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Oedipus King of Thebes (translated by: Murray)

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abridge
1 use
Away to the south a wild and desolate valley opens, running up among the waste places of Helicon, a scene of inexpressible grandeur and desolation" (Jebb, abridged).†
abridged = shortened; or reduced in scope while retaining essential elements
DefinitionGenerally abridge means:
reduce in scope while retaining essential elements — especially to a book
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
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afflict
4 uses
One new as our new-come affliction, Or an old toil returned with the years?†
affliction = something that causes ongoing suffering

(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 afflict means:
cause suffering — such as illness, pain, or unhappiness
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePlay
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anguish
4 uses
She passed like one who flies In very anguish.†
anguish = extreme pain, suffering, or distress
DefinitionGenerally anguish means:
extreme pain, suffering, or distress (of body or mind)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePlay
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askance
1 use
893-916] To ward him secretly From the arrow that slays askance?†
askance = with disapproval or distrust; or directed to one side
DefinitionGenerally askance means:
with disapproval, distrust, or suspicion

or:

directed to one side — especially a sideways glance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
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assuage
1 use
She will assuage it as is well.†
assuage = soothe
DefinitionGenerally assuage means:
to soothe (make something less unpleasant or frightening)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
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banish
7 uses
For Phoebus—thou hast heard withal His message—to our envoy hath decreed One only way of help in this great need: To find and smite with death or banishing, Him who smote Laius, our ancient King.†
banishing = expelling or getting rid of
DefinitionGenerally banish means:
to expel or get rid of
in various senses, including:
  • to force someone to leave a country as punishment
  • to push an idea from the mind
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePlay
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blasphemy
1 use
If such there be, oh, let some doom be given Meet for his ill-starred pride, Who will not gain his gain where Justice is, Who will not hold his lips from blasphemies, Who hurls rash hands amid the things of heaven From man's touch sanctified.†
blasphemies = things said or done that are disrespectful of something considered sacred — especially God or religion
DefinitionGenerally blasphemy means:
something said or done that is disrespectful of something considered sacred — especially God or religion
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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contemporary
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
they are contemporaries
Indeed, considering the general tone of his contemporaries and friends, we may safely assume that he did not.†
contemporaries = people who live or lived at the same time
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contemporary means:
living at the same time

or:

something occurring in the same period of time as something else
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePref.
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exile
4 uses
'tis that, hath kept thee exiled in this place?†
exiled = forced to leave one's homeland
DefinitionGenerally exile means:
to force someone to live outside of their homeland; or living in such a condition

or more rarely:  voluntary absence from a place someone would rather be
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
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fluctuate
1 use
The character of the professional seer or "man of God" has in the imagination of most ages fluctuated between two poles.†
fluctuated = alternately increased and decreased in quantity
DefinitionGenerally fluctuate means:
to alternately increase and decrease in quantity
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePref.
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however
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
However, complications may...
Sophocles does not, however, carry this plan of simply flooding the scene with sudden beauty nearly so far as Euripides does.†
however = a word used to connect contrasting ideas as when using though, in spite of that, in contrast, nevertheless, etc.
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
though (or another expression that connects contrasting ideas)

(Based on idea 1 we might not expect idea 2, but this is a way of saying that even though idea 1 exists, we still have idea 2.  Synonyms include in spite of that, , nevertheless, nonetheless, on the other hand, in contrastand but.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library61 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePlay
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malicious
1 use
I deny not what he saith, My Queen .... with craft and malice practising Against my life.†
malice = the desire to hurt others or see them suffer
DefinitionGenerally malicious means:
wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePlay
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mortal
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
mortal body
And none among mortals, none, Seeking to live, hath won More than to seem, and to cease Again from his seeming.†
mortals = humans (especially merely humans) or people subject to death
DefinitionGenerally this sense of mortal means:
human (especially merely human); or subject to death
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePlay
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perish
1 use
And Holy Earth in her increase perisheth: The child dies and the mother awaketh not.†
perisheth = dies or is destroyed

(Editor's note:  Today, the suffix "-eth" is replaced by "-s", so that where they said "She perisheth" in older English, today we say "She perishes.")
DefinitionGenerally perish means:
to die — especially in an unnatural way

or:

to be destroyed or cease to exist
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePlay
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prophecy
7 uses
Question every cry Of birds, and all roads else of prophecy Thou knowest.†
prophecy = prediction of the future
DefinitionGenerally prophecy means:
a prediction of the future (usually said to be obtained in a supernatural way)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePlay
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scorn
7 uses
—Children, care For this so moves me, I have scorned withal Message or writing: seeing 'tis I ye call, 'tis I am come, world-honoured Oedipus.†
scorned = disrespected or rejected
DefinitionGenerally scorn means:
disrespect or reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePlay
Web Links
subtle
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a subtle difference or thinker
This is partly because the writing of Euripides, being less business-like and more penetrated by philosophic reflections and by subtleties of technique, actually needs more thorough re-casting to express it at all adequately; partly because there is in Sophocles, amid all his passion and all his naturalness, a certain severe and classic reticence, which, though impossible really to reproduce by any method, is less misrepresented by occasional insufficiency than by habitual redundance.†
subtleties = things that are not obvious, but noticeable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions)

or:

capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePref.
Web Links
wrath
10 uses
_ Nay; the wrath of any stone Would rise at him.†
wrath = extreme anger
DefinitionGenerally wrath means:
extreme anger or angry punishment
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePlay
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wrest
1 use
There is my lineage true, which none shall wrest From me; who then am I to fear this quest?†
wrest = obtain with difficult effort or force
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st usePlay
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Zeus
10 uses
A crowd of suppliants of all ages are waiting by the altar in front and on the steps of the Palace; among them the_ PRIEST OF ZEUS.†
Zeus = Greek mythology:  the most supreme of the gods
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePlay
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Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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