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Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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agitate
5 uses
We are agitating public unrest, so there will be a cry for change.
agitating = stirring up emotions to increase unrest
DefinitionGenerally agitate means:
to stir up or shake — emotionally (as when people are angered or upset) or physically (as when a washing machine cleans clothes)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 1
Web Links
arbor
6 uses
The arbor provided a shady resting place in the park.
arbor = a framework that supports climbing plants
DefinitionGenerally this sense of arbor means:
a framework that supports climbing plants; or a shady rest area made by such a framework or by trees and shrubs
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
chastise
5 uses
She said the United Nations resolution amounted to chastising Israel for wanting to exist.
chastising = criticizing
DefinitionGenerally chastise means:
to scold or criticize
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
countenance
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
giving countenance
We will not countenance torture.
countenance = to tolerate or approve
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
to tolerate, approve, or show favor or support
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
I defer to her expertise.
defer = submit
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
submit or yield (typically to another person's opinion because of respect for that person or their knowledge)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 1
Web Links
deliberate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
deliberate insult
She didn't forget. She deliberately skipped the meeting.
deliberately = intentionally
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deliberate means:
to do something intentionally (do it on purpose)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a deliberate thinker
She is a deliberate thinker—not the fastest, but always thorough.
deliberate = careful and slow
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deliberate means:
done with great care — often slowly
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
devious
1 use
It is a devious plan.
devious = deceitful and clever
DefinitionGenerally this sense of devious means:
deceitful (not honest and straightforward) — often in a complicated, clever manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
disdain
1 use
She tries to be polite, but cannot hide her disdain for authority.
disdain = lack of respect
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
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 3
Web Links
divert
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
divert her attention
It was seen as an attempt to divert attention from the scandal.
divert = distract or turn

(Editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in undiverted means not and reverses the meaning of diverted. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divert means:
to distract someone's attention or (more rarely) to entertain
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
dominate
2 uses
The defending World Champions dominated their unranked opponent.
dominated = controlled (were much more powerful than)
DefinitionGenerally dominate means:
to control; or to be most influential, powerful, abundant, important, or conspicuous
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 1
Web Links
fugitive
9 uses
She is one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.
fugitives = people running away or hiding to avoid arrest
DefinitionGenerally this sense of fugitive means:
someone who is running away or hiding to avoid arrest or an unpleasant situation
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
indifferent
4 uses
About a third are in favor of the change, a third are opposed, and a third are indifferent.
indifferent = without 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
Book4 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 2
Web Links
malevolent
1 use
She tells vicious lies and spreads malevolent rumors.
malevolent = evil
DefinitionGenerally malevolent means:
evil
  • of a person — wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
  • of a thing — exerting an evil or harmful influence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
oblige   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 7 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
I am obliged by law.
The law obliges doctors to report suspected child abuse.
obliges = requires
DefinitionGenerally this sense of oblige means:
require (obligate) to do something
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
I obliged her every request.
She asked for help and we obliged her.
obliged = granted a favor to
DefinitionGenerally this sense of oblige means:
grant a favor to someone
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
render   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
rendered her unconscious
Her verbal attack rendered me speechless.
rendered = made
DefinitionGenerally this sense of render means:
to make or cause to become
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
rendered interpretation
The pianist rendered the Beethoven sonata beautifully.
rendered = played (portrayed or gave her interpretation of)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of render means:
to portray or create something in a particular way; or to interpret, translate, or extract from
The exact meaning of this sense of render depends upon its context. For example:
  • "Each artist will render a different interpretation when painting a portrait." — create in a particular way
  • "A Supreme Court judge may render his own interpretation of the Constitution." — interpret in a particular way
  • "The computer you are using, rendered this page from software instructions." — created through interpretation
  • "A graph is rendered from the underlying data." — made
  • "Fat can be rendered (extracted) by cooking meat slowly." — extracted from
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
resolve
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
Her resolve weakened.
She never waivered in her resolve to attend a good college.
resolve = determination (firmness of purpose)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
firmness of purpose (strong determination to do something)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
righteous
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a righteous cause
The extremism is fed by unquestioned belief in the righteousness of their cause.
righteousness = moral correctness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of righteous means:
morally correct; or morally justified

or:

acting or feeling morally superior — especially when it isn't true (this meaning is more typically seen as a compound word beginning with "self-")
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
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