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Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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adjacent
1 use
They climbed down into adjacent holes, and waited for the camp to fall asleep.
adjacent = nearby (close to each other)
From page 197.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally adjacent means:
very near — often directly beside
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 43, p.197.9
Web Links
appreciate
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
I appreciate her efforts.
But if you want to buy a few extra onions for Mary Lou, I'm sure she'd appreciate it.
appreciate = be grateful
From page 179.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of appreciate means:
to recognize the value or importance of

and/or:

to be grateful for
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20, p.88.2
Web Links
appropriate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
it is appropriate
He used to think he wanted to work for the F.B.I., but this didn't seem the appropriate place to mention that.
appropriate = right (suitable or fitting)
From page 57.5  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of appropriate means:
suitable (fitting) for a particular situation
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 12, p.57.5
Web Links
assume
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I assume it's true
I assume the phone works.
assume = accept as true (without really knowing)
From page 220.4  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assume means:
to accept something as true without proof
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library67 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 48, p.220.4
Web Links
bacteria
5 uses
...he hoped, that he didn't get any of the bad bacteria.
bacteria = tiny organisms so small it takes a microscope to see them
From page 163.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally bacteria means:
microorganisms (living creatures so small it takes a microscope to see them) that can both cause disease and be beneficial. They are different and larger than viruses.
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 35, p.157.3
Web Links
comprehend
2 uses
It took a moment for Stanley to comprehend.
comprehend = understand
From page 175.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally comprehend means:
to understand something — especially to understand it completely
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library20 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 39, p.175.7
Web Links
delirium
6 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
fever induced delirium
He was delirious when he said it.
delirious = mentally confused
From page 128.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of delirium means:
a usually brief state of mental confusion often accompanied by hallucinations
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 29, p.128.8
Web Links
desolate
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a desolate place
The land was barren and desolate.
desolate = empty, providing no shelter, water, or food
From page 11.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of desolate means:
empty, providing no shelter or sustenance
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4, p.11.7
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she felt despair
It was the bitter smell of despair. Even if he could somehow climb Big Thumb, he knew he wouldn't find water.
despair = hopelessness
From page 171.3  Typical Usage
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
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 38, p.171.3
Web Links
distinct
2 uses
They were still too far away to see the camp, but he could hear a blend of indistinct voices.
indistinct = not clear or easily identifiable

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in indistinct means not and reverses the meaning of distinct. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
From page 196.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally distinct means:
clear, easily noticed, and/or identifiable as different or separate
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library30 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 43, p.196.8
Web Links
eviction
2 uses
In her last letter, his mom was worried that they might be evicted from their apartment because of the smell of burning sneakers.
evicted = forced to move out (by the owner of the building)
From page 190.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally eviction means:
the process of forcing someone to leave a place — typically from a home due to non-payment
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 43, p.190.7
Web Links
excavate
2 uses
[The dirt] expanded when it was excavated. The piles were a lot bigger than his hole was deep.
excavated = dug out
From page 34.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally excavate means:
to dig out
in various senses, including:
  • remove or lay bare — as when removing top soil to lay a foundation
  • find or uncover — as at an archaeological site
  • remove a part — as a tooth from the gum that surrounds it
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7, p.34.1
Web Links
fugitive
2 uses
It would mean living the rest of his life as a fugitive.
fugitive = someone hiding from police
From page 188.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of fugitive means:
someone who is running away or hiding to avoid arrest or an unpleasant situation
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 42, p.188.2
Web Links
initiate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
initiate discussions
The A.G. will most likely initiate an investigation.
initiate = start
From page 208.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of initiate means:
to cause (something) to begin
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 46, p.208.3
Web Links
neutral
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a carbon-neutral building
Made from all natural ingredients, it neutralizes odor-causing fungi and bacteria.
neutralizes = makes something have no effect

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word to a verb. This is the same pattern you see in words like apologize, theorize, and dramatize.)
From page 232.5  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of neutral means:
not affected by; or does not affect
The expression [x] neutral means two things do not affect each other. More specifically, it means one of two things depending upon context:
  • something is not affected by x — for example "a revenue neutral tax plan" does not affect the amount of revenue collected. (It might raise taxes in one area and reduce them in another so that the total tax revenue is unchanged.)
  • something does not affect x — for example "a carbon neutral home" is a home that does not affect carbon. Part of its design might include using solar energy to control climate rather than burning fossil fuels.
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 50, p.232.5
Web Links
recite
3 uses
He recited the alphabet for Zero, then Zero repeated it without a single mistake.
recited = said out loud
From page 97.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally recite means:
to say or read something aloud — especially something previously memorized such as a poem

or:

to say in detail — especially a list of things
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library23 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16, p.76.9
Web Links
refuge
6 uses
If there was no water, no refuge, then they'd have nothing, not even hope.
refuge = safe place
From page 167.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally refuge means:
something giving protection — especially a safe place
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21, p.93.1
Web Links
subtle
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a subtle difference or thinker
But those changes are subtle and hard to measure.
subtle = difficult to notice
From page 230.2  Typical Usage
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
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 50, p.230.2
Web Links
tedious
3 uses
But it would be boring to go through all the tedious details of all the changes in their lives.
tedious = boring
From page 230.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally tedious means:
boring — especially because something goes on too long or without variation
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 50, p.230
Web Links
trace
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
found a trace of
"Yes, it is," the Warden agreed, with just a trace of disappointment in her voice.
trace = small amount
From page 214.6  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trace means:
a small quantity; or any indication or evidence of
The exact meaning of this sense of trace depends upon its context. For example:
  • a small indication that something was present — as in "The plane disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean without leaving a trace."
  • a very small amount of something — as in "The blood test showed a trace of steroids."
  • any evidence of something — as in "We did not find a trace of the gene."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 47, p.214.6
Web Links
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