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The Outsiders
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abide
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
abide by her decision
And Johnny, who was the most law-abiding of us, now carried in his back pocket a six-inch switchblade.
law-abiding = law-obeying (following the law)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abide means:
to tolerate or put up with something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
acquire
1 use
He was famous for shoplifting and his black-handled switchblade (which he couldn't have acquired without his first talent),
acquired = obtained (came into possession of)
DefinitionGenerally acquire means:
obtain (come into the possession of something)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
aghast
1 use
"Ever consider working for a living?"
  "Work?"  Two-Bit was aghast.
aghast = shocked with feelings of surprise and dismay
DefinitionGenerally aghast means:
shocked with feelings of surprise and dismay (sadness, disappointment, or worry)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
agony
2 uses
His face contracted in agony, and sweat streamed down his face.
agony = intense suffering (in this case, from physical pain)
DefinitionGenerally agony means:
intense feelings of suffering — can be from mental or physical pain
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
apprehensive
1 use
He was pretty well crocked [drunk], which made me apprehensive.
apprehensive = worried about what might happen
DefinitionGenerally apprehensive means:
worried over possible misfortune
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
bewilder
5 uses
But he stared at the dashboard with such hurt bewilderment that I could have bawled.
bewilderment = confusion
DefinitionGenerally bewilder means:
to confuse someone
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
conformist
1 use
Soda fought for fun, Steve for hatred, Darry for pride, and Two-Bit for conformity.
conformity = to fit in (comply with customary behavior)
DefinitionGenerally conformist means:
one who complies with established customs or doctrines
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
contempt
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
...maybe Paul felt only contempt and pity and hate for greasers?
contempt = a lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
delirium
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
fever induced delirium
What all did I say while I was delirious?
delirious = in a state of mental confusion
DefinitionGenerally this sense of delirium means:
a usually brief state of mental confusion often accompanied by hallucinations
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
detach
2 uses
Numerous bruises along my back and on my face were throbbing, but I felt detached from the pain, as if it wasn't really me feeling it.
detached = separated
DefinitionGenerally detach means:
to separate something from something else (physically or emotionally)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
dogged
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
dogged determination
"My parents," Johnny repeated doggedly, "did they ask about me?"
doggedly = persistently
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dogged means:
continuing effort to achieve something despite difficulties (persistent)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
dumbfounded
2 uses
"Hate to tell you this, kiddo," the guy said dryly, "but you're bleedin' all over my car seats."
  I blinked. "I am?"
  "Your head."
  I reached up to scratch the side of my head where it'd been itching for a while, and when I looked at my hand it was smeared with blood.  "Gosh, mister, I'm sorry," I said, dumfounded.
dumfounded = bewildered (confused or surprised)
DefinitionGenerally dumbfounded means:
confused or surprised — often made temporarily speechless
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
elude
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
your point eludes me
I was trying to find the meaning the poet had in mind, but it eluded me.
eluded = escaped understanding
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elude means:
to escape understanding (not understood)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
genuine
1 use
Darry spun around to face me, genuine fear on his face.
genuine = real
DefinitionGenerally genuine means:
real (as when a person is sincere or an object is not a replica or fake)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library21 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
indignant
2 uses
Johnny was so indignant he nearly squeaked.
indignant = annoyed at the wrong
DefinitionGenerally indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
liable
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she is liable to
If the judge decides Darry isn't a good guardian or something, I'm liable to get stuck in a home somewhere.
liable = maybe going to
DefinitionGenerally this sense of liable means:
likely to; or maybe going to
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
ornery
3 uses
Dally was his usual mean, ornery self.
ornery = cranky (easily annoyed and quick to complain and argue)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
testify
2 uses
She said she ... would testify that the Socs were drunk and looking for a fight and that you fought back in self-defense.
testify = provide oral evidence in court
DefinitionGenerally testify means:
provide evidence of something — especially to say something under oath in a court of law
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
theme
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
theme of the novel
I wondered for a long time how to start that theme, how to start writing about something that was important to me.
theme = paper with a unifying idea
DefinitionGenerally this sense of theme means:
a basic idea that underlies what is being said or done — especially in a literary or artistic work
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
tone
5 uses
"That's the greaser that jockeys for the Slash J sometime," she said, as if we couldn't hear her.
I had heard the same tone a million times: "Greaser... greaser... greaser."
tone = general attitude
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tone means:
the general feeling, mood, or attitude of something — especially of something said or written
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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