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Six Characters in Search of an Author
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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cerebral
1 use
He wants to get at his complicated "cerebral drama," to have his famous remorses and torments acted; but I want to act my part, my part!†
cerebral = relating to the brain
DefinitionGenerally cerebral means:
relating to the brain — especially the cerebrum (front of the brain)

or:

involving intelligence rather than emotions or instinct
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consternation
3 uses
The Manager [in consternation].†
consternation = dismay (unhappiness, worry, and often confusion) — typically over something unexpected
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Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
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debase
1 use
But the drama culminated unforeseen and violent on their return, when I was impelled by my miserable flesh that still lives...Ah! what misery, what wretchedness is that of the man who is alone and disdains debasing liaisons!†
debasing = degrading (decreasing) the purity, quality, or status of something
DefinitionGenerally debase means:
to degrade (decrease) the purity, quality, or status of something — often morality or metals
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detract
1 use
They preserve, however, something of the dream lightness in which they seem almost suspended; but this does not detract from the essential reality of their forms and expressions.†
detract = to diminish (reduce the value of something)
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discursive
1 use
A bit discursive this, you know!†
discursive = digressing (departing from the main point)

or:

proceeding to a conclusion by reason rather than intuition; e.g., a discursive essay
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Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
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fatuous
1 use
...Illusions of reality represented in this fatuous comedy of life that never ends, nor can ever end!†
fatuous = without intelligence — often implying a smugness or complacency
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Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
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fleeting
3 uses
She surprised me in a place, where she ought not to have known me, just as I could not exist for her; and she now seeks to attach to me a reality such as I could never suppose I should have to assume for her in a shameful and fleeting moment of my life.†
fleeting = lasting a short time
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
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immutable
1 use
Ours is an immutable reality which should make you shudder when you approach us if you are really conscious of the fact that your reality is a mere transitory and fleeting illusion, taking this form today and that tomorrow, according to the conditions, according to your will, your sentiments, which in turn are controlled by an intellect that shows them to you today in one manner and tomorrow... who knows how?†
immutable = not subject or susceptible to change
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Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
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impudent
3 uses
The Step-Daughter [disdainful, alluring, treacherous, full of impudence].†
impudence = improperly bold or disrespectful — especially toward someone who is older or considered to be of higher status
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Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
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infamous
3 uses
This is infamous, shameful!†
infamous = having an exceedingly bad reputation
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Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
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introspection
1 use
For man never reasons so much and becomes so introspective as when he suffers; since he is anxious to get at the cause of his sufferings, to learn who has produced them, and whether it is just or unjust that he should have to bear them.†
introspective = the contemplation of one's own thoughts and feelings
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1st useAct 3
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malicious
1 use
[The STEP-DAUGHTER coquettishly and with a touch of malice makes a sign of disagreement two or three times with her finger.†
malice = the desire to hurt others or see them suffer
DefinitionGenerally malicious means:
wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 2
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perfidy
1 use
Now do you understand the perfidy of this girl?†
perfidy = an act of deliberate betrayal; or such behavior
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plausible
1 use
Oh sir, you know well that life is full of infinite absurdities, which, strangely enough, do not even need to appear plausible, since they are true.†
plausible = apparently reasonable, but unproven
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 1
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squalor
1 use
That is my only pleasure: to see her happy and careless in the garden after the misery and squalor of the horrible room where we all four slept together.†
squalor = (describing a place) extremely dirty and unpleasant
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1st useAct 3
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supercilious
1 use
THE SON (22) tall, severe in his attitude of contempt for THE FATHER, supercilious and indifferent to THE MOTHER.†
supercilious = arrogant
DefinitionGenerally supercilious means:
arrogant (acting as if better, more important, and superior in ideas than others)
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Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
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temperament
3 uses
Temperament, soul, be hanged!†
temperament = usual mood and tendencies
DefinitionGenerally this sense of temperament means:
usual mood and tendencies that come from qualities of mind and character
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
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transitory
1 use
Ours is an immutable reality which should make you shudder when you approach us if you are really conscious of the fact that your reality is a mere transitory and fleeting illusion, taking this form today and that tomorrow, according to the conditions, according to your will, your sentiments, which in turn are controlled by an intellect that shows them to you today in one manner and tomorrow... who knows how?†
transitory = lasting a short time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
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vivacious
1 use
The Step-Daughter [vivaciously].†
vivaciously = an engaging liveliness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
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vulgar
3 uses
We are only vulgar folk!†
vulgar = of bad taste (crude, offensive, or unsophisticated)
DefinitionGenerally vulgar means:
of bad taste — often crude or offensive

or:

unsophisticated (or common) — especially of taste
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
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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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