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The Killer Angels

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
abrupt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an abrupt change
Abruptly, not knowing beforehand that he would do it, he plucked the small ring from his little finger.
abruptly = suddenly and unexpectedly
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abrupt means:
sudden and unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.4
Web Links
acute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
acute pain
Lee, watching, felt a sudden acute depression.
acute = severely negative
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute means:
sharp (severe or strong) — usually negative
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
attribute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I attribute it to...
His wife attributes his death to the judgment of God.†
attributes = credits (a source for something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something)
in two typical senses:
  • "I attribute it to her work." — to say who or what made something happen
  • "Remember to attribute any quotations in your paper." — indicate the source of a quotation or idea
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAft.
Web Links
brevity
1 use
I have condensed some of the action, for the sake of clarity, and eliminated some minor characters, for brevity;
brevity = make it shorter
DefinitionGenerally brevity means:
the use of just a few words; or lasting a short time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useFrwd.
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
All these men had nothing but contempt for the Yankees, whom they had beaten so often.
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
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
converge
7 uses
The roads all converged, weblike, to Gettysburg.
converged = came together
DefinitionGenerally converge means:
to come together; or to be adjacent or similar
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
"The General, ah, defers to General Hill's judgment, I believe."
defers = yields (or submits)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
submit or yield (typically to another person's opinion because of respect for that person or their knowledge)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
deference
2 uses
the men nearby were backed off in deference
deference = polite respect
DefinitionGenerally deference means:
polite respect — often when submitting to another's wishes
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
devious
8 uses
By damn, man, if there is one human being in the world less devious than Robert Lee, I aint yet met him.
devious = tricky (deceitful in a complicated, clever manner)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of devious means:
deceitful (not honest and straightforward) — often in a complicated, clever manner
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.5
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discordant music
Somebody blew a discordant bugle.
discordant = unpleasant sounding
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
unpleasant sound — especially a combination of sounds that sound wrong together (though sometimes done intentionally in music)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
disdain
1 use
He smiled slightly, with a touch of the disdain for which he was rapidly becoming notorious.
disdain = a lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
divine
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
to forgive is divine
There was the divine spark, as my mother used to say.
divine = wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
grave
11 uses
General Pickett is gravely concerned, sir.
gravely = very seriously (severely)
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
Book11 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
ominous
5 uses
"General, I understood General Lee to say that the enemy would be up on the ridge back there..."

Longstreet said, "That's correct."

McLaws hummed, scratched his face.

"Well?" Longstreet said ominously.

"Well, the enemy's right in front of me..."
ominously = suggesting/expecting bad things (in this case news)
DefinitionGenerally ominous means:
threatening (suggestive of, or foreshadowing bad things to come)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
pious
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
Mrs. Pender is, ah, a pious woman, and she believes that now that we have invaded Pennsylvania we are in the wrong, and God has forsaken us
pious = religious
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
rein
22 uses
He let go the reins of command.
reins = means of control
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rein means:
to restrain or control; or a means of control
The meaning of rein depends upon its context. For example:
  • "keep a tight rein on the new employee," or "rein in a horse" — to control or restrain
  • "give the new employee free rein," or "give the horse full rein" — do not restrain
  • "the reins of government" — means of control
  • "the reins of the horse" — leather straps used with a bit to control a horse (You might like to think of other senses of rein as being figurative derivations from this sense.)
Word Statistics
Book22 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
reproach
7 uses
Taylor drew back in frosty reproach,
reproach = criticism (in this case, nonverbal criticism)
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism — especially where a relationship makes the disapproval result in disappointment or shame
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
I have therefore resigned my commission in the Army...
resigned = quit
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
to quit — especially a job or position; or a document expressing such an act
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useFrwd.
Web Links
seminary
21 uses
A preacher from the Seminary began a low, insistent, theological argument with a young lieutenant,
seminary = a school for training ministers

(editor's note:  Seminary Ridge, the place mentioned in this book was given that name because of a Lutheran seminary at that location.)
DefinitionGenerally seminary means:
a school for training ministers, priests, or rabbis
Word Statistics
Book21 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
suppress
5 uses
Chamberlain suppressed a smile.
suppressed = stopped (controlled)
DefinitionGenerally suppress means:
trying to keep under control
The exact meaning of suppress can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "suppressed the revolution" — to stop others from doing something by force
  • "suppressed a smile" — kept something from happening
  • "suppressed the story" — kept news from spreading
  • "suppressed her fear" — controlled an emotion
  • "suppressed the memory" — avoided thinking about (perhaps even removed from conscious memory)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
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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