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The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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compel
9 uses
I was compelled to deliver every cent of that money to Master Hugh.
compelled = forced
DefinitionGenerally compel means:
to force someone to do something

or more rarely:

to convince someone to do something
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
consequence   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 13 uses
1  —12 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
The very decided manner with which he spoke, and strove to impress his wife with the evil consequences of giving me instruction, served to convince me that he was deeply sensible of the truths he was uttering.
consequences = results
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
of little consequence
The whisper that my master was my father, may or may not be true; and, true or false, it is of but little consequence to my purpose whilst the fact remains, in all its glaring odiousness, that slaveholders have ordained, and by law established, that the children of slave women shall in all cases follow the condition of their mothers;
consequence = importance or significance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
importance or relevance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
contend   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 6 uses
1  —1 use as in:
She contended that...
When Colonel Lloyd's slaves met the slaves of Jacob Jepson, they seldom parted without a quarrel about their masters; Colonel Lloyd's slaves contending that he was the richest, and Mr. Jepson's slaves that he was the smartest, and most of a man.
contending = claiming
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contend means:
to claim that something is true
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
She contended with it
The thought of leaving my friends was decidedly the most painful thought with which I had to contend.
contend = struggle
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contend means:
to struggle
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
3  —2 uses as in:
She contended for the gold medal
I have seen Mary contending with the pigs for the offal thrown into the street.
contending = competing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contend means:
to compete
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
direct   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 5 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
depart directly
I was ever on the look-out for means of escape; and, finding no direct means, I determined to try to hire my time, with a view of getting money with which to make my escape.
direct = immediate
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
without delay, or in the quickest manner, or without going somewhere else first
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
Directly opposite to us, on Philpot Street, lived Mr. Thomas Hamilton.
directly = close (without anything in between)
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
Book2 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
directed the jury to...
Upon reaching New Bedford, we were directed to the house of Mr. Nathan Johnson,
directed = given directions
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
dispose   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 10 uses
1  —1 use as in:
dispose of the matter
In this dialogue, the whole argument in behalf of slavery was brought forward by the master, all of which was disposed of by the slave.
disposed = settled (in this case, argued so effectively that both sides agreed)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
to settle something so it no longer requires attention
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
dispose of the assets
Cut off thus unexpectedly, he left no will as to the disposal of his property.
disposal = transfer
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
sell or transfer to another
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
3  —8 uses as in:
Is she disposed to help?
He too, at first, seemed disposed to refuse; but, after some reflection, he granted me the privilege,
disposed = inclined (having a state of mind that favors doing something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
inclined (with a tendency to; or in the mood to)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
illustrate
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
as illustrated by this example
...and is whipped for being hard to please! I have an abundance of such illustrations of the same principle, drawn from my own observation, but think the cases I have cited sufficient.
illustrations = stories to clarify or demonstrate

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tions", converts a verb into a plural noun that denotes results of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in actions, illustrations, and observations.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
passage
1 use
I have seen him tie up a lame young woman, and whip her with a heavy cowskin upon her naked shoulders, causing the warm red blood to drip; and, in justification of the bloody deed, he would quote this passage of Scripture—"He that knoweth his master's will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes."
passage = a short part of a longer written work
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
pious   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 11 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
When I went there, she was a pious, warm, and tender-hearted woman.
pious = highly moral
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
2  —8 uses as in:
a pious hypocrite
It is said to have been drawn, several years before the present anti-slavery agitation began, by a northern Methodist preacher, who, while residing at the south, had an opportunity to see slaveholding morals, manners, and piety, with his own eyes.
piety = self-righteous belief (believing one is highly moral when it is not true)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
self-righteous (acting as though one is, or believing one is highly moral when it is not true)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAppe
Web Links
resolve   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 11 uses
1  —9 uses as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
He resolved to put me out, as he said, to be broken; and, for this purpose, he let me for one year to a man named Edward Covey.
resolved = decided
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
Her resolve weakened.
I did not allow myself a single word; but was resolved, if he laid the weight of his hand upon me, it should be blow for blow.
resolved = determined
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 useChapter 10
Web Links
sustain   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
sustained by her faith
The reading of these documents enabled me to utter my thoughts, and to meet the arguments brought forward to sustain slavery;
sustain = support
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
provide support or necessities
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
sustained wounds
The appalling defeat I then sustained returned to torment me.
sustained = suffered
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
to suffer (as of injury, damage, or loss)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
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