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Mrs. Dalloway

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
accord
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
done of her own accord
Clarissa thought the roses absolutely lovely; first bunched together; now of their own accord starting apart.†
own accord = own mind — voluntarily (without anyone asking)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
mind
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
accumulate
4 uses
Traffic accumulated.†
accumulated = collected or gradually increased
DefinitionGenerally accumulate means:
to collect or gradually increase
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
acquit
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she acquitted herself well
"Dear!" said Clarissa, and Lucy shared as she meant her to her disappointment (but not the pang); felt the concord between them; took the hint; thought how the gentry love; gilded her own future with calm; and, taking Mrs. Dalloway's parasol, handled it like a sacred weapon which a Goddess, having acquitted herself honourably in the field of battle, sheds, and placed it in the umbrella stand.†
acquitted = handled (conducted or behaved)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acquit means:
to handle oneself in a specified way — which is typically in a positive way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
appalling
7 uses
In the tea-shop among the tables and the chattering waiters the appalling fear came over him—he could not feel.†
appalling = shockingly terrible or horrible
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
bestow
5 uses
But the enormous resources of the English language, the power it bestows, after all, of communicating feelings (at their age, she and Peter would have been arguing all the evening), was not for them.†
bestows = gives
DefinitionGenerally bestow means:
to give — typically to present as an honor or give as a gift
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
condescending
2 uses
She had been merely condescending.
condescending = doing something considered beneath one's position; or treating others as inferior
DefinitionGenerally condescending means:
treating others as inferior; or doing something considered beneath one's position or dignity
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
consequence
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
of little consequence
He wrinkled lugubriously, consequentially, at the thought of the letters he would write to the heads of Government offices about "my old friend, Peter Walsh," and so on.
consequentially = self-importantly
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
importance or relevance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
convention
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
conventional behavior
She had always, even as a girl, a sort of timidity, which in middle age becomes conventionality, and then it's all up, it's all up, he thought, looking rather drearily into the glassy depths, and wondering whether by calling at that hour he had annoyed her; overcome with shame suddenly at having been a fool; wept; been emotional; told her everything, as usual, as usual.†
conventionality = the quality of being regarded as normal
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred the decision
the deferred effects of shell shock
deferred = experienced later (postponed)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
delay or postpone (hold off until a later time)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
deference
3 uses
The chairs still kept the impress of the Prime Minister and Lady Bruton, she turned deferentially, he sitting four-square, authoritatively.†
deferentially = with polite respect
DefinitionGenerally deference means:
polite respect — often when submitting to another's wishes
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
detestable
4 uses
How detestable, how detestable they are!†
detestable = deserving intense dislike
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
discriminate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discriminating taste
She'd be a widow with a past one of these days, draggling about in the suburbs, or more likely, indiscriminate (you know, she said, what such women get like, with too much paint).†
indiscriminate = without recognition of differences

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in indiscriminate means not and reverses the meaning of discriminate. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
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
Web Links
malicious
2 uses
The malicious asserted that he now kept guard at Buckingham Palace, dressed in silk stockings and kneebreeches, over what nobody knew.†
malicious = wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
mitigate
2 uses
"The address?" murmured Hugh Whitbread; and there was at once a ripple in the grey tide of service which washed round Lady Bruton day in, day out, collecting, intercepting, enveloping her in a fine tissue which broke concussions, mitigated interruptions, and spread round the house in Brook Street a fine net where things lodged and were picked out accurately, instantly, by grey-haired Perkins, who had been with Lady Bruton these thirty years and now wrote down the address; handed it...†
mitigated = made less harmful or unpleasant
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
moreover
3 uses
There were, moreover, family affection; honour; courage; and a brilliant career.†
moreover = in addition to what has just been said
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
presumption
16 uses
1  —16 uses as in:
presumption of innocence
What could Clarissa have thought of him? thought him a fool presumably...
presumably = probably

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ably" is a combination of the suffixes "-able" and "-ly". It means in a manner that is capable of being. This is the same pattern you see in words like agreeably, favorably, and comfortably.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of presumption means:
to think of something as true or likely, even though it is not known with certainty
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
recollect
3 uses
At some party (where, she could not be certain), for she had a distinct recollection of saying to the man she was with, "Who is THAT?"†
recollection = memory

(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 recollect means:
to remember — especially experiences from long ago
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
Shakespeare
20 uses
That was her feeling—Othello's feeling, and she felt it, she was convinced, as strongly as Shakespeare meant Othello to feel it, all because she was coming down to dinner in a white frock to meet Sally Seton!†
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
Book20 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
superficial
3 uses
But to go deeper, beneath what people said (and these judgements, how superficial, how fragmentary they are!†
superficial = relating to a surface rather than to anything deep or penetrating
DefinitionGenerally superficial means:
relating to a surface rather than to anything deep or penetrating (often of injuries or thinking)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
tact
2 uses
...the time he was knighted given him a heavy look, a weary look (the stream of patients being so incessant, the responsibilities and privileges of his profession so onerous), which weariness, together with his grey hairs, increased the extraordinary distinction of his presence and gave him the reputation (of the utmost importance in dealing with nerve cases) not merely of lightning skill, and almost infallible accuracy in diagnosis but of sympathy; tact; understanding of the human soul.†
tact = the ability or act of saying or handling things in such a way that others feel good about them
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
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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