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The Waste Land

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
agony
1 use
V. What the Thunder Said After the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The shouting and the crying Prison and palace and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He who was living is now dead We who were living are now dying With a little patience Here is no water but only rock Rock and no water and the sandy road The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water If...†
agony = intense suffering
DefinitionGenerally agony means:
intense feelings of suffering — can be from mental or physical pain
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
arid
1 use
...in the door once and turn once only 411 We think of the key, each in his prison thinking of the key, each confirms a prison Only at nightfall, aethereal rumours Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus DA Damyata: The boat responded Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar The sea was calm, your heart would have responded Gaily, when invited, beating obedient To controlling hands I sat upon the shore Fishing, with the arid plain behind me 424 Shall I at least set my lands in order?†
arid = lacking sufficient water or rainfall; or lacking vitality of spirit
DefinitionGenerally arid means:
lacking sufficient water or rainfall

or:

lacking vitality or spirit
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
assault
1 use
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once; Exploring hands encounter no defence; His vanity requires no response, And makes a welcome of indifference.†
assaults = attacks
DefinitionGenerally assault means:
to attack someone or something physically or verbally; or to threaten violence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library24 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
bestow
1 use
Bestows one final patronising kiss, And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit... She turns and looks a moment in the glass, Hardly aware of her departed lover; Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass: 'Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over.'†
bestows = gives
DefinitionGenerally bestow means:
to give — typically to present as an honor or give as a gift
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
endeavor
1 use
The time is now propitious, as he guesses, The meal is ended, she is bored and tired, Endeavours to engage her in caresses Which are still unreproved, if undesired.†
endeavours = attempts; or things attempted

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use endeavors.)
DefinitionGenerally endeavor means:
to attempt; or a project or activity attempted
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
horde
1 use
What is that sound high in the air 366 Murmur of maternal lamentation Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth Ringed by the flat horizon only What is the city over the mountains Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air Falling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London Unreal A woman drew her long black hair out tight And fiddled whisper music on those strings And bats with baby faces in the violet light Whistled, and beat their...†
hordes = large numbers
DefinitionGenerally horde means:
a very large number — typically of people or animals/insects on the move
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
hypocrite
1 use
Hypocrite lecteur!†
hypocrite = someone who violates claimed moral standards
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
indifferent
1 use
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once; Exploring hands encounter no defence; His vanity requires no response, And makes a welcome of indifference.†
indifference = without interest
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest
in various senses, including:
  • unconcerned — as in "She is indifferent to what is served to eat."
  • unsympathetic — as in "She is indifferent to his needs."
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context) — as in "an indifferent performance"
  • impartial — as in "We need a judge who is indifferent."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
martyr
1 use
O City city, I can sometimes hear Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street, The pleasant whining of a mandoline And a clatter and a chatter from within Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls Of Magnus Martyr hold 264 Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.†
martyr = someone who dies or suffers to uphold principles
DefinitionGenerally martyr means:
someone who dies or suffers to uphold principles — especially someone killed for refusing to renounce their religion, or someone who commits a suicide death in the name of their religion

or:

someone who suffers a great deal
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
maternal
1 use
What is that sound high in the air 366 Murmur of maternal lamentation Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth Ringed by the flat horizon only What is the city over the mountains Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air Falling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London Unreal A woman drew her long black hair out tight And fiddled whisper music on those strings And bats with baby faces in the violet light Whistled, and beat their...†
maternal = relating to a mother; or characteristic of parents — such as to care for and help to develop
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
muse
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
her musings
musing upon the king my brother's wreck
musing = reflecting (thinking)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of muse means:
reflect (think) deeply on a subject — perhaps aloud
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
nevertheless
1 use
42 Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,43 Had a bad cold, nevertheless Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe, With a wicked pack of cards.†
nevertheless = in spite of that (used to connect contrasting ideas)
DefinitionGenerally nevertheless means:
in spite of that (Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
obituary
1 use
401 My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed Which is not to be found in our obituaries Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider 407 Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor In our empty rooms DA Dayadhvam: I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only 411 We think of the key, each in his prison thinking of the key, each confirms a prison Only at...†
obituaries = death notices — typically with a short biographies
DefinitionGenerally obituary means:
a published notice of someone's death — usually printed in a newspaper with a short biography
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
profuse
1 use
A Game of Chess The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne, 77 Glowed on the marble, where the glass Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines From which a golden Cupidon peeped out (Another hid his eyes behind his wing) Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra Reflecting light upon the table as The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it, From satin cases poured in rich profusion.†
profusion = abundance (a lot of something)

(editor's note:  The suffix "-sion", 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 admission from admit, discussion from discuss, and invasion from invade.)
DefinitionGenerally profuse means:
abundant (a lot of something)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
Queen Victoria
1 use
'This music crept by me upon the waters' 257 And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.†
Queen Victoria = queen of Great Britain and Ireland and empress of India from 1837 to 1901 when the monarchy had primarily symbolic power; the last Hanoverian ruler of England (1819-1901)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
supine
1 use
By Richmond I raised my knees
Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.
supine = lying down face upward
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
testimony
1 use
176 The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers, Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends Or other testimony of summer nights.†
testimony = something that serves as evidence — especially a statement at a trial or hearing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
windward
1 use
Gentile or Jew O you who turn the wheel and look windward, Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
windward = the direction from which the wind is coming
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
wither
1 use
And other withered stumps of time Were told upon the walls; staring forms Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.†
withered = shriveled (wrinkled) or weakened
DefinitionGenerally wither means:
to shrivel (wrinkle and contract — usually from lack of water)

or:

to become weaker; or feel humiliated
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
wrought
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
wrought iron
wrought with fruited vines
wrought = worked (decoratively)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of wrought means:
worked — as when iron is shaped to fit by bending or beating
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
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Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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