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The Scarlet Letter

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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accompany   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 4 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
accompany on the journey
Prior to the Revolution there is a dearth of records; the earlier documents and archives of the Custom-House having, probably, been carried off to Halifax, when all the king's officials accompanied the British army in its flight from Boston.
accompanied = traveled with
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accompany means:
to travel along with
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useIntr.
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
law and accompanying regulations
She accompanied this wild outbreak with piercing shrieks, which the woods reverberated on all sides, so that, alone as she was in her childish and unreasonable wrath, it seemed as if a hidden multitude were lending her their sympathy and encouragement.
accompanied = provided at the same time
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accompany means:
complement (to provide with something else to make it whole or better)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
illness and accompanying symptoms
It was a look so intelligent, yet inexplicable, perverse, sometimes so malicious, but generally accompanied by a wild flow of spirits, that Hester could not help questioning at such moments whether Pearl was a human child.
accompanied = joined at the same time
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accompany means:
to be present with at the same time and/or location
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
accord   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 23 uses
1  —18 uses as in:
according to, or in accord with
[the letter A] was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy, that it had all the effect of a last and fitting decoration to the apparel which she wore, and which was of a splendour in accordance with the taste of the age, but greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations of the colony.
accordance = keeping

(editor's note: Sumptuary is a rarely used word that is used a couple times in this novel to refer to regulations that limit using resources for personal luxuries.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
in keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
This sense of accord is often seen in the form according to or accordingly where it can take on more specific meanings. For example:
  • "According to Kim, ..." — as stated by
  • "To each according to her ability." — based upon
  • "Points are scored according to how well they perform." — depending upon
  • "The dose is calculated according to body weight." — in proportion to
  • "We got a flat tire. Accordingly, I pulled to the side of the road." — because of what was just said; or as a result
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
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
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
3  —2 uses 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
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
attribute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 14 uses
1  —12 uses 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
Book12 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
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 (pointed to as the cause of something) (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)
in two typical senses:
  • "I attribute it to her work." — to say who or what made something happen
  • "Remember to attribute any quotations in your paper." — indicate the source of a quotation or idea
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
compose
6 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
composed of many parts
The founders of the greater part of the families which now compose the aristocracy of Salem might here be traced...
compose = make up
DefinitionGenerally this sense of compose means:
to create something by arranging parts; or to be those parts
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —2 uses
dwell   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 22 uses
1  —3 uses 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
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
2  —14 uses 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
Book14 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
3  —5 uses 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
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 12 uses
1  —11 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, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
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 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 24
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
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
infamy
12 uses
He bears no letter of infamy wrought into his garment, as thou dost, but I shall read it on his heart.
infamy = public knowledge of having done something bad
DefinitionGenerally infamy means:
famous for something that is bad; or an extremely bad event
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
infer
5 uses
With her knowledge of a train of circumstances hidden from all others, she could readily infer that, besides the legitimate action of his own conscience, a terrible machinery had been brought to bear, and was still operating, on Mr. Dimmesdale's well-being and repose.
infer = conclude
DefinitionGenerally infer means:
to figure out or guess by reasoning
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
reflection   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 7 uses
1  —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 or expression
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reflection means:
something that indirectly shows something else — such as an indication, demonstration, expression, or representation of something
The exact meaning of this sense of reflection depends upon its context. For example:
  • "The students' behavior is a reflection on the school." — indication of quality
  • "She says the immorality in the movie is a reflection of American values." — expression or representation
  • "It was a reflection of the selfishness she had seen growing for years." — demonstration
  • "The surrounding panic found no reflection in her." — expression or demonstration
  • "I saw no reflection of jealousy in her action." — indication or sign
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
2  —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
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —2 uses
venerable
20 uses
...the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale turned to the dignified and venerable rulers;
venerable = respected
DefinitionGenerally venerable means:
respected (worthy of respect) — typically because of age or position
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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