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Howards End
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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ascetic
3 uses
The ascetic life has been more pronounced in Hinduism and Buddhism than in other major religions.
ascetic = the practice of self-denial
DefinitionGenerally ascetic means:
someone who practices self-denial (often to encourage spiritual growth); or relating to such self-denial

or:

severely plain (without decoration)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 22
Web Links
assert
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
asserted her opinion that...
The defense also asserts that the defendant has no previous record.
asserts = says (that something is true — especially something disputed)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assert means:
to say that something is true — especially something disputed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 23
Web Links
complacent
6 uses
He had become complacent after years of success.
complacent = contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 3
Web Links
consequence   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 11 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
Your decision will have three major consequences.
consequences = results
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library24 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 16
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
of little consequence
Think carefully. This is a consequential decision.
consequential = important
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
importance or relevance
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 4
Web Links
contemptible
1 use
She is uninformed and her views are contemptible.
contemptible = very bad (deserving no respect)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 38
Web Links
contrast   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
contrast their writing styles
Contrast winter in Panama with winter in Alaska.
contrast = point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st usePart 12
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
it is a contrast
College is quite a contrast to high school.
contrast = something notably different
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
something noticeably different (compared to something else or to other things)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 41
Web Links
cynical
10 uses
The experience made her overly cynical.
cynical = someone who expects the worst — especially of people (such as expecting them to be selfish and lie)
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 10
Web Links
inclined   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
I'm inclined to
I'm inclined to believe him.
inclined = have a tendency; or an attitude or mood that favors something
DefinitionGenerally this sense of inclined means:
a tendency; in the mood; or an attitude that favors something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 37
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
on an incline or incline his head
I climbed down the incline.
incline = something that is at an angle (in this case, probably sloping land)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of incline means:
to be at an angle or to bend
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 5
Web Links
obscure   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 9 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
it obscured my view
The stars are obscured by the clouds.
obscured = hidden or made less visible
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 4
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
the view or directions are obscure
For some obscure reason that goes back many years, they don't like each other.
obscure = not clearly understood
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not clearly seen, understood, or expressed
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 6
Web Links
3  —4 uses as in:
knows the famous and the obscure
The obscure battle is hardly mentioned in history books.
obscure = not known to many people
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not known to many people; or unimportant or undistinguished
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 6
Web Links
philanthropy
2 uses
Her primary interests are family and philanthropy.
philanthropy = helping others
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 24
Web Links
reticent
9 uses
She was reticent initially, but eventually she opened up.
reticent = reluctant — usually to speak freely
DefinitionGenerally reticent means:
reluctant — especially to speak freely
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 14
Web Links
retort
13 uses
She wanted to retort that he that he sounded more foolish than he looked, but she made herself count to ten and thought better of it.
retort = quickly reply
DefinitionGenerally this sense of retort means:
a quick reply to a question or remark — especially a witty or critical one
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
socialism
9 uses
She believes that more socialism would be more fair.
socialism = an economic system based on government ownership and control of all companies — with the ideal of equal benefits to all people
DefinitionGenerally socialism means:
an economic system based on government ownership or control of all important companies — with the ideal of equal benefits to all people
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 17
Web Links
superficial
6 uses
She has only superficial knowledge on the subject.
superficial = relating to a surface rather than to anything deep or penetrating (often of injuries or thinking)
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 37
Web Links
vulgar
11 uses
Her vulgarity was a turnoff.
vulgarity = crudeness (showing of bad taste)
DefinitionGenerally vulgar means:
of bad taste — often crude or offensive

or:

unsophisticated (or common) — especially of taste
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 10
Web Links
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