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Uncle Tom's Cabin

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
alacrity
4 uses
...while Miss Ophelia piled and sorted dishes, emptied dozens of scattering bowls of sugar into one receptacle, sorted napkins, table-cloths, and towels, for washing; washing, wiping, and arranging with her own hands, and with a speed and alacrity which perfectly amazed Dinah.
alacrity = quickness; and/or cheerful eagerness
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
approach
9 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
approached the city
The crescent moon, set like a silver signet in the western sky, delayed a little the approach of night.†
approach = coming
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
to get closer to (near in space, time, quantity, or quality)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library104 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —1 use
contrast   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 9 uses
1  —1 use as in:
contrast their writing styles
The End of the Wicked contrasted with that of the Righteous.†
contrasted = compared to show differences
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.17
Web Links
2  —6 uses as in:
there is a contrast
There was a graceful and compassionate sweetness in her voice and manner, as she said this, that formed a strange contrast with the former wildness.†
contrast = difference
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
a difference — especially a notable difference; or the side-x-side arrangement of things that draws attention to an unmissable difference
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.26
Web Links
3  —2 uses as in:
it is a contrast
My brother and I were twins; and they say, you know, that twins ought to resemble each other; but we were in all points a contrast.†
contrast = something notably different
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
something noticeably different (compared to something else or to other things)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she felt despair
At last my mother gave up, in despair.
despair = distress (at not knowing how to improve a bad situation)
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
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.19
Web Links
direct   (6 meanings)
6 meanings, 24 uses
1  —1 use as in:
depart directly
Haley has come into possession of a mortgage, which, if I don't clear off with him directly, will take everything before it.†
directly = in a short time
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
without delay, or in the quickest manner, or without going somewhere else first
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
2  —5 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
Cassy placed her ear at the knot-hole; and, as the morning air blew directly towards the house, she could overhear a good deal of the conversation.†
directly = straight (in a straight line)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The road runs directly to Las Vegas." — straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • "It was a direct hit." — exact
  • "The plant is in direct sunlight." — unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • "She wants a direct meeting with him." — personal (without other people in between)
  • "She paid direct attention to what he was reading." — close
  • "a direct gaze" — straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.12
Web Links
3  —8 uses as in:
was direct in my instructions
"I'm not going to have any of your horrid New England directness, cousin," said St. Clare, gayly.†
directness = the quality of being straightforward or clear (without adjusting what is said to spare others' feelings)

(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 direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.16
Web Links
4  —7 uses as in:
directed her question to
"Now, mind yourself," he said, with a stamp and a fierce glance of his gray eye, directed at Tom, (I'm your church now!)†
directed = aimed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
to indicate direction; or to cause movement or focus in a direction or towards an object
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "intentionally directed fire at unarmed civilians" — aimed a gun
  • "directed the question to her" — aimed a question
  • "directed her north" — pointed in a particular direction
  • "directed attention to the 3rd paragraph" — focused attention on a particular object
  • "The sound of her voice directed him to the kitchen." — guided or gave directions to someone to help them move to a particular place
  • "She directed him to the airport." — gave directions to send someone to a particular place
  • "She directed the boat north." — steered it
  • "directed the letter to" — send a letter to a particular person by putting a name and address on it
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library36 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
5  —1 use as in:
directed the jury to...
He therefore appeared before Aunt Chloe with a touchingly subdued, resigned expression, like one who has suffered immeasurable hardships in behalf of a persecuted fellow-creature,—enlarged upon the fact that Missis had directed him to come to Aunt Chloe for whatever might be wanting to make up the balance in his solids and fluids,—and thus unequivocally acknowledged her right and supremacy in the cooking department, and all thereto pertaining.†
directed = instructed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
6  —2 uses as in:
directed the movie
There must, he says, be a lower class, given up to physical toil and confined to an animal nature; and a higher one thereby acquires leisure and wealth for a more expanded intelligence and improvement, and becomes the directing soul of the lower.†
directing = controlling
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
supervise, control, or to be in charge of
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library29 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.16
Web Links
illustrate
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
as illustrated by this example
As they stood there now by Legree, they seemed an apt illustration of the fact that brutal men are lower even than animals.†
illustration = demonstration

(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 illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 1.11
Web Links
indolent
3 uses
St. Clare was indolent and careless of money.
indolent = lazy
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.18
Web Links
passage
10 uses
Tom opened, at once, to a heavily marked passage, much worn, of the last scenes in the life of Him by whose stripes we are healed.†
passage = a short part of a longer written work
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.14
Web Links
pious   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 40 uses
1  —36 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
he really seemed somehow or other to fancy that his wife had piety and benevolence enough for two
piety = religious belief
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book36 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
a pious hypocrite
I can stand most any talk o' yourn but your pious talk,—that kills me right up.  ... —it's clean, sheer, dog meanness, wanting to cheat the devil and save your own skin;
pious = appearing highly religious and moral even though it's not true
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
self-righteous (acting as though one is, or believing one is highly moral when it is not true)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
remonstrate
4 uses
A nation has a right to argue, remonstrate, implore, and present the cause of its race,—which an individual has not.
remonstrate = argue, complain, or criticize
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.20
Web Links
resolve   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 8 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
with his money in his pocket, our hero took steamboat for Red river, resolving to find out and re-purchase his old friend.
resolving = definitely deciding
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.41
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
Her resolve weakened.
...she showed a depth of firmness and steady resolve that was never there in her earlier and happier days.
resolve = determinaton (firmness of purpose)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
firmness of purpose (strong determination to do something)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.15
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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