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The Bell Jar

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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aesthetic
1 use
which he only did because he was trying to prove he could be aesthetic in spite of being a medical student.
aesthetic = tasteful
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
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
amiable
2 uses
Somehow, in the broad, shadowless light of noon, the water looked amiable and welcoming.
amiable = friendly, agreeable, and likable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
blithe
1 use
The nurse went on blithely opening and shutting my drawers, emptying the closet and folding my belongings into the black overnight case.
blithely = in a carefree and happy manner — often unaware of or ignoring something that should be of concern
DefinitionGenerally blithe means:
carefree and happy — often unaware of or ignoring something that should be of concern
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
cadaver
9 uses
These cadavers were so unhuman-looking they didn't bother me a bit.
cadavers = dead bodies of human beings — especially in reference to medical study
DefinitionGenerally cadaver means:
the dead body of a human being — especially one used for medical study
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
discern
3 uses
Would Evelyn discern that Gladys knew Roger in her past?
discern = to notice or understand something that is not obvious
DefinitionGenerally discern means:
to notice or understand something — often something that is not obvious
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
disdain
1 use
We passed Joan, coming out of her room, and I gave her a meaning, disdainful smile, and she ducked back and waited until we had gone by.
disdainful = full of disrespect
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
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
dispassionate
1 use
A dispassionate white sun shone at the summit of the sky.
dispassionate = unaffected by strong emotion or bias
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
extricate
1 use
Doreen extricated a black scrap from her bundle and dropped it in my lap.
extricated = removed
DefinitionGenerally extricate means:
free or remove from constraint or difficulty
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
hypocrite
5 uses
I discovered quite by accident what an awful hypocrite he [Buddy Willard] was,
hypocrite = someone who says one thing and does another
DefinitionGenerally hypocrite means:
someone who violates claimed moral standards
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
infallible
1 use
Of course, I didn't believe in life after death or the virgin birth or the Inquisition or the infallibility of that little monkey-faced Pope or anything, but I didn't have to let the priest see this, I could just concentrate on my sin, and he would help me repent.
infallibility = the quality of never being wrong or making a mistake
DefinitionGenerally infallible means:
never wrong; or never failing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
ingenious
2 uses
I thought it was quite ingenious of me to suggest sitting in on the chemistry course even after I'd changed over to Shakespeare.
ingenious = showing cleverness and originality
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
neurotic
7 uses
I am neurotic.
neurotic = mildly mentally disturbed — usually worrying too much about something
DefinitionGenerally neurotic means:
mildly mentally disturbed — usually worrying too much about something; or someone with such symptoms
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
persist
3 uses
"Why?" I persisted.
persisted = continued despite difficulty (in this case asking for a more detailed answer)
DefinitionGenerally persist means:
to continue — often despite difficulty
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
pious
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a good, pious woman
a pious Religion major
pious = religious
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
profound
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
In spite of my profound reservations, I thought I would always treasure Joan.
profound = deep; or of greatest intensity
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
reproach
2 uses
She looked loving and reproachful, and I wanted her to go away.
reproachful = full of criticism
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism — especially where a relationship makes the disapproval result in disappointment or shame
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
I was beginning to resign myself. If I was going to fall, I would hang on to my small comforts, at least, as long as I possibly could.
resign = accept something undesirable as unavoidable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
seduce
7 uses
He even seemed relieved to have somebody to tell about how he was seduced.
seduced = lured or enticed  to do something he would not normally do
DefinitionGenerally seduce means:
to persuade someone to do something by tempting them with something pleasurable or desired — often to make them want to have sex
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
simultaneous
9 uses
I sat in one of those hushed plush auditoriums in the UN, next to a stern muscular Russian girl with no makeup who was a simultaneous interpreter like Constantin,
simultaneous = at the same time

(editor's note:  The phrase simultaneous interpreter means someone who interprets from one language to another for someone at the same time the speaker speaks.)
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
tentative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
said it tentatively
Tentatively, I reached down and touched it.
tentatively = in an unsure or hesitant manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tentative means:
done in a careful or unsure way (indicating a lack of confidence in exactly what will happen)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
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