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Invisible Man by Ellison
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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atrophy
1 use
Turning, I saw a little woman standing on the stoop with a green coat covering her head and shoulders, its sleeves hanging limp like extra atrophied arms.
atrophied = withered (wasted away and perhaps no longer usable)
DefinitionGenerally atrophy means:
to wither or weaken — especially from lack of use
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
belligerent
3 uses
The white brothers looked uncomfortable and some of the Harlem brothers belligerent.
belligerent = hostile (eager to fight)
DefinitionGenerally belligerent means:
hostile (the attitude of one eager to fight); or one already engaged in a fight or war
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
benevolent
2 uses
...the myth of their goodness, and wealth and success and power and benevolence...
benevolence = kindness and generosity
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
complacent
1 use
Nor will certain ideas forget me; they keep filing away at my lethargy, my complacency.
complacency = satisfaction and lack of concern
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 useEpil.
Web Links
conciliatory
1 use
"Come on, son," his voice amused and conciliatory.
conciliatory = intended to end bad feelings or build trust
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
dissent
1 use
the dissenting voice
dissenting = disagreeing
DefinitionGenerally dissent means:
to disagree; or disagreement or conflict — typically between people who cooperate, and often with official or majority beliefs
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
fallacious
1 use
I gave up all that ... and my old way of life: That way based upon the fallacious assumption that I, like other men, was visible.
fallacious = mistaken (based on incorrect information or belief)
DefinitionGenerally fallacious means:
not correct
  • typically describing something as mistaken due to incorrect information or belief
  • sometimes describing something as an intentional lie
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePro.
Web Links
fastidious
1 use
It was a dream fall, my body languid and fastidious as to where to land, until the floor became impatient and smashed up to meet me.
fastidious = giving careful attention to detail

(editor's note:  In this context, languid is a synonym for relaxed.)
DefinitionGenerally fastidious means:
giving careful attention to detail

or:

excessively concerned with cleanliness or matters of taste
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
florid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
florid color
A small fruit wagon with an array of bright peaches and pears stood near the curb, and the vendor, a florid man with bulbous nose and bright black Italian eyes, looked at me knowingly...
florid = with a reddish complexion
DefinitionGenerally this sense of florid means:
a reddish color — (especially about someone's complexion or in various medical contexts)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
furtive
3 uses
The car roared and swayed, pressing me hard against her, but when I took a furtive glance around no one was paying me the slightest attention.
furtive = taking pains to avoid being observed
DefinitionGenerally furtive means:
taking pains to avoid being observed

or:

in a manner indicating nervousness (being cautious or appearing suspicious)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
garrulous
1 use
Holding on grimly, I could hear the sound of someone wading, sloshing, nearby, and an old man's garrulous voice saying, "I tole 'em these here young Nineteen-Hundred boys ain't no good for the job."
garrulous = talkative
DefinitionGenerally garrulous means:
talkative — especially about trivial matters
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
guile
1 use
What if history was not a reasonable citizen, but a madman full of paranoid guile and these boys his agents, his big surprise!
guile = cunning and deceit
DefinitionGenerally guile means:
cunning (shrewdness and cleverness) and deceitful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
insidious
1 use
It was someone else, someone more insidious than Ras.
insidious = not appearing dangerous, but actually very harmful over time

or:

treacherous  (dangerous due to trickery or from hidden or unpredictable risks)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
irony   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
situational irony
Incidents of my past, both recognized and ignored, sprang together in my mind in an ironic leap of consciousness that was like looking around a corner.
ironic = when what happens is very different than what might be expected
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
when what happens is very different than what might be expected; or when things are together that seem like they don't belong together — especially when amusing or an entertaining coincidence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
verbal irony
  "I expect to hear from the others . . ."
  "Of course you will, and from all seven. They're all loyal Americans." There was unmistakable irony in his voice now,
irony = saying one thing while meaning something else
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
lethargic
2 uses
Nor will certain ideas forget me; they keep filing away at my lethargy, my complacency.
lethargy = inactivity (lack of energy)
DefinitionGenerally lethargic means:
lacking energy
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
lucid
3 uses
these logical appeals ... the lucidity of uncluttered periods, the lulling movement of multisyllabic words to thrill and console us.
lucidity = clear expression of ideas
DefinitionGenerally lucid means:
of a person:  capable of thinking clearly

or:

of language:  clearly expressed so it is easily understood
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
minuteness
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
keep the minutes
Did you take minutes, Brother Chairman? Have you recorded your wise disputations?†
minutes = formal notes
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minutes means:
a written record of what happened at a meeting
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
servile
1 use
And wasn't that old slave a scientist—or at least called one, recognized as one—even when he stood with hat in hand, bowing and scraping in senile and obscene servility?
servility = submissiveness
DefinitionGenerally servile means:
submissive — typically excessively so (so submissive or eager to serve and please that one seems to have no self-respect)

or:

relating to the work that requires obeying demeaning commands

or:

slave-like or relating to slaves
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
transitory
1 use
us transitory ones
transitory = lasting a short time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
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Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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