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O Pioneers!

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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amiable
1 use
He dropped his arms and went up to the wagon, smiling amiably and looking at them out of his pale blue eyes.
amiably = in a friendly way
DefinitionGenerally amiable means:
friendly, agreeable, and likable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
contrary
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a contrary personality
She'd marry him out of contrariness."†
contrariness = disagreeableness

(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 this sense of contrary means:
disagreeable — typically in reference to someone's personality
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.10
Web Links
corpulent
1 use
Mrs. Bergson was a fair-skinned, corpulent woman, heavy and placid like her son, Oscar, but there was something comfortable about her; perhaps it was her own love of comfort.†
corpulent = excessive body fat
DefinitionGenerally corpulent means:
with excessive body fat
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred the decision
...his long deferred visit to Alexandra.
deferred = postponed (or put off)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
delay or postpone (hold off until a later time)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.7
Web Links
denotes
1 use
Maybe there's some young lady in Lincoln, now, very grand,"—Amedee waved his hand languidly before his face to denote the fan of heartless beauty,—"and you lost your heart up there.†
denote = means literally; or indicates
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.9
Web Links
earnest
7 uses
Alexandra asked Signa whether she thought Nelse was in earnest,
in earnest = serious
DefinitionGenerally earnest means:
characterized by sincere belief

or:

intensely or excessively serious
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
enigma
1 use
But this land was an enigma.
enigma = mystery that seems unexplainable
DefinitionGenerally enigma means:
something mysterious that seems unexplainable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
exorbitant
1 use
All we have ever managed to do is to pay our rent, the exorbitant rent that one has to pay for a few square feet of space near the heart of things.†
exorbitant = a lot more than is reasonable or typical
DefinitionGenerally exorbitant means:
a lot more than is reasonable or typical — often said of price
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.4
Web Links
inarticulate
1 use
In the warm, breathless night air he heard a murmuring sound, perfectly inarticulate, as low as the sound of water coming from a spring, where there is no fall, and where there are no stones to fret it.†
inarticulate = unable to express oneself clearly; or not expressed clearly
DefinitionGenerally inarticulate means:
unable to communicate clearly (or to use words)

or (more rarely): a feeling or idea that is not expressed

The exact meaning of inarticulate depends upon its context. For example:
  • unable to find good words to express oneself — as in "She gets inarticulate when she's nervous."
  • verbally expressing a feeling without words — as in "She uttered an inarticulate cry of despair."
  • unable to make oneself heard and understood — as in "She mumbled inarticulately."
  • unable to speak — as in "She was inarticulate with rage."
  • a feeling or idea that is not expressed — as in "We shared an inarticulate fear."
  • inability to express or understand feelings or ideas — as in "She is emotionally inarticulate, " or "Her symphony is inarticulate."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.7
Web Links
incessant
1 use
While she and Alexandra patched and pieced and quilted, she talked incessantly about stories she read in a Swedish family paper,
incessantly = continuously
DefinitionGenerally incessant means:
continuous — often in an annoying way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.1
Web Links
indulgent
1 use
"Ivar," Signa asked suddenly, "will you tell me why you go barefoot?..."
  "...It is for the indulgence of the body. From my youth up I have had a strong, rebellious body, and have been subject to every kind of temptation. ...and the feet, as I understand it, are free members. ... The hands, the tongue, the eyes, the heart, all the bodily desires we are commanded to subdue; but the feet are free members."
indulgence = special pleasure (treatment with extra kindness or tolerance)
DefinitionGenerally indulgent means:
to treat with extra kindness or tolerance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5.1
Web Links
ineffable
1 use
On her face there was a look of ineffable content.†
ineffable = something that cannot be put into words
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.8
Web Links
insipid
2 uses
She made a yellow jam of the insipid ground-cherries that grew on the prairie, flavoring it with lemon peel;
insipid = lacking flavor
DefinitionGenerally insipid means:
dull (uninteresting and unimpactful)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
laconic
1 use
"Free-thinkers," replied the young woman laconically.†
laconically = in a manner that uses few words
DefinitionGenerally laconic means:
using few words
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
revere
1 use
The new communicants, with their clear, reverent faces, were beautiful to look upon as they entered in a body and took the front benches reserved for them.
reverent = (religiously) respectful and admiring

(editor's note:  a communicant is a participant in the Christian religious ceremony of receiving Holy Communion)
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.6
Web Links
sanguine
1 use
He was not very sanguine about his future.
sanguine = confidently optimistic and cheerful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.3
Web Links
staid
1 use
he seems kind of staid and school-teachery.
staid = conservative and low-keyed (probably dull)
DefinitionGenerally staid means:
respectable or conservative, and low-keyed in behavior — possibly a bit dull
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
vacillate
1 use
The younger boy was quicker, but vacillating.
vacillating = changing his mind back and forth between conflicting ideas
DefinitionGenerally vacillate means:
to change one's mind back and forth between conflicting ideas

or:

to sway back and forth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
whimsical
1 use
his whimsical smile
whimsical = playful and impulsive
DefinitionGenerally whimsical means:
playful, amusing, or impulsive rather than seriously rational
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5.3
Web Links
zeal
2 uses
But Amedee had the zeal of the newly married, and he was not to be lightly shaken off.
zeal = active interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.9
Web Links
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Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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