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The Outsiders

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acquit
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she was acquitted
Then he said I was acquitted and the whole case was closed.
acquitted = officially found "not guilty"
From page 168.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acquit means:
to officially find "not guilty" of criminal charges; or (informally) to find someone innocent of a charge of having done wrong
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12, p.168.9
Web Links
appeal
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
appeals to youthful tastes
But I realized that these three appealed to me because they were like the heroes in the novels I read.
appealed = were attractive
From page 76.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of appeal means:
attractiveness or desirability; or to be attractive or desirable
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5, p.76.5
Web Links
apprehensive
1 use
He was pretty well crocked, which made me apprehensive.
apprehensive = worried

(editor's note:  In this context, crocked means drunk.)
From page 59.2  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally apprehensive means:
worried over possible misfortune
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4, p.59.2
Web Links
bewilder
6 uses
I was bewildered.
bewildered = confused
From page 165.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally bewilder means:
to confuse someone
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6, p.88.3
Web Links
compose
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
compose a poem
Now I was lucky to get a D on a composition.
composition = written essay

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ition" often changes a verb into a related noun. This is the same pattern seen in words like addition, partition, and definition.)
From page 169.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of compose means:
to write or create something with care — especially music or a literary work, but could be other things as diverse as a plan or a letter
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 12, p.169.5
Web Links
conform
1 use
Soda fought for fun, Steve for hatred, Darry for pride, and Two-Bit for conformity.
conformity = to fit in (comply with customary behavior)
From page 137.5  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally conform means:
to comply, fit in, or be similar to what is normal
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9, p.137.5
Web Links
contempt
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
...maybe Paul felt only contempt and pity and hate for greasers?
contempt = disrespect
From page 142.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
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
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4, p.59.9
Web Links
critical
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a critical problem
He was in critical condition.
critical = serious or dangerous
From page 102.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of critical means:
important, serious, or dangerous
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7, p.102.5
Web Links
delirium
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
fever induced delirium
What all did I say while I was delirious?
delirious = in a state of mental confusion
From page 159.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of delirium means:
a usually brief state of mental confusion often accompanied by hallucinations
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10, p.157.3
Web Links
dogged
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
dogged determination
"My parents," Johnny repeated doggedly, "did they ask about me?"
doggedly = with continuing effort despite difficulties (in this case, despite not having been answered the first time he asked)
From page 88.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dogged means:
continuing effort to achieve something despite difficulties (persistent)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6, p.88.1
Web Links
elude
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
your point eludes me
I was trying to find the meaning the poet had in mind, but it eluded me.
eluded = escaped understanding by
From page 78.1  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elude means:
to escape understanding (not understand)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5, p.78.1
Web Links
engage
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
engage in conversation
They were engaged in some wild conversation that made no sense to anyone but themselves.
engaged = involved
From page 39  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of engage means:
to interact in various ways — such as to participate, involve, interest, or attract
The exact meaning of this sense of engage depends upon its context. For example:
  • "They engaged in debate." — participated
  • "She engaged him in conversation." — involved
  • "She is an engaging conversationalist." — interesting
  • "She has an engaging smile." — attractive (attracting interest and interaction)
  • "The proposal engages the interest of many young voters." — attracts and involves
  • "She engages with her constituents." — interacts in a meaningful way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3, p.39
Web Links
environment
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
her family environment
I hoped they hated us, that they weren't full of that pity-the-victims-of-environment junk the social workers kept handing Curly Shepard every time he got sent off to reform school.
environment = surrounding conditions
From page 162.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of environment means:
surrounding conditions
in various senses, including:
  • conditions in a location or geographic area — as in "the desert environment"
  • conditions that affect a particular activity — as in "the learning environment"
  • conditions that create a certain mood — as in "a competitive environment," or "a romantic environment,"
  • conditions that impact a particular computer system, subsystem, or program — as in "the Windows environment"
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 9, p.136.6
Web Links
genuine
1 use
Darry spun around to face me, genuine fear on his face.
genuine = real
From page 110.2  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally genuine means:
real (as when a person is sincere or an object is not a replica or fake)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library24 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7, p.110.2
Web Links
indignant
2 uses
Soda looked back at him indignantly.
indignantly = with annoyance at something unjust
From page 159.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 10, p.159.1
Web Links
ornery
3 uses
Dally was his usual mean, ornery self.
ornery = ill-tempered (and so difficult to control)
From page 124.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of ornery means:
quick to get annoyed, complain, argue, and be uncooperative
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3, p.39.8
Web Links
premonition
1 use
But this church gave me a kind of creepy feeling. What do you call it? Premonition?
premonition = a feeling, not based on reason, that something will happen — especially something bad
From page 67.2  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4, p.67.2
Web Links
testify
2 uses
She said she ... would testify that the Socs were drunk and looking for a fight and that you fought back in self-defense.
testify = provide oral evidence in court
From page 86.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally testify means:
provide evidence of something — especially to say something under oath in a court of law
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6, p.86.1
Web Links
theme
7 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
wrote a 2-page theme on my summer
I wondered for a long time how to start that theme, how to start writing about something that was important to me.
theme = essay
From page 180.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of theme means:
an essay written by a student

(This sense of theme is much rarer in recent decades than in the past.)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 12, p.169.9
tone
5 uses
"That's the greaser that jockeys for the Slash J sometime," she said, as if we couldn't hear her. I had heard the same tone a million times: "Greaser... greaser... greaser."
tone = attitude expressed in the sound of the voice
From page 21.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tone means:
the general feeling, mood, or attitude of something — especially of something said or written
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2, p.21.8
Web Links
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