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A Passage to India
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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apathy
2 uses
Seeing too much senior apathy, the high school began having juniors declare a major for their senior year.
apathy = lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
benevolent
2 uses
They called themselves The Benevolent Association because their mission was to help others.
benevolent = kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
censure
6 uses
They censured him for bringing dishonor upon the Senate.
censured = formally criticized
DefinitionGenerally censure means:
harsh criticism; or formal criticism from an organization — such as the U.S. Senate
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
complacent
3 uses
He had become complacent after years of success.
complacent = contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
conciliatory
3 uses
Their statements are conciliatory, but their actions are uncompromising.
conciliatory = intended to end bad feelings or build trust
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
deference
5 uses
They changed their strategy in deference to the President's wishes.
deference = respect
DefinitionGenerally deference means:
polite respect — often when submitting to another's wishes
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
denounce
3 uses
She denounced him as a liar.
denounced = strongly criticized or accused publicly
DefinitionGenerally denounce means:
to strongly criticize or accuse publicly

or more rarely:  to inform against someone (turn someone into the authorities)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
deprecate
5 uses
I want to acknowledge her contribution without deprecating that of others.
deprecating = belittling (minimizing or diminishing the value of)

or:

expressing disapproval of
DefinitionGenerally deprecate means:
to belittle (diminish the value of) or express disapproval of something
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 36
Web Links
deride
3 uses
Critics derided her as unprofessional.
derided = laughed at or made fun of—while showing a lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally deride means:
laugh at or make fun of—while showing a lack of respect
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
diffident
1 use
She is diffident around adults, but dominant with her peer group.
diffident = hesitant and unassertive
DefinitionGenerally diffident means:
hesitant and unassertive — often due to a lack of self-confidence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 27
Web Links
disdain
2 uses
She tries to be polite, but cannot hide her disdain for authority.
disdain = lack of respect
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
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
doleful
1 use
It was another year of a doleful Detroit economy.
doleful = very sad; or causing sadness or misfortune
DefinitionGenerally doleful means:
expressing or causing sadness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
dubious
2 uses
She was dubious, but agreed to come with us anyway.
dubious = doubtful; or suspicious; or full of uncertainty
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
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
Hinduism
53 uses
Hindu/Muslim discord resulted in partitioning and violence in post-colonial India.
Hindu = the third most common religion; polytheistic (many gods) with most adherents in India
Word Statistics
Book53 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
irony
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
verbal irony
She was being ironic when she said she couldn't wait to see you again.
ironic = saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
magistrate
37 uses
The local magistrate insisted on a cash payment for the speeding ticket.
magistrate = judicial official
DefinitionGenerally magistrate means:
a judicial official — in the U.S. typically a judge for minor offenses or preliminary hearings
Word Statistics
Book37 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
pedantic
2 uses
Her lectures were too pedantic for my taste.
pedantic = overly concerned with book learning
DefinitionGenerally pedantic means:
too concerned with formal rules, details, or book learning
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
prosaic
3 uses
It was a prosaic and unimaginative essay.
prosaic = lacking anything unusual, interesting, or challenging
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
relegate
3 uses
Decades of slow growth have relegated the country to third-class status in international affairs.
relegated = assigned to a less important position or classification
DefinitionGenerally relegate means:
assign to a less important position or classification
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
relevant
2 uses
It is easier to learn things that seem relevant to your life.
relevant = related in a meaningful way to the issue in question
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
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