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Childhood's End
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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credulous
1 use
He was open-minded, but not credulous.
credulous = too willing to believe
DefinitionGenerally credulous means:
gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
deliberate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deliberate insult
They might have had some natural cause, or they might be due to deliberate censorship by the Overlords.
deliberate = intentional
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deliberate means:
to do something intentionally
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
disdain
1 use
He felt, like all the Colonists, a slight disdain for the rest of mankind.
disdain = 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
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
ebullient
1 use
By turns he could be affectionate or morose, reserved or ebullient.
ebullient = happy and energetic
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
eccentric
3 uses
And what earlier ages would have called vice was now no more than eccentricity—or, at the worst, bad manners.
eccentricity = strange
DefinitionGenerally eccentric means:
unconventional or strange; or a person with such traits
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
elaborate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an elaborate design
A simple face-mask and oxygen set would take care of that: there was no need for anything elaborate.
elaborate = complex
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elaborate means:
having details and complexity — sometimes fancy or ornate
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
futile
3 uses
It seemed futile to spend a lifetime searching for secrets that the Overlords had probably uncovered ages before.
futile = effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
ingenious
6 uses
Human beings are remarkably ingenious,
ingenious = inventive and skillful
DefinitionGenerally ingenious means:
showing inventiveness and skill
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
latent
3 uses
To all outward appearances, she was still a baby, but round her now was a sense of latent power so terrifying that Jean could no longer bear to enter the nursery.
latent = potentially existing but not presently active
DefinitionGenerally latent means:
potentially existing but not presently evident or active
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
obscure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
it obscured my view
They were naked and filthy, with matted hair obscuring their eyes.
obscuring = making less visible
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
knows the famous and the obscure
...scientists anxious to carry out obscure tests with complicated instruments.
obscure = not understood by many people
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not known to many people; or unimportant or undistinguished
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
phenomenon
7 uses
All down the ages there have been countless reports of strange phenomena—poltergeists, telepathy, precognition—which you had named but never explained.
phenomena = interesting observable things
DefinitionGenerally phenomenon means:
something that exists or happened — especially something of special interest — sometimes someone or something that is extraordinary
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
profound   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
profound idea
The mild alcoholic fog prevented any profound analysis of what had happened,
profound = deep or far-reaching in intellect or insight
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
deep or far-reaching in intellect or consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
...such natural catastrophes as earthquakes or floods, which might have a profound effect on large numbers of people...
profound = very intense
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
relevant
1 use
The relevant statistics are attached, and it will be seen that there are still no signs of any unusual development.
relevant = relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
repudiate
1 use
...repudiated optimism and pessimism alike.
repudiated = rejected
DefinitionGenerally repudiate means:
strong rejection — especially when the idea or thing being rejected was once embraced
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
resignation
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
accepted it with resignation
...with a contented resignation that comes normally to a man only at the end of a long and busy life,
resignation = acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
subtle   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
a subtle poison
But behind that display of sleeping force were other and much subtler weapons.
subtler = working in an indirect or hidden way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a subtle difference or thinker
The Supervisor did not use those actual words, of course, and the thoughts he really expressed were far more subtle.
subtle = difficult to understand — often due to slight distinctions
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions)

or:

capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
virtual
6 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
virtual organization
Ignorance, disease, poverty and fear had virtually ceased to exist.
virtually = to almost be so, but not so strictly speaking
DefinitionGenerally this sense of virtual means:
to almost be something; or to effectively be something without entirely being it in a traditional sense
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
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