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Oedipus King of Thebes (translated by: Murray)
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abate
1 use
Doth the storm abate?†
abate = to become less in amount or intensity
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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arraign
1 use
But, as far as Sophocles is concerned, if anything in the nature of a criticism of life has been admitted into the play at all, it seems to be only a flash or two of that profound and pessimistic arraignment of the ruling powers which in other plays also opens at times like a sudden abyss across the smooth surface of his art.†
arraignment = a court proceeding in which a defendant responds to legal charges (usually by pleading guilty or not guilty)
DefinitionGenerally arraign means:
call before a court to answer an indictment

or:

accuse of a wrong or an inadequacy
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avenge
1 use
But Laius lay slain, And none to avenge him in his evil day.†
avenge = take revenge for
DefinitionGenerally avenge means:
take revenge for a perceived wrong
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
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Bacchus
1 use
And thou, O Golden-crown, Theban and named our own, O Wine-gleam, Voice of Joy, for ever more Ringed with thy Maenads white, Bacchus, draw near and smite, Smite with thy glad-eyed flame the God whom Gods abhor.†
Bacchus = Roman mythology:  god of wine
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Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
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beseech
1 use
I beseech thee....†
beseech = to ask strongly or beg for something
Word Statistics
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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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calamity
2 uses
That makes thy pride and thy calamity.†
calamity = a disastrous event; or the distress resulting from it
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
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deemed
2 uses
Prophets deem A deed wrought that is wrought but in a dream.†
deem = believe or judge
DefinitionGenerally deemed means:
believed or judged
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
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delude
2 uses
What life hath Delusion so visited, and Pain, And swiftness of Disaster?†
delusion = a false belief
DefinitionGenerally delude means:
to convince someone of a false belief
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
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Dionysus
2 uses
Or was it the lord of Cyllene, who found thee, Or glad Dionysus, whose home is the height, Who knew thee his own on the mountain, as round thee The White Brides of Helicon laughed for delight?†
Dionysus = Greek mythology:  god of wine and fertility and drama
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external
1 use
But such flaws are external, not essential.†
external = outside
DefinitionGenerally external means:
outside

(see word notes for more detailed definitions based on context)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePref.
Web Links
forsake
2 uses
Did not thy masteries of old forsake thee when the end was near?†
forsake = abandon or give up on
DefinitionGenerally forsake means:
to abandon or give up on — such as someone who needs you, or an idea, or a place
Word Statistics
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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
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guise
2 uses
At one extreme are sanctity and superhuman wisdom; at the other fraud and mental disease, self-worship aping humility and personal malignity in the guise of obedience to God.†
guise = a deceptive outward appearance

or more rarely:

any outward appearance — especially one that is new or clever
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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infamy
1 use
I would not have thee cast to infamy Of guilt, where none is proved, One who hath sworn and whom thou once hast loved.†
infamy = famous for something that is bad; or an extremely bad event
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insipid
1 use
Tiresias is not anything so insipid.†
insipid = dull (uninteresting and unimpactful)
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ire
1 use
Cool thine ire With thought of these, and if thou find that aught Faileth, then hold my craft a thing of naught.†
ire = anger
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Library1 use in 10 avg bks
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pious
2 uses
I know that some commentators have found in it a "humble and unquestioning piety," but I cannot help suspecting that what they saw was only a reflection from their own pious and unquestioning minds.†
piety = highly moral belief or behavior
DefinitionGenerally pious means:
behaving in a highly moral or religious manner

or less commonly:  behaving highly moral in a self-righteous or holier-than-thou manner
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePref.
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portent
1 use
O Oedipus, who holdest in thy hand My city, thou canst see what ages stand At these thine altars; some whose little wing Scarce flieth yet, and some with long living O'erburdened; priests, as I of Zeus am priest, And chosen youths: and wailing hath not ceased Of thousands in the market-place, and by Athena's two-fold temples and the dry Ash of Ismenus' portent-breathing shore.†
portent = a sign of something about to happen
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rhetoric
1 use
Creon's defence, p. 34, "from probabilities," as the rhetoricians would have called it, seems less interesting to us than it probably did to the poet's contemporaries.†
rhetoricians = use of words to make a point (in this case implying that the words may sound good, but are lacking in substance)
DefinitionGenerally rhetoric means:
the use of words to make a point

or more rarely:

study of the technique and rules for using language effectively (especially to persuade)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePlay
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vengeance
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
vengeance is mine
No tale thereof they tell, nor no sign thereof they show; Who dares to rise for vengeance and cast Oedipus away For a dark, dark death long ago!†
vengeance = the act of taking revenge
DefinitionGenerally this sense of vengeance means:
the act of taking revenge

(Revenge means to harm someone to get them back for something harmful that they have done.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePref.
Web Links
vex
2 uses
Once gone, he will not vex me more.†
vex = to annoy or disturb
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePlay
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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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