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Far from the Madding Crowd

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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appropriate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
appropriate from their culture
The central space, together with the recess at one end, was emptied of all incumbrances, and this area, covering about two-thirds of the whole, was appropriated for the gathering, the remaining end, which was piled to the ceiling with oats, being screened off with sail-cloth.†
appropriated = taken or used
DefinitionGenerally this sense of appropriate means:
to take without asking — often without right
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 34-36
Web Links
candid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
your candid opinion
she was candour itself.
candour = honesty and directness

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use candor.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 34-36
Web Links
contempt
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
In those earlier days she had always nourished a secret contempt for girls who were the slaves of the first good-looking young fellow who should choose to salute them.
contempt = lack of respect
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
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 34-36
Web Links
countenance
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a pleasant countenance
with grim countenances
countenances = facial expressions
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 useChapter 49-51
Web Links
direct   (4 meanings)
4 meanings, 16 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
depart directly
"We'd better stand quiet—he'll go in again directly.†
directly = in a short time
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
without delay, or in the quickest manner, or without going somewhere else first
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4-6
Web Links
2  —6 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
Bathsheba blushed with half-angry embarrassment, and adjusted her eyes as well as her feet to the direct line of her path.†
direct = without anything in between
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The road runs directly to Las Vegas." — straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • "It was a direct hit." — exact
  • "The plant is in direct sunlight." — unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • "She wants a direct meeting with him." — personal (without other people in between)
  • "She paid direct attention to what he was reading." — close
  • "a direct gaze" — straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4-6
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
was direct in my instructions
Boldwood did not directly communicate with her during these negotiations, only speaking to Oak, who was the go-between throughout.†
directly = in a straightforward manner (an uncomplicated manner)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 49-51
Web Links
4  —3 uses as in:
directed the jury to...
She took up her position as directed, facing Troy.†
directed = instructed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 19-21
Web Links
discern
14 uses
Though the overshadowing trees ... enveloped them in gloom, Bathsheba could see plainly enough to discern the extreme poverty of the woman's garb, and the sadness of her face.
discern = noticed something that is not that easy to see
DefinitionGenerally discern means:
to notice or understand something — often something that is not obvious
Word Statistics
Book14 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePref.
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
The clash of discord between mood and matter here was forced painfully home to the heart;
discord = conflict (or argument)
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 useChapter 34-36
Web Links
disdain
3 uses
"Very well—you keep it, Coggan," said Gabriel with disdain
disdain = a lack of respect
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
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4-6
Web Links
dubious
4 uses
"I don't see that 'tis any business of ours," Smallbury murmured dubiously.
dubiously = doubtfully
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful
in various senses, including:
  • doubtful that something should be relied upon — as in "The argument relies on a dubious assumption."
  • doubtful that something is morally proper — as in "The company is accused of using dubious sales practices to influence minors."
  • bad or of questionable value — as in "The state has the dubious distinction of the highest taxes."
  • doubtful or uncertain — as in "She is dubious about making the change."
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4-6
Web Links
impetuous
2 uses
she whispered with desperate impetuosity.
impetuosity = impulsiveness (the trait of acting suddenly without much thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impetuous means:
impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought) — often with an unfortunate consequence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19-21
Web Links
nominal
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
he's nominally in charge
However, one excellent result of her general apathy was the long-delayed installation of Oak as bailiff; but he having virtually exercised that function for a long time already, the change, beyond the substantial increase of wages it brought, was little more than a nominal one addressed to the outside world.†
nominal = in name, but not in reality
DefinitionGenerally this sense of nominal means:
in form or name, but not in reality
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 49-51
Web Links
novel
3 uses
Bathsheba's adventurous spirit was beginning to find some grains of relish in these highly novel proceedings.
novel = pleasantly new and original
DefinitionGenerally this sense of novel means:
new and original — typically something considered good
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 28-30
Web Links
resolve   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 15 uses
1  —14 uses as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
She resolved never again, by look or by sign, to interrupt the steady flow of this man's life.
resolved = decided
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book14 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4-6
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
Her resolve weakened.
But a manly resolve to recognize boldly that he had no longer a lover's interest in her, helped him occasionally to conceal a feeling.
resolve = determination (firmness of 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 22-24
Web Links
superfluous
7 uses
The dog took no notice, for he had arrived at an age at which all superfluous barking was cynically avoided as a waste of breath
superfluous = more than is needed
DefinitionGenerally superfluous means:
more than is needed, desired, or required
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4-6
Web Links
trifle   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 20 uses
1  —16 uses as in:
a trifling matter
a trifle more than nothing.
trifle = little
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trifle means:
something of small importance; or a small quantity
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10-12
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
trifle with her affections
I don't trifle with him; but then, I have nothing to do with him.
trifle with = treat thoughtlessly or without respect (in this case, probably to be playful without regard for his affections)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trifle with means:
to treat somebody or something thoughtlessly or without respect
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 28-30
Web Links
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