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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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bound   (5 meanings)
5 meanings, 12 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
south-bound lanes
"Wher' you bound for, young man?"
bound = heading (travelling to a specific location)

(editor's note:  In addition to referring to a specific location to which one is traveling, bound can also be used to refer to traveling in a specific direction. For example, in this book Twain also describes steamboats as traveling "up-bound" to say they are traveling up the river.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bound means:
traveling in a particular direction or to a specific location
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
2  —5 uses as in:
She's bound to succeed.
If he was bound to have it so, I couldn't help it.
bound = determined
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bound means:
almost certain to; or determined to
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
bound together
Then I told her my father and mother was dead, and the law had bound me out to a mean old farmer in the country thirty mile back from the river, and he treated me so bad I couldn't stand it no longer;
bound = tied together (in this case, made him like the child of the farmer)

(editor's note:  This is a figurative use of the word. He was not literally tied with rope, but the law made the farmer like a father who had authority over him.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bound means:
held together (connected or united) or wrapped
The exact meaning of this sense of bound is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The pages of the book are bound with glue." — held together physically
  • "The book is bound in leather." — wrapped or covered
  • "The United States and England are bound together by a common language." — connected or united (tied together metaphorically)
  • "She cleaned the wound and bound it with fresh bandages." — wrapped
  • "She is wheelchair-bound." — connected (moves with a wheelchair because she is unable to walk)
  • "The jacket has bound buttonholes." — edges wrapped by fabric or trim rather than stitches
  • "She's the one in the bound-edge hat." — where the edge of the hat is wrapped in a decorative material.
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
4  —2 uses as in:
I can't/must. I'm bound by...
Say, I reckon your father's poor, and I'm bound to say he's in pretty hard luck.
bound = required (feel this must be said even if it makes others uncomfortable)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bound means:
to be constrained in some way — such as tied up, prevented, required, or obligated
The exact meaning of this sense of bound is subject to its context. For example:
  • "Her wrists were bound." — tied up
  • "I am bound by my word." — required or obligated (in this case to keep a promise)
  • "It is a binding contract." — must be obeyed (The people who signed the contract are legally required to do what it says or suffer legal penalties.)
  • "He is muscle bound." — prevented from moving easily (due to having such large, tight muscles)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
5  —1 use as in:
The deer bound across the trail.
I clipped along, and all of a sudden I bounded right on to the ashes of a camp fire that was still smoking.
bounded = jumped or leaped
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bound means:
to leap or jump
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
brash
5 uses
So we poked along back home, and I warn't feeling so brash as I was before, but kind of ornery, and humble, and to blame, somehow—though I hadn't done nothing.
brash = bold
DefinitionGenerally this sense of brash means:
bold or self-confident in a manner that seems disrespectful or tasteless
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
cavort
3 uses
By and by the men stopped cavorting around and yelling.
cavorting = playing in a lively, unrestrained manner
DefinitionGenerally cavort means:
to play in a lively, unrestrained manner — often to prance or jump around excitedly — sometimes implying sexual play
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
consequence   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
a direct consequence of
That's just the way: a person does a low-down thing, and then he don't want to take no consequences of it.
consequences = undesired effects
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 31
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
of little consequence
...and as to the candlestick, it warn't no consequence, it would blow over by and by.
consequence = importance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
importance or relevance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 37
Web Links
disposition
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a kind disposition
Everybody was sorry she died... But I reckoned that with her disposition she was having a better time in the graveyard.
disposition = normal mood and personality
DefinitionGenerally this sense of disposition means:
someone's normal mood, personality, or inclination
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
feud
7 uses
I was powerful glad to get away from the feuds,
feuds = bitter, long-standing fights
DefinitionGenerally feud means:
a bitter, long-standing fight between two parties; or describing such a fight
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
fidget
6 uses
Then for an hour it was deadly dull, and I was fidgety.
fidgety = restless (finding it hard to sit still)
DefinitionGenerally fidget means:
make small restless movements
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
grindstone
13 uses
1  —13 uses as in:
sharpen on a grindstone
There's a gaudy big grindstone down at the mill...
grindstone = a large stone shaped like a disk that spins and is used to grind grain
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grindstone means:
a  disk shaped stone used to grind (as when wheat is ground to flour), or used to sharpen or polish (as when sharpening a knife)
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 38
Web Links
inscribe
9 uses
He'd got all that coat of arms business fixed, so now he started in to finish up the rest of that part of the work, which was to plan out a mournful inscription
inscription = words written on something's surface
DefinitionGenerally inscribe means:
to write
in various senses, including:
  • to write, carve, or etch words onto something's surface — as in "The names of the major donors will be inscribed on the front wall."
  • to write a signed message and/or signature— as in "She inscribed the book with the message: I know this story will speak to your heart. Love Emma"
  • to write down something when adding it to a list — as in "Their names were inscribed in the register of at Ellis Island."
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 38
Web Links
meddle
6 uses
The duke told him to make himself free and easy, and if anybody ever come meddling around, he must hop out of the wigwam, and carry on a little, and fetch a howl or two like a wild beast, and he reckoned they would light out and leave him alone.
meddling = interfering
DefinitionGenerally meddle means:
interfere (in another's affairs or business); or handle (something that shouldn't be handled)
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
providence
8 uses
I went right along, not fixing up any particular plan, but just trusting to Providence to put the right words in my mouth when the time come;
providence = luck; or God's intervention
DefinitionGenerally this sense of providence means:
resulting from God's intervention or plan; or lucky — especially with regard to when something happened
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
sober   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
Talk to me when your sober.
He's the best naturedest old fool in Arkansaw—never hurt nobody, drunk nor sober.
sober = not drunk
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sober means:
not under the influence of alcohol
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 31
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a sobering thought
The crowd looked mighty sober; nobody stirred, and there warn't no more laughing.
sober = serious
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sobering means:
serious; or making one serious or calm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
soliloquy
3 uses
Hamlet's soliloquy, you know; the most celebrated thing in Shakespeare.
soliloquy = a speech made to oneself (in this case, within a play)
DefinitionGenerally soliloquy means:
a speech you make to yourself or as a long uninterrupted part of a conversation
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
sublime
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
she is sublime
...in their sublime Shakespearean Spectacle...
sublime = wonderful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sublime means:
wonderful — often beautiful or morally admirable
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
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