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Notes from the Underground

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 (severe or strong) — usually negative
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
acute sense of smell
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)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
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
attribute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I attribute it to...
It is clear to me now that, owing to my unbounded vanity and to the high standard I set for myself, I often looked at myself with furious discontent, which verged on loathing, and so I inwardly attributed the same feeling to everyone.†
attributed = credited (pointed to a source for something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something)
in two typical senses:
  • "I attribute it to her work." — to say who or what made something happen
  • "Remember to attribute any quotations in your paper." — indicate the source of a quotation or idea
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.1
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
Library28 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
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
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 for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library8 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
in various senses, including:
  • to say something is not true — as in "She contradicted his testimony."
  • to say something else is true when both can't be true — as in "I don't believe her. She contradicted herself as she told us what happened."
  • to be in conflict with — as in "Her assertions contradict accepted scientific principles."
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library13 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 = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library5 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
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.1
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 500
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
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
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
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.4
Web Links
loathe
21 uses
It is loathsome to remember it all, but it was loathsome even then.†
loathsome = disgusting or very bad
DefinitionGenerally loathe means:
hate, detest, or intensely dislike
Word Statistics
Book21 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
nevertheless
1 use
Nevertheless it is clear that such persons as the writer of these notes not only may, but positively must, exist in our society, when we consider the circumstances in the midst of which our society is formed.†
nevertheless = in spite of that (used to connect contrasting ideas)
DefinitionGenerally nevertheless means:
in spite of that (Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
retort
8 uses
"Yes, but it's advantage all the same," you will retort.†
retort = quickly reply
DefinitionGenerally this sense of retort means:
a quick reply to a question or remark — especially a witty or critical one
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
sublime
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she is sublime
...I love all that is "sublime and beautiful."
sublime = impressively wonderful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sublime means:
impressively wonderful — often beautiful or morally admirable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use 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
Library4 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 = miserable or very bad
DefinitionGenerally wretched means:
very bad
in various senses, including:
  • unfortunate or miserable — as in "wretched prisoners sleeping on the cold floor"
  • of poor quality — as in "wretched roads"
  • morally bad — as in "The wretched woman stole his wallet."
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
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