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The Jungle by Sinclair

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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adulterate
10 uses
As no one makes any profit by the sale, there is no longer any stimulus to extravagance, and no misrepresentation; no cheating, no adulteration or imitation, no bribery or 'grafting.'
adulteration = lowering the quality of something by adding something else to it

(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 adulterate means:
corrupt, debase, or make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 31
Web Links
capitalism
17 uses
Here were all the opportunities of the country, the land, and the buildings upon the land, the railroads, the mines, the factories, and the stores, all in the hands of a few private individuals, called capitalists, for whom the people were obliged to work for wages.
capitalists = people who are wealthy and benefit from an economic system based on private ownership of property and businesses
DefinitionGenerally capitalism means:
an economic system based on private ownership of property and businesses, and on voluntary exchange in a competitive environment — with the belief that voluntary exchanges harness inborn self-interest in millions of decisions that benefit society
Word Statistics
Book17 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
consequence   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 12 uses
1  —9 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
One of the consequences of all these things was that Jurgis was no longer perplexed when he heard men talk of fighting for their rights.
consequences = results
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
of little consequence
He was of no consequence—he was flung aside, like a bit of trash, the carcass of some animal.
consequence = importance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
importance or relevance
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
convention   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —1 use as in:
to convene
Now for eight years he had been fighting for the party, anywhere, everywhere—whether it was a G.A.R. reunion, or a hotel-keepers' convention, or an Afro-American businessmen's banquet, or a Bible society picnic, Tommy Hinds would manage to get himself invited to explain the relations of Socialism to the subject in hand.
convention = large conference or meeting
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
a large conference or meeting
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 30
Web Links
2  —5 uses as in:
conventional behavior
You have lived so long in the toil and heat that your senses are dulled, your souls are numbed; but realize once in your lives this world in which you dwell—tear off the rags of its customs and conventions—behold it as it is, in all its hideous nakedness!
conventions = typical behaviors
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
debase
3 uses
"So long as we have wage slavery," answered Schliemann, "it matters not in the least how debasing and repulsive a task may be, it is easy to find people to perform it."
debasing = degrading (in this case, reducing the status or value of being human)
DefinitionGenerally debase means:
to degrade (decrease) the purity, quality, or status of something — often morality or metals
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 31
Web Links
direct   (6 meanings)
6 meanings, 11 uses
1  —1 use as in:
depart directly
There was a delegate of the butcher-helpers' union who came to see Jurgis to enroll him; and when Jurgis found that this meant that he would have to part with some of his money, he froze up directly, and the delegate, who was an Irishman and only knew a few words of Lithuanian, lost his temper and began to threaten him.
directly = immediately
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
without delay, or in the quickest manner, or without going somewhere else first
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
2  —5 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
For the criminal graft was one in which the businessmen had no direct part—it was what is called a "side line," carried by the police.
direct = personal (with nothing in between)
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
Book5 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 25
Web Links
3  —2 uses as in:
was direct in my instructions
It employed thirty thousand men; it supported directly two hundred and fifty thousand people in its neighborhood, and indirectly it supported half a million.†
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
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
4  —1 use as in:
directed her question to
There are other trusts in the country just as illegal and extortionate as the Beef Trust: there is the Coal Trust, that freezes the poor in winter—there is the Steel Trust, that doubles the price of every nail in your shoes—there is the Oil Trust, that keeps you from reading at night—and why do you suppose it is that all the fury of the press and the government is directed against the Beef Trust?
directed = focused
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
to indicate direction; or to cause movement or focus in a direction or towards an object
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "intentionally directed fire at unarmed civilians" — aimed a gun
  • "directed the question to her" — aimed a question
  • "directed her north" — pointed in a particular direction
  • "directed attention to the 3rd paragraph" — focused attention on a particular object
  • "The sound of her voice directed him to the kitchen." — guided or gave directions to someone to help them move to a particular place
  • "She directed him to the airport." — gave directions to send someone to a particular place
  • "She directed the boat north." — steered it
  • "directed the letter to" — send a letter to a particular person by putting a name and address on it
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library36 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 30
Web Links
5  —1 use as in:
directed the jury to...
The farmer tills the soil, the miner digs in the earth, the weaver tends the loom, the mason carves the stone; the clever man invents, the shrewd man directs, the wise man studies, the inspired man sings—and all the result, the products of the labor of brain and muscle, are gathered into one stupendous stream and poured into their laps!†
directs = gives instructions or commands
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 28
Web Links
6  —1 use as in:
directed the movie
The men had left a long line of hogs in various stages of preparation, and the foreman was directing the feeble efforts of a score or two of clerks and stenographers and office boys to finish up the job and get them into the chilling rooms.
directing = supervising
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
supervise, control, or to be in charge of
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library29 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 26
Web Links
guile
3 uses
So guileless was he, and ignorant of the nature of business, that he did not even realize that he had become an employee of Brown's, and that Brown and Durham were supposed by all the world to be deadly rivals
guileless = innocent — without cunning (shrewdness or cleverness)

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-less" in guileless means without. This is the same pattern you see in words like fearless, homeless, and endless.)
DefinitionGenerally guile means:
cunning (shrewdness and cleverness) and deceitful
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
ostentatious
3 uses
But consider the waste in time and energy incidental to making ten thousand varieties of a thing for purposes of ostentation and snobbishness, where one variety would do for use!
ostentation = actions intended to attract notice and impress others

(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 ostentatious means:
intended to attract notice and impress others — especially with wealth in a vulgar way
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 28
Web Links
perplex
17 uses
One of the consequences of all these things was that Jurgis was no longer perplexed when he heard men talk of fighting for their rights.
perplexed = confused or puzzled
DefinitionGenerally perplex means:
to confuse
Word Statistics
Book17 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
socialism
68 uses
These men are not Socialists!
socialists = people who want an economic system based on government ownership or control of all important companies — with the ideal of equal benefits to all people
DefinitionGenerally socialism means:
an economic system based on government ownership or control of all important companies — with the ideal of equal benefits to all people
Word Statistics
Book68 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 25
Web Links
superintendent
21 uses
He had a long story to tell of his quarrel with the superintendent of his department,
superintendent = someone who manages other people
DefinitionGenerally superintendent means:
a person who directs and manages an organization — such as a school district

or:

a caretaker of a building — such as an apartment building
Word Statistics
Book21 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
swindle
12 uses
Then, too, they would swindle you with the contract—and how was a poor man to understand anything about a contract?
swindle = trick (to get money)
DefinitionGenerally swindle means:
tricking or cheating someone — usually to get money
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
wizened
4 uses
Mrs. Jukniene was a wizened-up little woman, with a wrinkled face.
wizened = thin and wrinkled
DefinitionGenerally wizened means:
thin and wrinkled — typically from age or illness
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
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