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The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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accord   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 8 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
according to, or in accord with
The days between Christmas and New Year's day are allowed as holidays; and, accordingly, we were not required to perform any labor,
accordingly = in agreement with what was just stated
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
in keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library46 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
reached an accord
That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage; that voice, made all of sweet accord, changed to one of harsh and horrid discord; and that angelic face gave place to that of a demon.
accord = agreement
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
an agreement
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
done of her own accord
For instance, the slaveholders not only like to see the slave drink of his own accord, but will adopt various plans to make him drunk.
own accord = own mind (voluntarily)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
mind — voluntarily (without anyone asking)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
acquaint
7 uses
I was aware of all the facts, having been made acquainted with them by a young man who had lived there.
acquainted = familiar
DefinitionGenerally acquaint means:
to cause to know; or to cause to be familiar with
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
advocate
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
an advocate supporting
He who sells my sister, for purposes of prostitution, stands forth as the pious advocate of purity.†
advocate = public supporter
DefinitionGenerally this sense of advocate means:
a person who publicly supports and works to advance a cause

or more rarely:

someone acting in the role of a defense lawyer in England's past and in some jurisdictions today
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAppe
Web Links
alternative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an alternative plan
I spent that day mostly in the woods, having the alternative before me,—to go home and be whipped to death, or stay in the woods and be starved to death.
alternative = something available as a possibility
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
attribute
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
I attribute it to...
A slave seldom dies but that his death is attributed to trickery.
attributed = credited (pointed to as the cause of something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something) — such as:
  • to say that something happened because of someone or something else
  • to indicate the source of an idea or quotation
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
bound   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 9 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
bound together
She took a chair by me, washed the blood from my face, and, with a mother's tenderness, bound up my head, covering the wounded eye with a lean piece of fresh beef.
bound = wrapped
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bound means:
held together (connected or united) or wrapped

(see word notes for a more detailed definition based upon context)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
2  —5 uses as in:
I can't/must. I'm bound by...
They'll loudly talk of Christ's reward,
And bind his image with a cord,
bind = tie up

(editor's note:  This is part of a famous poem by Douglas that pokes fun at people who claim to lead a Christian life and yet enslave others. "His image", refers to "any person" since Christians believe that people are made in God's image and so look like God.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bound means:
tied up, prevented, or required
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
?  —1 use
exact meaning not specified
or not quizzed
compensate
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
she compensates with extra effort
The gratification afforded by the triumph was a full compensation for whatever else might follow, even death itself.
compensation = something that made amends for (made up for)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of compensate means:
make up for; or adjust for
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
digress
1 use
But I am again digressing.
digressing = wandering from a direct or straight course — especially verbally
DefinitionGenerally digress means:
wander from a direct or straight course — especially verbally
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discordant music
To show himself independent of me, he would start and stagger through with his hymn in the most discordant manner.
discordant = unpleasant sounding (especially in combination with the other voices)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
unpleasant sound — especially a combination of sounds that sound wrong together (though sometimes done intentionally in music)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
grindstone
1 use
...come, turn this grindstone.
grindstone = a revolving stone shaped like a disk that is used to grind, sharpen or polish
DefinitionGenerally grindstone means:
a revolving stone shaped like a disk that is used to grind, sharpen or polish

or:

work — as in the expressions "back to the grindstone" (back to work) or "keep your nose to the grindstone" (keep working hard)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
immutable
1 use
To be accused was to be convicted, and to be convicted was to be punished; the one always following the other with immutable certainty.
immutable = not subject or susceptible to change
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
negative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
negative feedback from customers
I have been frequently asked, when a slave, if I had a kind master, and do not remember ever to have given a negative answer; nor did I, in pursuing this course, consider myself as uttering what was absolutely false; for I always measured the kindness of my master by the standard of kindness set up among slaveholders around us.†
negative = indicating an answer of "no"
DefinitionGenerally this sense of negative means:
to express criticism or disagreement, or (especially when talking over a radio or in a military setting) to say "no"
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
obdurate
3 uses
He was cruel enough to inflict the severest punishment, artful enough to descend to the lowest trickery, and obdurate enough to be insensible to the voice of a reproving conscience.
obdurate = showing unfeeling resistance to tender feelings (and stubbornly persistent in doing that wrong)
DefinitionGenerally obdurate means:
stubbornly persistent — especially in wrongdoing

or more rarely (except in classic literature):

showing unfeeling resistance to tender feelings
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
passage
1 use
I have seen him tie up a lame young woman, and whip her with a heavy cowskin upon her naked shoulders, causing the warm red blood to drip; and, in justification of the bloody deed, he would quote this passage of Scripture—"He that knoweth his master's will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes."
passage = a short part of a longer written work
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
sagacious
1 use
He could not come among us without betraying his sympathy for us, and, stupid as we were, we had the sagacity to see it.
sagacity = wisdom
DefinitionGenerally sagacious means:
wise — especially through long experience and thoughtfulness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
servile
2 uses
The crouching servility, usually so acceptable a quality in a slave, did not...
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
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
tone
6 uses
"I won't!" said Henry, in a firm tone, indicating his readiness to meet the consequences of his refusal.
tone = the general feeling, mood, or attitude of something
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tone means:
the general feeling, mood, or attitude of something — especially of something said or written
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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