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Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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amiable
6 uses
Mrs. Penniman was truly amiable, but she now gave signs of temper.
amiable = friendly, agreeable, and likable
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
candid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
your candid opinion
As regards this, however, a critical attitude would be inconsistent with a candid reference to the early annals of any biographer.
candid = honest
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
capricious
1 use
It is the first time I have been told I am capricious.
capricious = impulsive or unpredictable
DefinitionGenerally capricious means:
impulsive or unpredictable or tending to make sudden changes — especially impulsive behavior
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 25
Web Links
censure
1 use
He walked under the weight of this very private censure for the rest of his days
censure = harsh criticism
DefinitionGenerally censure means:
harsh criticism; or formal criticism from an organization — such as the U.S. Senate
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
conciliatory
3 uses
They are more conciliating; they can persuade better.
conciliating = attempting to end bad feelings or build trust
DefinitionGenerally conciliatory means:
intended to end bad feelings or build trust
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
deference
6 uses
he listened to her with a sombre deference in which she found much to admire.
deference = politely respectful

(editor's note:  today we spell sombre as somber)
DefinitionGenerally deference means:
polite respect — often when submitting to another's wishes
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
discretion   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
embarrassing lack of discretion
She had told Morris Townsend that she would not mention him to her father, and she saw no reason to retract this vow of discretion.
discretion = keeping a secret (so that discomfort is not caused for another)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discretion means:
behavior that does not attract undesired attention or reveal private information
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
Parental discretion advised.
I have not interfered, I have left you your liberty, I have remembered that you are no longer a little girl-that you have arrived at years of discretion.
discretion = good judgment
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discretion means:
good judgment or good taste
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
dissemble
2 uses
Catherine answered, dissembling for the first time in her life.
dissembling = lying
DefinitionGenerally dissemble means:
hide or disguise the truth without outright lying
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
eloquent
7 uses
My husband, as I have told you, was a distinguished clergyman; one of the most eloquent men of his day.
eloquent = expressing yourself readily, clearly, effectively
DefinitionGenerally eloquent means:
powerful use of language
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
engender
1 use
Her trouble was terrible; but was it a thing of her imagination, engendered by an extravagant sensibility
engendered = caused
DefinitionGenerally engender means:
cause — usually a feeling (possibly a situation)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 30
Web Links
ingenious
6 uses
Mrs. Penniman desired to represent the ingenious Mr. Townsend as the hero.
ingenious = clever (inventive and skillful)
DefinitionGenerally ingenious means:
showing cleverness and originality
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
irony
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
verbal irony
...he almost never addressed his daughter save in the ironical form.
ironical = saying one thing while meaning something else
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
mitigate
2 uses
Even at the age of twenty- seven Austin Sloper had made his mark sufficiently to mitigate the anomaly of his having been chosen among a dozen suitors by a young woman of high fashion, who had ten thousand dollars of income and the most charming eyes in the island of Manhattan.
mitigate = make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
oblige   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 12 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
I am obliged by law.
"The woman's an idiot," thought Morris; but he was obliged to say something different.
obliged = required (to do something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of oblige means:
require (obligate) to do something
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
I'm much obliged for your kindness
I am really very much obliged to her.
obliged = grateful or indebted
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
obstinate
8 uses
"You are very obstinate," said the Doctor.
obstinate = stubbornly unyielding to other's wishes
DefinitionGenerally obstinate means:
stubbornly not doing what others want
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
reproach
7 uses
That fault is not what I am usually reproached with.
reproached = criticized
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism — especially where a relationship makes the disapproval result in disappointment or shame
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 25
Web Links
scrupulous
4 uses
her fortune is already more than sufficient to attract those unscrupulous adventurers...
unscrupulous = unethical

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unscrupulous means not and reverses the meaning of scrupulous. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
zeal
3 uses
he did his duty with exemplary zeal
zeal = active interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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