an addition that extends a main building
DefinitionGenerally this sense of annex means:
an addition that extends a main building

or:

to attach something — especially to something larger or more important
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
atheist
3 uses
While many atheist decline any non-material reality, others have a spiritual outlook on life.
atheist = someone who does not believe in the existence of god
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
bourgeois
5 uses
Our lifestyle upsets their bourgeois sensibilities.
bourgeois = typical middle class
DefinitionGenerally bourgeois means:
typical of the middle class or their values and habits — typically used to show disapproval

or:

in Marxist theory: the property-owning class
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
conceit
10 uses
Her conceit will be her downfall.
conceit = feelings of excessive pride
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
digress
8 uses
She always digresses when telling a story.
digresses = wanders from a direct course
DefinitionGenerally digress means:
wander from a direct or straight course — especially verbally
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
disciple
7 uses
She was his favorite student and disciple.
disciple = someone who believes and helps to spread the teachings of another
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
falsetto
1 use
He sings with a falsetto voice.
falsetto = a male singing voice with artificially high tones in an upper register
DefinitionGenerally falsetto means:
a male voice that is artificially high — usually while singing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
incognito
3 uses
They are travelling incognito.
incognito = with hidden identity (perhaps false names or even disguises)
DefinitionGenerally incognito means:
with identity hidden — such as via a disguise or false name
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
infirmary
2 uses
She felt ill and went to the infirmary.
infirmary = a small facility where patients receive treatment
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
matinée
4 uses
We can still make the half-price matinée.
matinée = daytime performance (of something like a movie or play)
DefinitionGenerally matinée means:
a daytime performance (of something like a movie or play)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
monotonous
2 uses
The cafeteria food is good, but it gets monotonous after a while.
monotonous = lacking in variety — typically boring
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
nominate
2 uses
The president nominated her as head of the Civil Rights Commission.
nominated = proposed that someone be offered a position, be a candidate, or receive an honor
DefinitionGenerally nominate means:
propose that someone be offered a position, be a candidate, or receive an honor
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
nonchalant
2 uses
I could tell she was nervous, but she was trying to look nonchalant.
nonchalant = calm and unconcerned
DefinitionGenerally nonchalant means:
calm in manner — appearing unconcerned
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
ostracize
2 uses
She is ostracized for her unpopular opinions.
ostracized = excluded from a community or group
DefinitionGenerally ostracize means:
exclude someone from a community or group
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
pneumonia
6 uses
A mild case of pneumonia is sometimes referred to as "walking pneumonia."
pneumonia = respiratory disease characterized by inflammation and accumulation of fluid in the lungs
DefinitionGenerally pneumonia means:
respiratory disease characterized by inflammation and accumulation of fluid in the lungs; caused by infectious agents (e.g., viruses or bacteria) or by inhalation of certain irritants
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
putrid
2 uses
The meat was putrid and covered with maggots.
putrid = in an advanced state of decomposition with a foul odor
DefinitionGenerally putrid means:
rotting (an advanced state of decomposition) with a foul odor; or anything that is disgusting
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
qualms
2 uses
She has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to win.
qualms = uneasiness — especially about whether it is right to do something
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
Romeo and Juliet
7 uses
The movie is another remake of Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo and Juliet = Shakespeare's best known work; a tragedy of forbidden love (c. 1596)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
spontaneous
1 use
The group broke into spontaneous laughter.
spontaneous = happening or arising without plan
DefinitionGenerally spontaneous means:
happening or arising without plan (naturally)

or:

behaving in an instinctive, uninhibited manner (unplanned)

or:

happening without apparent external cause
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
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