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Macbeth

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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apparition
1 use
FIRST APPARITION
apparition = a ghostlike figure
DefinitionGenerally this sense of apparition means:
a ghostlike figure or its appearance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.1
Web Links
avarice
3 uses
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
avaricious = having or showing excessive desire for wealth
DefinitionGenerally avarice means:
excessive desire for wealth
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.3
Web Links
commend
3 uses
I commend your pains;
And everyone shall share i' the gains.
commend = praise
DefinitionGenerally commend means:
praise or recommend
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.7
confound
3 uses
Uproar the universal peace, confound
All unity on earth.
confound = fight or frustrate
DefinitionGenerally confound means:
to confuse, prove wrong, frustrate, or express frustration
in various senses, including:
confuse or surprise — sometimes specifically to confuse one thing with another
  • "confounded by the puzzle" — confused or perplexed
  • "Test results confounded the experts." — surprised and confused
  • "Do not confound confidence with correctness." — mistake one thing for another
prove wrong, defeat, or frustrate
  • "The test results confounded my theory." — proved wrong
  • "Their defense confounded our offense." — defeated or frustrated
make worse
  • "She confounded the problem by painting without sanding." — made worse
  • "The task is complicated by other confounding factors." — making worse
an exclamation expressing anger or frustration
  • "Confound it! Will I ever get this thing to work?"
  • "I don't understand the confounded directions!"
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.1
Web Links
contend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
She contended with it
contending 'gainst obedience,
contending = struggling
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contend means:
to struggle
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 2.2
Web Links
disdain
1 use
For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name—
Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,
disdaining = showing no respect to

(editor's note:  No Fear Shakespeare paraphrases this and its continuation as:  "Brave Macbeth, laughing at Luck, chopped his way through...")
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
dispute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
She disputes his claim.
Dispute it like a man.
dispute = fight (challenge)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
challenge, argue about, or fight over
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 4.3
Web Links
flourish
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
dismissed them with a flourish
SCENE IV. Forres. A Room in the Palace.
[Flourish. Enter Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox, and Attendants.]
flourish = fanfare played by trumpets to announce the entry or exit of royalty

(editor's note:  Today, flourish more commonly refers to any showy gesture.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of flourish means:
a showy gesture

or:

the act of waving — a hand or an item
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useScene 1.4
Web Links
function
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
Its main function is to...
...Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings.
My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man, that function
Is smother'd in surmise; and nothing is
But what is not.
function = natural activity, work, or operability
DefinitionGenerally this sense of function means:
purpose, job, or natural activity
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 1.3
Web Links
malicious
4 uses
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
malicious = wanting to see others suffer
DefinitionGenerally malicious means:
wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 4.3
Web Links
pernicious
2 uses
Let this pernicious hour stand aye accursed in the calendar!
pernicious = something spreading great harm in a gradual or subtle way
DefinitionGenerally pernicious means:
harmful or something spreading harm — especially in a gradual or subtle way
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.1
Web Links
perturb
1 use
1  —1 use
perturbation of the orbit
A great perturbation in nature,—to receive at once the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of watching—
perturbation = deviation (from the natural course of things)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perturbation means:
physics or astronomy:  a secondary influence on a system that causes it to deviate slightly
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 5.1
Web Links
pious
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
the most pious Edward
pious = behaving in a highly moral or religious manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 3.6
Web Links
provoke
4 uses
What three things does drink especially provoke?
provoke = cause in reaction
DefinitionGenerally provoke means:
to cause a reaction — typically an emotional reaction such as anger; and sometimes caused intentionally
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.1
Web Links
scorn
4 uses
  He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
  His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace, and fear:
scorn = reject or treat with disrespect
DefinitionGenerally scorn means:
disrespect or reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 3.5
Web Links
temperate
2 uses
Who can be wise, amazed, temperate, and furious,
Loyal and neutral, in a moment?
temperate = calm (lacking extreme behavior)
DefinitionGenerally temperate means:
lacking extremes — especially of weather, climate, or behavior
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.3
Web Links
treason
6 uses
— Ring the alarum bell:—murder and treason!
treason = betrayal against the king

(editor's note:  Alarum is an old way of saying alarm.)
DefinitionGenerally treason means:
betraying someone or something — typically betraying one's own country

(in this context, to betray is to not be loyal—often by helping enemies)
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.1
Web Links
tyranny
3 uses
Boundless intemperance
In nature is a tyranny; it hath been
The untimely emptying of the happy throne,
And fall of many kings.
tyranny = something that is harshly controlling

(editor's note:  No Fear Shakespeare translates these lines as:  Endless greed and lust in a man's nature is a kind of tyranny. It has caused the downfall of many kings.)
DefinitionGenerally tyranny means:
harsh and unjust rule
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useScene 4.3
Web Links
valor
5 uses
Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valor
As thou art in desire?
valor = courage
DefinitionGenerally valor means:
exceptional or heroic courage when facing danger — especially in battle
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.1
Web Links
wrought
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
wrought iron
Great business must be wrought ere noon.
wrought = worked

(editor's note:  This could be translated as "Much must be done before noon.")
DefinitionGenerally this sense of wrought means:
worked — as when iron is shaped to fit by bending or beating
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.3
Web Links
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