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A Christmas Carol

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
accompany
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
accompany on the journey
Scrooge's former self, now grown a young man, came briskly in, accompanied by his fellow-'prentice.
accompanied = escorted (in the company of)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accompany means:
to travel along with
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
agitate
3 uses
The noise in this room was perfectly tumultuous, for there were more children there, than Scrooge in his agitated state of mind could count;
agitated = emotionally upset
DefinitionGenerally agitate means:
to stir up or shake — emotionally (as when people are angered or upset) or physically (as when a washing machine cleans clothes)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
benevolent
3 uses
The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.
benevolence = kindness or generosity
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
compose
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
keep your composure
Poor Bob sat down in it, and when he had thought a little and composed himself, he kissed the little face.
composed = calmed or settled
DefinitionGenerally this sense of compose means:
to calm someone or settle something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
conscious   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 9 uses
1  —1 use as in:
conscious after the operation
He felt that he was restored to consciousness in the right nick of time, for the especial purpose of holding a conference with the second messenger despatched to him through Jacob Marley's intervention.
consciousness = wakefulness

(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 this sense of conscious means:
awake (not asleep or in a state similar to sleep where one is unaware of anything)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —8 uses as in:
environmentally conscious
They have no consciousness of us.
consciousness = awareness

(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 this sense of conscious means:
aware or concerned about something
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library24 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
dismal
5 uses
The door of Scrooge's counting-house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk, who in a dismal little cell beyond, a sort of tank, was copying letters.
dismal = depressing or gloomy
DefinitionGenerally dismal means:
of terrible quality or depressing; or dark and dreary (as when bad weather blocks the sun or when it is drizzly)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
endeavor
7 uses
... a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth.
endeavouring = trying

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use endeavoring.)
DefinitionGenerally endeavor means:
to attempt; or a project or activity attempted
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
engage
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
engage in conversation
The mother and her daughters were engaged in sewing.
engaged = involved
DefinitionGenerally this sense of engage means:
to interact in various ways — such as to participate, involve, interest, or attract
The exact meaning of this sense of engage depends upon its context. For example:
  • "They engaged in debate." — participated
  • "She engaged him in conversation." — involved
  • "She is an engaging conversationalist." — interesting
  • "She has an engaging smile." — attractive (attracting interest and interaction)
  • "The proposal engages the interest of many young voters." — attracts and involves
  • "She engages with her constituents." — interacts in a meaningful way
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
indignant
2 uses
"More shame for him, Fred!" said Scrooge's niece, indignantly.
indignantly = with anger or annoyance at something unjust or wrong
DefinitionGenerally indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
melancholy
4 uses
Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern;
melancholy = sad or depressing
DefinitionGenerally melancholy means:
a sad feeling or manner — sometimes thoughtfully sad
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
nevertheless
1 use
"A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the old man, whatever he is!" said Scrooge's nephew. "He wouldn't take it from me, but may he have it, nevertheless."
nevertheless = anyway (in spite of that)
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
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
oblige   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
I am obliged by law.
...he scrambled out of bed, and groped his way to the window. He was obliged to rub the frost off with the sleeve of his dressing-gown before he could see anything;
obliged = required
DefinitionGenerally this sense of oblige means:
require (obligate) to do something
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
I'm much obliged for your kindness
I am much obliged to you. I thank you fifty times. Bless you!
obliged = grateful or indebted
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
recollect
4 uses
A very, very brief time, and you will dismiss the recollection of it, gladly, as an unprofitable dream, from which it happened well that you awoke.
recollection = memory

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
DefinitionGenerally recollect means:
to remember — especially experiences from long ago
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
resolve   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
But nothing doubting that to whomsoever they applied they had some latent moral for his own improvement, he resolved to treasure up every word he heard, and everything he saw; and especially to observe the shadow of himself when it appeared.
resolved = decided
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
Her resolve weakened.
But scorning rest, upon his reappearance, he instantly began again, though there were no dancers yet, as if the other fiddler had been carried home, exhausted, on a shutter, and he were a bran-new man resolved to beat him out of sight, or perish.
resolved = determined (having firm purpose)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
firmness of purpose (strong determination to do something)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
specter
12 uses
Again the spectre raised a cry, and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hands.
spectre = ghost

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use specter.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of specter means:
a mental image of something frightening or disturbing

or:

a ghostly appearing image
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
thus
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
betrayed her thus
Quite satisfied, he closed his door, and locked himself in; double-locked himself in, which was not his custom. Thus secured against surprise, he took off his cravat; put on his dressing-gown and slippers, and his nightcap; and sat down before the fire to take his gruel.
thus = in that way
DefinitionGenerally this sense of thus means:
in the way mentioned or shown
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
wretched
5 uses
From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable.
wretched = unfortunate or miserable
DefinitionGenerally wretched means:
very bad
in various senses, including:
  • unfortunate or miserable — as in "wretched prisoners sleeping on the cold floor"
  • of poor quality — as in "wretched roads"
  • morally bad — as in "The wretched woman stole his wallet."
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
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