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My Antonia

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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candid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
your candid opinion
Lena, who was almost as candid as Nature,
candid = honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useBook 3
Web Links
caustic
1 use
Her new clothes were the subject of caustic comment.
caustic = sarcastic or critical
DefinitionGenerally caustic means:
of a chemical substance:  corrosive; capable of destroying or eating away such as a strong acid

or:

of a person:  sarcastic, critical, or harsh
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useBook 2
Web Links
complacent
1 use
Tiny smiled grimly and assured me that Lena would never be either shabby
or rich. "And I don't want to be," the other agreed complacently.
complacently = with contentment  (unworried and satisfied)
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 useBook 5
Web Links
contempt
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
I looked with contempt at the dark, silent little houses about me as I walked home, and thought of the stupid young men who were asleep in some of them.
contempt = dislike and disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 4
Web Links
countenance
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a pleasant countenance
with a quite blissful expression of countenance.
countenance = face
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
facial expression; or face; or composure or manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 3
Web Links
credulous
1 use
Antonia had the most trusting, responsive eyes in the world; love and credulousness seemed to look out of them with open faces.
credulousness = trust (readiness to believe)

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
DefinitionGenerally credulous means:
gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
cultivate
4 uses
Marek was strong, and Ambrosch worked him hard; but he could never teach him to cultivate corn, I remember.
cultivate = grow
DefinitionGenerally cultivate means:
enhance growth or development
in various senses, including:
  • to grow crops or prepare land for them
  • enhance a relationship — especially for a purpose
  • develop discernment (better recognition of differences) in taste or judgment
  • to grow a culture in a petri dish
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useBook 2
Web Links
decorum
2 uses
she was exceedingly desirous that everything should go with due order and decorum.
decorum = proper manners and conduct
DefinitionGenerally decorum means:
manners and conduct considered to be proper and in good taste
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
...she began to treat me more like an equal and to defer to me in other things than reading
lessons.
defer = submit or yield (in differences of opinion)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
submit or yield (typically to another person's opinion because of respect for that person or their knowledge)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useBook 1
Web Links
disdain
2 uses
When I met him on his rounds now, I thought he carried his head more disdainfully than ever,
disdainfully = with a sense of superiority
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useBook 3
Web Links
entreat
5 uses
He placed this book in my grandmother's hands, looked at her entreatingly, and said, with an earnestness which I shall never forget, "Te-e-ach, te-e-ach my Antonia!"
entreatingly = in a pleading manner
DefinitionGenerally entreat means:
to ask — especially while trying hard to overcome resistance
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
furtive
2 uses
Nevertheless, I stole furtive glances behind me now and then to see that no avenging mate, older and bigger than my quarry, was racing up from the rear.
furtive = nervous
DefinitionGenerally furtive means:
taking pains to avoid being observed

or:

in a manner indicating nervousness (being cautious or appearing suspicious)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
impetuous
2 uses
"I can't see," he said impetuously, "why you have never written anything about Antonia."
impetuously = impulsively (without much thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impetuous means:
impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought) — often with an unfortunate consequence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
incessant
3 uses
When he was sitting, or standing still, he swayed back and forth incessantly, like a rocking toy.
incessantly = continuously
DefinitionGenerally incessant means:
continuous — often in an annoying way
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
indolent
4 uses
We rode slowly, with a pleasant sense of Sunday indolence.
indolence = laziness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
indulgent
5 uses
With Charley, who was not interested in business, but was already preparing for Annapolis, Mr. Harling was very indulgent; bought him guns and tools and electric batteries, and never asked what he did with them.
indulgent = treated with extra kindness
DefinitionGenerally indulgent means:
to treat with extra kindness or tolerance
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
notorious
2 uses
He was notoriously dissolute with women.
notoriously = well known for something bad

(editor's note:  dissolute means unrestrained when violating common morals)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
perplex
5 uses
He seemed to find this case very perplexing,
perplexing = confusing due to complexity
DefinitionGenerally perplex means:
to confuse
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
pious
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a good, pious woman
Cutter's first name was Wycliffe, and he liked to talk about his pious bringing-up.
pious = religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useBook 2
Web Links
squander
2 uses
She was extravagant, of course, but he hoped she wouldn't squander everything, and have nothing left when she was old.
squander = wasteful (in this case, wasteful of money)
DefinitionGenerally squander means:
to waste — money, resources, or opportunities
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 3
Web Links
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