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Lord of the Flies
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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asthma
10 uses
"My auntie told me not to run," he explained, "on account of my asthma."
asthma = a common lung disorder characterized by wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and sometimes coughing
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
audible
8 uses
The chant was audible but at that distance still wordless.
audible = capable of being heard
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
bastion
3 uses
This side of the castle, perhaps a hundred feet high, was the pink bastion they had seen from the mountain-top.
bastion = defensive fortification (projecting part of a castle used to help in its defense)
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
Book3 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
clamor
10 uses
A great clamor rose among the savages.
clamor = loud noise and/or persistent demands
DefinitionGenerally clamor means:
loud noise and/or persistent demands — especially from human voice
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
convey
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
convey her thoughts
His tone conveyed a warning...
conveyed = communicated
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convey means:
communicate or express
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
focus   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
Turn your focus to question #2.
Attention focused on Jack.
focused = concentrated
DefinitionGenerally this sense of focus means:
concentrate or look at
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
2  —2 uses
technical usage
For the first time on the island, Piggy himself removed his one glass, knelt down and focused the sun on tinder.
focused = concentrated sunlight rays by pointing them at the same spot

(in this case, to start a fire)

(editor's note:  Tinder is dry wood or some other burnable material used to start a fire.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of focus means:
technical usage typically involves some sense of center or concentration such as:

  • physics — a point of convergence such as the point where light rays meet

  • geometry — a fixed reference point (as of a parabola)

  • geology — the point of origin of an earthquake



See a comprehensive dictionary for other less common meanings.
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
foliage
6 uses
Their only guide, apart from the brown ground and occasional flashes of light through the foliage, was the tendency of slope:
foliage = plant leaves
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
gesticulate
5 uses
In a moment the platform was full of arguing, gesticulating shadows.
gesticulating = making gestures (hand or body movements)
DefinitionGenerally gesticulate means:
to make gestures (hand or body movements) while speaking or to express something
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
grave
8 uses
More grave nodding; they knew about nightmares.
grave = serious and/or solemn
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn

(see word notes for more detailed definitions based on context)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
incantation
3 uses
Percival Wemys Madison, of the Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthony, lying in the long grass, was living through circumstances in which the incantation of his address was powerless to help him.
incantation = saying words aloud for a magical effect

(editor's note: Percival's name and address indicate that he is from a wealthy, respected family. The author is saying that he has been helped in the past just by stating his name and address, but it won't help him in these circumstances. These words are referenced again towards the end of the book.)
DefinitionGenerally incantation means:
words believed to have a magical effect when they are said aloud; or the saying of such words
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
indignant
11 uses
Daring, indignant, Piggy took the conch. "That's what I said! I said about our meetings and things and then you said shut up—"
indignant = angered at something unjust or wrong
DefinitionGenerally indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
nevertheless
2 uses
The decrease in size, from Ralph down, was gradual; and though there was a dubious region inhabited by Simon and Robert and Maurice, nevertheless no one had any difficulty in recognizing biguns at one end and littluns at the other.
nevertheless = in spite of that (used to connect contrasting ideas)
DefinitionGenerally nevertheless means:
in spite of that (Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
obscure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
it obscured my view
Something flittered there in front of his mind like a bat's wing, obscuring his idea.
obscuring = making less visible or understandable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 2000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
the view or directions are obscure
But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch.
obscurely = in a manner that is not clearly understood
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not clearly seen, understood, or expressed
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 2000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
?  —1 use
exact meaning not specified
or not quizzed
parody
3 uses
"Just you wait—" Jack mimicked the whine and scramble. ... Piggy and the parody were so funny that the hunters began to laugh.
parody = imitation of somebody's style in a humorous way
DefinitionGenerally parody means:
imitation of somebody's style in a humorous way

or:

a very poor imitation of somebody's style
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
phosphorescence
3 uses
The edge of the lagoon became a streak of phosphorescence which advanced minutely, as the great wave of the tide flowed.
phosphorescence = dim glowing light (in this case caused by microorganisms that react to movement in the water)
DefinitionGenerally phosphorescence means:
a dim glowing light

or more technically:  a fluorescence (dim light)  created by a chemical reaction within a living organism; or a dim light that continues to shine from something after the bombarding radiation (stronger light that fell upon it) has ceased
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
sustain   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
sustained by her faith
The crying went on, breath after breath, and seemed to sustain him upright as if he were nailed to it.
sustain = support
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
provide support or necessities
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
sustained through the ages
At first he was a silent effigy of sorrow; but then the lamentation rose out of him, loud and sustained as the conch.
sustained = continuing through time
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
to continue through time
Word Statistics
Book1 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SATtop 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
tacit
3 uses
Tacitly admitting that he remembered the unmentionable, Ralph nodded to Piggy.
tacitly = in an indirect manner (without directly saying it)
DefinitionGenerally tacit means:
implied or understood, but not expressed directly
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
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