toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books
Book Menu

Snow Falling on Cedars
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

(click/touch triangles for details)
adroit
1 use
The judge had been uncomfortable throughout the morning, annoyed by the sensation that he had not performed well, had not conducted the proceedings adroitly.†
adroitly = skillfully
DefinitionGenerally adroit means:
skillful in action or thought
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 29
Web Links
capricious
1 use
She licked the envelope shut herself and, because the notion took hold of her suddenly—a kind of caprice and nothing more—she pressed the stamp on upside down before putting the letter in the mailbox.
caprice = unpredictable impulse
DefinitionGenerally capricious means:
impulsive or unpredictable or tending to make sudden changes — especially impulsive behavior
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
condensation
1 use
A fog of condensation had formed on the inside of the pane, so that her image appeared to him as a kind of silhouette, a vague impression of his mother at the sink, refracted and fragmented, a wash of color.
condensation = water formed from water vapor
DefinitionGenerally condensation means:
the process or result of becoming more dense in various senses — such as:
  • liquid formed from a gas—as when water collects on the side of a cold glass
  • an abridgement or shortened version of writing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
contentious
2 uses
But I must remind you that Mr. Miyamoto here is on trial for murder in the first degree, that such is the focus of this court's concern, and that any contentiousness about legal ownership of land will have to be addressed in a civil court, madam.†
contentiousness = tendency to cause disagreement
DefinitionGenerally contentious means:
causing or likely to cause disagreement; or argumentative
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
culpable
2 uses
The perpetrators of all this, as Mrs. Heine has taken pains to point out, are no longer among us, so their culpability is not at issue.†
culpability = guilt
DefinitionGenerally culpable means:
guilty of something or deserving blame
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
defunct
2 uses
The witness makes reference to a currently defunct statute of the State of Washington which made it illegal at the time of which she speaks for an alien, a noncitizen, to hold title to real estate.†
defunct = no longer in force; or having ceased to exist or live
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
emulate
1 use
He was, his son remembered, morally meticulous, and though Ishmael might strive to emulate this, there was...
emulate = imitate (copy)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
establish
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
His father had taken him one Saturday to the community center hall, where a dojo had been established in a corner of the gym.†
established = created
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
expedient
1 use
When Ole arrived he bobbled his cane from hand to hand before settling on the expediency of hanging it from his wrist.
expediency = practical action
DefinitionGenerally expedient means:
a practical action — especially one that accepts negative tradeoffs due to circumstances

or:

convenient, speedy, or practical
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
grave
5 uses
She lived in town, a stout, grave woman with a slight Teutonic edge to her speech, over Lottie Opsvig's apparel shop on Main.†
grave = serious and solemn
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn

The exact meaning of this sense of grave is often subject to its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad (with a heavy heart)
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — sincere and dignified without humor
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
heresy
1 use
she had learned that her hair was utsukushii and that to cut it would be a form of heresy.
heresy = an action considered immoral
DefinitionGenerally heresy means:
opinions or actions most people consider immoral
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
indifferent
5 uses
By degrees he learned to enjoy these encounters, though his indifference always appeared more studied than hers and he was always anxious, in a barely concealed way, to meet her gaze.
indifference = lack of interest
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest — in various senses such as:
  • unconcerned
  • unsympathetic
  • impartial
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 30
Web Links
inevitable
9 uses
It was not so much a matter of deciding as accepting the inevitability of it.
inevitability = the certainty that it will happen
DefinitionGenerally inevitable means:
certain to happen (even if one tried to prevent it)
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library21 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
minuteness
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
minute size; or minute description
Each had knotted, carefully combed tassels, fleur-de-lis borders, ornate medallion designs, and minute scalloping amid a motif of connected eight-spoked wheels, all in rust and fire orange.†
minute = small, detailed, or careful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minuteness means:
very small

or:

detailed (including even small considerations); or careful (done with care)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 31
Web Links
propitious
2 uses
An accident of some kind befell Carl Heine at a moment that could not be less propitious or less fortunate for the accused.†
propitious = favorable (circumstances suggesting good things to come)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
revere
1 use
Their faces ... appeared quiet and even faintly reverent.
reverent = respectful
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
soporific
3 uses
The judge liked to mull things soporifically.†
soporifically = tending to make one sleepy
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
taint
1 use
"I could say," her mother went on, "that living among the hakujin has tainted you, made your soul impure, Hatsue."
tainted = contaminated or spoiled
DefinitionGenerally taint means:
to spoil something so it is not desirable — as when bacteria contaminates a food; or as when a rumor makes people distrust a person
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
transitory
1 use
In the hearts of his fellow islanders, though, weather of this sort overwhelmed absolutely everything.... Ishmael, a native, could not understand how such transitory and accidental occurrences gained the upper hand in their view of things.
transitory = lasting a short time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
trepidation
1 use
a world whose inhabitants walked in trepidation, in fear of opening up.
trepidation = fear or anxiety about what will happen
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 31
Web Links
Take Quiz
Go to Book Menu
Browse with Large-Screen
(more words/choices)
† 
Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which is not affiliated with verbalworkout.com™, and does not endorse this site.