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Measure for Measure

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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apprehend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
apprehend misfortune
A man that apprehends death no more dreadfully but as a drunken sleep; careless, reckless, and fearless, of what's past, present, or to come; insensible of mortality and desperately mortal.†
apprehends = fears
DefinitionGenerally this sense of apprehend means:
fear, or anticipate with worry
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.2
Web Links
approbation
2 uses
This day my sister should the cloister enter,
And there receive her approbation:
approbation = official approval
DefinitionGenerally approbation means:
approval - often official
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.3
Web Links
austere
1 use
th' austereness of my life
austereness = a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
DefinitionGenerally austere means:
a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

or:

of a person:  stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 2.4
Web Links
beseech
10 uses
I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore!
beseech = beg
DefinitionGenerally beseech means:
to ask strongly or beg for something
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.1
Web Links
calumny
2 uses
back-wounding calumny
calumny = a false accusation against a person

(editor's note:  today, we're more likely to hear back-stabbing than back-wounding)
DefinitionGenerally calumny means:
false accusation against a person
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.4
Web Links
condemn   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
She condemned their plan
Condemn the fault and not the actor of it!
condemn = criticize
DefinitionGenerally this sense of condemn means:
express strong criticism
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
was condemned to life in prison
It is the law, not I, condemns your brother:
condemns = that finds guilty and sentences to punishment
DefinitionGenerally this sense of condemn means:
force into an undesired activity or situation — such as to legally sentence someone to punishment

or:

find guilty — especially in court (and sometimes to death)

or:

provide the means of finding guilty
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.2
Web Links
divine
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
to forgive is divine
I know him for a man divine and holy;
divine = like a wonderful person of the church (emanating from God)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 5.1
Web Links
entreat
5 uses
And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart
That I crave death more willingly than mercy;
Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it.
entreat = ask for
DefinitionGenerally entreat means:
to ask — especially while trying hard to overcome resistance
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.1
Web Links
forbearance
2 uses
I shall crave your forbearance a little:
forbearance = refraining (holding back) from acting
DefinitionGenerally forbearance means:
refraining (holding back) from acting

or:

patience, tolerance, or self-control
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.1
Web Links
forfeit
7 uses
Your brother is a forfeit of the law, And you but waste your words.
forfeit = lost (as a penalty)
DefinitionGenerally forfeit means:
to lose or surrender something — often as a penalty
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 5.1
Web Links
infallible
2 uses
Do not satisfy your resolution with hopes that are fallible:
fallible = likely at some point to fail
DefinitionGenerally infallible means:
never wrong; or never failing
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.2
Web Links
manifest
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
manifest destiny
thy fault's thus manifested,
manifested = made obvious or shown
DefinitionGenerally this sense of manifest means:
obvious; or to make obvious; or to show or demonstrate
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.2
Web Links
mitigate
1 use
Behold, behold, where Madam Mitigation comes!
mitigation = reduction in harm or unpleasantness

(editor's note:  this is  Lucio's nickname for Mistress Overdone)
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 1.2
Web Links
penitent
5 uses
Hath he borne himself penitently in prison?
penitently = with remorse for misdeeds (sorrow at having done wrong)
DefinitionGenerally penitent means:
feeling or expressing sorrow for having done wrong; or a person who does such
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.2
Web Links
pernicious
3 uses
And most pernicious purpose!
pernicious = harmful
DefinitionGenerally pernicious means:
harmful or something spreading harm — especially in a gradual or subtle way
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.4
Web Links
redemption
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
its main redeeming quality is...
Better it were a brother died at once
Than that a sister, by redeeming him,
Should die for ever.
redeeming = saving (by exchanging something else of value)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of redemption means:
to make up for something bad; or to save
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.4
Web Links
repentance
6 uses
I do confess it, and repent it, father.
repent = feel regret for having done wrong and resolve to be a better person in the future
DefinitionGenerally repentance means:
the feeling or expression of regret for having done something wrong with a firm decision to be a better person in the future
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.2
Web Links
resolve
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
How did you resolve the problem?
I am now going to resolve him; I had rather my brother die by the law than my son should be unlawfully born.
resolve = convince (settle in the mind)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to solve a problem or settle a disagreement
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 3.1
Web Links
slander
9 uses
did you set these women on to slander Lord Angelo?
slander = lie to damage the reputation of
DefinitionGenerally slander means:
lie to damage the reputation of another; or the lies told
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 5.1
Web Links
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Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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