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Things Fall Apart

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abominable
13 uses
These outcasts, or osu, seeing that the new religion welcomed twins and such abominations, thought that it was possible that they would also be received.
abominations = things that are exceptionally bad or detestable

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tions", converts a verb into a plural noun that denotes results of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in actions, illustrations, and observations.)
From page 155.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally abominable means:
exceptionally bad or detestable
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.18, p.155.8
Web Links
accompany   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
accompany on the journey
Sometimes when he went to big village meetings or communal ancestral feasts he allowed Ikemefuna to accompany him, like a son, carrying his stool and his goatskin bag.
accompany = come with
From page 28.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accompany means:
to travel along with
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 1.12, p.115.9
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
illness and accompanying symptoms
He pressed the trigger and there was a loud report accompanied by the wail of his wives and children.
accompanied = joined at the same time

(editor's note:  In this context, a report is a loud noise made when a gun is shot.)
From page 39.2  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accompany means:
to be present with at the same time and/or location
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 1.5, p.39.2
Web Links
accord   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 6 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
according to, or in accord with
Fortunately, among these people a man was judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father.
according to = based upon
From page 8.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
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
Book4 uses
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1, p.8.3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
done of her own accord
How dare you, woman, to go before the mighty Agbala of your own accord?
own accord = own mind (without anyone saying to)
From page 101.8  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
mind
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.11, p.101.8
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
accord her the respect deserved
He had been a great and fearless warrior in his time, and was now accorded great respect in all the clan.
accorded = given (special treatment)
From page 57.1  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
to give someone special treatment — especially respect
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7, p.57.1
Web Links
anarchy
1 use
  Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
  Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
anarchy = lack of political order

(editor's note:  These lines are quoted form a poem before the story starts. The poem was written by a famous Irish poet, William Butler Yeats. Yeats is pronounced like "Yates" so that it rhymes with gates.)
From page i.7  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally anarchy means:
the complete absence of political authority; or more generally, complete absence of order
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1.1, p.i.7
Web Links
descend   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 11 uses
1  —1 use as in:
descend the mountain
Okonkwo's machete descended twice and the man's head lay beside his uniformed body.
descended = moved down
From page 204.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
move or slope downward
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.24, p.204.9
Web Links
2  —10 uses as in:
thieves descended upon us
These moods descended on her suddenly and for no apparent reason.
descended = came
From page 173.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
to come or arrive — especially suddenly or from above or as an attack
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7, p.55.9
Web Links
despair   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
she felt despair
The old man, Uchendu, saw clearly that Okonkwo had yielded to despair and he was greatly troubled.
despair = hopelessness

(editor's note:  In this context, yielded is a synonym for given in.)
From page 131.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of despair means:
hopelessness; or distress (such as extreme worry or sadness from feeling powerless to change a bad situation)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.3, p.24.7
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
do not despair
His father, Unoka, who was then an ailing man, had said to him during that terrible harvest month: "Do not despair."
despair = give up hope
From page 24.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of despair means:
to lose hope
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.3, p.24.9
Web Links
determine
3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
is determined to succeed
He was determined that his return should be marked by his people.
determined = firm in purpose

(editor's note:  In this context, "be marked by his people" means "make an impression on his people.")
From page 171.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.9, p.79.7
unquizzed meaning  —1 use
dispute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
their border dispute
Our duty is not to blame this man or to praise that, but to settle the dispute.
dispute = disagreement
From page 93.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
disagreement, argument, or conflict
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.3, p.16.4
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
She disputes his claim.
But if the Oracle said that my son should be killed I would neither dispute it nor be the one to do it.
dispute = challenge
From page 67.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
challenge, argue about, or fight over
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.8, p.67.5
Web Links
exile
15 uses
The clan had undergone such profound change during his exile that it was barely recognizable.
exile = state of being forced to live outside one's homeland
From page 182.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally exile means:
to force someone to live outside of their homeland; or living in such a condition

or more rarely:  voluntary absence from a place someone would rather be
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.14, p.133.5
Web Links
illustrate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
as illustrated by this example
He ground his teeth again and told a story to illustrate his point.
illustrate = help make clear
From page 140.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 2.15, p.140.3
Web Links
interpret
21 uses
1  —21 uses as in:
interpret Spanish to English
Okeke interpreted wisely to the spirits and leaders of Umuofia: "The white man says he is happy you have come to him with your grievances, like friends."
interpreted = translated
From page 190.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of interpret means:
to translate words into spoken words of another language

(This word is especially used in place of translate when the translation is done real-time, or on-the-fly, or immediately as needed.)
Word Statistics
Book21 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.16, p.145.9
Web Links
pacify
2 uses
He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.
pacification = getting others to peacefully submit to rule

(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.)
From page 209.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally pacify means:
calm someone who is angry; or establish peace
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.25, p.209.8
Web Links
prosperous
9 uses
He wanted him to be a prosperous man, having enough in his barn to feed the ancestors with regular sacrifices.
prosperous = financially successful
From page 53  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally prosperous means:
successful or good — especially with regard to finances or wealth
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2, p.14.3
Web Links
wrath
5 uses
This growing feeling was due to Mr. Brown, the white missionary, who was very firm in restraining his flock from provoking the wrath of the clan.
wrath = anger
From page 178.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally wrath means:
extreme anger or angry punishment
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.13, p.125.9
Web Links
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