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The Gunslinger

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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adapt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
adapted to the new rules
The light grew stronger, hurting their eyes a little, but growing slowly enough to allow them to adapt.†
adapt = change to fit a different situation; or make suitable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of adapt means:
changed to fit a different situation; or made suitable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
adrenaline
1 use
The gunslinger was pumped full of adrenalin; the car was flying along the tracks into the darkness.†
Adrenalin = a trademark name for the chemical that is the "fight or flight" stimulating hormone secreted by the adrenal gland in response to stress
DefinitionGenerally adrenaline means:
"fight or flight" stimulating hormone secreted by the adrenal gland in response to stress (making the body feel excited and ready for action)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
cleave
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
cleave through
A large and purple cloven hoof had been pressed into the skin of his grimy forehead.†
cloven = split (or divided in two)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of cleave means:
to split something — especially with violent force

or:

to cut through something
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
contrite
2 uses
He had told his tale without much emotion, although his voice had trembled near the end, when he had come to the part about the "priest" and the "Act of Contrition."
contrition = a prayer or other action done to amend for a sin

(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 contrite means:
feeling sorrow or regret for a fault or offense
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discordant music
Aunt Mill faltered and subsided, leaving a cracked high note bleeding on the air. Sheb struck a discord and halted.
discord = unpleasant sound
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
Web Links
distort
4 uses
Her voice, warped and distorted, cut through the babble like a dull ax through a calf's brain.†
distorted = altered in an unnatural or untrue way
DefinitionGenerally distort means:
to alter something in an unnatural or untrue way
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
dubious
1 use
I think it's a railroad," the boy said dubiously.†
dubiously = doubtfully or suspiciously
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful
in various senses, including:
  • doubtful that something should be relied upon — as in "The argument relies on a dubious assumption."
  • doubtful that something is morally proper — as in "The company is accused of using dubious sales practices to influence minors."
  • bad or of questionable value — as in "The state has the dubious distinction of the highest taxes."
  • doubtful or uncertain — as in "She is dubious about making the change."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
dwell
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a modest dwelling
The huddles had degenerated into single dwellings, most inhabited by lepers or madmen.†
dwellings = houses or shelters in which people live
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dwelling means:
a house or shelter in which someone lives
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
galaxy
5 uses
Suddenly ecstasy broken only by a galaxy of pain, as faint and bright as ancient stars gone red with collapse.†
galaxy = collection of star systems held together by gravity
DefinitionGenerally galaxy means:
a collection of star systems held together by gravity — for example, our sun is a star whose system includes Earth and the other planets. That star system is a tiny part of the Milky Way galaxy
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
loathe
4 uses
She felt a trembling loathing spring up in her, but the warmth still radiated from her belly.†
loathing = disgust or intense dislike
DefinitionGenerally loathe means:
hate, detest, or intensely dislike
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
minute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
minute size
They had entered a long tunnel of some weird phosphorescent rock, and the wet walls glittered and twinkled with thousands of minute starbursts.†
minute = small
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minute means:
small, exceptionally small, or insignificant
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
mote
4 uses
He couldn't think yet His head was filled with motes and there was a huge, thrumming ache building in it The inside of the stable was silent and dark and exploding with heat The gunslinger stared around himself with huge, floating walleyes.†
motes = a tiny piece of anything
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
novel
1 use
Such meditation was a new thing for him, novel, sweet in a melancholy sort of way,
novel = pleasantly new and original
DefinitionGenerally this sense of novel means:
new and original — typically something considered good
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
pragmatic
2 uses
He was not an imaginative boy, and if Cort had intended to imply a moral, it was lost on him; he was pragmatic enough to believe that it might have been one of the few foolish statements he had ever heard Cort make.†
pragmatic = concerned with practical matters
DefinitionGenerally pragmatic means:
concerned with practical matters — especially where quick results and/or practical experience triumph over theory
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
precede
1 use
He half expected the boy to balk again, but he preceded the gunslinger calmly out onto the rails, crossing on the welded steel slats calmly, with sure feet.†
preceded = went or was before
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
prophecy
7 uses
How well you fulfill the prophecies of old!†
prophecies = predictions of the future
DefinitionGenerally prophecy means:
a prediction of the future (usually said to be obtained in a supernatural way)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
rapt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
rapt attention
The boy watched, his initial doubt replaced with plain delight, then by raptness, then by a dawning mute blankness.
raptness = a state of deep interest and focus

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rapt means:
deeply interested and focused (on something) — often while admiring
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
relevant
1 use
When it's time, those things— and their relevance to the gunslinger's quest-will roll out as naturally as tears or laughter.†
relevance = importance (meaningful relation to the issue in question)
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useAft.
Web Links
somber
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a somber mood
"Still, there is the line of blood," Cort said somberly, "revolt and witchcraft to the west or no. I am your bondsman, boy."
somberly = solemnly (in a manner that is serious—not cheerful or lighthearted)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of somber means:
serious and without humor or fun — perhaps sad
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
writhe
5 uses
The Interloper who came to Eve as a snake on its belly, grinning and writhing.†
writhing = moving in a twisting or contorted motion
DefinitionGenerally writhe means:
to move in a twisting or contorted motion — often of a person when struggling or in pain
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
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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