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Franny and Zooey
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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aesthetic
2 uses
The aesthetic evil of a footnote seems in order just here,
aesthetic = unattractive
DefinitionGenerally aesthetic means:
related to beauty or good taste — often referring to one's appreciation of beauty or one's sense of what is beautiful

or:

beautiful or tasteful
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
affectation
3 uses
Zooey gave a genuine roar of laughter, as if he clearly relished seeing any affectation brought to light, his own included.
affectation = artificial behavior to make an impression
DefinitionGenerally affectation means:
behaving in an artificial way to make an impression
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
aversion
2 uses
"Good morning, Bloomberg dear!" she said, and kissed him fervently between the eyes. He blinked with aversion. "Good morning, old fat smelly cat."
aversion = dislike that leads to avoidance
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
benign
2 uses
The speaker's hands were folded benignly on his chest.
benignly = mildly or harmlessly
DefinitionGenerally benign means:
kindly, mild, or harmless
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
disparage
1 use
There's an unwritten law that people in a certain social or financial bracket can name-drop as much as they like just as long as they say something terribly disparaging about the person as soon as they've dropped his name...
disparaging = critical
DefinitionGenerally disparage means:
to criticize or make seem less important — especially in a disrespectful or contemptuous manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
dogmatic
1 use
...talking in voices that, almost without exception, sounded collegiately dogmatic, as though each young man ... was clearing up, once and for all, some highly controversial issue...
dogmatic = confident of absolute truth
DefinitionGenerally dogmatic means:
prone to stating opinions as absolute truth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
dubious
1 use
There was a short pause, and a dubious one.
dubious = doubtful or suspicious
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful — such as:
  • uncertain that something can be relied upon
  • uncertain about the quality or wisdom of something
  • a relatively gentle way of saying that the quality of something described as good is in such doubt that it is considered bad
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
incessant
6 uses
...the old monk explains to him what will happen if the prayer is said incessantly.
incessantly = continuously
DefinitionGenerally incessant means:
continuous — often in an annoying way
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
invariably
8 uses
When Zooey appeared to have difficulty in remembering something, his hesitation invariably interested all his brothers and sisters,
invariably = always (consistently)
DefinitionGenerally invariably means:
consistently or without variation
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
mitigate
1 use
She smiled at Lane—in a sense, genuinely—and at that moment a smile in return might at least have mitigated to some small extent certain events that were to follow, but...
mitigated = made less harmful
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
morose
3 uses
He reflected, looking a trifle morose.
morose = unhappy — often with a withdrawn personality
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
nuance
3 uses
...with stunning battlefield scenes, and all the nuances of characterization left out
nuances = a subtle characteristics
DefinitionGenerally nuance means:
a subtle difference  (a minor difference not obvious or important to most people)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
pedantic
3 uses
I'm just so sick of pedants and conceited little tearer-downers I could scream.
pedants = people too concerned with formal rules, details, or book learning
DefinitionGenerally pedantic means:
too concerned with formal rules, details, or book learning
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
pilgrim
23 uses
...it starts out with this peasant—the pilgrim—wanting to find out what it means in the Bible when it says you should pray incessantly.
pilgrim = someone on a religious journey
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pilgrim means:
someone who journeys to a special place — typically a difficult journey to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion
Word Statistics
Book23 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
pious
4 uses
...you're beginning to give off a little stink of piousness.
piousness = self-righteousness
DefinitionGenerally pious means:
behaving in a highly moral or religious manner

or less commonly:  behaving highly moral in a self-righteous or holier-than-thou manner
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
relevant
1 use
All this data, I think, is to some degree relevant.
relevant = relates meaningfully
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
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 2.1
Web Links
restive
6 uses
Lane was shifting restively in his chair,
restively = uneasily or impatiently
DefinitionGenerally restive means:
uneasy, impatient, and difficult to control
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
sanguine
1 use
[Zooey in describing himself:] Sanguine, perhaps, to a fault.
sanguine = confidently optimistic and cheerful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
trifle with
18 uses
1  —18 uses as in:
a trifling matter
a trifle dizzy
trifle = little bit
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trifling means:
something of small importance; or a small quantity
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
vacuous
2 uses
He suddenly opened the medicine cabinet. He stared rather vacuously into it for a few seconds, as though he had forgotten why he opened it,
vacuously = without thought
DefinitionGenerally vacuous means:
lacking intelligent thought
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
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