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Invisible Man by Ellison

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
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
benevolent
2 uses
...the myth of their goodness, and wealth and success and power and benevolence...
benevolence = kindness and goodwill
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
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
coup
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
delivered the coup de grace
Sure, that's the way it was, I thought, a short, concise verbal coup de grace, straight to the nape of the neck.
coup de grace = deathblow
DefinitionGenerally this sense of coup de grace means:
deathblow

(literally a sword strike that mercifully kills a wounded animal, or metaphorically as the last in a series of things that defeated an opponent, idea, business or other entity.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
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
diversity
3 uses
the principle lives on in all its human and absurd diversity.
diversity = variety
DefinitionGenerally diversity means:
the condition of variety — especially in reference to members of a population group who are of different races or cultures
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useEpil.
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
SAT®*top 2000
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
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
Library16 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
Library6 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
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
liberal arts
1 use
Oh no, nothing like that, just a liberal arts course.
liberal arts = intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills
DefinitionGenerally liberal arts means:
studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
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
minute
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
recant
1 use
Editorials would demand that he either recant or retire from public life.
recant = renounce (take back what was said before)
DefinitionGenerally recant means:
for one to say they no longer believe a previously made statement or belief — often while under pressure
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
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
superfluous
2 uses
So don't waste time with superfluous questions.
superfluous = more than is needed, desired, or required
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
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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