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Story of My Life

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
acute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
acute pain
He had had a short illness, there had been a brief time of acute suffering, then all was over.
acute = sharp (very bad)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute means:
sharp (severe or strong) — usually negative
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
avarice
1 use
I know my learned professors have found greater riches in the Iliad than I shall ever find; but I am not avaricious.
avaricious = greedy (excessively interested in riches)
DefinitionGenerally avarice means:
excessive desire for wealth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
capricious
3 uses
Mildred and I grew into each other's hearts, so that we were content to go hand-in-hand wherever caprice led us,
caprice = impulse (whim or sudden desire)
DefinitionGenerally capricious means:
impulsive or unpredictable or tending to make sudden changes — especially impulsive behavior
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
consequence   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
I was familiar with the story of Troy before I read it in the original, and consequently I had little difficulty in...
consequently = resultantly (as a result)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
of little consequence
I must have read parts of many books (in those early days I think I never read any one book through) and a great deal of poetry in this uncomprehending way, until I discovered "Little Lord Fauntleroy," which was the first book of any consequence I read understandingly.
consequence = importance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
importance or relevance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
devious
1 use
She made raised maps in clay, so that I could feel the mountain ridges and valleys, and follow with my fingers the devious course of rivers.
devious = circuitous or indirect

(editor's note:  This is a less common sense of devious which usually means deceitful.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of devious means:
deceitful (not honest and straightforward) — often in a complicated, clever manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
discriminate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discriminating taste
It is most perplexing and exasperating that just at the moment when you need your memory and a nice sense of discrimination, these faculties take to themselves wings and fly away.
discrimination = the process of recognizing differences — especially fine distinctions

(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 this sense of discriminate means:
to recognize or perceive differences — especially fine distinctions
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
divine
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
to forgive is divine
For one wild, glad moment we snapped the chain that binds us to earth, and joining hands with the winds we felt ourselves divine!
divine = wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
forbearance
1 use
He was always gentle and forbearing, no matter how dull I might be, and believe me, my stupidity would often have exhausted the patience of Job.
forbearing = patient

(editor's note:  "The patience of Job", where Job is pronounced with a long "o", is a common phrase referring to a character in the Bible who showed great patience.)
DefinitionGenerally forbearance means:
refraining (holding back) from acting

or:

patience, tolerance, or self-control
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
gesticulate
1 use
I moved my lips and gesticulated frantically without result.
gesticulated = made gestures (hand or body movements) to express something
DefinitionGenerally gesticulate means:
to make gestures (hand or body movements) while speaking or to express something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
luminous
4 uses
But during the first nineteen months of my life I had caught glimpses of broad, green fields, a luminous sky, trees and flowers which the darkness that followed could not wholly blot out.
luminous = glowing or shining

(also used metaphorically to describe beauty or intelligence)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
perplex
7 uses
My parents were deeply grieved and perplexed.
perplexed = confused or puzzled
DefinitionGenerally perplex means:
to confuse
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
pervasive
2 uses
This thought pervades all German literature
pervades = is spread throughout
DefinitionGenerally pervasive means:
existing throughout something; or generally widespread
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
poignant
1 use
Besides, many of the joys and sorrows of childhood have lost their poignancy;
poignancy = intense emotional feeling
DefinitionGenerally poignant means:
sharp or intense — typically arousing deep emotion such as sadness, but possibly having or creating a sharp smell, taste, or insight
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
revere
3 uses
my spirit reverently follows them into the regions where Beauty and Truth and Goodness are one.
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
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
scrupulous
1 use
I was still excessively scrupulous about everything I wrote.
scrupulous = careful and diligent
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 15
Web Links
serene
3 uses
In a thousand ways they have turned my limitations into beautiful privileges, and enabled me to walk serene and happy in the shadow cast by my deprivation.
serene = calm and untroubled
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
Shakespeare
11 uses
But, with all my love for Shakespeare, it is often weary work to read all the meanings into his lines which critics and commentators have given them.
Shakespeare = author widely regarded as the greatest in the English language and whose works include Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet
DefinitionGenerally this sense of Shakespeare means:
English dramatist and poet frequently cited as the greatest writer in the English language and who wrote such works as Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet (1564-1616)
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
tangible
3 uses
Mr. Higinbotham, President of the World's Fair, kindly gave me permission to touch the exhibits, and .... I took in the glories of the Fair with my fingers. It was a sort of tangible kaleidoscope .... Everything fascinated me, especially the French bronzes.
tangible = capable of being touched
DefinitionGenerally tangible means:
capable of being touched, or easily understood so there is no question of its value or reality
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
tedious
2 uses
In order, therefore, not to be tedious I shall try to present in a series of sketches only the episodes that seem to me to be the most interesting and important.
tedious = boring or monotonous
DefinitionGenerally tedious means:
boring — especially because something goes on too long or without variation
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
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