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Up From Slavery: An Autobiography
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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condemn
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
She condemned their plan
I have had the satisfaction of having many who once condemned me thank me heartily for my frank words.
condemned = expressed strong criticism
DefinitionGenerally this sense of condemn means:
express strong criticism
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
confer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
confer an honorary degree
It is Harvard which, first among New England colleges, confers an honorary degree upon a black man.
confers = gives (an honor)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of confer means:
to give — especially an honor or title
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
convention   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
to convene
When the Louisiana State Constitutional Convention was in session, I wrote an open letter to that body pleading for justice for the race.
convention = large conference or meeting
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
a large conference or meeting
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
conventional behavior
These were the ambitious youths of the race, at work with an earnestness that put to shame the conventional student life of most educational institutions.
conventional = normal or typical
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useIntr.
Web Links
cordial
9 uses
I was never given a more cordial hearing anywhere.
cordial = showing warm and heartfelt friendliness
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
degrade
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
her comments were degrading
I would permit no man ... to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.
degrade = reduce (my) human dignity
DefinitionGenerally this sense of degrade means:
reducing human dignity
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
epoch
3 uses
It is almost the only one of which it may be said that it points the way to a new epoch in a large area of our national life.
epoch = a significant period of time
DefinitionGenerally epoch means:
a significant period of time — such as:
  • an historical period
  • a unit of geological time smaller than a period and larger than an age
  • an arbitrary astronomical time reference
  • an important time in someone's life
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
forbearance
2 uses
We are to be tested in our patience, our forbearance, our perseverance, our power to endure wrong...
forbearance = patience, tolerance, or self-control
DefinitionGenerally forbearance means:
refraining (holding back) from acting

or:

patience, tolerance, or self-control
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
illustrate
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
as illustrated by this example
Perhaps I can illustrate this point in no better way than by relating the following incident.†
illustrate = help make clear
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
inclined
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I'm inclined to
If in an audience of a thousand people there is one person who is not in sympathy with my views, or is inclined to be doubtful, cold, or critical, I can pick him out.
inclined = with a tendency
DefinitionGenerally this sense of inclined means:
a tendency; in the mood; or an attitude that favors something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
indomitable
1 use
her ancient and indomitable faith
indomitable = impossible to subdue
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
legislature
11 uses
The Alabama Legislature was in session in Montgomery at this time.
legislature = a group, made up of government representatives, that has the power to create laws
DefinitionGenerally legislature means:
a group made up of government representatives (usually elected) that has the power to create laws
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
notwithstanding
16 uses
[M]y mother adopted into our family, notwithstanding our poverty, an orphan boy, to whom afterward we gave the name of James B. Washington.
notwithstanding = despite (in this case, even though they were poor, she adopted a child who was in need)
DefinitionGenerally notwithstanding means:
in spite of; or in spite of the thing mentioned
(Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nevertheless, nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
ostracize
2 uses
No race that has anything to contribute to the markets of the world is long in any degree ostracized.
ostracized = excluded from a community or group
DefinitionGenerally ostracize means:
exclude someone from a community or group
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
philanthropy
8 uses
trying to secure money for philanthropic purposes
philanthropic = helping others
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
prejudice
9 uses
I have also found that few things, if any, are capable of making one so blind and narrow as race prejudice.
prejudice = unreasonable and unfair belief or feeling (in this case against members of a race)
DefinitionGenerally prejudice means:
to have unreasonable belief — especially when unfair to members of a race, religion, or other group

or more generally:

to have (or create in others) an unreasonable belief that prevents objective (unbiased) consideration of an issue or situation
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
preside
10 uses
A similar reception was given me in New Orleans, which was presided over by the Mayor of the city.
presided = headed
DefinitionGenerally preside means:
to be in charge; or to head; or to be the chairperson — especially of a formal meeting or ceremony
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
prevail
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
prevailing attitude
This custom prevails throughout this portion of the South today.
prevails = is common
DefinitionGenerally this sense of prevailing means:
most common, powerful, or influential
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
resolve   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 9 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
It is now long ago that I learned this lesson from General Armstrong, and resolved that I would permit no man, no matter what his colour might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.
resolved = decided
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
Her resolve weakened.
There was never a time in my youth, no matter how dark and discouraging the days might be, when one resolve did not continually remain with me, and that was a determination to secure an education at any cost.
resolve = determination (firmness of purpose to do something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
firmness of purpose (strong determination to do something)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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