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Lord of the Flies
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acclaim
1 use
Jack started to protest but the clamor changed from the general wish for a chief to an election by acclaim of Ralph himself.
acclaim = enthusiastic choice without a formal vote
DefinitionGenerally acclaim means:
to praise enthusiastically and publicly — sometimes choosing without opposition or a formal vote
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
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
Library3 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
Library13 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 (like a castle wall)
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 use 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
context
1 use
The shell was interesting and pretty and a worthy plaything; but the vivid phantoms of his day-dream still interposed between him and Piggy, who in this context was an irrelevance.
context = situation (or matter at hand)

(editor's note:  In this context, interposed means "were inserted." Golding (the author) is saying that Ralph is so absorbed in his daydream that he is barley noticing the shell or what Piggy is saying.)
DefinitionGenerally context means:
the setting or situation in which something occurs
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
contradict
1 use
He snatched his knife out of the sheath and slammed it into a tree trunk. "Next time there would be no mercy." He looked round fiercely, daring them to contradict.
contradict = voice disagreement
DefinitionGenerally contradict means:
disagree as in:
  • to say something is not true
  • to say something else is true when both can't be true
  • to be in conflict with
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
convey
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
convey her thoughts
His tone conveyed a warning...
conveyed = communicated
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convey means:
communicate or express
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
direct   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
All at once the lights flickering ahead of him merged together, the roar of the forest rose to thunder and a tall bush directly in his path burst into a great fan-shaped flame.
directly = exactly where stated (used for emphasis)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
—including such senses as:
  • straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • exact (without other factors)
  • close (with other factors minimized)
  • personal (without other people in between)
  • unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • of a look: straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
was direct in my instructions
  "When they find me, what are they going to do?"
  ...
  The twins answered his question indirectly. "You got to go now, Ralph. For your own good."
indirectly = without specifically responding to the question
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
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 solemn
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn

The exact meaning of this sense of grave is often subject to its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad (with a heavy heart)
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — sincere and dignified without humor
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 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
DefinitionGenerally indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
irrelevant
2 uses
  "We've killed a pig." ...
  "You let the fire go out."
  Jack checked, vaguely irritated by this irrelevance but too happy to let it worry him.
  "We can light the fire again. You should have been with us, Ralph. We had a smashing time."
irrelevance = something that is unimportant
DefinitionGenerally irrelevant means:
not relevant (not related to the subject being considered, or not important enough to want to consider)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
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
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
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
resolution
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a New Year's resolution
Ralph made a resolution to tie his own back afterwards.
resolution = firm decision
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolution means:
a firm decision to do something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 11
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 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 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 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
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