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To the Lighthouse

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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aloof
6 uses
She was aloof from him now in her beauty, in her sadness.†
aloof = socially distant or uninterested
DefinitionGenerally aloof means:
socially distant or uninterested in something that interests others — often thinking oneself superior to others
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
anguish
5 uses
Not for the world would she have spoken to him, realising, from the familiar signs, his eyes averted, and some curious gathering together of his person, as if he wrapped himself about and needed privacy into which to regain his equilibrium, that he was outraged and anguished.†
anguished = extreme pain, suffering, or distress (of body or mind)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
austere
5 uses
For the great plateful of blue water was before her; the hoary Lighthouse, distant, austere, in the midst; and on the right, as far as the eye could see, fading and falling, in soft low pleats, the green sand dunes with the wild flowing grasses on them, which always seemed to be running away into some moon country, uninhabited of men.†
austere = a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration; or stern in manner
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
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
cease
11 uses
They had ceased to talk;
ceased = discontinued
DefinitionGenerally cease means:
to stop or discontinue
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library26 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
contradict
1 use
Standing now, apparently transfixed, by the pear tree, impressions poured in upon her of those two men, and to follow her thought was like following a voice which speaks too quickly to be taken down by one's pencil, and the voice was her own voice saying without prompting undeniable, everlasting, contradictory things, so that even the fissures and humps on the bark of the pear tree were irrevocably fixed there for eternity.†
contradictory = in disagreement
DefinitionGenerally contradict means:
disagree
in various senses, including:
  • to say something is not true — as in "She contradicted his testimony."
  • to say something else is true when both can't be true — as in "I don't believe her. She contradicted herself as she told us what happened."
  • to be in conflict with — as in "Her assertions contradict accepted scientific principles."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 1
Web Links
convey
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
convey her thoughts
To her son these words conveyed an extraordinary joy, as if it were settled, the expedition were bound to take place, and the wonder to which he had looked forward, for years and years it seemed, was, after a night's darkness and a day's sail, within touch.†
conveyed = communicated or expressed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convey means:
communicate or express
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 1
Web Links
dispose
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
disposed the troops along...
Then smoothly brushing the walls, they passed on musingly as if asking the red and yellow roses on the wall-paper whether they would fade, and questioning (gently, for there was time at their disposal) the torn letters in the wastepaper basket, the flowers, the books, all of which were now open to them and asking, Were they allies?†
disposal = command

(editor's note:  When something is "at someone's disposal" it is "at their command," or "available for their use." They can use it as they please.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
the arrangement, positioning, or use of things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 2
Web Links
dispute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
She disputes his claim.
...intimately, but still always laughing, insist that she must, Minta must, they all must marry, since in the whole world whatever laurels might be tossed to her (but Mrs. Ramsay cared not a fig for her painting), or triumphs won by her (probably Mrs. Ramsay had had her share of those), and here she saddened, darkened, and came back to her chair, there could be no disputing this: an unmarried woman (she lightly took her hand for a moment), an unmarried woman has missed the best of life.†
disputing = challenging, arguing about, or fighting over
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
challenge, argue about, or fight over
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 1
Web Links
dissertation
7 uses
Tansley had had to go in and write his dissertation, he said.†
dissertation = a lengthy academic paper — especially a scholarly work required for an advanced academic degree
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
infinite
6 uses
It was bad, it was bad, it was infinitely bad!†
infinitely = unlimited; without boundaries; or too numerous to count
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
irony
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
situational irony
And what are two thousand years? (asked Mr. Ramsay ironically, ...) ... The very stone one kicks with one's boot will outlast Shakespeare.
ironically = when the truth is very different than what might be 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
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
malicious
3 uses
Falling in one second from the tension which had gripped her to the other extreme which, as if to recoup her for her unnecessary expense of emotion, was cool, amused, and even faintly malicious, she concluded that poor Charles Tansley had been shed.†
malicious = wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 1
Web Links
monotonous
6 uses
She bore about with her, she could not help knowing it, the torch of her beauty; she carried it erect into any room that she entered; and after all, veil it as she might, and shrink from the monotony of bearing that it imposed on her, her beauty was apparent.†
monotony = lack of variety
DefinitionGenerally monotonous means:
lacking in variety — typically boring
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
moreover
2 uses
But he had been wrong to be angry with her; moreover, did he not rather like this vagueness in women?†
moreover = in addition to what has just been said
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 2
Web Links
nevertheless
4 uses
But nevertheless, the fact remained, it was impossible to dislike any one if one looked at them.†
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
Book4 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 1
Web Links
perish
11 uses
Whatever else may perish and disappear, what lies here is steadfast.†
perish = die, be destroyed, or cease to exist
DefinitionGenerally perish means:
to die — especially in an unnatural way

or:

to be destroyed or cease to exist
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 1
Web Links
presumption
7 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
presumption of innocence
Lodging in the same house with her, he had noticed too, how orderly she was, up before breakfast and off to paint, he believed, alone: poor, presumably, and without the complexion or the allurement of Miss Doyle certainly, but with a good sense which made her in his eyes superior to that young lady.
presumably = probably

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ably" is a combination of the suffixes "-able" and "-ly". It means in a manner that is capable of being. This is the same pattern you see in words like agreeably, favorably, and comfortably.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of presumption means:
to think of something as true or likely, even though it is not known with certainty
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
profound
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
This man had shared with her something profoundly intimate.
profoundly = intensely
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
tyranny
11 uses
Nor was she domineering, nor was she tyrannical.†
tyrannical = harsh and unjust
DefinitionGenerally tyranny means:
harsh and unjust rule
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
waver
7 uses
By looking fixedly at the page, he hoped to make him move on; by pointing his finger at a word, he hoped to recall his mother's attention, which, he knew angrily, wavered instantly his father stopped.†
wavered = was unsure or weak; or moved back and forth
DefinitionGenerally waver means:
to move back and forth (shake or quiver)

or:

to change, be unsure, or weak
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 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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