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Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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affectation
2 uses
All his interests they treated as affectations.
affectations = things done only to make an impression
DefinitionGenerally affectation means:
behaving in an artificial way to make an impression
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.3
Web Links
candid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
your candid opinion
"Then what are you going to do about it?" she asked candidly.
candidly = with honesty and directness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3.1
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she felt despair
It seemed strange that ... the feeling which gave one of them such happiness should bring the other such despair.
despair = distress (at inability to improve a bad situation)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of despair means:
hopelessness; or distress (such as extreme worry or sadness from feeling powerless to change a bad situation)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.9
Web Links
despondent
3 uses
a few years ago she got despondent and said life was just the same thing over and over, and she didn't see the use of it.
despondent = depressed
DefinitionGenerally despondent means:
emotionally depressed — especially a feeling of grief and hopelessness after a loss
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
digress
1 use
Lou felt that they were wandering from the point, and that in digression Alexandra might unnerve him.
digression = wandering of topic

(editor's note:  unnerve him means to make him lose confidence)
DefinitionGenerally digress means:
wander from a direct or straight course — typically verbally
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.10
Web Links
disdain
1 use
He was tall and fair, with splendid teeth and close-cropped yellow curls, and he wore a slightly disdainful expression, proper for a young man with high connections, whose mother had a big farm in the Elbe valley.
disdainful = sense of superiority
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 useChapter 2.7
Web Links
dubious
1 use
Carl stopped the horses and looked dubiously up at the black sky.
dubiously = suspiciously (in this case, suspecting bad weather)
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful
in various senses, including:
  • doubtful that something should be relied upon — as in "The argument relies on a dubious assumption."
  • doubtful that something is morally proper — as in "The company is accused of using dubious sales practices to influence minors."
  • bad or of questionable value — as in "The state has the dubious distinction of the highest taxes."
  • doubtful or uncertain — as in "She is dubious about making the change."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
impetuous
1 use
"I'll write as long as I live," cried the boy impetuously.
impetuously = impulsively (without much thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impetuous means:
impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought) — often with an unfortunate consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
incredulous
2 uses
Emil looked incredulous, but he did not dispute the point.
incredulous = unbelieving
DefinitionGenerally incredulous means:
unbelieving; or having difficulty accepting something so unexpected
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.2
Web Links
indifferent
1 use
Angelique did not speak with much anxiety, not because she was indifferent, but because she felt so secure in their good fortune.
indifferent = uninterested
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
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.4
Web Links
indignant
4 uses
Alexandra looked from one to the other, her eyes full of indignation.
indignation = anger at something unjust or wrong

(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 indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.5
Web Links
indolent
1 use
But he was as indolent of mind as he was unsparing of his body.
indolent = lazy
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
mortgage
7 uses
All the time I was a boy we had a mortgage hanging over us.
mortgage = a real estate loan; or pledging something for a loan
DefinitionGenerally mortgage means:
a real estate loan; or to offer real estate as collateral for a loan

(collateral is something that has to be given to the lender if the loan isn't paid as agreed)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
perplex
6 uses
He was a little country boy, and this village was to him a very strange and perplexing place, where people wore fine clothes and had hard hearts.
perplexing = confusing
DefinitionGenerally perplex means:
to confuse
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
persist
4 uses
There was one fancy indeed, which persisted through her girlhood.
persisted = continued
DefinitionGenerally persist means:
to continue — often despite difficulty
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
petulant
1 use
"I'm angry with you, Emil," she broke out with petulance.
petulance = unreasonably upset
DefinitionGenerally petulant means:
unreasonably annoyed or upset

or:

easily annoyed or upset
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 4.1
Web Links
prudent
2 uses
When he heard his daughter's announcement, he first prudently corked his beer bottle and then leaped to his feet and had a turn of temper.
prudently = with good sense and caution
DefinitionGenerally prudent means:
sensible and careful
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.7
Web Links
resolute
4 uses
His sister was a tall, strong girl, and she walked rapidly and resolutely, as if she knew exactly where she was going and what she was going to do next.
resolutely = with firm purpose
DefinitionGenerally resolute means:
firm in purpose or belief
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
scrupulous
1 use
He married an unscrupulous woman,
unscrupulous = unethical

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unscrupulous means not and reverses the meaning of scrupulous. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.3
Web Links
skeptical
3 uses
Lou looked skeptical.
skeptical = doubtful (unbelieving)
DefinitionGenerally skeptical means:
doubtful (that something is true or worthwhile)

or more rarely:

generally tending to doubt what others believe
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
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