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King Lear

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
amity
2 uses
How in one house
Should many people, under two commands,
Hold amity?
amity = a state of friendly relations
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
beseech
8 uses
I beseech you, sir, pardon me.
beseech = ask strongly or beg
DefinitionGenerally beseech means:
to ask strongly or beg for something
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.1
Web Links
censure
3 uses
to censure them
censure = criticize
DefinitionGenerally censure means:
harsh criticism; or formal criticism from an organization — such as the U.S. Senate
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.5
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits
To laughter and contempt; that she may feel
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!
contempt = dislike and disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.4
Web Links
countenance
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a pleasant countenance
Found you no displeasure in him by word or countenance?
countenance = facial expression

(editor's note:  No Fear Shakespeare paraphrases this line as:  "Did he express any dissatisfaction with you, either in his words or his face?")
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
facial expression; or face; or composure or manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
credulous
1 use
A credulous father!
credulous = too willing to believe
DefinitionGenerally credulous means:
gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
diligent
2 uses
If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there afore you.
diligence = hard work and care
DefinitionGenerally this sense of diligent means:
hard work and care in tasks — often continuing when others might quit because of difficulties
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 1.5
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason;
discord = conflict and disagreement
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
disposition
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a kind disposition
I now perceive it was not altogether your brother's evil disposition made him seek his death;
disposition = normal mood, personality, or inclination
DefinitionGenerally this sense of disposition means:
someone's normal mood, personality, or typical way of behaving
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.5
Web Links
entreat
7 uses
neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor any way sustain him.
entreat = ask earnestly
DefinitionGenerally entreat means:
to ask — especially while trying hard to overcome resistance
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
forbearance
4 uses
Dear sir, forbear!
forbear = refrain (hold back) from acting
DefinitionGenerally forbearance means:
refraining (holding back) from acting

or:

patience, tolerance, or self-control
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
herald
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
announced by herald & trumpet
Enter a herald.
herald = a person whose job is to announce important news
DefinitionGenerally this sense of herald means:
a person who announces important news — especially a king's representative
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 5.2
Web Links
malicious
2 uses
How malicious is my fortune, that I must repent to be just!
malicious = wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 3.5
Web Links
obscure
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
it obscured my view
Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
That by thy comfortable beams I may
Peruse this letter.—Nothing almost sees miracles
But misery:—I know 'tis from Cordelia,
Who hath most fortunately been inform'd
Of my obscured course;
obscured = hidden
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useScene 2.2
Web Links
rigorous
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a rigorous math class
the rigour of our state
rigour = difficulties and demands

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use rigor.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rigorous means:
difficult and demanding
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useScene 5.1
Web Links
scarcity
7 uses
I am scarce in breath, my lord.
scarce = barely (an amount that is less than desired)
DefinitionGenerally scarcity means:
shortage (having an amount that is less than desired)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.2
Web Links
superfluous
2 uses
Our basest beggars are in the poorest thing superfluous.
superfluous = (having) more than is needed (in this case, having some meager possessions they don't absolutely need to survive)
DefinitionGenerally superfluous means:
more than is needed, desired, or required
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.4
Web Links
sustain
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
sustained by her faith
When I desired their leave that I might pity him, they took from me the use of mine own house; charged me on pain of perpetual displeasure, neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor any way sustain him.
sustain = provide support
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
provide support or necessities
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 3.3
Web Links
usurp
2 uses
My fool usurps my body.
usurps = takes control of

(editor's note:  She is referring to her husband when she says My fool.)
DefinitionGenerally usurp means:
seize or take control without authority
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 5.2
Web Links
wanton
2 uses
As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods,— They kill us for their sport.
wanton = considered bad (in this case, excessively violent)
DefinitionGenerally wanton means:
of something considered bad:  excessive, thoughtless indulgence — such as waste, cruelty, violence, and (especially in the past) sexual promiscuity
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.4
Web Links
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