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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
aesthetic
1 use
Events must play themselves out to aesthetic, moral and logical conclusion.
aesthetic = related to beauty (in this case, perhaps "properly beautiful in the scheme of things")
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 useAct 2
Web Links
afflict
9 uses
He's afflicted.
afflicted = suffering from something
DefinitionGenerally afflict means:
cause suffering — such as illness, pain, or unhappiness
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
anguish
5 uses
GUIL: But why? Was it all for this? Who are we that so much should converge on our little deaths? (In anguish to the PLAYER:) Who are we?
anguish = extreme pain, suffering, or distress
DefinitionGenerally anguish means:
extreme pain, suffering, or distress (of body or mind)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
arbitrary
3 uses
If we start being arbitrary it'll just be a shambles:
arbitrary = doing things based on chance or impulse
DefinitionGenerally arbitrary means:
based on chance or impulse (rather than upon reasoning, consistent rules, or a proper sense of fairness)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 1
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
He regards the audience, that is the direction, with contempt
contempt = lack of respect
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
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
deride
2 uses
ROS: I think we can say he made us look ridiculous.

GUIL: We played it close to the chest of course.

ROS (derisively) : "Question and answer. Old ways are the best ways"! He was scoring off us all down the line.
derisively = with treatment as inferior and unworthy of respect
DefinitionGenerally deride means:
to criticize with strong disrespect — often
with humor
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
discriminate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discriminating taste
ROS: How much did he give you?
GUIL: I asked you first.
ROS: I got the same as you.
GUIL: He wouldn't discriminate between us.
discriminate = to recognize or perceive differences
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discriminate means:
to recognize or perceive differences — especially fine distinctions
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 3
Web Links
doleful
1 use
(Dolefully.) I suppose we'll have to go to sleep.
dolefully = full of sadness
DefinitionGenerally doleful means:
expressing or causing sadness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
immutable
1 use
we are brought round full circle to face again the single immutable fact-that we, Rosencrantz and Guildenstem, bearing a letter from one king to another, are taking Hamlet to England.
immutable = unchangeable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
irony   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
situational irony
Between "just desserts" and "tragic irony" we are given quite a lot of scope for our particular talent.
irony = when what happens is very different than what might be expected (in this case, tragically)

(editor's note:  "just desserts" is an idiom meaning "that which is deserved."  It is more typically spelled, "just deserts".)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
when what happens is very different than what might be expected; or when things are together that seem like they don't belong together — especially when amusing or an entertaining coincidence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
verbal irony
Then GUIL claps solo with slow measured irony.
irony = saying one thing while meaning the opposite (In this case, Guil is clapping in a manner that shows disapproval even though clapping usually says you liked something.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
morose
2 uses
More morose than mad, perhaps.
morose = unhappy with a withdrawn personality
DefinitionGenerally morose means:
unhappy — often with a withdrawn personality
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
obscure
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
the view or directions are obscure
...we are tied down to a language which makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style.
obscurity = the quality of being difficult to understand
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not clearly seen, understood, or expressed
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useAct 2
Web Links
plausible
3 uses
It doesn't sound very plausible.
plausible = likely (reasonable that it would be true)
DefinitionGenerally plausible means:
apparently reasonable, but unproven
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 3
Web Links
pragmatic
1 use
ROS: Why don't you go and have a look?
  GUIL: Pragmatism?!—is that all you have to offer?
pragmatism = concern with practical matters — especially where quick results and/or practical experience triumph over theory
DefinitionGenerally pragmatic means:
concerned with practical matters — especially where quick results and/or practical experience triumph over theory
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 2
Web Links
remonstrate
1 use
The PLAYER has moved down, to remonstrate with ALFRED.
remonstrate = argue, complain, or criticize
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
(Resigned and quiet).
resigned = having accepted something undesired 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 useAct 1
Web Links
rhetoric
10 uses
PLAYER: It's about a King and Queen....

GUIL: Escapism! What else?

PLAYER: Blood

GUIL: -Love and rhetoric.
rhetoric = the use of words to make a point (and in this case, to entertain)

(editor's note:  In this play, the word rhetorical is also used in the phrase rhetorical question—a question asked as a way of making a point rather than asked in search of an answer.)
DefinitionGenerally rhetoric means:
the use of (or study of using) words to make a point — typically implying skillful use
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAct 2
Web Links
spontaneous
2 uses
Spontaneity and whim are the order of the day.
spontaneity = happening or arising without plan
DefinitionGenerally spontaneous means:
behaving in an instinctive, uninhibited manner

or:

happening naturally (without planning or external force)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useAct 2
Web Links
usurp
2 uses
usurped by his uncle
usurped = seized control without authority
DefinitionGenerally usurp means:
seize or take control without authority
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
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