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The Call of the Wild
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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compel
6 uses
Does our DNA compel us to act as we do?
compel = force
DefinitionGenerally compel means:
to force someone to do something

or more rarely:

to convince someone to do something
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
conciliatory
2 uses
Their statements are conciliatory, but their actions are uncompromising.
conciliatory = intended to end bad feelings or build trust
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
cunning
13 uses
She came up with a cunning scheme to cheat him.
cunning = cleverly tricky
DefinitionGenerally cunning means:
being good at achieving goals through cleverness and trickery
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
deliberate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a deliberate thinker
She is a deliberate thinker—not the fastest, but always thorough.
deliberate = done with great care — often slowly
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
direct   (4 meanings)
4 meanings, 5 uses
1  —1 use as in:
depart directly
I walked directly to work.
directly = without interruption in the straightest or quickest possible manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
without delay, or in the quickest manner, or without going somewhere else first
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
This flower does best in direct sunlight.
direct = without intervention from anything (in this case, not sun that is partially blocked or reflected)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The road runs directly to Las Vegas." — straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • "It was a direct hit." — exact
  • "The plant is in direct sunlight." — unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • "She wants a direct meeting with him." — personal (without other people in between)
  • "She paid direct attention to what he was reading." — close
  • "a direct gaze" — straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
was direct in my instructions
I left them with direct instructions.
direct = straightforward
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
4  —1 use as in:
directed her question to
The sprinkler head needs to be fixed so it directs water away from the house.
directs = aims
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
to indicate direction; or to cause movement or focus in a direction or towards an object
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "intentionally directed fire at unarmed civilians" — aimed a gun
  • "directed the question to her" — aimed a question
  • "directed her north" — pointed in a particular direction
  • "directed attention to the 3rd paragraph" — focused attention on a particular object
  • "The sound of her voice directed him to the kitchen." — guided or gave directions to someone to help them move to a particular place
  • "She directed him to the airport." — gave directions to send someone to a particular place
  • "She directed the boat north." — steered it
  • "directed the letter to" — send a letter to a particular person by putting a name and address on it
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library31 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
dominate
3 uses
The defending World Champions dominated their unranked opponent.
dominated = controlled
DefinitionGenerally dominate means:
to control; or to be most influential, powerful, or conspicuous
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
dubious
1 use
She was dubious, but agreed to come with us anyway.
dubious = doubtful; or suspicious; or full of uncertainty
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful
in various senses, including:
  • doubtful that something should be relied upon — as in "The argument relies on a dubious assumption."
  • doubtful that something is morally proper — as in "The company is accused of using dubious sales practices to influence minors."
  • bad or of questionable value — as in "The state has the dubious distinction of the highest taxes."
  • doubtful or uncertain — as in "She is dubious about making the change."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
forbearance
2 uses
She recommended regulatory forbearance while the banks repair their balance sheets.
forbearance = refraining (holding back) from acting
DefinitionGenerally forbearance means:
refraining (holding back) from acting

or:

patience, tolerance, or self-control
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
formidable
4 uses
She is a formidable opponent.
formidable = intimidating or impressive
DefinitionGenerally formidable means:
intimidating or impressive — arousing fear or admiration due to impressiveness or challenge
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
latent
2 uses
She is unschooled, but I think she has latent talent as an engineer.
latent = potentially existing but not presently active
DefinitionGenerally latent means:
potentially existing but not presently evident or active
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
pervasive
1 use
We were losing 35 to 0 at halftime and there was a pervasive sense of gloom in the locker room.
pervasive = existing throughout something
DefinitionGenerally pervasive means:
existing throughout something; or generally widespread
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
precipitate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use
adj as in: a precipitate decision
I had planned to ask her, but she made a precipitate departure.
precipitate = sudden
DefinitionGenerally this sense of precipitate means:
acting with great haste — often without adequate thought
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —1 use
verb, as in: action will precipitate
The accident precipitated the union strike for better working conditions.
precipitated = brought about abruptly (suddenly)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of precipitate means:
make something happen abruptly (suddenly)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
ration
8 uses
Gasoline was rationed during the 1970s oil embargo.
rationed = restricted in the amount available to people
DefinitionGenerally ration means:
to restrict the amount of something people can have — such as food or gasoline when there is a shortage

or:

a fixed portion of something that is given as a person's share — such as goods of which there is a shortage, or food for soldiers in the field
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
rigorous
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a rigorous math class
The class was equally interesting and rigorous.
rigorous = difficult and demanding
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
simulate
1 use
A computer model is used to simulate the effects of wind.
simulate = imitate or represent
DefinitionGenerally simulate means:
make an imitation or representation of
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
superfluous
2 uses
Eliminate superfluous words.
superfluous = more than is needed, desired, or required
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
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