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Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acquit
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she acquitted herself well
She was not abnormally deficient, and she mustered learning enough to acquit herself respectably in conversation with her contemporaries, among whom it must be avowed, however, that she occupied a secondary place.†
acquit = handle (conduct or behave)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acquit means:
to handle oneself in a specified way — which is typically in a positive way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
amiable
6 uses
Mrs. Penniman was truly amiable, but she now gave signs of temper.
amiable = friendly, agreeable, and likable
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
candid
1 use
As regards this, however, a critical attitude would be inconsistent with a candid reference to the early annals of any biographer.
candid = honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred the decision
I will defer the telling.
defer = postpone (tell at a later time)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
delay or postpone (hold off until a later time)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
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
discreet   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
discreet--not showy or gossipy
Then she saw a gentleman standing in the middle of the room, from which her aunt had discreetly retired.
discreetly = in a manner that is unlikely to attract attention or cause embarrassment
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discreet means:
trustworthy with secrets and/or inconspicuous or unobtrusive
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 35
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
discreet--not foolish
Well, I have been indiscreet, formerly; but I think I have got over it.
indiscreet = not sensible or careful

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in indiscreet means not and reverses the meaning of discreet. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discreet means:
sensible and careful; possibly having good manners
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
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
Library3 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
however
58 uses
1  —1 use as in:
However much she tried...
But the principal thing that we know about this young man—who is, indeed, very intelligent—leads us to suppose that, however much he may value your personal merits, he values your money more.†
however = regardless of how
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
to whatever degree (regardless of how much; or whatever unspecified amount)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —57 uses
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
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
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
Library6 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
Library4 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
Library4 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
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
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
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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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