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A Room of One's Own

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

instructions
acquisition
1 use
From the fifth grade onward, most vocabulary acquisition occurs incidentally while reading.
acquisition = obtaining (in this case, understanding of words)
DefinitionGenerally acquisition means:
obtaining possession of something; or the thing possessed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
aesthetic
1 use
It was not aesthetically pleasing.
aesthetically = related to beauty or good taste
DefinitionGenerally aesthetic means:
related to beauty or good taste — often referring to one's appreciation of beauty or one's sense of what is beautiful

or:

beautiful or tasteful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
benevolent
1 use
They called themselves The Benevolent Association because their mission was to help others.
benevolent = kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
candid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
your candid opinion
Don't worry about my feelings. I'd like your candid opinion.
candid = honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
censure
1 use
They censured him for bringing dishonor upon the Senate.
censured = formally criticized
DefinitionGenerally censure means:
harsh criticism; or formal criticism from an organization — such as the U.S. Senate
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
complacent
1 use
She had become complacent after years of success.
complacent = unworried and satisfied
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
deference
3 uses
They changed their strategy in deference to the President's wishes.
deference = respect
DefinitionGenerally deference means:
polite respect — often when submitting to another's wishes
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
depravity
2 uses
It is a terrible story of an innocent who trusted a man who treated her with ruthless depravity.
depravity = immorality or evilness
DefinitionGenerally depravity means:
complete immorality or evilness
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
dubious
4 uses
She was dubious, but agreed to come with us anyway.
dubious = doubtful; or suspicious; or full of uncertainty
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful
in various senses, including:
  • doubtful that something should be relied upon — as in "The argument relies on a dubious assumption."
  • doubtful that something is morally proper — as in "The company is accused of using dubious sales practices to influence minors."
  • bad or of questionable value — as in "The state has the dubious distinction of the highest taxes."
  • doubtful or uncertain — as in "She is dubious about making the change."
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
futile
2 uses
Resistance is futile.
futile = pointless because it cannot produce anything useful
DefinitionGenerally futile means:
effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
mitigate
3 uses
Don't judge her so harshly until you consider the mitigating circumstances.
mitigating = serving to make less harmful or unpleasant
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
obscure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —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
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —3 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
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
Othello
1 use
Othello is renowned amongst literary scholars for its portrayal of jealousy.
Othello = Shakespeare's tragedy of betrayal and jealousy
DefinitionGenerally Othello means:
Shakespeare's tragedy of betrayal and jealousy (c. 1604)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
pervasive
2 uses
We were losing 35 to 0 at halftime and there was a pervasive sense of gloom in the locker room.
pervasive = existing throughout something
DefinitionGenerally pervasive means:
existing throughout something; or generally widespread
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
prodigious
3 uses
As a child, Mozart had a prodigious talent.
prodigious = enormous
DefinitionGenerally prodigious means:
enormous; or far beyond what is usual in magnitude or degree
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
profound
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
Her apology was heartfelt—expressing profound sorrow and regret.
profound = intense (of great emotional depth)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
relevant
1 use
Shannon tells an interesting story, but it's not relevant to the decision we have to make.
relevant = important (related in a meaningful way)
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
reprehensible
1 use
Cheating is reprehensible.
reprehensible = bad — deserving criticism
DefinitionGenerally reprehensible means:
bad — deserving severe criticism
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
whimsical
2 uses
It was an especially whimsical episode of Family Guy.
whimsical = playful or amusing
DefinitionGenerally whimsical means:
playful, amusing, or impulsive rather than seriously rational
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
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