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Catch-22

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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approach   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
approached the city
Winter is approaching.
approaching = getting nearer
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
to get closer to (near in space, time, quantity, or quality)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library104 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
use the best approach
Perhaps I just need to work harder, but I may need an entirely different approach to the problem.
approach = method (way of doing something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
a way of doing something; or a route that leads to a particular place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
ascetic
2 uses
The ascetic life has been more pronounced in Hinduism and Buddhism than in other major religions.
ascetic = the practice of self-denial
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
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
digress
2 uses
She always digresses when telling a story.
digresses = wanders from a direct course
DefinitionGenerally digress means:
wander from a direct or straight course — typically verbally
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
direct   (5 meanings)
5 meanings, 29 uses
1  —2 uses 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
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
2  —19 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
Book19 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 35
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
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 32
Web Links
4  —5 uses as in:
directed the jury to...
On the SAT test, some questions direct you to look at an underlined or numbered portion of a passage.
direct = instruct
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
5  —2 uses as in:
directed the movie
She directed the move.
directed = supervised the making of
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
supervise, control, or to be in charge of
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library29 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 33
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
Which word choice best maintains the tone established in the first paragraph?
established = created
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
The passage is primarily about establishing the relationship between the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global temperature.
establishing = showing or demonstrating
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
illustrate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
as illustrated by this example
Pictures of flooding help to illustrate the problem of global warming.
illustrate = make clear
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
impetuous
2 uses
She regretted her impetuous promise.
impetuous = impulsive (made suddenly without much thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impetuous means:
impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought) — often with an unfortunate consequence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
indolent
3 uses
She never recovered from the indolence of her youth.
indolence = laziness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
positive   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 16 uses
1  —15 uses as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
I'm positive I've seen her before.
positive = certain
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
certain (having no doubt; or used for emphasis)
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a positive attitude
With a positive attitude and some effort, I'm sure we can make this work.
positive = optimistic
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
optimistic (expecting or focusing good things); or agreeable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
rectify
1 use
I am doing what I can to rectify the error.
rectify = correct, fix, or make right
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
repudiate
2 uses
The parents repudiated their son.
repudiated = strongly rejected
DefinitionGenerally repudiate means:
strong rejection — especially when the idea or thing being rejected was once embraced
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
resignation   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
I know you're unhappy there, but don't submit your resignation until you find a better job.
resignation = a document expressing that someone is quitting a job
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
to quit — especially a job or position; or a document expressing such an act
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
accepted it with resignation
It wasn't her first choice, but she accepted it with resignation.
resignation = (accepted) something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 39
Web Links
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