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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acquit
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she was acquitted
James McCarthy was acquitted at the Assizes on the strength of a number of objections which had been drawn out by Holmes and submitted to the defending counsel.†
acquitted = officially found "not guilty"
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acquit means:
to officially find "not guilty" of criminal charges; or (informally) to find someone innocent of a charge of having done wrong
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
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
direct   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 13 uses
1  —1 use as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
The Embankment is not on the direct line to the station.†
direct = straight (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
Book1 use
Library56 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
was direct in my instructions
In this way I am no doubt indirectly responsible for Dr. Grimesby Roylott's death, and I cannot say that it is likely to weigh very heavily upon my conscience.†
indirectly = incidentally (not intentionally)

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in indirectly means not and reverses the meaning of directly. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
3  —6 uses as in:
directed the movie
When you drove home after the concert I called upon Scotland Yard and upon the chairman of the bank directors, with the result that you have seen.†
directors = members of a board that oversees the affairs of a corporation or other institution
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
supervise, control, or to be in charge of
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library24 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —4 uses
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

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use endeavored.)
DefinitionGenerally endeavor means:
to attempt; or a project or activity attempted
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
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
Library23 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:
a 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
Library3 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
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 10
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
Library10 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
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
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
rectify
1 use
There is a huge error which it may take some little time to rectify.
rectify = fix
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rectify means:
correct, fix, or make right
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
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, complain, or criticize
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
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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