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A Room of One's Own
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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acquisition
1 use
From the fifth grade onward, most vocabulary acquisition occurs incidentally while reading.
acquisition = to get possession of
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
assiduous
1 use
She is an assiduous student who expects to earn A's.
assiduous = diligent (showing care and persistent effort)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
candid
1 use
Don't worry about my feelings. I'd like your candid opinion.
candid = honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
complacent
1 use
He had become complacent after years of success.
complacent = 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 1000
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 = complete immorality or evilness
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 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 — such as:
  • uncertain that something can be relied upon
  • uncertain about the quality or wisdom of something
  • a relatively gentle way of saying that the quality of something described as good is in such doubt that it is considered bad
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
frivolous
3 uses
Instead of helping, her remarks were frivolous.
frivolous = not serious
DefinitionGenerally frivolous means:
not serious (in 1 or both of these ways):
  • in behavior or attitude — as when acting silly or without appropriate seriousness
  • in content — as when describing something as trivial or unimportant
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
futile
2 uses
It was a futile effort that was doomed form the start.
futile = 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 = making less harmful or unpleasant
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 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
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
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
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
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
Library4 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
Library3 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 = of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
prosaic
3 uses
It was a prosaic and unimaginative essay.
prosaic = lacking anything unusual, interesting, or challenging
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
relevant
1 use
It is easier to learn things that seem relevant to your life.
relevant = related in a meaningful way to the issue in question
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
Shakespeare
51 uses
As Shakespeare said, "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."
Shakespeare = English dramatist and poet frequently cited as the greatest writer in the English language (1564-1616)
Word Statistics
Book51 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
stagnate
2 uses
We don't want the economy to stagnate.
stagnate = stay still or not develop
DefinitionGenerally stagnate means:
staying still or not developing
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
whimsical
2 uses
It was an especially whimsical episode of Family Guy.
whimsical = playful or amusing
DefinitionGenerally whimsical means:
playful or amusing

or:

determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity or reason
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
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