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The Broken Gun

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
accumulate
1 use
Junk was the word Belle had used to describe the contents, and there were odds and ends of harness, some worn boots, an old McClellan saddle, obviously unused for many years, a wooden bucket half filled with the bits and pieces that accumulate around any working ranch and are rummaged through from time to time in making repairs.†
accumulate = collect or gradually increase
DefinitionGenerally accumulate means:
to collect or gradually increase
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
accustomed
5 uses
Even when there were no comments on the scars, I could see the curiosity they created, and I had not grown accustomed to it.†
accustomed = used to (adapted to and with an expectation of)
DefinitionGenerally accustomed means:
to be or to become psychologically or physically used to something

(used to is an expression that means someone has adapted to and has an expectation of something so it does not seem unusual)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
acquire
3 uses
If the Wells family had never tried to sell any of their land perhaps there had never been a title search; and even if there had been, the methods of acquiring land in pioneer days had been irregular, to say the least.†
acquiring = obtaining (coming into possession of)
DefinitionGenerally acquire means:
obtain (come into the possession of something)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
apprehensive
1 use
It was a startled look, I thought, and apprehensive as well.†
apprehensive = nervous or worried
DefinitionGenerally apprehensive means:
worried over possible misfortune
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
avert
1 use
The instinctive reaction would be to swing the wheel to avert a crash ... and there was no margin there, according to Pio.†
avert = prevent from happening; or turn away or aside
DefinitionGenerally avert means:
prevent from happening

or:

turn away or aside — often to turn your eyes away from something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
contempt
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
They were confident their plans would succeed, and had nothing but contempt for the law and for the law-abiding citizen.
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
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
cultivate
1 use
Listening is an art to be cultivated; and the symphonies of the desert or the forest demand a finer ear than do the symphonies of the composers.†
cultivated = developed, grown, or prepared for growing crops
DefinitionGenerally cultivate means:
enhance growth or development
in various senses, including:
  • to grow crops or prepare land for them
  • enhance a relationship — especially for a purpose
  • develop discernment (better recognition of differences) in taste or judgment
  • to grow a culture in a petri dish
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
empower
1 use
He is also a deputy sheriff, empowered to investigate such accidents.
empowered = given authority or power
DefinitionGenerally empower means:
give or delegate authority or power to

or:

give knowledge or confidence to someone that permits doing something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
inclined
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I'm inclined to
...good police officers have a sense of impending trouble, and a natural inclination to be not only suspicious, but skeptical.
inclination = tendency

(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 this sense of inclined means:
a tendency, mood, desire, or attitude that favors something; or making someone favor something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
infinite
2 uses
Slowly, with infinite care, my palms reached up along the wall... up, up higher.†
infinite = unlimited; without boundaries; or too numerous to count
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
inquiry
1 use
By midnight the State Highway Police will be making inquiries.†
inquiries = questions or investigations
DefinitionGenerally inquiry means:
the act of asking a question or performing an investigation
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
irony
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
situational irony
...he looked at me with an ironic grin.
ironic = as though amused that what happened is very different than what might have been expected
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
when what happens is very different than what might be expected; or when things are together that seem like they don't belong together — especially when amusing or an entertaining coincidence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
moreover
4 uses
Moreover, a little to my left and back of me there was a saddle about six or seven hundred feet higher than where I now lay.†
moreover = in addition to what has just been said
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
nevertheless
1 use
Nevertheless, there had to be a catch somewhere.†
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
Web Links
optimistic
1 use
In my dealings with criminals in the past one thing had become obvious, that all were incurable optimists, as well as egotists.†
optimists = people who expect the best; or who focus on the good part of things
DefinitionGenerally optimistic means:
expecting the best; or focusing on the good part of things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
ratio
1 use
I believe that since that time the Wells family has lived in fear of losing the place, and that their fear has grown in direct ratio to the value of the land.†
ratio = relative quantities
DefinitionGenerally ratio means:
the relative magnitudes of two quantities — often expressed as a:b (which could also be expressed as the fraction a/b)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
recollect
1 use
He had that close-cropped, freshly washed look so often associated with bright young college football players and nice boys, but my recollection of his playing and of the gossip around the world of sports was that he was something less than a nice boy.†
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
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
refuge
2 uses
Cities and highways and people were not many miles away from us, no distance at all as such things are figured in these days, but between ourselves and whatever refuge they offered, those miles were all desert and mountains.†
refuge = something giving protection — especially a safe place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
taint
1 use
The taint and turmoil of cities were gone from me.
taint = contamination
DefinitionGenerally taint means:
to spoil something so it is not desirable — as when bacteria contaminates a food; or as when a rumor makes people distrust a person
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
volatile
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a volatile situation
I knew him for a dangerous man with volatile, uncertain moods.
volatile = emotionally unstable (quick to anger)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of volatile means:
quick to change; or emotionally explosive
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
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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