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The House of Mirth

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
abrupt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an abrupt change
"But Gerty does not happen to know," Miss Bart rejoined, "that I owe every penny of that legacy."

"Good God!" Selden exclaimed, startled out of his composure by the abruptness of the statement.
abruptness = sudden and unexpected nature

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abrupt means:
sudden and unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.9
Web Links
acquiesce
10 uses
She had a sense of acquiescing in this plan with the passiveness of a sufferer resigned to the surgeon's touch;
acquiescing = reluctantly complying
DefinitionGenerally acquiesce means:
reluctant or unenthusiastic compliance, consent, or agreement
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
apathy
4 uses
It left him, collapsed and breathing heavily, to an apathy so deep and prolonged that Lily almost feared the passers-by would think it the result of a seizure, and stop to offer their aid.
apathy = lack of interest and energy
DefinitionGenerally apathy means:
lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
assume   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 24 uses
1  —12 uses as in:
I assume it's true
It is less mortifying to believe one's self unpopular than insignificant, and vanity prefers to assume that indifference is a latent form of unfriendliness.
assume = accept as true
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assume means:
to accept something as true without proof
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library67 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
She assumed power
To neglect her, perhaps even to avoid her, at a time when she had most need of her friends, and then suddenly and unwarrantably to break into her life with this strange assumption of authority, was to rouse in her every instinct of pride and self-defence.
assumption = taking

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assume means:
beginning to take power or responsibility
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library46 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.9
Web Links
3  —8 uses as in:
She assumed a false identity
But dinginess is a quality which assumes all manner of disguises;
assumes = takes on
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assume means:
to take on (adopt, wear, strike a pose or appearance of) — often while pretending or disguising
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library33 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.13
Web Links
candid
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
your candid opinion
Carry, always the soul of candour, put the case squarely to her friend.
candour = honesty and directness

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use candor.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
complacent
8 uses
The sight of Selden's dark head, in a pew almost facing her, disturbed for a moment the balance of her complacency.
complacency = contentment (unworried satisfaction)
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
consonant
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
in consonance with
Nothing could have been less consonant with Selden's mood than Van Alstyne's after-dinner aphorisms, but as long as the latter confined himself to generalities his listener's nerves were in control.†
consonant = in keeping
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consonant means:
in keeping with (or consistent with, or in harmony with)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.14
Web Links
convention
10 uses
1  —10 uses as in:
conventional behavior
Nine o'clock was an early hour for a visit, but Selden had passed beyond all such conventional observances.
conventional = normal
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
deride
7 uses
She met Selden's sound of protest with a sharp derisive glance.
derisive = treating as inferior and unworthy of respect

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word into an adjective; though over time, what was originally an adjective often comes to be used as a noun. The adjective pattern means tending to and is seen in words like attractive, impressive, and supportive. Examples of the noun include narrative, alternative, and detective.)
DefinitionGenerally deride means:
to criticize with strong disrespect — often
with humor
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
establish
8 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
And the realization of this fact brought her recurringly face to face with the temptation to use the legacy in establishing her business.†
establishing = settling, or setting in a place
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
expedient
10 uses
She would be free forever from the shifts, the expedients, the humiliations of the relatively poor.
expedients = actions taken because they are practical, but otherwise undesirable
DefinitionGenerally expedient means:
a practical action — especially one that accepts negative tradeoffs due to circumstances

or:

convenient, speedy, or practical
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
fastidious
11 uses
Her own fastidiousness had its eye fixed on the world, and she did not care how the luncheon-table looked when there was no one present at it but the family.
fastidiousness = excessively concerned with matters of taste

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
DefinitionGenerally fastidious means:
giving careful attention to detail

or:

excessively concerned with cleanliness or matters of taste
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
imply
14 uses
She spoke with the intention of making him see that, if his words implied a tentative allusion to her private affairs, she was prepared to meet and repudiate it.
implied = suggested
DefinitionGenerally imply means:
to suggest or say indirectly — possibly as a logical consequence
Word Statistics
Book14 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 1.14
Web Links
indifferent
14 uses
"You are mistaken," she said indifferently.
indifferently = without interest
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest
in various senses, including:
  • unconcerned — as in "She is indifferent to what is served to eat."
  • unsympathetic — as in "She is indifferent to his needs."
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context) — as in "an indifferent performance"
  • impartial — as in "We need a judge who is indifferent."
Word Statistics
Book14 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.9
Web Links
obligation
25 uses
If you really owe your dress-maker, I will settle with her—beyond that I recognize no obligation to assume your debts.
obligation = duty
DefinitionGenerally obligation means:
a duty
Word Statistics
Book25 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
scrupulous
7 uses
There was no other token of her personality about the room, unless it showed itself in the scrupulous neatness of the scant articles of furniture:
scrupulous = meticulous (careful attention to detail)
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.14
Web Links
sufficient
18 uses
But neither his wife nor his daughter was sufficiently interested to ask an explanation.
sufficiently = adequately (in a manner that provides enough — often without being more than is needed)
DefinitionGenerally sufficient means:
adequate (enough — often without being more than is needed)
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
zeal
4 uses
threw herself into it with her accustomed zeal.
zeal = active interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
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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