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In Cold Blood
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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accord   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 20 uses
1  —18 uses as in:
according to, or in accord with
In accordance with the sentence of the court, Smith and Hickock were scheduled to visit the warehouse six weeks hence:
accordance = keeping with
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
in keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library46 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
reached an accord
On that point they were in accord, for Dick had said, "If we get caught, let's get caught together."
accord = agreement
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
an agreement
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
done of her own accord
So I figured, wherever they were, they weren't there of their own accord.
own accord = own mind (voluntarily)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
mind — voluntarily (without anyone asking)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
ascetic
1 use
His suits fitted as though he had borrowed them from a stout friend, and his face, seldom suggestive of his profession, was now not at all so; it could have been that of an ascetic absorbed in occult pursuits.
ascetic = someone who practices self-denial
DefinitionGenerally ascetic means:
someone who practices self-denial (often to encourage spiritual growth); or relating to such self-denial

or:

severely plain (without decoration)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
caustic
1 use
"Yes, it's a disgrace," agrees the caustic, some-what original, and entirely imposing lady who presides over this "But the stamps work, don't they?"
caustic = sarcastic, critical, or harsh
DefinitionGenerally caustic means:
of a chemical substance:  corrosive; capable of destroying or eating away such as a strong acid

or:

of a person:  sarcastic, critical, or harsh
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
contrast
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
it is a contrast
The pioneers who founded Garden City were necessarily a Spartan people, but when the time came to establish a formal cemetery, they were determined, despite arid soil and the troubles of transporting water, to create a rich contrast to the dusty streets, the austere plains.†
contrast = something notably different
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
something noticeably different (compared to something else or to other things)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
credulous
1 use
...the hymn's grave language sung in so credulous a spirit moved him,
credulous = eager belief
DefinitionGenerally credulous means:
gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
defendant
32 uses
In the weeks preceding that date the defense attorneys frequently consulted the defendants.
defendants = people legally accused of a crime
DefinitionGenerally defendant means:
a person or institution legally accused or sued in court
Word Statistics
Book32 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
direct   (5 meanings)
5 meanings, 14 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
One of our beds was directly under my mother and father's room.†
directly = straight (in a straight line)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
—including such senses as:
  • straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • exact (without other factors)
  • close (with other factors minimized)
  • personal (without other people in between)
  • unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • of a look: straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
was direct in my instructions
The Reverend Post survived somewhat longer, for he made no direct attempt to compliment the prisoner, but described sympathetically an encounter with him at Lansing.†
direct = clear
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
directed her question to
For the most part, his rages in the, past have been directed at authority figures-father, brother, Army sergeant, state parole officer-and have led to violent assaultive behavior on several occasions.†
directed = focused
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
to indicate direction; or cause movement or focus in a direction or towards an object — such as
  • to aim a gun or comment at someone
  • to point in a particular direction
  • to focus attention on a particular object
  • to guide or give directions to someone to help them move to a particular place
  • to send someone to a particular place
  • to steer a car, boat, etc.
  • to send a letter to a particular person by putting a name and address on it
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library31 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
4  —2 uses as in:
directed the jury to...
Judge Tate did not entirely deny the motion; rather, he did exactly all the law demanded by appointing a commission of three Garden City doctors and directing them to pronounce a verdict upon the mental capacities of the prisoners.†
directing = instructing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
5  —2 uses as in:
directed the movie
Kenyon was in my sophomore English class, and I'd directed Nancy in the 'Tom Sawyer' play.†
directed = supervised (been in charge of a performance)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
supervise, control, or to be in charge of
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library21 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 8 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
Though dusk had established itself, Dick, doing a steady sixty miles an hour, was still driving without headlights, but then the road was straight, the country was as level as a lake, and other cars were seldom sighted.†
established = settled
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —6 uses as in:
establish that there is a need
Having established premeditation of great degree, Green left the witness to the ministrations of the defense.†
established = proven
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
fastidious
1 use
Both, for example, were fastidious, very attentive to hygiene and the condition of their fingernails.
fastidious = excessively concerned with cleanliness
DefinitionGenerally fastidious means:
giving careful attention to detail

or:

excessively concerned with cleanliness or matters of taste
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
opulent
1 use
its subsequent expansion from a collection of huts and hitching posts into an opulent ranching center with razzle-dazzle saloons, an opera house, and the plushiest hotel anywhere between Kansas City and Denver
opulent = magnificent and luxurious
DefinitionGenerally opulent means:
magnificent and luxurious — usually expensive
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
parole
39 uses
Dick had received his parole on the condition that he reside with his parents;
parole = conditional early release from imprisonment
DefinitionGenerally this sense of parole means:
conditional early release from imprisonment in which a person is required to comply with special conditions
Word Statistics
Book39 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
relevant
3 uses
he had but one contribution to make that was relevant to a claim of temporary insanity.
relevant = relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
testify
15 uses
All I can hope is that some day we'll get a new trial, and Perry will testify and tell the truth.
testify = provide oral evidence in court
DefinitionGenerally testify means:
provide evidence of something — especially to say something under oath in a court of law
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
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