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The Scarlet Letter
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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accord   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 22 uses
1  —18 uses as in:
according to, or in accord with
in accordance with the taste of the age
accordance = keeping (with)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
in keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library42 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
done of her own accord
and still better, it may be, to leave the mystery as we find it, unless Providence reveal it of its own accord.
own accord = own mind (free will)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
mind — voluntarily (without anyone asking)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
accord her the respect deserved
...won him warmer affection than was accorded to any of his professional contemporaries.
accorded = given
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
to give someone special treatment — especially respect
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
attribute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
It is an attribute of...
There was no other attribute that so much impressed her with a sense of new and untransmitted vigour in Pearl's nature, as this never failing vivacity of spirits:
attribute = characteristic
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
a characteristic (of something or someone)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
I attribute it to...
Much of the marble coldness of Hester's impression was to be attributed to the circumstance that her life had turned, in a great measure, from passion and feeling to thought.
attributed = credited (it came from) (in this case, she would not have been so cold had the circumstances of her life not turned from feelings to thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something) — such as:
  • to say that something happened because of someone or something else (give credit or blame)
  • to say that an idea or quotation came from a specified source
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
dwell   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
Don't dwell on it.
So forcibly did he dwell upon this symbol ... that it assumed new terrors in their imagination, and seemed to derive its scarlet hue from the flames of the infernal pit.
dwell = keep talking about
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dwell means:
to think, communicate, or let attention stay on (or return to) something for a prolonged period
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
It dwells in the forest.
...the woman has been a dweller here in Boston.
dweller = one who lives in a place
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dwell means:
make one's home in; or to live in; or to stay (in a place)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
a modest dwelling
...they reached the dwelling of Governor Bellingham.
dwelling = home
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dwelling means:
a house or shelter in which someone lives
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
establish   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 11 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
establish a positive tone.
The thought occurred to Hester, that the child might really be seeking to approach her with childlike confidence, and doing what she could, and as intelligently as she knew how, to establish a meeting-point of sympathy.
establish = create
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create or start
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useIntr.
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
Without disputing a truth so momentous, we must be allowed to consider this version of Mr. Dimmesdale's story as only an instance of that stubborn fidelity with which a man's friends—and especially a clergyman's—will sometimes uphold his character, when proofs, clear as the mid-day sunshine on the scarlet letter, establish him a false and sin-stained creature of the dust.
establish = show
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
3  —3 uses as in:
long established procedures
They knew, these excellent old persons, that, by all established rule—and, as regarded some of them, weighed by their own lack of efficiency for business—they ought to have given place to younger men, more orthodox in politics, and altogether fitter than themselves to serve our common Uncle.
established = long-accepted
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
cause long-term acceptance, reputation, or success
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useIntr.
Web Links
ignominious
24 uses
...on the very day when Hester Prynne first wore her ignominious badge,
ignominious = shameful
DefinitionGenerally ignominious means:
deserving or bringing disgrace or shame — typically in reference to behavior or character
Word Statistics
Book24 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
magistrate
31 uses
undergoing stern question before a magistrate
magistrate = judge
DefinitionGenerally magistrate means:
a judicial official — in the U.S. typically a judge for minor offenses or preliminary hearings
Word Statistics
Book31 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
moreover
20 uses
Now, good Sir, our Massachusetts magistracy, bethinking themselves that this woman is youthful and fair, and doubtless was strongly tempted to her fall, and that, moreover, as is most likely, her husband may be at the bottom of the sea, they have not been bold to put in force the extremity of our righteous law against her.
moreover = in addition to what has just been said
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useIntr.
Web Links
reflection   (4 meanings)
4 meanings, 7 uses
1  —1 use as in:
my reflection in the mirror
Sometimes a light glimmered out of the physician's eyes, burning blue and ominous, like the reflection of a furnace, or, let us say, like one of those gleams of ghastly fire that darted from Bunyan's awful doorway in the hillside, and quivered on the pilgrim's face.
reflection = image (as shined back by a shiny surface)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reflection means:
an image (seen on a mirror or other shiny surface)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
is a reflection of American values
It appalled her, nevertheless, to discern here, again, a shadowy reflection of the evil that had existed in herself.
reflection = representation
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reflection means:
representation, demonstration, or expression
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
After reflection, I think...
Now, however, her interview with the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale, on the night of his vigil, had given her a new theme of reflection, and held up to her an object that appeared worthy of any exertion and sacrifice for its attainment.
reflection = careful thought
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reflection means:
careful thought — sometimes concerning memories
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
4  —3 uses as in:
share my reflections about it
While occupied with these reflections, a knock came at the door of the study, and the minister said, "Come in!"
reflections = thoughts
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reflections means:
thoughts or memories
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
sustain   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
sustained by her faith
...their wide short trousers were confined about the waist by belts, often clasped with a rough plate of gold, and sustaining always a long knife, and in some instances, a sword.
sustaining = supporting (holding)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
provide support or necessities
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
sustained wounds
...had stood as eye-witnesses while Hester Prynne sustained her punishment...
sustained = suffered from
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
to suffer (as of injury, damage, or loss)
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
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