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Catch-22
Vocabulary

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
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library88 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 = a way of doing something; or a route that leads to a particular place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 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
credulous
1 use
The trick would fool none but the most credulous.
credulous = gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 30
Web Links
despondent
11 uses
When her mother died, she was so despondent it was hard for her to get out of bed.
despondent = depressed
DefinitionGenerally despondent means:
emotionally depressed — especially a feeling of grief and hopelessness after a loss
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
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
Library14 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
—including such senses as:
  • straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • exact (without other factors)
  • close (with other factors minimized)
  • personal (without other people in between)
  • unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • of a look: straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library53 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
Library12 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
Library6 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 (was in charge) — including specialized senses such as to have been in charge of the production of or performance of a movie, play, or orchestra
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
supervise, control, or to be in charge of
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library21 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 33
Web Links
elated
14 uses
The elated winner couldn't stop smiling.
elated = had a feeling of happiness and excitement
DefinitionGenerally elated means:
full of happiness and excitement
Word Statistics
Book14 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
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
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
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
Library5 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
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
perspective   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
Look at it from her perspective
A child who was abused with have a different perspective of family life than one raised in a nurturing home.
perspective = a particular way of seeing or thinking about things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
Keep it in perspective
She loses perspective and continually wants to change the plan in a manner that depends on the most recent complaint.
perspective = a sensible view of a situation that considers its different parts in a balanced way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
a perspective of the entire block
The penthouse window gives a perspective on half the city.
perspective = view
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perspective means:
a view — often stressing that the view is different from a view from another location
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 39
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
Library18 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
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
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
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
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