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The House of Mirth

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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accord   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 13 uses
1  —10 uses as in:
according to, or in accord with
prices fell in accordance with that peculiar law which proves...
accordance = keeping (or in agreement with)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
in keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
This sense of accord is often seen in the form according to or accordingly where it can take on more specific meanings. For example:
  • "According to Kim, ..." — as stated by
  • "To each according to her ability." — based upon
  • "Points are scored according to how well they perform." — depending upon
  • "The dose is calculated according to body weight." — in proportion to
  • "We got a flat tire. Accordingly, I pulled to the side of the road." — because of what was just said; or as a result
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
done of her own accord
Selden had come of his own accord.
own accord = voluntarily (without someone asking)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
mind
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
accord her the respect deserved
Even such scant civilities as Lily accorded to Mr. Rosedale would have made Miss Stepney her friend for life;
accorded = gave respectfully
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
to give someone special treatment — especially respect
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.11
Web Links
allude
11 uses
She spoke with the intention of making him see that, if his words implied a tentative allusion to her private affairs, she was prepared to meet and repudiate it.
allusion = an indirect reference

(editor's note:  The suffix "-sion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in admission from admit, discussion from discuss, and invasion from invade.)
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
aphorism
1 use
Nothing could have been less consonant with Selden's mood than Van Alstyne's after-dinner aphorisms, but as long as the latter confined himself to generalities his listener's nerves were in control.
aphorisms = short sayings intended to impart wisdom
DefinitionGenerally aphorism means:
a short saying intended to impart wisdom
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.14
Web Links
conjecture
16 uses
there was no time to pause and conjecture
conjecture = think about and form an opinion based on inconclusive evidence
DefinitionGenerally conjecture means:
a conclusion or opinion based on inconclusive evidence; or the act of forming of such a conclusion or opinion
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.14
Web Links
consequence   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 17 uses
1  —16 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
But if you have run into debt, you must suffer the consequences
consequences = results (of that)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.15
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
of little consequence
As became persons of their rising consequence, the Gormers were engaged in building a country-house on Long Island; and it was a part of Miss Bart's duty to attend her hostess on frequent visits of inspection to the new estate.
consequence = importance or significance (often used in that day to refer to wealth)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
importance or relevance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2.6
Web Links
contempt
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
the sudden glimpse into his mocked and broken life disarmed her contempt for his weakness.
contempt = disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
countenance   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
a pleasant countenance
she seated herself with a beaming countenance beside her visitor.
countenance = facial expression
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
facial expression; or face; or composure or manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.13
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
giving countenance
I shall certainly not do anything to give the impression that I countenance your behaviour.
countenance = approve
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
to tolerate, approve, or show favor or support
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.15
Web Links
disdain
12 uses
The faint disdain of her smile seemed to lift her high above her antagonist's reach,
disdain = sense of superiority
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
Book12 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
dispose
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
disposed the troops along...
You see my initiative doesn't go beyond putting myself at your disposal.†
disposal = command

(editor's note:  When something is "at someone's disposal" it is "at their command," or "available for their use." They can use it as they please.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
the arrangement, positioning, or use of things
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
ephemeral
2 uses
Her beauty itself was not the mere ephemeral possession it might have been in the hands of inexperience: her skill in enhancing it, the care she took of it, the use she made of it, seemed to give it a kind of permanence.
ephemeral = lasting only for a short time
DefinitionGenerally ephemeral means:
existing only for a short time
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
indolent
5 uses
All the secret ambitions which Mrs. Gormer's native indolence, and the attitude of her companions, kept in habitual abeyance,
indolence = laziness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
irony   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
situational irony
it struck her now with a peculiar irony that the money she had used had been Gus Trenor's.
irony = when what happened was very different than what might have been expected
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
when what happens is very different than what might be expected; or when things are together that seem like they don't belong together — especially when amusing or an entertaining coincidence
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
verbal irony
she remarked to Miss Bart with a faint touch of irony: "I suppose I ought to say good morning."
irony = saying one thing while meaning the opposite
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
mitigate
11 uses
The dislike, indeed, still subsisted; but it was penetrated here and there by the perception of mitigating qualities in him:
mitigating = making less unpleasant
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.6
Web Links
perceive
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
though blind, can perceive light
but she had a fatalistic sense of being drawn from one wrong turning to another, without ever perceiving the right road till it was too late to take it.
perceiving = seeing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perceive means:
to become aware of — especially by using the senses (to see, hear, smell, feel, or taste)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.12
Web Links
perception
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
perception of external stimuli
In the silence Lily had a clear perception of what was passing through his mind.
perception = sense (understanding)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perception means:
something that someone senses; or the act of sensing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.11
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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