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Misery

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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accord   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 8 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
according to, or in accord with
The other two were Kreigs, the best locks in the whole world, according to his ex-cop friend Tom Twyford.
according to = as stated by
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
in keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
This sense of accord is often seen in the form according to or accordingly where it can take on more specific meanings. For example:
  • "According to Kim, ..." — as stated by
  • "To each according to her ability." — based upon
  • "Points are scored according to how well they perform." — depending upon
  • "The dose is calculated according to body weight." — in proportion to
  • "We got a flat tire. Accordingly, I pulled to the side of the road." — because of what was just said; or as a result
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
done of her own accord
Of its own accord, seemingly, her head slipped to one side so her right ear was pressed against the ground — she had seen children in similar postures by the railway line, listening for trains.
own accord = own mind (without her telling it to do so)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
mind
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
austere
1 use
Looking in, he saw an austere room floored with hexagonal white tiles.
austere = notable for absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration
DefinitionGenerally austere means:
a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

or:

of a person:  stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
banal
2 uses
such banalities as "You look so good I could just eat you up" ...
banalities = things that are uninteresting due to a lack of anything original or unusual
DefinitionGenerally banal means:
uninteresting due to a lack of anything original or unusual

(editor's note:  This word is correctly pronounced differently by various educated speakers of American English.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
coherent
2 uses
the man's deep grief and frequent incoherent cries.
incoherent = not understandable (unclear)

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in incoherent means not and reverses the meaning of coherent. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
DefinitionGenerally coherent means:
sensible and clear; or describing parts as fitting together in a consistent or pleasing manner
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
contempt
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
She looked at him with sallow, sunken contempt. 'You don't know what pain is.'
contempt = 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
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
deter
2 uses
He thought of trying to get out of bed, but the thought of the thump and the drop and the accompanying escalation of pain constantly deterred him.
deterred = prevented
DefinitionGenerally deter means:
try to prevent; or prevent
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
disparage
1 use
in his finest genteel disparaging manner
disparaging = criticizing or making seem less important
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 1
Web Links
engender
1 use
And the only emotion this thought engendered was tired relief.
engendered = caused
DefinitionGenerally engender means:
cause — usually a feeling (possibly a situation)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
forbearance
1 use
His head turned toward the clearing with dreadful reluctance, as if he did not wish to look and yet could not forbear to.
forbear = refrain (hold back) from doing so
DefinitionGenerally forbearance means:
refraining (holding back) from acting

or:

patience, tolerance, or self-control
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
futile
3 uses
She would have seen destroying the manuscript was futile.
futile = pointless because it would be unproductive or unsuccessful
DefinitionGenerally futile means:
effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
impervious
2 uses
and then she sat down on the bed . . . not where she usually sat, however; she sat on its foot and for a moment he saw only her solid, impervious back as she bent over, as if to check on something.
impervious = not admitting passage through; or not capable of being affected

(editor's note:  King chooses an unusual adjective, perhaps to reinforce multiple things:  Sheldon cannot see what she is doing because her back blocks his vision. He also cannot get past her to escape. Also, he cannot get through to her logically to convince her to let him go.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
malevolent
2 uses
She would have lain awake at night, looking up at the ceiling of her bedroom ... imagining the people who must be thinking of her with either dislike or outright malevolence, ... people who might, any of them, at any time, take a notion to call her on the telephone and scream: You did it, Annie!
malevolence = the desire to do evil or to hurt others
DefinitionGenerally malevolent means:
evil
  • of a person — wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
  • of a thing — exerting an evil or harmful influence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
minute
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
minute size
What roused him from it was a low, minute scratching sound.†
minute = small
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minute means:
small, exceptionally small, or insignificant
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
obscure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
it obscured my view
Her smile suddenly collapsed into a narrow watchfulness he didn't like much, it was like discovering a deep crevasse almost obscured by summer flowers
obscured = hidden
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
knows the famous and the obscure
What is it Thomas Hardy says in Jude the Obscure?
obscure = not known to many people; or undistinguished
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not known to many people; or unimportant or undistinguished
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
rectify
1 use
These were usually occasions when rectifying the source of the upset was beyond him.
rectifying = fixing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rectify means:
correct, fix, or make right
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
redundant
1 use
There comes a point when the very discussion of pain becomes redundant.
redundant = repeating what is already there (in this case, causing more pain)
DefinitionGenerally redundant means:
more than is needed — often something that is unnecessarily repeated

or in technical usage:  a secondary component designed to work if the primary component fails; or of such a system
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
Over the years Paul had grown more and more resigned to the fact that he could not read stories as he had when he was a kid; by becoming a writer of them himself, he had condemned himself to a life of dissection.
resigned = acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
serene
8 uses
The prospect did not seem to disturb Annie's weird serenity in the least, although Paul could not believe that, in some part of her mind, she did not realize how close to the end of the game they had now come.
serenity = calm and untroubled manner
DefinitionGenerally serene means:
calm and untroubled
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
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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