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Howards End
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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capricious
2 uses
Her action is too capricious, as though the Erinyes selected for punishment only certain men and certain sins.
capricious = impulsive or unpredictable

(editor's note:  Erinyes are mythological creatures that punish those who do wrong.)
DefinitionGenerally capricious means:
impulsive or unpredictable or tending to make sudden changes — especially impulsive behavior
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 11
Web Links
censure
7 uses
She censured her, not for disapproving of the engagement, but for throwing over her disapproval a veil of mystery.
censured = criticized
DefinitionGenerally censure means:
harsh criticism; or formal criticism from an organization — such as the U.S. Senate
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 17
Web Links
chaos
6 uses
Outwardly he was cheerful, reliable, and brave; but within, all had reverted to chaos,
chaos = a state of extreme confusion and disorder
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library21 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 12
Web Links
contempt
6 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
"Yes, indeed," nodded Evie, a little contemptuously.
contemptuously = with disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 16
Web Links
descend
13 uses
He went to the window, and saw that the moon was descending through a clear sky.
descending = moving downward
DefinitionGenerally descend means:
move or slope downward

or:

come from a higher or prior level in a hierarchy — as a person from an ancestor

or:

come or arrive — especially from above — such as night or darkness
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library33 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 6
Web Links
despise
10 uses
I'm glad you don't despise the goods of this world.
despise = to dislike strongly and look down on with disdain
DefinitionGenerally despise means:
to strongly dislike — and often to look down upon with disrespect
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 7
Web Links
earnest
8 uses
The earnest girl brought forward a scheme of "personal supervision and mutual help," the effect of which was to alter poor people until they became exactly like people who were not so poor.
earnest = excessively serious
DefinitionGenerally earnest means:
characterized by sincere belief

or:

intensely or excessively serious
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library20 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 12
Web Links
eccentric
2 uses
"Auntie gets more eccentric lately," she said nervously.
eccentric = unconventional or strange
DefinitionGenerally eccentric means:
unconventional or strange; or a person with such traits
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 33
Web Links
establish
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
Of course, Howards End was impossible, so long as the younger couple were established in Hilton.†
established = settled
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st usePart 16
Web Links
furtive
4 uses
Leonard, though furtive, was untidy, and left it lying about.
furtive = secretive (takes pains to avoid being observed)
DefinitionGenerally furtive means:
taking pains to avoid being observed

or:

in a manner indicating nervousness (being cautious or appearing suspicious)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 11
Web Links
grave
14 uses
"It has been pretty horrible," said Charles gravely.
gravely = in a serious and solemn manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn

The exact meaning of this sense of grave is often subject to its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad (with a heavy heart)
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — sincere and dignified without humor
Word Statistics
Book14 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 8
Web Links
haughty
5 uses
The haughty nephew ... convinced that Germany was appointed by God to govern the world.
haughty = arrogant or condescending
DefinitionGenerally haughty means:
arrogant or condescending (acting superior or self-important)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 4
Web Links
imply
9 uses
The aim of their debates she implied was Truth.
implied = said indirectly
DefinitionGenerally imply means:
to suggest or say indirectly — possibly as a logical consequence
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st usePart 25
Web Links
indifferent
9 uses
To history, to tragedy, to the past, to the future, Mrs. Munt remained equally indifferent;
indifferent = uninterested
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest — in various senses such as:
  • unconcerned
  • unsympathetic
  • impartial
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context)
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 11
Web Links
inevitable
7 uses
They had tried not to go over the precipice, but perhaps the fall was inevitable.
inevitable = certain to happen
DefinitionGenerally inevitable means:
certain to happen (even if one tried to prevent it)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library21 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 3
Web Links
latent
5 uses
Margaret saw horror latent in the scene, and Helen's next remark did not surprise her.
latent = potentially existing (but not presently active)
DefinitionGenerally latent means:
potentially existing but not presently evident or active
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
lucid
2 uses
criticised with admirable lucidity
lucidity = clarity (well-thought and clearly explained)
DefinitionGenerally lucid means:
of a person:  capable of thinking clearly

or:

of language:  clearly expressed so it is easily understood
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 16
Web Links
ominous
6 uses
he remarked, ominously calm.
ominously = in a threatening manner
DefinitionGenerally ominous means:
threatening (suggestive of, or foreshadowing bad things to come)
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 11
Web Links
ostentatious
2 uses
Her husband was lying in a great leather chair in the dining-room, and by his side, holding his hand rather ostentatiously, was Evie.
ostentatiously = intended to attract notice
DefinitionGenerally ostentatious means:
intended to attract notice and impress others — especially with wealth in a vulgar way
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 44
Web Links
taint
1 use
There was almost a taint of madness.
taint = contamination (spoiling things)
DefinitionGenerally taint means:
to spoil something so it is not desirable — as when bacteria contaminates a food; or as when a rumor makes people distrust a person
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 34
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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