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The Sound and the Fury
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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affinity
2 uses
his voice ... that breathed an affinity for evil, for believing that no woman is to be trusted,
affinity = a natural attraction
DefinitionGenerally affinity means:
a natural attraction or feeling of kinship
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
anecdote
1 use
Anyway he related long pointless anecdotes of his undergraduate days,
anecdotes = short stories (of things that really happened)
DefinitionGenerally anecdote means:
a short story that is true — often told for amusement or to make a point
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
approbation
1 use
...shot his voice through the floor of Caddy's room tone of smug approbation.
approbation = approval
DefinitionGenerally approbation means:
approval - often official
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
arbiter
2 uses
every man is the arbiter of his own virtues
arbiter = person who settles disputes
DefinitionGenerally arbiter means:
someone who settles disputes — often because of reputation

or:

someone chosen to judge and decide a disputed issue
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
arbitrary
1 use
Of his niece he did not think at all, nor of the arbitrary valuation of the money.
arbitrary = based on chance or impulse
DefinitionGenerally arbitrary means:
based on chance or impulse (rather than upon reasoning, consistent rules, or a proper sense of fairness)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
austere
1 use
...she sang, to herself at first, something without particular tune or words, repetitive, mournful and plaintive, austere,
austere = plain (without elaboration or decoration)
DefinitionGenerally austere means:
a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

or:

of a person:  stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
condone
1 use
She approved of Gerald associating with me... Forgave, at least. Or condoned.
condoned = accepted without criticism
DefinitionGenerally condone means:
to accept (a specific bad behavior) without criticism

or:

to approve of (a specific behavior that is typically considered bad)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
congregation
1 use
...they dispersed to their seats and the congregation sat for an instant, expectant.
congregation = people who worship together in the same building
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
consternation
2 uses
They were still looking at him with consternation and unbelief when...
consternation = dismay (unhappiness, worry, and often confusion) — typically over something unexpected
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
desiccate
2 uses
the trees were mulberries and locusts and sycamores—trees that partook also of the foul desiccation which surrounded the houses;
desiccation = lack of vitality (removal of moisture/life)
DefinitionGenerally desiccate means:
to remove moisture from something
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
distend
1 use
She chewed quietly and steadily; at regular intervals a small distension passed smoothly down her throat.
distension = swelling (in this case, made the throat stick out as it went down)
DefinitionGenerally distend means:
to extend — especially the swelling outward of a part of the body; e.g., the stomach
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
divine
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
to forgive is divine
he was a graduate of the divinity school.
divinity = study of religion (God)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
inherent
1 use
all stable things had become shadowy paradoxical ... inherent themselves with the denial of the significance they should have affirmed
inherent = existing as an inseparable characteristic
DefinitionGenerally inherent means:
existing as an inseparable part or characteristic
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
nostalgia
1 use
Some days in late August at home are like this, the air thin and eager like this, with something in it sad and nostalgic and familiar.
nostalgic = with fond memory of the past
DefinitionGenerally nostalgia means:
happiness that come with the memory of good times combined with a hint of sadness that those times are over
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
oblige   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 7 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
I obliged her every request.
You were obliging the W. C. T. U. then, I reckon.
obliging = being helpful to
DefinitionGenerally this sense of oblige means:
grant a favor to someone
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —5 uses as in:
I'm much obliged for your kindness
I'm much obliged to you.
obliged = grateful or indebted
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
pervasive
1 use
a pervading reek of camphor.
pervading = spreading

(editor's note:  Reek means bad smell and camphor is a chemical that is often used to keep moths from destroying clothes.)
DefinitionGenerally pervasive means:
existing throughout something; or generally widespread
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
profound
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
The bird whistled again, invisible, a sound meaningless and profound, inflexionless, ceasing as though cut off with the blow of a knife,
profound = intense
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
querulous
2 uses
cold and querulous
querulous = habitually complaining
DefinitionGenerally querulous means:
habitually complaining — especially in a high-pitched whiny voice
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
reproach
3 uses
You were right to reproach me.
reproach = criticize
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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