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Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abstract
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
abstract thought
If he could have kissed her in abstract purity he would have done so.
abstract = a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstract means:
of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.7
Web Links
aloof
13 uses
But Clara was aloof also from her fellow-workers.
aloof = socially distant — often thinking oneself superior to others
DefinitionGenerally aloof means:
socially distant or uninterested in something that interests others — often thinking oneself superior to others
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.12
Web Links
chagrin
7 uses
She drew back quickly with a cry, half of fear, half of chagrin.
chagrin = embarrassment
DefinitionGenerally chagrin means:
a bad feeling such as embarrassment, disappointment, or annoyance — especially due to a disconcerting event, mistake or other blow to the ego
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.10
Web Links
conjugate
1 use
"Look," he said quietly, "the past participle conjugated with avoir agrees with the direct object when it precedes."
conjugated = changed form (of a verb)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of conjugate means:
grammatical changes of verb forms to agree with other words in a sentence for tense, number, person, and other things

English tense example:
    She writes.
    She is writing.
    She will write tomorrow.
    She has written in the past.
  
English number example:
      Jane is...
      Jane and Susan are...
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
contempt
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
...he treated her distantly, with a touch of contempt.
contempt = dislike (and perhaps disrespect)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.13
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
There was always this feeling of jangle and discord in the Leivers family.
discord = conflict
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.7
Web Links
disdain
5 uses
"Well," said Paul, "if she looks at a man she says haughtily 'Nevermore,' and if she looks at herself in the looking-glass she says disdainfully 'Nevermore,' and if she thinks back she says it in disgust, and if she looks forward she says it cynically."
disdainfully = a lack of respect
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
Book5 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
persist
11 uses
It undermined him quickly; yet he persisted.
persisted = continued
DefinitionGenerally persist means:
to continue — often despite difficulty
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
remonstrate
6 uses
"I didn't arrange it," she remonstrated.
remonstrated = argued in protest
DefinitionGenerally remonstrate means:
argue, complain, or criticize
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.9
Web Links
reproach
16 uses
Miriam was an eternal reproach.
reproach = criticism
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism — especially where a relationship makes the disapproval result in disappointment or shame
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2.12
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
It was the bitter peace of resignation.
resignation = accepted something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
retort
12 uses
"Because you don't understand it," he retorted.
retorted = a quick reply to a question or remark
DefinitionGenerally this sense of retort means:
a quick reply to a question or remark — especially a witty or critical one
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
revere
10 uses
He kissed her hand reverently.
reverently = with feelings of deep respect and admiration
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
scorn
22 uses
She would shrug her shoulders in scorn of his work.
scorn = disrespect or rejection
DefinitionGenerally scorn means:
disrespect or reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book22 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
sensuous
3 uses
His nature was purely sensuous, and she strove to make him moral, religious.
sensuous = relating to pleasure from the body's senses rather than from the intellect
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
subtle   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
a subtle poison
she hated Miriam for having in this subtle way undermined his joy.
subtle = working in an indirect or hidden way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.10
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a subtle shade of blue
The river slid by in a body, utterly silent and swift, intertwining among itself like some subtle, complex creature.
subtle = understated so as not to draw attention to itself
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.12
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
a subtle difference or thinker
These dreams came again later on, developed to a more subtle psychological stage.
subtle = slightly noticeable or difficult to understand
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 useChapter 2.7
Web Links
trifle
10 uses
1  —10 uses as in:
a trifling matter
She wondered why he, who did not usually trouble over trifles, made such a mountain of this molehill.
trifles = unimportant things
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trifle means:
something of small importance; or a small quantity
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.7
Web Links
wistful
11 uses
And the wistfulness of his voice was like a reaching to something, and it was as if she were what he reached with.
wistfulness = full of longing or unfulfilled desire

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
DefinitionGenerally wistful means:
showing longing or unfulfilled desire
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
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