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Jude the Obscure
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abnegate
1 use
But self-abnegation is the higher road.†
abnegation = renunciation (rejection) — often self-denial of luxuries
DefinitionGenerally abnegate means:
to renounce or reject in various senses, such as:
  • "to abnegate his responsibilities as a father" — to reject or ignore a duty
  • "to practice self-abnegation" — to deny oneself (voluntarily give something up such as a luxury)
  • "to abnegate her faith" — to reject a belief
  • "to abnegate her legal rights" — to give up a claim, title, or position of power
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aggrandize
1 use
His childish idea was, in fact, a pushing to the extremity of mathematical precision what is everywhere known as Grimm's Law—an aggrandizement of rough rules to ideal completeness.†
aggrandizement = make greater in size, scope, or reputation
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agnostic
1 use
He had joined an Artizans' Mutual Improvement Society established in the town about the time of his arrival there; its members being young men of all creeds and denominations, including Churchmen, Congregationalists, Baptists, Unitarians, Positivists, and others—agnostics had scarcely been heard of at this time—their one common wish to enlarge their minds forming a sufficiently close bond of union.†
agnostics = a person who believes they lack true knowledge about the existence of God (but believes that God might exist)

or more rarely:  someone who is doubtful or noncommittal about something
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alacrity
2 uses
"Certainly," said Jude with alacrity, the case being unexpectedly altered.†
alacrity = quickness; and/or cheerful eagerness
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antipathy
3 uses
But I am not really Mrs. Richard Phillotson, but a woman tossed about, all alone, with aberrant passions, and unaccountable antipathies....†
antipathies = strong dislike
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certitude
2 uses
Then one of the three enthusiasts he had seen just now, the author of the Apologia: "My argument was .... that absolute certitude as to the truths of natural theology was the result of an assemblage of concurring and converging probabilities .... that probabilities which did not reach to logical certainty might create a mental certitude."†
certitude = certainty
DefinitionGenerally certitude means:
total certainty or (more rarely) something that is certain to happen
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chronological
1 use
I altered my old one by cutting up all the Epistles and Gospels into separate brochures, and rearranging them in chronological order as written, beginning the book with Thessalonians, following on with the Epistles, and putting the Gospels much further on.†
chronological = arranged according to time
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contiguous
3 uses
Children begin with detail, and learn up to the general; they begin with the contiguous, and gradually comprehend the universal.†
contiguous = with a common boundary or very close
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convivial
2 uses
A few friends, and a quiet convivial party would be the thing, if we could get it up.†
convivial = friendly and fun
DefinitionGenerally convivial means:
friendly and fun — especially (when of a person) fond of the pleasures of good company
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denizen
2 uses
He saw that his destiny lay not with these, but among the manual toilers in the shabby purlieu which he himself occupied, unrecognized as part of the city at all by its visitors and panegyrists, yet without whose denizens the hard readers could not read nor the high thinkers live.†
denizens = people or animals that inhabit or frequently visit a particular place
DefinitionGenerally denizen means:
a person or animal that inhabits or frequently visits a particular place
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fervid
2 uses
Then they bore off to the left along the crest into the ridgeway, which they followed till it intersected the high-road at the Brown House aforesaid, the spot of his former fervid desires to behold Christminster.†
fervid = intensely passionate

or more rarely:

extremely hot
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gratuitous
2 uses
Passing the evening, therefore, in a desultory waiting about the town wherein he avoided the precincts of every cloister and hall, because he could not bear to behold them, he repaired to the tavern bar while the hundred and one strokes were resounding from the Great Bell of Cardinal College, a coincidence which seemed to him gratuitous irony.†
gratuitous = unnecessary and unwarranted

or less commonly (except where it is common in the legal field):  costing nothing
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incipient
2 uses
An indescribable lightness of heel served to lift him along; and Jude, the incipient scholar, prospective D.D., professor, bishop, or what not, felt himself honoured and glorified by the condescension of this handsome country wench in agreeing to take a walk with him in her Sunday frock and ribbons.†
incipient = beginning to come into existence
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inquest
3 uses
The jury duly came and viewed the bodies, the inquest was held; and next arrived the melancholy morning of the funeral.†
inquest = formal inquiry or investigation
DefinitionGenerally inquest means:
a formal inquiry or investigation — typically into the cause of an unexpected death or other undesirable event
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laconic
3 uses
"Catched un, my dear?" laconically asked the girl called Anny.†
laconically = using few words
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pathos
2 uses
A pathos so unusually compounded as that which attached to this hour was unlikely to repeat itself for years, if ever, and Jude would have paused, and meditated, and conversed.†
pathos = a quality that arouses pity or sorrow
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supercilious
2 uses
Thus they descended to the precincts of her father's homestead, and Arabella went in, nodding good-bye to him with a supercilious, affronted air.†
supercilious = arrogant
DefinitionGenerally supercilious means:
arrogant (acting as if better, more important, and superior in ideas than others)
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supersede
3 uses
The only copies he had been able to lay hands on were old Delphin editions, because they were superseded, and therefore cheap.†
superseded = take the place of — especially replacing something old or inferior

or:

to cause to be set aside
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temerity
2 uses
How could Sue have had the temerity to ask him to do it—a cruelty possibly to herself as well as to him?†
temerity = confidence or courage — especially when disregarding societal norms
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vicissitudes
2 uses
Jude had quite unexpectedly found good employment at his old trade almost directly he arrived, the summer weather suiting his fragile constitution; and outwardly his days went on with that monotonous uniformity which is in itself so grateful after vicissitude.†
vicissitude = change — especially an unanticipated difficulty
DefinitionGenerally vicissitudes means:
changes — especially unanticipated difficulties
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