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The Hound of the Baskervilles

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
alternative
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
an alternative plan
There is no alternative, I assure you.
alternative = other possibility
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
austere
1 use
I looked back at the platform when we had left it far behind, and saw the tall, austere figure of Holmes standing motionless and gazing after us.
austere = stern
DefinitionGenerally austere means:
a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

or:

of a person:  stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
contrast
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
there is a contrast
There could not have been a greater contrast between brother and sister, for Stapleton was neutral tinted, with light hair and gray eyes, while she was darker than any brunette whom I have seen in England—slim, elegant, and tall.
contrast = difference
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
a difference — especially a notable difference; or the side-x-side arrangement of things that draws attention to an unmissable difference
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
convey
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
convey her thoughts
Tell me then what it was that you meant, and I will promise to convey your warning to Sir Henry.†
convey = communicate or express
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
correspond   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 5 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
corresponding time period
I find that before the terrible event occurred several people had seen a creature upon the moor which corresponds with this Baskerville demon, and which could not possibly be any animal known to science.†
corresponds = matches
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspond means:
connect or fit together by being equivalent, proportionate, or matched

(Two things are equivalent if they have the same or very similar value, purpose, or result.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
corresponding by email
Did you correspond with Sir Charles?†
correspond = exchange letters through the mail
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspond means:
communicate by writing letters or email
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
a correspondence course
Corresponding member of the Swedish Pathological Society.†
corresponding = distant (not generally present—historically communicating through writing)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspondence means:
done from afar
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
corroborate
2 uses
Their evidence, corroborated by that of several friends, tends to show that Sir Charles's health has for some time been impaired,
corroborated = supported
DefinitionGenerally corroborate means:
to support an opinion — typically with additional evidence or testimony
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
credulous
2 uses
It is extraordinary how credulous the peasants are about here!
credulous = gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
direct   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 9 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
was direct in my instructions
Mrs. Laura Lyons was in her office, and Sherlock Holmes opened his interview with a frankness and directness which considerably amazed her.†
directness = the quality of being straightforward or clear (without adjusting what is said to spare others' feelings)

(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 direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
directed the jury to...
"Certainly, sir," said he, "I had the telegram delivered to Mr. Barrymore exactly as directed."†
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 5
Web Links
dogged
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
dogged by problems
A stranger then is still dogging us, just as a stranger dogged us in London.
dogging = following
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dogged means:
followed; or persistently annoyed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 11 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
But I think that we shall succeed in establishing a connection after all.†
establishing = creating
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
establish that there is a need
I was able to establish the identity of the man and the woman and knew at last exactly how I stood.†
establish = determine (figure out)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
expedient
2 uses
she adopted the expedient of cutting out the words which would form the message, and addressing the letter in a disguised hand.
expedient = practical action
DefinitionGenerally expedient means:
a practical action — especially one that accepts negative tradeoffs due to circumstances

or:

convenient, speedy, or practical
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
factor
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
It was the deciding factor.
And yet this new factor must surely arrest his attention and renew his interest.†
factor = thing that affects a result or outcome
DefinitionGenerally this sense of factor means:
something that affects a result or outcome
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
inquiry
13 uses
No, sir; I have made inquiry all over the hotel, but I can hear no word of it.
inquiry = investigation and questions
DefinitionGenerally inquiry means:
the act of asking a question or performing an investigation
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
melancholy
10 uses
To his eyes all seemed beautiful, but to me a tinge of melancholy lay upon the country-side
melancholy = sadness
DefinitionGenerally melancholy means:
a sad feeling or manner — sometimes thoughtfully sad
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
narrative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
Narrative of the Life of...
I shall soon be in the position of being able to put into a single connected narrative one of the most singular and sensational crimes of modern times.
narrative = story
DefinitionGenerally this sense of narrative means:
a story
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
passage
1 use
"Surely your memory deceives you," said I. "I could even quote a passage of your letter."†
passage = a short part
DefinitionGenerally this sense of passage means:
a short part of a longer written work
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 11
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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