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Flowers for Algernon -- Short Story

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

instructions
acquire
2 uses
Children acquire language at an amazing rate.
acquire = obtain (get)
DefinitionGenerally acquire means:
obtain (come into the possession of something)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useSection 3, p.17.1
Web Links
amnesia
2 uses
The movie is about a woman who suffers amnesia and doesn't even remember her husband.
amnesia = loss of memory
DefinitionGenerally amnesia means:
loss of memory (partial or total)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSection 4, p.17.9
Web Links
conscious
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
the conscious mind
In that kind of situation, there's no time for conscious thought. You just have to react instinctively.
conscious = mental activity of which one is self-aware
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSection 2, p.6.3
Web Links
contrary
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
contrary to
Contrary to popular belief, the largest pyramid is in Mexico—not Egypt.
contrary to = in opposition to
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSection 3, p.13.7
Web Links
despise
1 use
She despises the people he has to work for.
despises = dislikes strongly and looks down upon
DefinitionGenerally despise means:
to dislike strongly and to look down upon with disrespect
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSection 2, p.13.3
Web Links
deteriorate
5 uses
The situation could quickly deteriorate.
deteriorate = become worse
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSection 4, p.19
Web Links
function
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
Its main function is to...
The function of the lens of the eye is to focus light on the retina.
function = job or purpose
DefinitionGenerally this sense of function means:
purpose, job, or natural activity
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useSection 4, p.17.3
Web Links
illiterate
1 use
She is functionally illiterate, so she will need help filling out the employment application.
illiterate = unable to read or write
DefinitionGenerally illiterate means:
unable to read or write (not literate)

or:

uninformed in a particular field or general subject area
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSection 3, p.15.8
Web Links
impair
2 uses
Alcohol impairs the ability to drive safely.
impairs = makes worse
DefinitionGenerally impair means:
make worse or less effective
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSection 4, p.17.9
Web Links
indicate
2 uses
These maps are drawn with north to the top unless otherwise indicated.
indicated = pointed out (shown)
DefinitionGenerally indicate means:
to show (point out, demonstrate, express, or suggest)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library40 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useSection 4, p.17.9
Web Links
laboratory
7 uses
We've had success in the laboratory, but are a long way from treating patients.
laboratory = a workplace where people do scientific or medical research
DefinitionGenerally laboratory means:
a workplace where people do scientific or medical research, or produce drugs or chemicals

or (as an adjective): related to such a place
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library33 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSection 2, p.7.2
motivation
1 use
A generous commission structure provides motivation to our salespeople.
motivation = reason for doing something
DefinitionGenerally motivation means:
the reason for doing something; or the level of desire to do something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useSection 3, p.16.5
obscure
1 use
1  —1 use 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
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useSection 4, p.17.8
Web Links
plateau
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
reached a plateau in our growth
She projects that the world's population will plateau at about ten billion people.
plateau = reach a period of little change after more rapid change
DefinitionGenerally this sense of plateau means:
a time of little change after more rapid change — typically to stop increasing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSection 2, p.8.5
Web Links
postscript
2 uses
PS:  Bob just walked through and says hello.
PS = an abbreviation for "postscript" that is placed at the end of a letter (after the signature) to indicate that an additional note follows
DefinitionGenerally postscript means:
a note added to the end of a letter after the signature — usually preceded with "PS:" or "P.S."

or:

any written or spoken addition added after the end of something
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSection 5, p.22.7
Web Links
regress
2 uses
The drug caused tumors to regress in 60% of the patients who were treated.
regress = returned to a former (less advanced) state
DefinitionGenerally regress means:
returning to a former (less advanced) state
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useSection 3, p.17.2
Web Links
subconscious
3 uses
In the experiment, the image flashed too quickly to be seen consciously, but it impacted the subconscious.
subconscious = mental activity of which we are not aware, but which can influence feelings and behavior

(editor's note:  Many people use this as a synonym for unconscious; though experts in the mind may distinguish a difference.)
DefinitionGenerally subconscious means:
mental activity of which one is not aware, but which can influence feelings and behavior; or the part of the mind that engages in such activity
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSection 2, p.6.1
Web Links
tangible
1 use
They set tangible goals.
tangible = clear (easily understood and measured)
DefinitionGenerally tangible means:
capable of being touched, or easily understood so there is no question of its value or reality
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useSection 3, p.13.7
Web Links
technique
5 uses
She developed a new surgical technique that shortens recovery time.
technique = way of doing something
DefinitionGenerally technique means:
a way of doing something
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useSection 2, p.11.6
therefore
1 use
Kim is taller than Ashley. Ashley is taller than Anna. Therefore, Kim is taller than Anna.
therefore = for that reason
DefinitionGenerally therefore means:
for that reason (what follows is so because of what was just said)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library24 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useSection 3, p.13.8
Web Links
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