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Notes from the Underground
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
acute pain
...it showed itself in acute depression.
acute = severe with a rapid onset
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute means:
sharp (a severely negative event) — often with a rapid onset
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
acute vision
It may be an acutely conscious mouse, yet it is a mouse,
acutely = highly perceptive in some area
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute means:
sharp (highly perceptive in some area or mentally sharp)

(often with a connotation that resulting awareness is painful)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
adapt
1 use
Everything, however, passed satisfactorily by a lazy and fascinating transition into the sphere of art, that is, into the beautiful forms of life, lying ready, largely stolen from the poets and novelists and adapted to all sorts of needs and uses.†
adapted = made suitable (changed to fit a different situation)
DefinitionGenerally adapt means:
change to fit a different situation; or make suitable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
attain
13 uses
We sometimes choose absolute nonsense because in our foolishness we see in that nonsense the easiest means for attaining a supposed advantage.†
attaining = gaining or reaching something with effort
DefinitionGenerally attain means:
to gain or reach something with effort
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
consequence   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 19 uses
1  —15 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
I exercise myself in reflection, and consequently with me every primary cause at once draws after itself another still more primary, and so on to infinity.†
consequently = resultantly (as a result)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library24 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
of little consequence
I'll go on sitting here and drinking to the end, on purpose, as a sign that I don't think you of the slightest consequence.†
consequence = importance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
importance or relevance
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
contempt
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
...a stare more than severe, utterly contemptuous.
contemptuous = with intense dislike and disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.11
Web Links
contradict
3 uses
And what a faculty they have for the most contradictory sensations!†
contradictory = in disagreement
DefinitionGenerally contradict means:
disagree as in:
  • to say something is not true
  • to say something else is true when both can't be true
  • to be in conflict with
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
contrary   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 12 uses
1  —1 use as in:
contrary to
And one may choose what is contrary to one's own interests, and sometimes one POSITIVELY OUGHT (that is my idea).†
contrary to = in opposition to
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
2  —11 uses as in:
on the contrary
On the contrary, I would let my tongue be cut off out of gratitude if things could be so arranged that I should lose all desire to put it out.†
on the contrary = in opposition to what was just said
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
convention
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
conventional behavior
I had a sickly dread, too, of being ridiculous, and so had a slavish passion for the conventional in everything external.†
conventional = normal or typical
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
deliberate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
need to deliberate
So we stared at one another for two minutes; at last he turned with deliberation and dignity and went back again for two hours.†
deliberation = thought or discussion
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deliberate means:
to think about or discuss — especially with great care
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
dispute
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
She disputes his claim.
I am not disputing that, but perhaps the normal man should be stupid, how do you know?†
disputing = challenging, arguing about, or fighting over
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
challenge, argue about, or fight over
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
establish
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
establish a positive tone
Then—this is all what you say—new economic relations will be established, all ready-made and worked out with mathematical exactitude, so that every possible question will vanish in the twinkling of an eye, simply because every possible answer to it will be provided.†
established = created
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
irony
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
verbal irony
"Oh, poor fellow!" Zverkov cried ironically, for to his notions this was bound to be extremely funny.
ironically = saying one thing, while meaning the opposite
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.4
Web Links
loathe
20 uses
It is loathsome to remember it all, but it was loathsome even then.†
loathsome = disgusting or very bad
DefinitionGenerally loathe means:
detest or intensely dislike
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
scoundrel
10 uses
Thus it would follow, as the result of acute consciousness, that one is not to blame in being a scoundrel; as though that were any consolation to the scoundrel once he has come to realise that he actually is a scoundrel.†
scoundrel = someone without moral principles
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.4
Web Links
sublime
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she is sublime
...I love all that is "sublime and beautiful."
sublime = wonderful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sublime means:
wonderful — often beautiful or morally admirable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
vulgar
9 uses
And yet you are right—it really is vulgar and contemptible.
vulgar = of bad taste (crude, offensive, or unsophisticated)
DefinitionGenerally vulgar means:
of bad taste — often crude or offensive

or:

unsophisticated (or common) — especially of taste
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
wretched
10 uses
My room is a wretched, horrid one in the outskirts of the town.†
wretched = very bad
DefinitionGenerally wretched means:
very bad, in various senses such as:
  • unfortunate or miserable
  • of poor quality
  • morally bad
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
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