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A Room of One's Own

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acquisition
1 use
True, they had money and power, but only at the cost of harbouring in their breasts an eagle, a vulture, forever tearing the liver out and plucking at the lungs—the instinct for possession, the rage for acquisition which drives them to desire other people's fields and goods perpetually; to make frontiers and flags; battleships and poison gas; to offer up their own lives and their children's lives.
acquisition = getting (obtaining) things
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
Vernon Lee's books on aesthetics
aesthetics = the study of what is beautiful or tasteful
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
a man of cultivated taste and many accomplishments, was benevolent and bountiful, but...
benevolent = kind and generous
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
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
I think it but candid to acknowledge that, in a subsequent conversation, he told me that he was serious in what he said.
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
The employment, which was thus censured, was, as far as one can see, the harmless one of...
censured = 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
it sleeps complacently and will, so far as I am concerned, so sleep forever.
complacently = in a contented manner (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
She had altered her values in deference to the opinion of others.
deference = polite 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
her alternations between heavenly goodness and hellish depravity
depravity = 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
But this is all 'dubious gossip'
dubious = doubtful (not to be relied upon)
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
the futility of what is written in that spirit
futility = pointlessness (uselessness)
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
whatever the value of unmitigated masculinity upon the state, one may question the effect of it upon the art of poetry.
unmitigated = complete (not diminished)

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unmitigated means not and reverses the meaning of mitigated. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
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 here again we come within range of that very interesting and obscure masculine complex which has had so much influence upon the woman's movement; that deep-seated desire, not so much that SHE shall be inferior as that HE shall be superior, which plants him wherever one looks, not only in front of the arts, but barring the way to politics too, even when the risk to himself seems infinitesimal and the suppliant humble and devoted.
obscure = little 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
...thanks to the toils of those obscure women in the past, of whom I wish we knew more,
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
We might perhaps have most of Othello; and a good deal of Antony; but no Caesar, no Brutus, no Hamlet, no Lear, no Jaques—literature would be incredibly impoverished, as indeed literature is impoverished beyond our counting by the doors that have been shut upon women.
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
Jane Austen pervades every word that she wrote, and so does Shakespeare.
pervades = exists throughout
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
to write a work of genius is almost always a feat of prodigious difficulty.
prodigious = far beyond what is usual in magnitude or degree
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
must have lowered her vitality, and told profoundly upon her work.
profoundly = intensely
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
Save for the possibly relevant fact that not one of them had a child, four more incongruous characters could not have met together in a room
relevant = 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
we burst out in scorn at the reprehensible poverty of our sex.
reprehensible = bad and unacceptable
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
whimsical despotism
whimsical = determined impulsively

(editor's note:  Despotism refers to a system of government where a ruler has absolute power, so in this case, the power is wielded in an impulsive rather than a predictable manner.)
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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