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The Trial of Socrates by Linder

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
attain
1 use
He denied that citizens had basic virtue necessary to nurture a good society, instead equating virtue with a knowledge unattainable by ordinary people.†
unattainable = not able to be gained or reached with effort

(Editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unattainable means not and reverses the meaning of attainable. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally attain means:
to gain or reach something with effort
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
audacious
1 use
Instead, Socrates audaciously proposes to the jury that he be rewarded, not punished.†
audaciously = with boldness and daring
DefinitionGenerally audacious means:
bold and daring (inclined to take risks) — especially in violating social convention in a manner that could offend others
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
bastion
1 use
Growing to adulthood in this bastion of liberalism and democracy, Socrates somehow developed a set of values and beliefs that would put him at odds with most of his fellow Athenians.†
bastion = defense or defensive fortification
DefinitionGenerally bastion means:
defense or defensive fortification — such as people who defend a principle or fortifications that defend people from attack (especially the projecting part of a castle wall or rampart)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
condescending
1 use
Often his unpopular views, expressed disdainfully and with an air of condescension, provoked his listeners to anger.†
condescension = the act of treating others as inferiors; or the act of doing something considered beneath one's position or dignity

(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 condescending means:
treating others as inferior; or doing something considered beneath one's position or dignity
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
defendant
5 uses
The magistrate questioned both Meletus and Socrates, then gave both the accuser and defendant an opportunity to question each other.†
defendant = a person or institution legally accused or sued in court
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
democracy
6 uses
Why, in a society enjoying more freedom and democracy than any the world had ever seen, would a seventy-year-old philosopher be put to death for what he was teaching?†
democracy = a system of government in which citizens have power with equal votes
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
disdain
2 uses
Often his unpopular views, expressed disdainfully and with an air of condescension, provoked his listeners to anger.†
disdainfully = with a lack of respect; or with a sense of superiority
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
dispute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
their border dispute
It is a matter of dispute among historians whether the accusers focused more attention on the alleged religious crimes, or the alleged political crimes, of Socrates.
dispute = disagreement
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
disagreement, argument, or conflict
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
eloquent
1 use
It is likely that this last burst of eloquence comes from Plato, not Socrates.†
eloquence = powerful use of language
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
however
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
However, complications may...
Socrates, however, did no more than remind the jury that he had a family.†
however = a word used to connect contrasting ideas as when using though, in spite of that, in contrast, nevertheless, etc.
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
though (or another expression that connects contrasting ideas)

(Based on idea 1 we might not expect idea 2, but this is a way of saying that even though idea 1 exists, we still have idea 2.  Synonyms include in spite of that, , nevertheless, nonetheless, on the other hand, in contrastand but.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library61 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
magistrate
4 uses
The preliminary hearing before the magistrate at the Royal Stoa began with the reading of the written charge by Meletus.†
magistrate = judicial official
DefinitionGenerally magistrate means:
a judge or judicial official
The exact meaning of magistrate varies widely depending upon the context. For example:
  • in the U.S. federal court:  assists district court judges by handling minor offenses or administrative tasks such as preliminary hearings (often referred to as a magistrate judge rather than just a magistrate)
  • in some U.S. states:  a judge in the state court
  • in France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, and other civil law countries:  a sitting magistrate is a judge and a standing magistrate is a prosecutor
  • in England:  may be a volunteer without formal legal training who performs a judicial role with regard to minor matters
  • in ancient Rome:  a powerful officer with both judicial and executive power
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
mollify
1 use
I. F. Stone noted that "Socrates acts more like a picador trying to enrage a bull than a defendant trying to mollify a jury."†
mollify = calm
DefinitionGenerally mollify means:
calm someone who is or may become angry or upset
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
moreover
1 use
Moreover, Socrates suggests to the jury, if Critias really understood his words, he never would have gone on the bloody rampage that he did in 404-403.†
moreover = in addition to what has just been said
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
precede
2 uses
What appears almost certain is that the decisions to prosecute and ultimately convict Socrates had a lot to do with the turbulent history of Athens in the several years preceding his trial.†
preceding = prior (in time or space)
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
primarily
1 use
Xenophon indicates that the impiety charge stemmed primarily from the contention of Socrates that he received divine communications (a "voice" or a "sign") directing him to avoid politics and concentrate on his philosophic mission.†
primarily = mainly
DefinitionGenerally primarily means:
mainly (most importantly)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
provoke
2 uses
Often his unpopular views, expressed disdainfully and with an air of condescension, provoked his listeners to anger.†
provoked = caused (a reaction)
DefinitionGenerally provoke means:
to cause a reaction — typically an emotional reaction such as anger; and sometimes caused intentionally
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
refute
1 use
If Plato's account is accurate, Socrates could have been seen by jurors offering a smokescreen rather than a refutation of the charge of impiety.†
refutation = evidence or argument that something is false

(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 refute means:
to disprove or argue against
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
speculate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
don't know, but I'll speculate
He points out that Aristophanes, in his Clouds, had a character speculating that rain was Zeus urinating through a sieve, mistaking it for a chamberpot—and that no one ever bothered to charge Aristophanes with impiety.
speculating = guessing or thinking
DefinitionGenerally this sense of speculate means:
to think about, wonder, guess or theorize with much uncertainty
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
unprecedented
1 use
He pushed ahead with an unprecedented building program designed not only to demonstrate the glory that was Greece, but also to ensure full employment and provide opportunities for wealth creation among the unpropertied class.†
unprecedented = not having happened before; or nothing similar having happened before
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
vary
1 use
A vague charge such as impiety invited jurors to project their many and varied grievances against Socrates.†
varied = differed; or changed
DefinitionGenerally vary means:
to be different, or to change
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
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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