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Howards End
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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ascetic
3 uses
Love, say the ascetics, reveals our shameful kinship with the beasts.
ascetics = people who practices 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 business man who assumes that this life is everything, and the mystic who asserts that it is nothing, fail, on this side and on that, to hit the truth.
asserts = says (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
"But our civilisation is moulded by great impersonal forces" (his voice grew complacent; it always did when he eliminated the personal), "and there always will be rich and poor."
complacent = unconcerned (contented)
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
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
They had attempted friendship, and they would take the consequences.
consequences = results (including unintended side-effects)
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
"It isn't of any consequence," said the young man, in truth a little uneasy about his umbrella.
consequence = importance
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
Stupid, hypocritical, cruel—oh, 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
Our business is not to contrast the two, but to reconcile them.
contrast = point to differences between
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
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
Leonard noticed the contrast when he stepped out of it into the country.
contrast = something noticeably 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
I call that rather 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 don't feel inclined to talk.
inclined = in the mood
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
But he inclined his head in her direction, and said...
inclined = angled (or bent)
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
It was his hope that the clouds of materialism obscuring the Fatherland would part in time, and the mild intellectual light re-emerge.
obscuring = making 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
Obscurely wounded in his pride, he tried to wound them in return.
obscurely = in a manner that is 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
They were building up a new life, obscure, yet gilded with tranquillity.
obscure = undistinguished
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
but you've a perverted notion of 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
A reticent fellow, he made no reply.
reticent = reluctant 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
"I can diagnose the case more bluntly if you wish," he retorted.
retorted = quickly replied
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
"That's more like Socialism," said Mrs. Munt suspiciously.
socialism = 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
not the superficial cynicism that snarls and sneers, but the cynicism that can go with courtesy and tenderness
superficial = shallow (relating to a surface rather than to anything deep or penetrating)
DefinitionGenerally superficial means:
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
It is the vice of a vulgar mind to be thrilled by bigness, to think that a thousand square miles are a thousand times more wonderful than one square mile, and that a million square miles are almost the same as heaven.
vulgar = unsophisticated
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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