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Invisible Man by Ellison
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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affirm
15 uses
I've never been more loved and appreciated than when I tried to "justify" and affirm someone's mistaken beliefs;
affirm = agree with (make a firm statement that it is true)
DefinitionGenerally affirm means:
a firm statement that something is true

or:

expressing emotional support or encouragement for someone
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
contempt
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
I could feel their eyes, saw them all and saw too the time when they would know that my prospects were ended and saw already the contempt they'd feel for me, a college man who had lost his prospects and pride.
contempt = lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
decorum
5 uses
The honored guests moved silently upon the platform, herded toward their high, carved chairs by Dr. Bledsoe with the decorum of a portly head waiter.
decorum = manners and conduct considered to be proper
DefinitionGenerally decorum means:
manners and conduct considered to be proper and in good taste
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
denounce
11 uses
...they denounced the American scene as corrupt and degenerate,
denounced = strongly and publicly criticized
DefinitionGenerally denounce means:
to strongly criticize or accuse publicly

or more rarely:  to inform against someone (turn someone into the authorities)
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
that always threatened internal discord
discord = conflict
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form "discordant"):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
dispossess
31 uses
Too many have been dispossessed of their heritage, and we have banded together in brotherhood so as to do something about it.
dispossessed = deprived (had something taken away from them)
DefinitionGenerally dispossess means:
to take away possession of something — especially real estate
Word Statistics
Book31 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
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
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useEpil.
Web Links
eloquent
9 uses
I had no words and no eloquence, and when Ras thundered, "Hang him!" I stood there facing them, and it seemed unreal.
eloquence = the powerful use of language
DefinitionGenerally eloquent means:
powerful use of language
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
eviction
20 uses
You were legally evicted.
evicted = forced to move from your home
DefinitionGenerally eviction means:
to force someone to leave — typically from the place they have lived due to non-payment
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
exhort
27 uses
exhorted and threatened
exhorted = urged strongly
DefinitionGenerally exhort means:
to urge strongly
Word Statistics
Book27 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
extol
1 use
"We of the younger generation extol the wisdom of that great leader and educator," I shouted,
extol = praise, glorify, or honor
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
futile
5 uses
His name was Clifton, Tod Clifton, he was unarmed and his death was as senseless as his life was futile.
futile = pointless because it was unproductive or unsuccessful
DefinitionGenerally futile means:
effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
integrity
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a person of high integrity
My ambition and integrity were nothing to them
integrity = having strong moral principles
DefinitionGenerally this sense of integrity means:
having strong moral principles — especially honesty
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
philanthropy
2 uses
the strength of philanthropic dollars
philanthropic = given as charity from the wealthy
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
profound   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
profound idea
what profound conclusions were they drawing?
profound = deep or far-reaching in intellect or insight
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
deep or far-reaching in intellect or consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 25
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
with profound respect
profound = of great intensity
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
refute
1 use
I leaned there, aching to humiliate them, to refute them.
refute = prove false
DefinitionGenerally refute means:
to prove or argue that something is false
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
subtle
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a subtle difference or thinker
Sometimes it appeared as though they played some vast and complicated game with me and the rest of the school folk, a game whose goal was laughter and whose rules and subtleties I could never grasp.
subtleties = distinctions that are hard to notice
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions)

or:

capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
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
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
suppress
9 uses
I hurried on, suppressing a savage urge to push my fist through the pane.
suppressing = keeping under control
DefinitionGenerally suppress means:
trying to keep under control — in many senses such as:
  • to stop others from doing something by force
  • to keep something from happening
  • to keep news from spreading
  • to control an emotion
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
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