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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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affectation
1 use
I assure you, Watson, without affectation, that the status of my client is a matter of less moment to me than the interest of his case.
affectation = behaving in an artificial way to make an impression
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
allude
7 uses
He mumbled a few words, but I could only catch some allusion to a rat.
allusion = indirect reference
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
endeavor
16 uses
I took a good look at the man and endeavoured, after the fashion of my companion, to read the indications which might be presented by his dress or appearance.
endeavoured = tried or attempted
DefinitionGenerally endeavor means:
to attempt; or a project or activity attempted
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
In this case, however, they have established a very serious case against the son of the murdered man.†
established = created
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
Remember, Watson that though we have so homely a thing as a goose at one end of this chain, we have at the other a man who will certainly get seven years' penal servitude unless we can establish his innocence.†
establish = prove
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
hypothesis   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
a study to test her hypothesis
"Well, certainly that is also a conceivable hypothesis," said Holmes, smiling.†
hypothesis = a seemingly reasonable, but unproven, explanation
DefinitionGenerally this sense of hypothesis means:
seemingly reasonable, but unproven idea or explanation based upon known facts
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
assume as a working hypothesis
Well, we will take it as a working hypothesis for want of a better.†
hypothesis = something that may or may not be true, but is temporarily treated as true to advance a discussion or to further investigation
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
illustrate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
as illustrated by this example
Some, however, have already gained publicity through the papers, and others have not offered a field for those peculiar qualities which my friend possessed in so high a degree, and which it is the object of these papers to illustrate.†
illustrate = help make clear
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
impetuous
1 use
She is impetuous—volcanic, I was about to say.
impetuous = impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impetuous means:
impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought) — often with an unfortunate consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
inclined
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I'm inclined to
Next day I was inclined to think that I had made a mistake, and by the day after I was sure of it.
inclined = had a tendency
DefinitionGenerally this sense of inclined means:
a tendency; in the mood; or an attitude that favors something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
infer
8 uses
Then, pray tell me what it is that you can infer from this hat?
infer = conclude by reasoning
DefinitionGenerally infer means:
to figure out or guess by reasoning
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
inquiry
19 uses
I am staying there while I conduct the inquiry.
inquiry = investigation
DefinitionGenerally inquiry means:
the act of asking a question or performing an investigation
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
narrative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
Narrative of the Life of...
Your narrative promises to be a most interesting one.
narrative = story
DefinitionGenerally this sense of narrative means:
a story
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
philanthropy
1 use
whether the man were a philanthropist or a villain, it was quite beyond my powers to determine.
philanthropist = someone who helps others — especially by donating money to worthy causes
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
positive   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
She became restive, insisted upon her rights, and finally announced her positive intention of going to a certain ball.†
positive = absolute (used for emphasis)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
certain (having no doubt; or used for emphasis)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
had a positive effect
He has one positive virtue.†
positive = good
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
good or beneficial
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
presumption
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
presumption of innocence
In the first place, we may start with a strong presumption that Colonel Openshaw had some very strong reason for leaving America.
presumption = something thought of as true or likely, even though it is not known with certainty
DefinitionGenerally this sense of presumption means:
to think of something as true or likely, even though it is not known with certainty
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
relevant
1 use
"I am glad of all details," remarked my friend, "whether they seem to you to be relevant or not."
relevant = relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
remonstrate
1 use
"He has, however, retained some degree of self-respect," he continued, disregarding my remonstrance.
remonstrance = argument in protest or opposition
DefinitionGenerally remonstrate means:
argue in protest or opposition
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
trifle with
10 uses
1  —10 uses as in:
a trifling matter
Oh, it is a matter of no importance; but I don't know why you should be so warm over such a trifle.
trifle = something of small importance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trifling means:
something of small importance; or a small quantity
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
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