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East of Eden

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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austere
2 uses
a handsome, austere woman with snow-white hair and a dark and awful dignity.
austere = stern; or practicing great self-denial
DefinitionGenerally austere means:
a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

or:

of a person:  stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 48
Web Links
candid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
your candid opinion
He used candor as a weapon.
candor = honesty and directness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 41
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
He stopped, frightened at what he had said, afraid of the rage or the contempt or the violence his words might let loose.
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 useChapter 3
Web Links
contentious
6 uses
"Samuel," she said, "you're the most contentious man this world has ever seen."
contentious = argumentative
DefinitionGenerally contentious means:
causing or likely to cause disagreement; or argumentative
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 32
Web Links
contract   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
legal contract
It did not occur to them to run away once they were in America, for they were honorable people and they had signed the contract.
contract = an agreement - typically written and enforceable by law
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 28
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
contract the disease
I contracted pleural pneumonia, in that day a killing disease.
contracted = got (became ill with)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contract means:
to get — especially in reference to a disease
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
the metal contracted
His stomach contracted.
contracted = cramped (tightened as the muscles shortened)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contract means:
when something gets shorter or smaller
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 54
Web Links
deride
4 uses
And now he did laugh, but not in derision.
derision = a manner that treats 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
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
descend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
descend from royalty
And of course they were descended from the ancient kings of Ireland, as every Irishman is.
descended = genetically
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
figuratively, to have come down a path from the past; i.e., to originate or come from — such as in reference to ancestors or evolutionary origins
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
desolate
8 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
felt desolate
It was no easy thing for him to abandon Adam to his desolation.
desolation = a feeling of extreme sadness or misery—often with loneliness

(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 desolate means:
sad or miserable—and often lonely
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she felt despair
No great dream lifted him high and no despair forced self-destruction.
despair = hopelessness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of despair means:
hopelessness; or distress (such as extreme worry or sadness from feeling powerless to change a bad situation)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 41
Web Links
disparage
3 uses
"College! What do them fellas know?..." And he spat a brown disparaging comment on the ground.
disparaging = criticizing or making seem less important
DefinitionGenerally disparage means:
to criticize or make seem less important — especially in a disrespectful or contemptuous manner
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
divine
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
to forgive is divine
But you do not believe this is divine law.
divine = coming from God
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
inhibit
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
inhibited the growth of...
She was an athlete, a marble player, a pitcher of one-o'-cat, and the trappings of a girl inhibited her.†
inhibited = limited in action
DefinitionGenerally this sense of inhibit means:
to limit the activity of someone or something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
lilt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an Irish lilt
He had a rich deep voice, good both in song and in speech, and while he had no brogue there was a rise and a lilt and a cadence to his talk that made it sound sweet in the ears of the taciturn farmers from the valley bottom.†
lilt = pleasing way of speaking
DefinitionGenerally this sense of lilt means:
a way of speaking, singing, or making music — typically cheerful, lively or pleasing — sometimes with the pitch of the voice rising and falling
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
philanthropy
2 uses
There's no spring-board to philanthropy like a bad conscience.
philanthropy = helping others
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
refute
1 use
The many places where it seems to refute itself did not confuse her in the least.
refute = disprove or argue against
DefinitionGenerally refute means:
to disprove or argue against
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
resignation   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
I think I'll resign before I tell the sheriff, because he's sure as hell going to fire me afterward.
resign = quit (from a job)
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 18
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
He has a gift of resigned loyalty without hope of reward.
resigned = accept 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 useChapter 22
Web Links
taciturn
2 uses
The youth, inexperience, and taciturnity of Alice Trask all turned out to be assets for Cyrus.
taciturnity = reserve and reticence (tendency not to communicate)
DefinitionGenerally taciturn means:
with a tendency to be reserved and not to talk
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
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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