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The Red Badge of Courage
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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clamor
9 uses
In his great anxiety his heart was continually clamoring at what he considered the intolerable slowness of the generals.
clamoring = demanding loudly and persistently
DefinitionGenerally clamor means:
loud noise and/or persistent demands — especially from human voice
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
compel
13 uses
he had been compelled to leave a little protection of stones and dirt to which he had devoted much care and skill.
compelled = forced — perhaps by an inner desire
DefinitionGenerally compel means:
to force someone to do something

or more rarely:

to convince someone to do something
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
conciliatory
2 uses
"Why, no," he hastened to say in a conciliating voice "I don't think I fought the whole battle yesterday."
conciliating = attempting to end bad feelings or build trust
DefinitionGenerally conciliatory means:
intended to end bad feelings or build trust
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
Thinking of the slain, he achieved a great contempt for some of them, as if they were guilty for thus becoming lifeless.
contempt = disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
deride
7 uses
It would now be he who could laugh and shoot the shafts of derision.
derision = treatment as inferior and unworthy of respect
DefinitionGenerally deride means:
laugh at or make fun of—while showing a lack of respect
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
diffident
2 uses
After a time he began to sidle near to the youth, and in a diffident way try to make him a friend.
diffident = hesitant and unassertive
DefinitionGenerally diffident means:
hesitant and unassertive — often due to a lack of self-confidence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
doleful
2 uses
There was one who raised a doleful cry.
doleful = full of sadness
DefinitionGenerally doleful means:
expressing or causing sadness
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
insolent
6 uses
Wherever he went in camp, he would encounter insolent and lingeringly cruel stares.
insolent = rudely disrespectful
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
oblige
13 uses
1  —13 uses as in:
I am obliged by law.
Thus, many men of courage ... would be obliged to desert the colors and scurry like chickens.
obliged = required
DefinitionGenerally this sense of oblige means:
require (obligate) to do something
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
ominous
6 uses
A house standing placidly in distant fields had to him an ominous look.
ominous = threatening or suggestive of bad things to come
DefinitionGenerally ominous means:
threatening (suggestive of, or foreshadowing bad things to come)
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
perceive   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
perceive the system as unfair
Apparently, the other had now climbed a peak of wisdom from which he could perceive himself as a very wee thing.
perceive = view in a certain way so as to form a belief
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perceive means:
to view in a certain way so as to form a belief or opinion
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
though blind, can perceive light
As he perceived her, she had immediately begun to stare up through the high tree branches at the sky.
perceived = saw
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perceive means:
to become aware of — especially by using the senses (to see, hear, smell, feel, or taste)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
perfunctory
2 uses
A few shot perfunctorily at distant marks.
perfunctorily = without much interest or effort
DefinitionGenerally perfunctory means:
done without much interest or effort — especially as when dispensing with a formality
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
profound
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
Shame was upon him, and with it profound regret that he was, perhaps, no more to be counted in the ranks of his fellows.
profound = of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
reproach
8 uses
The news that the regiment had been reproached went along the line.
reproached = criticized
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
resolve   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 7 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
He must accumulate information of himself, and meanwhile he resolved to remain close upon his guard lest those qualities of which he knew nothing should everlastingly disgrace him.
resolved = decided
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
Her resolve weakened.
They seemed resolved to make every trouble.
resolved = determined
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
firmness of purpose (strong determination to do something)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
stolid
8 uses
The youth walked stolidly into the midst of the mob, and with his flag in his hands took a stand as if he expected an attempt to push him to the ground.
stolidly = with little emotion

(editor's note:  Stolidly also lends to an image of moving slowly and standing firmly)
DefinitionGenerally stolid means:
having or revealing little emotion — often thinking slowly

or:

of an object:  not interesting — often large and unmoving
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
tranquil
6 uses
He stood, erect and tranquil, watching the attack begin against apart of the line that made a blue curve along the side of an adjacent hill.
tranquil = calm and undisturbed
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
vindicate
4 uses
A moral vindication was regarded by the youth as a very important thing.
vindication = to be shown to be right or justified in taking prior action
DefinitionGenerally vindicate means:
show to be right or justified
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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