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Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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affectation
2 uses
All his interests they treated as affectations.
affectations = things done only to make an impression
DefinitionGenerally affectation means:
behaving in an artificial way to make an impression
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.3
Web Links
candid
1 use
"Then what are you going to do about it?" she asked candidly.
candidly = with honesty and directness
DefinitionGenerally candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3.1
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:
postpone (hold off until a later time)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.7
Web Links
despondent
3 uses
a few years ago she got despondent and said life was just the same thing over and over, and she didn't see the use of it.
despondent = depressed
DefinitionGenerally despondent means:
emotionally depressed — especially a feeling of grief and hopelessness after a loss
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
disdain
1 use
He was tall and fair, with splendid teeth and close-cropped yellow curls, and he wore a slightly disdainful expression, proper for a young man with high connections, whose mother had a big farm in the Elbe valley.
disdainful = 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
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.7
Web Links
dubious
1 use
Carl stopped the horses and looked dubiously up at the black sky.
dubiously = suspiciously (in this case, suspecting bad weather)
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful — such as:
  • uncertain that something can be relied upon
  • uncertain about the quality or wisdom of something
  • a relatively gentle way of saying that the quality of something described as good is in such doubt that it is considered bad
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
impetuous
1 use
"I'll write as long as I live," cried the boy impetuously.
impetuously = impulsively (without much thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impetuous means:
impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought) — often with an unfortunate consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
incredulous
2 uses
Emil looked incredulous, but he did not dispute the point.
incredulous = unbelieving
DefinitionGenerally incredulous means:
unbelieving; or having difficulty accepting something so unexpected
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.2
Web Links
indignant
4 uses
Alexandra looked from one to the other, her eyes full of indignation.
indignation = anger at something unjust or wrong
DefinitionGenerally indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.5
Web Links
indolent
1 use
But he was as indolent of mind as he was unsparing of his body.
indolent = lazy
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
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
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5.1
Web Links
mortgage
7 uses
All the time I was a boy we had a mortgage hanging over us.
mortgage = a real estate loan agreement that promises to turn the real estate over to the lender if the loan isn't paid
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
perplex
6 uses
He was a little country boy, and this village was to him a very strange and perplexing place, where people wore fine clothes and had hard hearts.
perplexing = confusing
DefinitionGenerally perplex means:
to confuse
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
persist
4 uses
There was one fancy indeed, which persisted through her girlhood.
persisted = continued
DefinitionGenerally persist means:
to continue — often despite difficulty
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
prudent
2 uses
When he heard his daughter's announcement, he first prudently corked his beer bottle and then leaped to his feet and had a turn of temper.
prudently = with good sense and caution
DefinitionGenerally prudent means:
sensible and careful
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.7
Web Links
resolute
4 uses
His sister was a tall, strong girl, and she walked rapidly and resolutely, as if she knew exactly where she was going and what she was going to do next.
resolutely = with firm purpose
DefinitionGenerally resolute means:
firm in purpose or belief
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
scythe
12 uses
he began to swing his scythe with that long, even stroke that few American boys ever learn.
scythe = a tool for cutting grass that has a curved blade and a long handle that is held with both hands
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
skeptical
3 uses
Lou looked skeptical.
skeptical = doubtful (unbelieving)
DefinitionGenerally skeptical means:
doubtful (that something is true)

or more rarely:

generally tending to doubt what others believe
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
whimsical
1 use
his whimsical smile
whimsical = playful and impulsive
DefinitionGenerally whimsical means:
playful or amusing

or:

determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity or reason
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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