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A Passage to India
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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apathy
2 uses
...the elder lady accepted her own apathy, while the younger resented hers.
apathy = lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
benevolent
2 uses
a man of benevolence
benevolence = kindness and generosity
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
censure
6 uses
It was the first interruption, and the Magistrate felt bound to censure it.
censure = criticize
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
His words without his voice might have impressed her, but when she heard the self-satisfied lilt of them, when she saw the mouth moving so complacently and ... she felt, quite illogically, that this was not the last word on India.
complacently = with contentment  (satisfied and unworried — perhaps to a fault)
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
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
The educated Indians will be no good to us if there's a row, it's simply not worth while conciliating them, that's why they don't matter.
conciliating = actions intended to end bad feelings or build trust
DefinitionGenerally conciliatory means:
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
With all deference, sir, I am not here to answer questions, but to make a personal statement, and I have concluded it.
deference = polite 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
While they denounced him, Miss Quested lay back with her hands on the arms of her chair and her eyes closed, reserving her strength.
denounced = accused him 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
Fielding deprecated confidences, but Sir Gilbert insisted on imparting them;
deprecated = disapproved 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
In the applause that greeted them some derision mingled.
derision = disrespect — typically while laughing at or making fun of
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
Aziz was full of civilization this evening, complete, dignified, rather hard, and it was with diffidence that the other said: "Yes, certainly you must let off Miss Quested easily."
diffidence = hesitancy and unassertiveness
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
...he had disdained to enquire, he really could not waste his time over such trivialities.
disdained = to reject as not of value
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
Each held a large earthenware jar, containing pebbles, and jerked it up and down in time to a doleful chant.
doleful = expressing sadness
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
This aspect of the case had always seemed dubious to Miss Quested, and she had asked the police not to develop it.
dubious = doubtful or suspicious
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
Hinduism, so solid from a distance, is riven into sects and clans, which radiate and join, and change their names according to the aspect from which they are approached.
Hinduism = 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
"Excellent, a hyena," said the Indian with an angry irony and a gesture at the night.
irony = 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
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
magistrate
37 uses
But the case has to come before a magistrate now;
magistrate = judge
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
After forty years' experience, he had learnt to manage his life and make the best of it on advanced European lines, had developed his personality, explored his limitations, controlled his passions—and he had done it all without becoming either pedantic or worldly.
pedantic = excessive concern with formal rules, or book learning; or inappropriate showing off of knowledge
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
The approach is prosaic.
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
Fielding, too, had his anxieties ... but he relegated them to the edge of his mind, and forbade them to infect its core.
relegated = assigned to a less important position
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
Sometimes, to the exasperation of Major Callendar, he would pass over the one relevant fact in a position, to dwell on the hundred irrelevant.
relevant = 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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