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To Kill a Mockingbird
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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acquit
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
she was acquitted
It took the jury only 30 minutes to acquit her of the murder charge.
acquit = officially find "not guilty"
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acquit means:
officially find "not guilty" of criminal charges
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 23, p.294.18
Web Links
assume   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 9 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
I assume it's true
I assume she was at school today, but I don't remember actually seeing her.
assume = accept as true (without proof)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assume means:
to accept something as true without proof
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 18, p.243.30
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
She assumed a false identity
She assumed the identify of her victim until the body was found.
assumed = took on (or adopted)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assume means:
to take on (adopt, wear, strike a pose or appearance of) — often while pretending or disguising
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 24, p.310.47
Web Links
compensate
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
she compensates with extra effort
She uses several techniques to help compensate for her dyslexia.
compensate = make up
DefinitionGenerally this sense of compensate means:
make up for; or adjust for
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 9, p.103.16
Web Links
congregation
9 uses
It's a casual congregation where many people wander into services late.
congregation = people who worship together in the same building
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12, p.159.78
Web Links
contrast   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
contrast their writing styles
Contrast winter in Panama with winter in Alaska.
contrast = point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 4, p.51.46
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
there is a contrast
The contrast in their leadership styles is striking. Olivia motivated people with fear. Isabella motivated them with praise.
contrast = notable difference
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
a difference — especially a notable difference; or the side-x-side arrangement of things that draws attention to an unmissable difference
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 15, p.203.80
Web Links
correspond
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
corresponding time period
Eskimos have many words that correspond to the English word snow. For example, there are different words for "snow on the ground", "fresh snow on the ground", "soft snow on the ground", "a crust of snow on the ground" and so forth.
correspond = are equivalent
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspond means:
connect or fit together by being equivalent, proportionate, or matched

(Two things are equivalent if they have the same or very similar value, purpose, or result.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 17, p.224.62
Web Links
cross-examination
6 uses
Prosecutors expect to wrap up their cross-examination tomorrow.
cross-examination = the re-questioning of a witness who has already been questioned by the other side in court
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6, p.68.75
Web Links
defendant
15 uses
The defendant is confident she will be found innocent.
defendant = a person (or institution) legally accused or sued in court
DefinitionGenerally defendant means:
a person or institution legally accused or sued in court
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15, p.193.6
Web Links
direct
4 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
directed her question to
The sprinkler head needs to be fixed so it directs water away from the house.
directs = aims
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
to indicate direction; or to cause movement or focus in a direction or towards an object
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "intentionally directed fire at unarmed civilians" — aimed a gun
  • "directed the question to her" — aimed a question
  • "directed her north" — pointed in a particular direction
  • "directed attention to the 3rd paragraph" — focused attention on a particular object
  • "The sound of her voice directed him to the kitchen." — guided or gave directions to someone to help them move to a particular place
  • "She directed him to the airport." — gave directions to send someone to a particular place
  • "She directed the boat north." — steered it
  • "directed the letter to" — send a letter to a particular person by putting a name and address on it
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library31 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 12, p.161.96
Web Links
?  —2 uses
exact meaning not specified
or not quizzed
evaluate
1 use
I'm evaluating colleges and deciding which I want to apply to.
evaluating = thinking carefully and making a judgement about
DefinitionGenerally evaluate means:
to think carefully and make a judgement about something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 15, p.195.98
Web Links
Hitler
16 uses
Hitler killed disabled children as his first action of  "racial hygiene." He pretended to end the program when the public protested.
Hitler = German Nazi dictator during World War II
DefinitionGenerally this sense of Hitler means:
German Nazi dictator during World War II; murdered millions of Jews and others who were not of the Aryan race (1889-1945)
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 26, p.327.79
Web Links
immaterial
3 uses
For political reasons, most senators had to vote for the bill. The fine print was immaterial to the final vote.
immaterial = not important, or not relevant
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17, p.236.48
Web Links
impair
2 uses
Alcohol impairs the ability to drive safely.
impairs = makes worse
DefinitionGenerally impair means:
make worse or less effective
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19, p.261.75
Web Links
narrator
1 use
The narrator in the play, Our Town talks to characters in the play as well as to the audience.
narrator = an actor in a play, movie, or other performance who helps to tell the story by talking directly to the audience (breaking the imaginary barrier between the performers and the audience)
DefinitionGenerally narrator means:
someone who tells a story—especially the main voice in a documentary, or a character who talks directly to the audience in a movie, play or other performance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 27, p.338.95
Web Links
obscure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
the view or directions are obscure
For some obscure reason that goes back many years, they don't like each other.
obscure = not clearly understood
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not clearly seen, understood, or expressed
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 11, p.134.93
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
knows the famous and the obscure
The obscure battle is hardly mentioned in history books.
obscure = not known to many people
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not known to many people; or unimportant or undistinguished
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 23, p.291.52
Web Links
reflect   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —1 use as in:
reflect American Values
Which choice best reflects the overall sequence of events in the passage?
reflects = expresses
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reflect means:
to show something — such as to demonstrate, express, or represent
The exact meaning of this sense of reflect depends upon its context. For example:
  • "She says the immorality in the movie reflects American values." — expresses or represents
  • "It reflects the selfishness she had seen growing for years." — demonstrates
  • "She did not reflect the panic that surrounded her." — demonstrate or show indication of
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 10, p.118.12
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
I want to reflect on it.
At the beginning of this passage, the author reflects on her life as a waitress.
reflects = thinks carefully
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reflect means:
think carefully — possibly aloud or in writing
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 9, p.113.2
Web Links
?  —1 use
exact meaning not specified
or not quizzed
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