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Rebecca

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
acute pain
once I had been taken for her daughter, an acute embarrassment for us both.
acute = sharp (intense)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute means:
sharp (severe or strong) — usually negative
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
an acute angle
She kept her foot permanently on the accelerator, and took every corner at an acute angle.
acute angle = sharp
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute angle means:
ending in a narrow point or angle; or describing an angle measuring less than 90 degrees
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
austere
4 uses
...the silence made it harder, more austere.
austere = uncomfortable
DefinitionGenerally austere means:
a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

or:

of a person:  stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
bewilder
13 uses
This sudden talk of marriage bewildered me, even shocked me I think.
bewildered = confused
DefinitionGenerally bewilder means:
to confuse someone
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
contrast   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
contrast their writing styles
And when the last rocket burst and the cheering died away, the night that had been fine before seemed dull and heavy in contrast, the sky became a pall.
in contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
there is a contrast
I thought of all those heroines of fiction who looked pretty when they cried, and what a contrast I must make with blotched and swollen face, and red rims to my eyes.
contrast = an unmissable difference when compared side-x-side
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
a difference — especially a notable difference; or the side-x-side arrangement of things that draws attention to an unmissable difference
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
convention
13 uses
1  —13 uses as in:
conventional behavior
Safe, conventional, very correct.
conventional = normal or typical
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
correspond   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
corresponding time period
We went along a broad, carpeted passage, and then turned left, through an oak door, and down a narrow flight of stairs and up a corresponding flight, and so to another door.†
corresponding = matching (similar)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspond means:
connect or fit together by being equivalent, proportionate, or matched

(Two things are equivalent if they have the same or very similar value, purpose, or result.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
corresponding by email
Beatrice and I don't correspond unless there's a major event in the family.†
correspond = exchange letters through the mail
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspond means:
communicate by writing letters or email
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
Cupid
14 uses
The china cupid, sir, that stands on the writing-table.
Cupid = Roman mythology:  god of love; a small, winged boy whose arrows make those struck fall in love (in this case a small china statue)
Word Statistics
Book14 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
deliberate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deliberate insult
holes were bored in the boat with the deliberate intent of letting in the water so that the boat should sink.
deliberate = intentional (on purpose with forethought)
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 useChapter 22
Web Links
direct   (4 meanings)
4 meanings, 18 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
depart directly
I can't explain why on the telephone, but you shall hear everything directly you come.†
directly = as soon as
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
without delay, or in the quickest manner, or without going somewhere else first
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
'I should feel inclined,' he said, not looking directly at us, 'to get away for a bit.'†
directly = straight (focusing where stated rather than including it as part of a larger focus; or a careful look rather than a quick glance)
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
Book3 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
3  —5 uses as in:
was direct in my instructions
Indirectly of course she's the cause of my coming.†
indirectly = in a complicated, non-obvious manner

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in indirectly means not and reverses the meaning of directly. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
4  —3 uses as in:
directed the jury to...
Once we had passed Hampstead he drew out a large-scale map from his coat-pocket and began directing Maxim to Barnet.†
directing = giving directions to
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discordant music
It struck a shrill, discordant note.
discordant = unpleasant sounding
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
unpleasant sound — especially a combination of sounds that sound wrong together (though sometimes done intentionally in music)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
furtive
13 uses
I tried to cram the box furtively into my pocket, but I saw him glance at my hand in surprise.
furtively = taking pains to avoid being observed
DefinitionGenerally furtive means:
taking pains to avoid being observed

or:

in a manner indicating nervousness (being cautious or appearing suspicious)
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
indifferent
12 uses
our little hotel is dull, and the food indifferent,
indifferent = not especially good (without 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
Book12 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
inquest
19 uses
All you have to concentrate on is your statement at the inquest.
inquest = formal investigation
DefinitionGenerally inquest means:
a formal inquiry or investigation — typically into the cause of an undesirable event — often an investigation of an unexpected death
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
scorn
9 uses
Still her eyes never left my face; they looked upon me with a curious mixture of pity and of scorn, until I felt myself to be even younger and more untutored to the ways of life than I had believed.
scorn = disrespect or rejection
DefinitionGenerally scorn means:
disrespect or reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
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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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