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The Waste Land
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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agony
1 use
V. What the Thunder Said After the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The shouting and the crying Prison and palace and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He who was living is now dead We who were living are now dying With a little patience Here is no water but only rock Rock and no water and the sandy road The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water If...†
agony = intense feelings of suffering — can be from mental or physical pain
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
arid
1 use
...in the door once and turn once only 411 We think of the key, each in his prison thinking of the key, each confirms a prison Only at nightfall, aethereal rumours Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus DA Damyata: The boat responded Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar The sea was calm, your heart would have responded Gaily, when invited, beating obedient To controlling hands I sat upon the shore Fishing, with the arid plain behind me 424 Shall I at least set my lands in order?†
arid = lacking sufficient water or rainfall; or lacking vitality of spirit
DefinitionGenerally arid means:
lacking sufficient water or rainfall

or:

lacking vitality or spirit
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
bestow
1 use
Bestows one final patronising kiss, And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit... She turns and looks a moment in the glass, Hardly aware of her departed lover; Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass: 'Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over.'†
bestows = gives
DefinitionGenerally bestow means:
to give — typically to present as an honor or give as a gift
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
Carthage
1 use
My people humble people who expect Nothing. la la To Carthage then I came 307 Burning burning burning burning 308 O Lord Thou pluckest me out 309 O Lord Thou pluckest burning Title Page†
Carthage = an ancient city state on the north African coast near modern Tunis; founded by Phoenicians; destroyed and rebuilt by Romans; razed by Arabs in 698
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
endeavor
1 use
The time is now propitious, as he guesses, The meal is ended, she is bored and tired, Endeavours to engage her in caresses Which are still unreproved, if undesired.†
endeavours = attempts; or things attempted
DefinitionGenerally endeavor means:
to attempt; or a project or activity attempted
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
horde
1 use
What is that sound high in the air 366 Murmur of maternal lamentation Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth Ringed by the flat horizon only What is the city over the mountains Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air Falling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London Unreal A woman drew her long black hair out tight And fiddled whisper music on those strings And bats with baby faces in the violet light Whistled, and beat their...†
hordes = large numbers
DefinitionGenerally horde means:
a very large number — typically of people or animals/insects on the move
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
hypocrite
1 use
Hypocrite lecteur!†
hypocrite = someone who violates claimed moral standards
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
indifferent
1 use
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once; Exploring hands encounter no defence; His vanity requires no response, And makes a welcome of indifference.†
indifference = 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
Book1 use
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
Jerusalem
1 use
...Murmur of maternal lamentation Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth Ringed by the flat horizon only What is the city over the mountains Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air Falling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London Unreal A woman drew her long black hair out tight And fiddled whisper music on those strings And bats with baby faces in the violet light Whistled, and beat their wings And crawled head downward down a...†
Jerusalem = capital and largest city of the modern state of Israel; a holy city for Jews, Christians and Muslims
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
martyr
1 use
O City city, I can sometimes hear Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street, The pleasant whining of a mandoline And a clatter and a chatter from within Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls Of Magnus Martyr hold 264 Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.†
martyr = someone who suffers for the sake of principle — especially someone killed for refusing to renounce their religion

or:

someone who suffers a great deal
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
maternal
1 use
What is that sound high in the air 366 Murmur of maternal lamentation Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth Ringed by the flat horizon only What is the city over the mountains Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air Falling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London Unreal A woman drew her long black hair out tight And fiddled whisper music on those strings And bats with baby faces in the violet light Whistled, and beat their...†
maternal = relating to a mother; or characteristic of parents — such as to care for and help to develop
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
muse
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
her musings
musing upon the king my brother's wreck
musing = reflecting (thinking)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of muse means:
reflect (think) deeply on a subject — perhaps aloud
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
profuse
1 use
A Game of Chess The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne, 77 Glowed on the marble, where the glass Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines From which a golden Cupidon peeped out (Another hid his eyes behind his wing) Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra Reflecting light upon the table as The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it, From satin cases poured in rich profusion.†
profusion = abundance (a lot of something)
DefinitionGenerally profuse means:
abundant (a lot of something)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
propitious
1 use
The time is now propitious, as he guesses, The meal is ended, she is bored and tired, Endeavours to engage her in caresses Which are still unreproved, if undesired.†
propitious = favorable (circumstances suggesting good things to come)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
prudent
1 use
401 My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed Which is not to be found in our obituaries Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider 407 Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor In our empty rooms DA Dayadhvam: I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only 411 We think of the key, each in his prison thinking of the key, each confirms a prison Only at...†
prudence = good sense and caution
DefinitionGenerally prudent means:
sensible and careful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
supine
1 use
By Richmond I raised my knees
Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.
supine = lying down face upward
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
Vienna
1 use
...Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth Ringed by the flat horizon only What is the city over the mountains Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air Falling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London Unreal A woman drew her long black hair out tight And fiddled whisper music on those strings And bats with baby faces in the violet light Whistled, and beat their wings And crawled head downward down a blackened wall And upside down...†
Vienna = the capital and largest city of Austria; located on the Danube in northeastern Austria
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
windward
1 use
Gentile or Jew O you who turn the wheel and look windward, Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
windward = the direction from which the wind is coming
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
wither
1 use
And other withered stumps of time Were told upon the walls; staring forms Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.†
withered = shriveled (wrinkled) or weakened
DefinitionGenerally wither means:
to shrivel (wrinkle and contract — usually from lack of water)

or:

to become weaker; or feel humiliated
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
wrought
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
wrought iron
wrought with fruited vines
wrought = worked (decoratively)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of wrought means:
worked — as when iron is shaped to fit by bending or beating
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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