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Little Women
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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alacrity
2 uses
"Won't I!" said Laurie, with alacrity.
alacrity = quickness; and/or cheerful eagerness
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.9
Web Links
amiable
16 uses
both burst out laughing, and the discussion took a more amiable turn.
amiable = friendly
DefinitionGenerally amiable means:
friendly and kindly
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.30
Web Links
complacent
4 uses
From that day she was a model of obedience, and the old lady complacently admired the success of her training.
complacently = with contentment  (satisfied and unworried)
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.11
Web Links
countenance   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
a pleasant countenance
And Meg tried to keep her countenance,
countenance = composure (or face or facial expression)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
facial expression; or face; or composure
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
giving countenance
So we are to countenance things and people which we detest, merely because we are not belles and millionaires, are we?
countenance = tolerate or approve
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
to tolerate, approve, or show favor or support
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.29
Web Links
daunt
5 uses
Don't be troubled, Meg, poverty seldom daunts a sincere lover.
daunts = discourages
DefinitionGenerally daunt means:
to discourage or intimidate

(editor's note: The root word is most commonly seen as the adjective daunting which describes something as "discouraging or intimidating". Note that the "-less" suffix means without, so dauntless is to daunt as hopeless is to hope and careless is to care.)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
despondent
12 uses
"If life is often as hard as this, I don't see how we ever shall get through it," added her sister despondently.
despondently = in a depressed manner
DefinitionGenerally despondent means:
emotionally depressed — especially a feeling of grief and hopelessness after a loss
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.18
Web Links
digress
1 use
"By-and-by, when you've got a name, you can afford to digress, and have philosophical and metaphysical people in your novels," said Amy, who took a strictly practical view of the subject.
digress = wander from a direct or straight course — especially verbally
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.27
Web Links
impetuous
7 uses
With that she rushed across the street so impetuously that she narrowly escaped annihilation from a passing truck,
impetuously = impulsively (acting suddenly without much thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impetuous means:
impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought) — often with an unfortunate consequence
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.35
Web Links
mischievous
9 uses
"Going out for exercise," answered Jo with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.
mischievous = naughtily or annoyingly playful

or:

tending to create mischief (minor harm — especially from bad behavior)
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.13
Web Links
penitent
10 uses
"Yes, please, but I never will again," and he went down upon his knees, with a penitent clasping of hands, and a face full of mischief, mirth, and triumph.
penitent = expressing sorrow for having done wrong
DefinitionGenerally penitent means:
feeling or expressing sorrow for having done wrong; or a person who does such
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.37
Web Links
petulant
8 uses
"You ought to have sent word, or told me this morning, and you ought to have remembered how busy I was," continued Meg petulantly, for even turtledoves will peck when ruffled.
petulantly = with unreasonable anger or upset
DefinitionGenerally petulant means:
unreasonably annoyed or upset

or:

easily annoyed or upset
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
prudent
9 uses
Don't be anxious about me, remember I am your 'prudent Amy', and be sure I will do nothing rashly.
prudent = sensible and careful
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.11
Web Links
reproach
19 uses
He was very kind, forgave her readily, and did not utter one reproach, but Meg knew that she had done and said a thing which would not be forgotten soon,
reproach = a criticism; or to express criticism
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.29
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
we resigned ourselves to our fate.
resigned = accepted something undesired as unavoidable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.31
Web Links
resolve   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 15 uses
1  —13 uses as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
I ... resolved not to let the sun set on my anger, and ran over to tell Laurie I was sorry.
resolved = decided
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.27
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
Her resolve weakened.
And Amy tried on the blue ring with a delighted face and a firm resolve to earn it.
resolve = determination (firmness of purpose)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
firmness of purpose (strong determination to do something)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
trifle with   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 41 uses
1  —1 use as in:
trifle with her affections
...she was not to be trifled with.
trifled with = treated thoughtlessly or without respect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trifle with means:
to treat somebody or something thoughtlessly or without respect
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.37
Web Links
2  —40 uses as in:
a trifling matter
...for as Father says, trifles show character.
trifles = small unimportant things
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trifling means:
something of small importance; or a small quantity
Word Statistics
Book40 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.12
Web Links
wistful
19 uses
He looked so wistful as he went away, hearing the frolic and evidently having none of his own.
wistful = showing longing or unfulfilled desire
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
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