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Ethan Frome
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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allude
3 uses
At our next meeting he made no allusion to the book,
allusion = indirect reference

(editor's note:  In this context, we are to assume that the author only mentions indirect references because there was no direct reference; i.e., there was no reference to the book.)
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
capitulate
1 use
I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
capitulating = (that) stopped resisting
DefinitionGenerally capitulate means:
to stop resisting something — such as surrendering to someone else's decision or accepting a military defeat
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useOpen
Web Links
contrast
6 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
there is a contrast
Zeena waited a moment, as if giving him time to feel the full force of the contrast between his own excitement and her composure.†
contrast = difference
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
a difference — especially a notable difference; or the side-x-side arrangement of things that draws attention to an unmissable difference
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useOpen
Web Links
convey
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
convey her thoughts
He luxuriated in the sense of protection and authority which his words conveyed.†
conveyed = communicated or expressed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convey means:
communicate or express
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
correspond
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
corresponding time period
She sat huddled in an arm-chair near the stove, and when I came in she turned her head quickly toward me, without the least corresponding movement of her body.†
corresponding = matching (similar)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspond means:
connect or fit together by being equivalent, proportionate, or matched

(Two things are equivalent if they have the same or very similar value, purpose, or result.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useClose
Web Links
demonstrate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
It demonstrates my point.
The cat, profiting by this unusual demonstration, tried to effect an unnoticed retreat, and in doing so backed into the pickle-dish, which fell to the floor with a crash.†
demonstration = display
DefinitionGenerally this sense of demonstrate means:
to show
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
direct   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
was direct in my instructions
I hoped that this incident might set up some more direct communication between us.†
direct = open (talkative and unguarded)
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 useOpen
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
directed the jury to...
He went about his task without knowing what force directed him, or whose hands and feet were fulfilling its orders. It was not till he led out the sorrel and backed him between the shafts of the sleigh that he once more became conscious of what he was doing.†
directed = commanded
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
imply
3 uses
I had been told that Frome was poor ... but I had not supposed him to be in such want as Harmon's words implied
implied = suggested
DefinitionGenerally imply means:
to suggest or say indirectly — possibly as a logical consequence
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useOpen
Web Links
latent
2 uses
The sight made him unhappy, and his unhappiness roused his latent fears.
latent = potentially existing but not presently evident or active
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
obscure   (4 meanings)
4 meanings, 9 uses
1  —1 use as in:
it obscured my view
Sometimes their way led them under the shade of an overhanging bank or through the thin obscurity of a clump of leafless trees.
obscurity = something that blocks a view
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 2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
the view or directions are obscure
Still she did not speak and, prompted by an obscure desire to help himself and her through their miserable last hour, he went on discursively: "Ain't it funny we haven't been down together but just that once last winter?"
obscure = little understood
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not clearly seen, understood, or expressed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
knows the famous and the obscure
Ethan, consumed with the longing for a last moment alone with Mattie, hung about impatiently while Denis made an ineffectual search in the obscurer corners of the store.
obscurer = less familiar (less used and less known)
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 6
Web Links
4  —6 uses as in:
was obscure, but now bright
In another moment she would step forth into the night, and his eyes, accustomed to the obscurity, would discern her as clearly as though she stood in daylight.
obscurity = darkness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
dark or dingy; or inconspicuous (not very noticeable)
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useOpen
Web Links
poignant
2 uses
Such tastes and acquirements in a man of his condition made the contrast more poignant between his outer situation and his inner needs
poignant = emotionally felt
DefinitionGenerally poignant means:
profoundly touching the emotions —  especially sadness or pity
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
querulous
4 uses
Must he wear out all his years at the side of a bitter querulous woman?
querulous = habitually complaining
DefinitionGenerally querulous means:
habitually complaining — especially in a high-pitched whiny voice
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useOpen
Web Links
reticent
2 uses
any question about her acquaintances brought forth a volume of detail; but on the subject of Ethan Frome I found her unexpectedly reticent.
reticent = reluctant to speak freely
DefinitionGenerally reticent means:
reluctant — especially to speak freely
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useOpen
Web Links
taciturn
2 uses
He recalled his mother's growing taciturnity
taciturnity = tendency to be reserved and not to talk
DefinitionGenerally taciturn means:
tending not to speak much
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useOpen
Web Links
yield   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
will yield valuable data
I had been told that Frome was poor, and that the saw-mill and the arid acres of his farm yielded scarcely enough to keep his household through the winter; but I had not supposed him to be in such want as Harmon's words implied, and I expressed my wonder.†
yielded = produced
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to produce (usually something wanted); or the thing or amount produced
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useOpen
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
yield to pressure
The answer seemed to satisfy her, or else she yielded to the power of his voice.†
yielded = gave in
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to give in, give way, or give up
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
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Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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