toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books
Book Menu

Beloved

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
agitate
5 uses
It took them days to get the story properly blown up and themselves agitated and then to calm down and assess the situation.
agitated = stirred up (excited)
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
Yonder, not far, was a grape arbor Mr. Garner made.
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
Schoolteacher had chastised that nephew,
chastised = scolded or criticized
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
Sethe's crime was staggering and her pride outstripped even that; but she could not countenance the possibility of sin moving on in the house, unleashed and sassy.
countenance = 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
Deferring to his slaves' opinions did not deprive him of authority or power.
deferring = submitting or yielding
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
Instead of sighs and accidents there was pointed and deliberate abuse.
deliberate = intentional
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
Braced and heartened by that easy encounter, she picked up speed and began to look deliberately at the neighborhood surrounding her.
deliberately = with great care
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
Unfortunately her brain was devious.
devious = 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
Maybe they were sorry for the years of their own disdain. Maybe they were simply nice people who could hold meanness toward each other for just so long and...
disdain = disrespect and rejection
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 only a tiny disturbance anyway—not strong enough to divert her from the ambition welling in her now:
divert = distract

(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
she noticed neither competition between the two nor domination by one.
domination = control (of the other)

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", 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 action, education, and observation.)
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
his rifle ready, his eyes trained away from the house to the left and to the right, because likely as not the fugitive would make a dash for it.
fugitive = someone who is running away or hiding from police
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
...listening in the dark for groans of life in the indifferent silence of the dead.
indifferent = unconcerned (showing no 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 shouted and gave him a look so malevolent Denver touched her arm.
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.
Perhaps it was the smile, or maybe the ever-ready love she saw in his eyes—easy and upfront, the way colts, evangelists and children look at you: with love you don't have to deserve—that made her go ahead and tell him what she had not told Baby Suggs, the only person she felt obliged to explain anything to.
obliged = required (to do something)
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.
And Sethe would oblige her with anything from fabric to her own tongue.
oblige = grant a favor
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
The barker called them and their children names ... but the food on his vest and the hole in his pants rendered it fairly harmless.
rendered = made or caused to become

(editor's note:  According to Wikipedia, Pickaninny is a potentially offensive derogatory term which refers to children of black descent or a racial caricature thereof.)
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
churned butter, rendered fat, laid fires....
rendered = extracted from (in this case melting fat down to lard)
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.
Resolve, he thought. That was all it took, and...
resolve = 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
...colored with righteous resentment at what could have been his cowardice, or stupidity or bad luck
righteous = justified (or feeling justified)
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
Go to Book Menu
Take Pre-Reading Quiz
SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which is not affiliated with verbalworkout.com™, and does not endorse this site.