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Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
I defer to her expertise.
defer = submit or yield
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
submit or yield (typically to another person's opinion because of respect for that person or their knowledge)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useBook 1
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discordant music
She described the loud discordant music as a form of torture.
discordant = unpleasant sounding
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
unpleasant sound — especially a combination of sounds that sound wrong together (though sometimes done intentionally in music)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
disdain
7 uses
She tries to be polite, but cannot hide her disdain for authority.
disdain = 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
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useBook 1
Web Links
elated
10 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
Book10 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
fanatic
16 uses
We think it was not a solitary fanatic, but a hired assassin.
fanatic = a person motivated by extreme enthusiasm
DefinitionGenerally fanatic means:
a person motivated by extreme enthusiasm (as for a cause) — sometimes to a fault

or:

extremely enthusiastic — sometimes to a fault
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
futile
6 uses
It was a futile effort that was doomed form the start.
futile = effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
jihad
33 uses
They urged a jihad against Jews and crusaders.
jihad = a holy war waged by Muslims against infidels
DefinitionGenerally jihad means:
a holy war waged by Muslims against infidels; or any relentless battle for a belief

or more rarely:  a holy struggle or striving by a Muslim for a moral, spiritual, or political goal
Word Statistics
Book33 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
obscure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
it obscured my view
The stars are obscured by the clouds.
obscured = hidden or made less visible
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useBook 2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
the view or directions are obscure
For some obscure reason that goes back many years, they don't like each other.
obscure = not clearly understood
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not clearly seen, understood, or expressed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useA2 -
Web Links
?  —1 use
exact meaning not specified
or not quizzed
poise
26 uses
She has great charm and great poise.
poise = composure; or calm confidence — even when under pressure
DefinitionGenerally poise means:
in control or prepared

(see word notes for more detailed definitions based on context)
Word Statistics
Book26 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
prescient
40 uses
She is prescient in her political predictions.
prescient = knowing what will happen before it happens
DefinitionGenerally prescient means:
knowing (or at least expecting) what will happen before it happens
Word Statistics
Book40 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
probe
20 uses
There was a congressional probe into the scandal.
probe = investigation
DefinitionGenerally probe means:
to investigate; or an investigation

or:

any of various instrument used for investigation — such as:
  • an instrument to measure electronic voltage
  • a surgical tool used for examination
  • an unmanned spacecraft used for exploration
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
profound   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
profound idea
She shared a profound way of thinking about the problem.
profound = deep or far-reaching in intellect or consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
Her apology was heartfelt—expressing profound sorrow and regret.
profound = of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useTerm
Web Links
prophecy
22 uses
The prophecy came true.
prophecy = prediction of the future (usually said to be obtained in a supernatural way)
DefinitionGenerally prophecy means:
a prediction of the future (usually said to be obtained in a supernatural way)
Word Statistics
Book22 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
stagnate
3 uses
We don't want the economy to stagnate.
stagnate = stay still or not develop
DefinitionGenerally stagnate means:
staying still or not developing
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
subtle   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
a subtle poison
She is working subtly against us.
subtly = working in an indirect or hidden way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useBook 1
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
a subtle difference or thinker
She used subtle reasoning to expose the absurdity of his argument.
subtle = making use of slight distinctions
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions)

or:

capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useBook 1
Web Links
transitory
1 use
Do not be concerned about mild, transitory symptoms.
transitory = lasting a short time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
treachery
23 uses
Benedict Arnold remains the U.S.'s symbol of ultimate treachery.
treachery = an act of deliberate betrayal
DefinitionGenerally treachery means:
the behavior of someone who pretends to be a friend and then tricks, cheats, or betrays
Word Statistics
Book23 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 3
Web Links
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