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Hatchet

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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altitude
3 uses
...the plane clawed for altitude, jerking and sliding on the wind currents as the pilot took off,
altitude = elevation (to rise higher)
DefinitionGenerally altitude means:
elevation (height) — typically above sea level or above the earth's surface

or:

(metaphorically) a desirable height
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
audible
1 use
The pilot's words were a hiss, barely audible.
audible = capable of being heard
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
camouflage
1 use
The birds were everywhere ... and their camouflage was so perfect that it was possible for Brian to sit and rest, leaning against a tree, with one of them standing right in front of him in a willow clump, two feet away, hidden, only to explode into deafening flight just when Brian least expected it.
camouflage = the act of hiding something by making it blend in with its surroundings; or hiding the truth; or something that hides or deceives
DefinitionGenerally camouflage means:
the act of hiding something by making it blend in with its surroundings

or:

hiding the truth

or:

something that hides or deceives
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
comprised
1 use
He moved to the top of the rock ridge that comprised the bluff over his shelter and was pleased to find a large, flat stone area.
comprised = made up
DefinitionGenerally comprised means:
made up of (composed of); or included
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
contract
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
the metal contracted
his legs contracted up, up into the seat,
contracted = shortened (in this case, the muscles of the legs pull to shorten and thus pull the legs closer to the hips)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contract means:
when something gets shorter or smaller
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
direct   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 8 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
Directly across the lake from it, at the inside corner of the L, was a mound of sticks and mud rising up out of the water a good eight or ten feet.†
directly = close
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The road runs directly to Las Vegas." — straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • "It was a direct hit." — exact
  • "The plant is in direct sunlight." — unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • "She wants a direct meeting with him." — personal (without other people in between)
  • "She paid direct attention to what he was reading." — close
  • "a direct gaze" — straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
was direct in my instructions
The foolbird sat still for him and he did not look directly at it until he drew the second arrow and aimed and released and missed again.†
directly = in a straightforward manner (clearly without any ambiguity)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
dormant
1 use
The hunger, always there, had been somewhat controlled and dormant when there was nothing to eat but with the eggs came the scream to eat.
dormant = quiet (inactive)
DefinitionGenerally dormant means:
not active or growing, but capable of doing so in the future
in various senses, including:
  • a volcano that is not erupting and not extinct
  • a plant not growing in the winter
  • a disease that is not currently causing harm or growing worse, but which is not cured and might grow worse in the future
  • a person's talents or feelings that are yet to be realized
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
exasperated
2 uses
They exasperated him to the point where they were close to driving him insane.
exasperated = annoyed
DefinitionGenerally exasperated means:
greatly annoyed
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
impair
1 use
He thought that he might be permanently blind, or at least impaired, and that would have been the end.
impaired = less effective (in this case, at seeing)
DefinitionGenerally impair means:
make worse or less effective
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
incessant
1 use
The flames cut the cool damp morning, crackled and did much to bring his spirits up, not to mention chasing away the incessant mosquitoes.
incessant = continuously annoying
DefinitionGenerally incessant means:
continuous — often in an annoying way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
literally
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
literally--not figuratively
He stood away from the eggs for a moment, literally stood and turned away so that he could not see them.
literally = actually (not just figuratively)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of literally means:
actually true using the basic meaning of the words (not an exaggeration, metaphor, or other type of figurative speech)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
oblivious
1 use
...he had fallen asleep sitting against his shelter wall, oblivious even to the mosquitoes,
oblivious = not giving notice (unaware of)
DefinitionGenerally oblivious means:
unaware of
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
persistent
1 use
A persistent whine, like the insects only more steady with an edge of a roar to it, was in his ears...
persistent = continuing
DefinitionGenerally persistent means:
continuing — especially despite difficulties or opposition
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
positive
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
a positive attitude
And the next thought was there as well, that they might never find him, but that was panic and he fought it down and tried to stay positive.†
positive = optimistic
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
optimistic (expecting or focusing good things); or agreeable
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
sprain
3 uses
He rubbed his arms; nothing seemed to be shattered or even sprained all that badly.
sprained = stretched to the point of injuring the ligaments that connect the bones
DefinitionGenerally sprain means:
injury to the ligaments of a joint caused by stretching them too far — most commonly injuring the ankle

(ligaments are the tough, fibrous bands that connect bones across joints)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
turbulent
2 uses
...the plane hit a small bit of turbulence.
turbulence = irregular wind (causing sudden jerks)
DefinitionGenerally turbulent means:
a state of disturbance and disorder

or:

of liquid or gas:  rough (rapid and irregular flow)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
unwitting
1 use
The pilot who landed so suddenly in the lake was a fur buyer mapping Cree trapping camps for future buying runs, drawn by Brian when he unwittingly turned on the emergency transmitter and left it going.
unwittingly = accidentally
DefinitionGenerally unwitting means:
not intentional (without knowledge)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useEpil.
Web Links
virtual
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
virtual organization
surrounded by a virtual cloud of small fish
virtual = almost a (in this case, fish almost like a cloud)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of virtual means:
to almost be something; or to effectively be something without entirely being it in a traditional sense
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
wither
1 use
His lips were cracked and felt as if they were bleeding and if he did not drink some water soon he felt that he would wither up and die.
wither = shrivel (wrinkle and contract from lack of water)
DefinitionGenerally wither means:
to shrivel (wrinkle and contract — usually from lack of water)

or:

to become weaker; or feel humiliated
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
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