toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books
Book Menu

Into the Wild
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

(click/touch triangles for details)
aesthetic
6 uses
...the Insurpassable Joy of the Life Aesthetic.
aesthetic = appreciation of beauty
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
Book6 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
affectation
2 uses
Those who knew me formerly thought my name was freakish and an affectation of Frenchiness.
affectation = something taken on artificially to make an impression
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 useChapter 9
Web Links
ascetic
3 uses
In college McCandless began emulating Tolstoy's asceticism and moral rigor to a degree that first astonished, and then alarmed, those who were close to him.
asceticism = practice of self-denial
DefinitionGenerally ascetic means:
someone who practices self-denial (often to encourage spiritual growth); or relating to such self-denial

or:

severely plain (without decoration)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useA.N.
Web Links
austere
2 uses
McCandless was stirred by the austerity of this landscape,
austerity = a notable absence of luxury, comfort, 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
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
Big Brother
1 use
Or maybe it was his intense dislike of the government: He saw the sign on the Park Service cabin identifying it as such, assumed all three cabins were government property, and decided to strike a blow against Big Brother.
Big Brother = a person or organization that attempts to exercise total control over people and that invades their privacy to do so
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
brash
3 uses
My father was a volatile, extremely complicated person, possessed of a brash demeanor that masked deep insecurities.
brash = bold or self-confident in a manner that seems disrespectful or tasteless
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
castigate
3 uses
Although he castigated himself severely for this waste of a life he'd taken, a day later McCandless appeared to regain some perspective, for his journal notes, "henceforth will learn to accept my errors, however great they be."
castigated = criticized severely
DefinitionGenerally castigate means:
to criticize severely
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
conjecture
2 uses
There has been a great deal of conjecture about what caused such a precipitous decline.
conjecture = forming opinions or conclusions based upon inconclusive evidence
DefinitionGenerally conjecture means:
a conclusion or opinion based on inconclusive evidence; or the act of forming of such a conclusion or opinion
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
enigma
3 uses
I do so in the hope that my experiences will throw some oblique light on the enigma of Chris McCandless.
enigma = something mysterious that seems unexplainable
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
ephemeral
1 use
The ephemeral bloom of a sego lily peeks from the toe of a ninety-foot stone arch,
ephemeral = existing only for a short time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
forage
4 uses
My days were more exciting when I was penniless and had to forage around for my next meal.
forage = search for and gather — often food and provisions
DefinitionGenerally forage means:
to search for and gather — often food and provisions
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
gregarious
2 uses
He was intensely private but could be convivial and gregarious in the extreme.
gregarious = inclined to seek and enjoy the company of others

(editor's note:  In this context, convivial means "cheerful and friendly".)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
malevolent
2 uses
Fittingly, the summit was a surreal, malevolent place, an improbably slender wedge of rock and rime no wider than a file cabinet.
malevolent = exerting an evil or harmful influence
DefinitionGenerally malevolent means:
evil:
  • of a person:  wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
  • of a thing:  exerting an evil or harmful influence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
paucity
1 use
Like Waterman and McCunn, he displayed a staggering paucity of common sense.
paucity = an insufficient quantity
DefinitionGenerally paucity means:
an insufficient quantity or number
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
positive   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
"I'm absolutely positive," he assured Gallien, "I won't run into anything I can't deal with on my own."†
positive = certain
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
certain (having no doubt; or used for emphasis)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
had a positive effect
"Personally I see nothing positive at all about Chris McCandless's lifestyle or wilderness doctrine," scolded another correspondent.†
positive = good or beneficial
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
scrupulous
2 uses
From then on he scrupulously avoided contacting either his parents or Carine,
scrupulously = diligently (with great care)
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
sustain   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
sustained by her faith
This, I figured, could sustain me for three or four more days if need be, but then what would I do?
sustain = support (provide necessities for)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
provide support or necessities
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
sustained through the ages
He sustained a perfect 4.0 grade-point average through high school and college.
sustained = maintained through time
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
to continue through time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
zeal
2 uses
If something captured my undisciplined imagination, I pursued it with a zeal bordering on obsession,
zeal = interest and enthusiasm
DefinitionGenerally zeal means:
active interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
Take Quiz
Go to Book Menu
Browse with Large-Screen
(more words/choices)
† 
Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which is not affiliated with verbalworkout.com™, and does not endorse this site.