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Ethan Frome

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
allude
3 uses
At our next meeting he made no allusion to the book,
allusion = indirect reference

(editor's note:  In this context, we are to assume that the author only mentions indirect references because there was no direct reference; i.e., there was no reference to the book.)
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
capitulate
1 use
I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its six months' siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter.
capitulating = (that) stopped resisting
DefinitionGenerally capitulate means:
to stop resisting something — such as surrendering to someone else's decision or accepting a military defeat
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useOpen
Web Links
contrast
6 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
there is a contrast
Zeena waited a moment, as if giving him time to feel the full force of the contrast between his own excitement and her composure.†
contrast = difference
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
a difference — especially a notable difference; or the side-x-side arrangement of things that draws attention to an unmissable difference
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useOpen
Web Links
convey
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
convey her thoughts
He luxuriated in the sense of protection and authority which his words conveyed.†
conveyed = communicated or expressed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convey means:
communicate or express
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
correspond
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
corresponding time period
She sat huddled in an arm-chair near the stove, and when I came in she turned her head quickly toward me, without the least corresponding movement of her body.†
corresponding = matching (similar)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspond means:
connect or fit together by being equivalent, proportionate, or matched

(Two things are equivalent if they have the same or very similar value, purpose, or result.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useClose
Web Links
descend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
thieves descended upon us
It seemed to be a part of the thickening darkness, to be the winter night itself descending on us layer by layer.
descending = coming
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
to come or arrive — especially suddenly or from above or as an attack
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useOpen
Web Links
despair   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
she felt despair
To-night the pressure of accumulated misgivings sent the scale drooping toward despair, and her indifference was the more chilling after the flush of joy into which she had plunged him by dismissing Denis Eady.
despair = hopelessness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of despair means:
hopelessness; or distress (such as extreme worry or sadness from feeling powerless to change a bad situation)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
do not despair
Now he thought she understood him, and feared; now he was sure she did not, and despaired.
despaired = lost hope
DefinitionGenerally this sense of despair means:
to lose hope
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
direct   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
was direct in my instructions
I hoped that this incident might set up some more direct communication between us.†
direct = open (talkative and unguarded)
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 useOpen
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
directed the jury to...
He went about his task without knowing what force directed him, or whose hands and feet were fulfilling its orders. It was not till he led out the sorrel and backed him between the shafts of the sleigh that he once more became conscious of what he was doing.†
directed = commanded
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
imply
3 uses
I had been told that Frome was poor ... but I had not supposed him to be in such want as Harmon's words implied
implied = suggested
DefinitionGenerally imply means:
to suggest or say indirectly — possibly as a logical consequence
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useOpen
Web Links
indifferent
9 uses
Ethan tried to hide his joy under an air of exaggerated indifference
indifference = lack of interest
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest
in various senses, including:
  • unconcerned — as in "She is indifferent to what is served to eat."
  • unsympathetic — as in "She is indifferent to his needs."
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context) — as in "an indifferent performance"
  • impartial — as in "We need a judge who is indifferent."
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
latent
2 uses
The sight made him unhappy, and his unhappiness roused his latent fears.
latent = potentially existing but not presently evident or active
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
negative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
had a negative effect
At our next meeting he made no allusion to the book, and our intercourse seemed fated to remain as negative and one-sided as if there had been no break in his reserve.†
negative = bad
DefinitionGenerally this sense of negative means:
bad or harmful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useOpen
Web Links
poignant
2 uses
Such tastes and acquirements in a man of his condition made the contrast more poignant between his outer situation and his inner needs
poignant = sharp or intense
DefinitionGenerally poignant means:
sharp or intense — typically arousing deep emotion such as sadness, but possibly having or creating a sharp smell, taste, or insight
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
reticent
2 uses
any question about her acquaintances brought forth a volume of detail; but on the subject of Ethan Frome I found her unexpectedly reticent.
reticent = reluctant to speak freely
DefinitionGenerally reticent means:
reluctant — especially to speak freely
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useOpen
Web Links
scrupulous
1 use
his scrupulously clean shirt was always fastened by a small diamond stud.
scrupulously = of the shirt:  always carefully (cleaned)
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
taciturn
2 uses
He recalled his mother's growing taciturnity
taciturnity = with a tendency to be reserved and not to talk
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useOpen
Web Links
yield   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
will yield valuable data
I had been told that Frome was poor, and that the saw-mill and the arid acres of his farm yielded scarcely enough to keep his household through the winter; but I had not supposed him to be in such want as Harmon's words implied, and I expressed my wonder.†
yielded = produced
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to produce (usually something wanted); or the thing or amount produced
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useOpen
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
yield to pressure
The answer seemed to satisfy her, or else she yielded to the power of his voice.†
yielded = gave in
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to give in, give way, or give up
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
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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