toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books
Book Menu

This Side of Paradise

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
complacent
1 use
in that atmosphere of smiling complacency.
complacency = satisfaction (often unworried to a fault)
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
conciliatory
1 use
"I really don't know what to think about you," she began, in a feeble, perverse attempt at conciliation.
conciliation = actions intended to end bad feelings or build trust

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
DefinitionGenerally conciliatory means:
intended to end bad feelings or build trust
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
contempt
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
Beatrice O'Hara absorbed the sort of education ... measured by the number of things and people one could be contemptuous of and charming about;
contemptuous = disrespectful of
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
deride
1 use
He ... regarded it derisively.
derisively = with treatment as inferior and unworthy of respect
DefinitionGenerally deride means:
to criticize with strong disrespect — often
with humor
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
descend   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
descend the mountain
I'm too bright for most men, and yet I have to descend to their level and let them patronize my intellect in order to get their attention.
descend = move downward
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
move or slope downward
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
thieves descended upon us
Absolutely between ourselves I should not be surprised to see the red hat of a cardinal descend upon my unworthy head within the next eight months.†
descend = come or arrive

(editor's note:  The author is really using descend in 2 senses here. The cardinal's hat will come to be his, but it will also literally be lowered onto his head.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
to come or arrive — especially suddenly or from above or as an attack
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discordant music
the nervous twanging and discord of untuned violins
discord = unpleasant sound
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
unpleasant sound — especially a combination of sounds that sound wrong together (though sometimes done intentionally in music)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
eccentric
8 uses
bringing the most eccentric characters to dinner,
eccentric = unconventional or strange
DefinitionGenerally eccentric means:
unconventional or strange; or a person with such traits
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
futile
7 uses
now suddenly all his mental processes of the last year and a half seemed stale and futile
futile = effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.5
Web Links
guile
2 uses
So they proceeded with an infinite guile that would have horrified her parents.
guile = cunning (shrewd cleverness) and deceit
DefinitionGenerally guile means:
cunning (shrewdness and cleverness) and deceitful
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
interpret
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
her musical interpretation
He felt as if a polite but insistent stage-manager were attempting to make him give a new interpretation of a part he had conned for years.
interpretation = an artists performance of another artist's work that expresses the performer's feelings or ideas about the work

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of interpret means:
express personal artistic ideas or feelings while performing (or performing to) someone else's work
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
latent
4 uses
a latent strength, a realism, was brought to its fullest development by the facts that she was compelled to face.
latent = potentially existing but not presently evident or active
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
lucid
1 use
Out in Shanley's, Yonkers, he became almost logical, and by a careful control of the number of high-balls he drank, grew quite lucid and garrulous.
lucid = capable of thinking clearly (in this case, perhaps believing he could think clearly)
DefinitionGenerally lucid means:
of a person:  capable of thinking clearly

or:

of language:  clearly expressed so it is easily understood
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
orthodox
5 uses
the visitors ... took great pleasure in shocking them with unorthodox remarks.
unorthodox = different than what is commonly thought

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unorthodox means not and reverses the meaning of orthodox. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally orthodox means:
normal (describing thinking or behavior as commonly or traditionally accepted)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
reproach
8 uses
never any more did he reproach himself for feelings that were natural and sincere.
reproach = criticize
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism — especially where a relationship makes the disapproval result in disappointment or shame
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
resignation   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
About one-third of the junior class are going to resign from their clubs.
resign = quit
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
to quit — especially a job or position; or a document expressing such an act
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
accepted it with resignation
...he scrutinized his room resignedly, concluding that it was hopeless to attempt any more inspired decoration...
resignedly = having accepted something undesirable as the best that can be done
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
reticent
2 uses
He a-hemmed again with delicate reticence, and continued:
reticence = reluctance — usually to speak freely
DefinitionGenerally reticent means:
reluctant — especially to speak freely
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
scrupulous
3 uses
Not that he yielded to it—later in life he almost completely slew it—but at fifteen it made him consider himself a great deal worse than other boys... unscrupulousness... the desire to influence people in almost every way, even for evil... a certain coldness and lack of affection, amounting sometimes to cruelty...
unscrupulousness = unethical

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unscrupulousness means not and reverses the meaning of scrupulousness. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
superficial
4 uses
His masters considered him idle, unreliable and superficially clever.
superficially = seeming so on the surface (but not in a deep or meaningful way)
DefinitionGenerally superficial means:
relating to a surface rather than to anything deep or penetrating (often of injuries or thinking)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
Go to Book Menu
Take Pre-Reading Quiz
† 
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.