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The Brothers Karamazov

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acquit
23 uses
1  —23 uses as in:
she was acquitted
And is not the counsel for the defense too modest in asking only for the acquittal of the prisoner?
acquittal = official finding of "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
Book23 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
approach
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
approached her with the proposal
But this time he had specially urgent business, and he foresaw how difficult it would be to approach the subject, yet he was in great haste.†
approach = begin communication with someone about
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
to begin communication with someone about something — often a proposal or a delicate topic
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useEpil.
Web Links
ascetic
8 uses
He had been a celebrated ascetic, rigid in fasting and silence,
ascetic = someone who practices self-denial (especially to encourage spiritual growth)
DefinitionGenerally ascetic means:
someone who practices self-denial (often to encourage spiritual growth); or relating to such self-denial

or:

severely plain (without decoration)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
austere
7 uses
And even that austere and cautious man, though he frowned as he read the news of the "miracle," could not completely restrain some inner emotion.
austere = stern and practicing great self-denial
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
Book7 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
capricious
9 uses
And mamma is capricious and tearful and insane!
capricious = impulsive or unpredictable
DefinitionGenerally capricious means:
impulsive or unpredictable or tending to make sudden changes — especially impulsive behavior
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
contempt
17 uses
1  —17 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
Smerdyakov stared at him, not simply with contempt, but almost with repulsion.
contempt = dislike and disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book17 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
contrary   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 77 uses
1  —13 uses as in:
a contrary idea
No, no; quite the contrary.
contrary = opposite
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrary means:
different (perhaps opposite or mutually exclusive)
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
contrary to
But before three o'clock in the afternoon that something took place to which I alluded at the end of the last book, something so unexpected by all of us and so contrary to the general hope, that, I repeat, this trivial incident has been minutely remembered to this day in our town and all the surrounding neighborhood.
contrary to = in opposition to
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
3  —62 uses as in:
on the contrary
He is not at all angry, I assure you; on the contrary, he is surprised that you could suppose so.
on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
Word Statistics
Book62 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
cross-examination
12 uses
But Fetyukovitch began his cross-examination.
cross-examination = the re-questioning of a witness who has already been questioned by the other side in court
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
disdain
15 uses
She looked disdainfully at Alyosha as he came in.
disdainfully = with a lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
enigma
9 uses
But the future life—it is such an enigma!
enigma = mystery
DefinitionGenerally enigma means:
something mysterious that seems unexplainable
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 11 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
In this way his reputation as "a desperate character," was established for ever.†
established = set
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
establish that there is a need
But man seeks to worship what is established beyond dispute, so that all men would agree at once to worship it.†
established = demonstrated or proved
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
heresy
9 uses
tomorrow I shall condemn Thee and burn Thee at the stake as the worst of heretics.
heretics = people with opinions or actions most people consider immoral
DefinitionGenerally heresy means:
opinions or actions most people consider immoral
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
impetuous
6 uses
It was the same impetuous Katya who had thrown herself on the mercy of a young profligate to save her father;
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
Book6 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
obstinate
13 uses
But this time Pyotr Ilyitch was as obstinate as a mule.
obstinate = stubbornly not doing what others want
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
orthodox
10 uses
the prosecutor's charge of uttering unorthodox opinions
unorthodox = in violation of what is commonly accepted

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unorthodox means not and reverses the meaning of orthodox. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally orthodox means:
normal (describing thinking or behavior as commonly or traditionally accepted)
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
philanthropy
7 uses
He became active in philanthropy too, founded and helped to maintain many institutions in the town,
philanthropy = helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes
DefinitionGenerally philanthropy means:
helping others — especially donating money to worthy causes; or an organization that does so
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
prominent
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a prominent politician
In it lies a child of seven, the only daughter of a prominent citizen.†
prominent = well-known or important
DefinitionGenerally this sense of prominent means:
well-known or important — especially of a person who is respected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
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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