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Slaughterhouse-Five

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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altercation
1 use
As the Americans were waiting to move on, an altercation broke out in their rear-most rank.
altercation = a noisy argument or fight
DefinitionGenerally altercation means:
a noisy argument, confrontation, or fight
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
anecdote
2 uses
Billy Pilgrim had not heard this anecdote.
anecdote = a short story that is true — often told for amusement or to make a point
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
bronze
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
bronze won't corrode in salt water
An officer was congratulating the Three Musketeers, telling them that he was going to put them in for Bronze Stars.
bronze = made of a brownish metal

(editor's note:  The bronze Star is a medal awarded to selected members of the United States military for heroism or other merit.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bronze means:
a brownish-colored metal with red or yellow hues that is made of copper and (usually) tin
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
condensation
1 use
His one-volume history of the Army Air Force in the Second World War was supposed to be a readable condensation of the twenty-seven-volume Official History of the Army Air Force in World War Two.
condensation = a shortened version (more dense)
DefinitionGenerally condensation means:
water that forms from warm air that comes in contact with a cold surface — such as the outside of a glass of ice water; or the process of the liquid forming

or:

an abridgement (shortened version of writing)

or:

anything made smaller, more compressed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
I have also told them not to work for companies which make massacre machinery, and to express contempt for people who think we need machinery like that.
contempt = dislike and disrespect
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 1
Web Links
diffident
1 use
There were diffident raps at the factory window.
diffident = hesitant and unassertive due to a lack of self-confidence
DefinitionGenerally diffident means:
hesitant and unassertive — often due to a lack of self-confidence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
gospel
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
gospel of the Bible
He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low.
gospels = one of the four books in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that Christians believe tell the story of Jesus Christ's life and teachings
DefinitionGenerally this sense of gospel means:
the religious teachings of Jesus

or:

one of the four books in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that Christian's believe tell the story of Jesus Christ's life and teachings
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
harangue
1 use
The boys were harangued by a man in a full beard.
harangued = verbally harassed by someone trying to persuade them
DefinitionGenerally harangue means:
to try to persuade, or to criticize in an impassioned and often annoying manner; or a speech with such an intent
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
impudent
1 use
He was happy and loud and impudent.
impudent = improperly bold or disrespectful
DefinitionGenerally impudent means:
improperly bold or disrespectful — especially toward someone who is older or considered to be of higher status
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
lament
2 uses
He wondered what tragedy so many had found to lament out of doors.
lament = grieve (or express grief about)
DefinitionGenerally lament means:
to express grief or regret
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
listless
5 uses
They would inevitably surface within a rectangle of barbed wire, would find themselves greeted listlessly by dying Russians who spoke no English, who had no food or useful information or escape plans of their own.
listlessly = with a lack of energy and normal enthusiasm
DefinitionGenerally listless means:
lacking energy and normal enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
massacre
7 uses
And Billy had seen the greatest massacre in European history, which was the firebombing of Dresden.
massacre = the savage and excessive killing of many people
DefinitionGenerally massacre means:
the savage and excessive killing of many people

or:

to defeat an opponent by a wide margin
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
mitigate
1 use
their motives were those of bigotry unmitigated
unmitigated = complete (not diminished)

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unmitigated means not and reverses the meaning of mitigated. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
prescribe
3 uses
He was doing nothing less now, he thought, then prescribing corrective lenses for Earthling souls.
prescribing = recommending or requiring what should be done

or more specifically:

of a medical doctor:  giving medical instructions — such as writing that a patient should take antibiotics
DefinitionGenerally prescribe means:
to recommend or require what should be done

or more specifically:

of a medical doctor:  to give medical instructions — such as writing that a patient should take antibiotics
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
render   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
rendered service or a verdict
...and the great services they rendered to Christianity.
rendered = gave
DefinitionGenerally this sense of render means:
to give or supply something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
rendered interpretation
...and another pamphlet of German phrases rendered in English phonetics,
rendered = translated
DefinitionGenerally this sense of render means:
to portray or create something in a particular way; or to interpret, translate, or extract from
The exact meaning of this sense of render depends upon its context. For example:
  • "Each artist will render a different interpretation when painting a portrait." — create in a particular way
  • "A Supreme Court judge may render his own interpretation of the Constitution." — interpret in a particular way
  • "The computer you are using, rendered this page from software instructions." — created through interpretation
  • "A graph is rendered from the underlying data." — made
  • "Fat can be rendered (extracted) by cooking meat slowly." — extracted from
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
reproach
2 uses
His daughter Barbara was reproaching him for writing ridiculous letters to the newspapers.
reproaching = criticizing
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism — especially where a relationship makes the disapproval result in disappointment or shame
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
serene
3 uses
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference.
serenity = peace and calm

(editor's note:  This is a version of a popular prayer called The Serenity Prayer which has been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous amongst others.)
DefinitionGenerally serene means:
calm and untroubled
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
simulate
2 uses
The head zoo keeper ordered a crane operator, who was standing by, to drop a navy blue canopy over the dome, thus simulating Earthling night inside.
simulating = imitating
DefinitionGenerally simulate means:
make an imitation or representation of
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
tentative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
said it tentatively
'Doctor,' said the patient tentatively.
tentatively = done in a careful way indicating a lack of confidence
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tentative means:
done in a careful or unsure way (indicating a lack of confidence in exactly what will happen)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
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