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A Thousand Splendid Suns
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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alleviate
1 use
It was stunning to Mariam how quickly alleviating hunger became the crux of their existence.
alleviating = to lessen something that is bad

(editor's note:  crux means "the most important part")
DefinitionGenerally alleviate means:
to lessen something that is bad — especially to lessen pain
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
anarchy
1 use
War, hunger, anarchy, and oppression forced millions of people- like Tariq and his family in this tale-to abandon their homes and flee Afghanistan
anarchy = the complete absence of political authority
DefinitionGenerally anarchy means:
the complete absence of political authority; or more generally, complete absence of order
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 4
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aversion
2 uses
Others still called them Mujahideen, but, when they did, they made a face-a sneering, distasteful face-the word reeking of deep aversion
aversion = dislike that leads to avoidance
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st usePart 2
Web Links
brusque
2 uses
Brushing past Mariam, he said in a brusque voice, "I'm hungry."
brusque = abrupt (sudden and quick — without taking the time to be friendly)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
conciliatory
1 use
"Look," he said, sounding more conciliatory now, as a victor could afford to.
conciliatory = intended to end bad feelings or build trust
Word Statistics
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Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
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condescending
2 uses
...the sheer exertion it had taken her to live with him for all these years, live with his continual condescension and violence, his faultfinding and meanness.
condescension = a manner that treats others as inferiors
DefinitionGenerally condescending means:
treating others as inferior; or doing something considered beneath one's position or dignity
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
contrite
1 use
He cast a despondent, contrite glance toward Mariam, then his mother.
contrite = feeling sorrow or regret for a fault or offense
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
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culpable
1 use
Nor was she old enough to appreciate the injustice, to see that it is the creators of the harami who are culpable, not the harami, whose only sin is being born.
culpable = guilty of something or deserving blame
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
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delectable
1 use
How delectable it was to think of this baby, her baby, their baby.
delectable = extremely pleasing — especially to the sense of taste or to the eye
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
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deride
1 use
Usually, she could will herself to absorb Mariam's derision and finger-pointing.
derision = disrespect — typically while laughing at or making fun of
DefinitionGenerally deride means:
laugh at or make fun of—while showing a lack of respect
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
despondent
2 uses
He cast a despondent, contrite glance toward Mariam, then his mother.
despondent = depressed
DefinitionGenerally despondent means:
emotionally depressed — especially a feeling of grief and hopelessness after a loss
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
distend
1 use
He felt her belly, not through the shirt but under it, his fingertips cold and rough like bark on her distended skin.
distended = sticking out (extended or swollen)
DefinitionGenerally distend means:
to extend — especially the swelling outward of a part of the body; e.g., the stomach
Word Statistics
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Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
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highlight
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
highlights in hair
She had done away with the drab ponytails, let her hair grow, and streaked it with red highlights.†
highlights = strips of hair made lighter in color
DefinitionGenerally this sense of highlight means:
noun:  a strip of hair that is lighter

verb:  making strips of hair lighter
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
impudent
3 uses
As she fought her way with impudent resolve to the front of the melee, Mariam wished she had been a better daughter to Nana.
impudent = improperly bold or disrespectful
DefinitionGenerally impudent means:
improperly bold or disrespectful — especially toward someone who is older or considered to be of higher status
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 4
Web Links
magnanimous
1 use
"Oh, before I forget..." He fished a stick of gum from his pocket, a parting gift, and held it out to Aziza with a stiff, magnanimous air.
magnanimous = kind and generous
DefinitionGenerally magnanimous means:
kind and generous in spirit — especially toward those defeated in battle
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
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recluse
2 uses
across from the house where the shoemaker, Rasheed, lived with his reclusive wife.
reclusive = withdrawn from society (avoiding contact with others)
DefinitionGenerally recluse means:
someone withdrawn from society (living alone and avoiding contact)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
tangential
1 use
She was tangential with her topics, and her hands gesticulated wildly, flying up with a nervousness that wasn't like her at all.
tangential = touching the current issue, but with minor or no relevance
Word Statistics
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Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
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ubiquitous
1 use
Massoud's handsome, thoughtful face ... would become ubiquitous in Kabul.
ubiquitous = found everywhere (present everywhere)
DefinitionGenerally ubiquitous means:
being present everywhere or all the time
Word Statistics
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Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
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unremitting
1 use
She would not miss him as she did now, when the ache of his absence was her unremitting companion—like the phantom pain of an amputee.
unremitting = in a manner that continues without a break
DefinitionGenerally unremitting means:
continuing without a break
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
volatile
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a volatile situation
She lived in fear of his shifting moods, his volatile temperament,
volatile = emotionally explosive
DefinitionGenerally this sense of volatile means:
quick to change; or emotionally explosive
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 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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