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The Pearl

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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appraise   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
appraised value of
I am only an appraiser.
appraiser = one who places a value on things (in this case, pearls)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of appraise means:
place a value on or judge the worth of something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
appraise the situation
looked quickly at Juana's old blue skirt, saw the tears in her shawl, appraised the green ribbon on her braids, read...
appraised = considered in a comprehensive way
DefinitionGenerally this sense of appraise means:
evaluate (consider in a comprehensive way)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
apprehensive
1 use
And then he looked apprehensively to the east.
apprehensively = worriedly over possible misfortune
DefinitionGenerally apprehensive means:
worried over possible misfortune
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
audible
1 use
Then from the corner of the house came a sound so soft that it might have been simply a thought, a little furtive movement, a touch of a foot on earth, the almost inaudible purr of controlled breathing.
inaudible = not capable of being heard

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in inaudible means not and reverses the meaning of audible. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of audible means:
capable of being heard
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
avarice
1 use
They knew his ignorance, his cruelty, his avarice, his appetites, his sins.
avarice = excessive desire for wealth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
baptism
3 uses
...and she dressed Coyotito in the clothes she had prepared for his baptism,
baptism = a Christian ceremony signifying spiritual cleansing and rebirth
DefinitionGenerally baptism means:
a Christian ceremony signifying spiritual cleansing and rebirth

or:

a challenging experience that initiates or purifies
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
capital
1 use
And each one thought how with some capital he could get a new start.
capital = material wealth
DefinitionGenerally this sense of capital means:
material wealth — especially assets available for use in the production of further assets
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
consecrate
2 uses
And then from a secret place Juana brought a little piece of consecrated candle and lighted it at the flame and set it upright on a fireplace stone.
consecrated = made holy by means of religious rites
DefinitionGenerally consecrate means:
make holy by means of religious rites
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
The first dealer, dry and stringy, seemed now to see the pearl for the first time. He took it up, rolled it quickly between thumb and forefinger, and then cast it contemptuously back into the tray.
contemptuously = showing disrespect and dislike for it
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
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
countenance
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
giving countenance
This was extravagant and not to be countenanced.
countenanced = tolerated
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
to tolerate, approve, or show favor or support
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
deliberate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a deliberate thinker
Kino, in his pride and youth and strength, could remain down over two minutes without strain, so that he worked deliberately, selecting the largest shells.
deliberately = slowly with care
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deliberate means:
done with great care — often slowly
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
disparage
1 use
And this is said in disparagement, whereas it is one of the greatest talents the species has and one that has made it superior to animals that are satisfied with what they have.
disparagement = the act of criticizing
DefinitionGenerally disparage means:
to criticize or make seem less important — especially in a disrespectful or contemptuous manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
grave
1 use
Juan Tomas nodded gravely.
gravely = in a serious and solemn manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn
The exact meaning of this sense of grave can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad or solemn
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — in a sincere and serious manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
immune
1 use
In Kino's ears the Song of the Family was as fierce as a cry. He was immune and terrible, and his song had become a battle cry.
immune = not in danger of suffering from something
DefinitionGenerally immune means:
not in danger of being affected by something — especially a disease

or:

relating to disease resistance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
lament
1 use
She, being the nearest woman relative, raised a formal lament for the dead of the family.
lament = verbal expression of grief
DefinitionGenerally lament means:
to express grief or regret
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
obscure
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
it obscured my view
Kino moved cautiously so that the water would not be obscured with mud or sand.
obscured = made less visible
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
petulant
1 use
And the baby was weary and petulant, and he cried softly until Juana gave him her breast,
petulant = unreasonably upset
DefinitionGenerally petulant means:
unreasonably annoyed or upset

or:

easily annoyed or upset
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
probe
2 uses
His eyes and his mind probed for danger before it appeared.
probed = searched (investigated)
DefinitionGenerally probe means:
to investigate; or an investigation

or:

any of various instrument used for investigation
instruments such as:
  • an instrument to measure electronic voltage
  • a surgical tool used for examination
  • an unmanned spacecraft used for exploration
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
recede
4 uses
And he could smell the sharp odour of exposed kelp from the receding tide.
receding = retreating (moving away)
DefinitionGenerally recede means:
to move away or diminish (become less)
The exact meaning of recede depends upon its context. For example:
  • "We can't move back in until the floodwaters recede." — diminish and move away
  • "Her fear receded." — diminished
  • "The waves first advance and then recede." — move away
  • "The news story receded into the background as it was replaced by new stories." — received diminished attention
  • "a receding hairline" — diminished hair (each year the line where hair stops growing is higher)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
undulate
1 use
Above, the surface of the water was an undulating mirror of brightness,
undulating = rippling
DefinitionGenerally undulate means:
a smooth wave-like motion (physical or auditory)

or:

having a wavy or rippled form or surface
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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