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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
astute
2 uses
I knew that so astute a villain would see that our hands were tied in the matter.
astute = smart & perceptive
DefinitionGenerally astute means:
smart and perceptive
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
deduce
18 uses
Now let us consider the situation and see what may be deduced from it.
deduced = conclude by reasoning
DefinitionGenerally deduce means:
conclude by reasoning — especially reasoning from the general to the particular
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
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 10
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
Library2 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
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
opulent
1 use
Boots which extended halfway up his calves, and which were trimmed at the tops with rich brown fur, completed the impression of barbaric opulence which was suggested by his whole appearance.
opulence = magnificence or luxury
DefinitionGenerally opulent means:
magnificent and luxurious — usually expensive
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
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 without proof
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
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
whimsical
2 uses
Only one of those whimsical little incidents which will happen when you have four million human beings all jostling each other within the space of a few square miles.
whimsical = determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity or reason — often playful
DefinitionGenerally whimsical means:
playful or amusing

or:

determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity or reason
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
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