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Underworld by DeLillo

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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aesthetic
5 uses
esthetic judgments feel superficial when you share them with a stranger,
esthetic = one's sense of what is beautiful
DefinitionGenerally aesthetic means:
related to beauty or good taste — often referring to one's appreciation of beauty or one's sense of what is beautiful

or:

beautiful or tasteful
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
complacent
5 uses
This was the challenge he craved, the assault on his complacency
complacency = satisfaction (often unworried to a fault)
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
defer   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
deferred the decision
He had his teacher's pension and a small tax-deferred annuity [income source]
deferred = postponed (in this case, so taxes don't have to be paid on it yet)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
delay or postpone (hold off until a later time)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
He deferred to Klara in a number of ways,
deferred = yielded (or submitted to her preferences)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
submit or yield (typically to another person's opinion because of respect for that person or their knowledge)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
deride
6 uses
they admire the clarity of his wit, the fine edge of insult and derision.
derision = treatment of others (or possibly things) as inferior and unworthy of respect

(editor's note:  The suffix "-sion", 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 admission from admit, discussion from discuss, and invasion from invade.)
DefinitionGenerally deride means:
to criticize with strong disrespect — often
with humor
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
descend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
in descending order
And when you're a man who is variously described as dutiful, deferential, obsequious, slavish and brown-nosingly corrupt, in descending order of distinction, you need to make a show of character now and then.†
descending = moving downward on a scale from most to least distinct
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
move down a scale — as from larger numbers to smaller, or higher notes to lower
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
Nick could not look at his brother without wanting to pop him a shot across the mouth. ... The deep discordance, the old muscling of wills, that ungiving thing in the idea of brothers.
discordance = conflict
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
disdain
2 uses
In fact the dog didn't leap at all but only watched the frisbee sail past, more or less disdainfully.
disdainfully = with a lack of respect; or with a sense of superiority (in this case, as though the Frisbee is not worthy of the dog's effort)
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
dispose
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
disposed the troops along...
Need to oil the hinges when our mind's all clear and we have a little free time at our disposal.†
disposal = command

(editor's note:  When something is "at someone's disposal" it is "at their command," or "available for their use." They can use it as they please.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
the arrangement, positioning, or use of things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
eccentric
5 uses
You're turning into an old eccentric.
eccentric = someone who is unconventional or strange
DefinitionGenerally eccentric means:
unconventional or strange; or a person with such traits
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
elated
7 uses
I listened to Sims recite the numbers, how much methane we would recover to light how many homes, and I felt a weird elation, a loyalty to the company and the cause.
elation = sense of being filled with happiness and excitement

(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 elated means:
full of happiness and excitement
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
epiphany
1 use
A place riddled with epiphanies, that's what it was.
epiphanies = sudden realizations
DefinitionGenerally epiphany means:
a sudden realization — especially one of importance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
however
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
However much she tried...
They're just ordinary alphabet-soup O's, however beautifully formed.†
however = regardless of how
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
to whatever degree (regardless of how much; or whatever unspecified amount)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
incessant
6 uses
She talked and laughed incessantly,
incessantly = continuously
DefinitionGenerally incessant means:
continuous — often in an annoying way
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
innocuous
4 uses
What am I, innocuous?
innocuous = harmless
DefinitionGenerally innocuous means:
unlikely to harm or disturb
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
nuance
7 uses
In cities you build a language of circumspection and tact, a thousand little intimations, the nuance that has a shimmer of rubbed bronze.
nuance = subtle difference
DefinitionGenerally nuance means:
a subtle difference  (a minor difference not obvious or important to most people)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
redundant
2 uses
A range of one thousand kilometers, which is redundant from our viewpoint
redundant = more than is needed
DefinitionGenerally redundant means:
more than is needed — often something that is unnecessarily repeated

or in technical usage:  a secondary component designed to work if the primary component fails; or of such a system
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
somber
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a somber mood
Ismael Munoz, dark and somber, watching people come aboard.
somber = serious—not cheerful or lighthearted
DefinitionGenerally this sense of somber means:
serious and without humor or fun — perhaps sad
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
vendor
16 uses
Vendors move along the lines of stalled traffic selling flowers, soft drinks and live kittens.
vendors = people who sells goods or services
DefinitionGenerally vendor means:
someone who sells goods or services
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
venerate
3 uses
The way the Indians venerate this terrain now, we'll come to see it as sacred in the next century.
venerate = regarding with feelings of respect and reverence
DefinitionGenerally venerate means:
regard with feelings of respect and reverence
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
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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