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A Streetcar Named Desire
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abrupt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an abrupt change
Stella rises abruptly and turns her back.
abruptly = suddenly and unexpectedly
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abrupt means:
sudden and unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.8
Web Links
affectation
2 uses
Eunice [affectedly casual]:
affectedly = pretending to be
DefinitionGenerally affectation means:
behaving in an artificial way to make an impression
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 3.6
Web Links
amiable
3 uses
Then he speaks slowly and with false amiability.
amiability = friendliness
DefinitionGenerally amiable means:
friendly and kindly
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.8
Web Links
audible
5 uses
She is calling barely audibly.
audibly = loud enough to be heard
DefinitionGenerally this sense of audible means:
capable of being heard
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.9
Web Links
condone
2 uses
I did not condone the operation
condone = approve of; or accept 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
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.2
Web Links
contempt
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
stares at her contemptuously
contemptuously = showing disrespect and dislike
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.1
Web Links
contract
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
legal contract
But I guess the contract we signed is full of loopholes?
contract = written agreement
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contract means:
an agreement - typically written and enforceable by law
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 1.1
Web Links
deference
2 uses
comes deferentially
deferentially = with polite respect
DefinitionGenerally deference means:
polite respect — often when submitting to another's wishes
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 2.1
Web Links
diffident
1 use
He coughs diffidently.
diffidently = unassertively (as if wishing not to bother anyone)
DefinitionGenerally diffident means:
hesitant and unassertive — often due to a lack of self-confidence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.3
Web Links
discreet
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
discreet--not showy or gossipy
...like you handled that operation you done on my daughter, so discreetly that a hillbilly Heckler is shouting me questions about it wherever I speak?
discreetly = in a manner that is unlikely to attract attention or cause embarrassment (in this case, to not reveal a secret)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discreet means:
trustworthy with secrets and/or inconspicuous or unobtrusive
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.1
Web Links
disdain
1 use
She grunts disdainfully, her back to him;
disdainfully = with an air of superiority and disrespect
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 3.1
Web Links
dubious
1 use
Blanche [dubiously]:
dubiously = doubtfully or suspiciously
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
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 3.1
Web Links
grave
3 uses
Suddenly his effusive manner collapses, as she stares at him gravely.
gravely = in a serious and solemn manner

(editor's note:  Effusive is a synonym for gushing—unrestrained and enthusiastic expression of happiness or approval.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn

The exact meaning of this sense of grave is often subject to its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad (with a heavy heart)
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — sincere and dignified without humor
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 2.2
Web Links
indolent
2 uses
She raises her arms and stretches, as she moves indolently back to the chair.
indolently = lazily
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.3
Web Links
lament
11 uses
All day I've kept hearing a sort of lament that drifts through the air of this place. It says, 'Lost, lost, never to be found again.'
lament = an expression of grief (in this case, in the form of sad music)
DefinitionGenerally lament means:
to express grief or regret
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 1.1
Web Links
prescribe
4 uses
prescription for that cough
prescription = medical instructions written by a doctor
DefinitionGenerally prescribe means:
of a medical doctor:  to give medical instructions — such as writing that a patient should have antibiotics

or:

to recommend — especially with expertise

or:

to require by rule
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.1
Web Links
reproach
4 uses
I know that you're bound to reproach me - but before you do take into consideration - you left!
reproach = criticize
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.1
Web Links
serene
3 uses
Her face is serene in the early morning sunlight.
serene = calm and untroubled
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.7
Web Links
transitory
1 use
Physical beauty is passing. A transitory possession.
transitory = lasting a short time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.10
Web Links
vendor
6 uses
A tamale vendor calls out as he rounds the corner.
vendor = someone who sells goods or services
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.1
Web Links
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