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Tunnel In the Sky

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
adrenaline
2 uses
Rod felt cold ripple of adrenalin shock trickle down his back and out his finger tips.†
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
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
alternative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an alternative plan
I was simply pointing out alternatives.†
alternatives = possibilities
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
approach
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
approached the city
The tree stood in a semi-clearing but Jack brought Rod to it through bushes which came close to the trunk and made the final approach as a belly sneak.†
approach = getting near
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
to get closer to (near in space, time, quantity, or quality)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library104 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
confound
5 uses
It's just that we have been so confounded busy.†
confounded = confused or frustrated
DefinitionGenerally confound means:
to confuse, prove wrong, frustrate, or express frustration
in various senses, including:
confuse or surprise — sometimes specifically to confuse one thing with another
  • "confounded by the puzzle" — confused or perplexed
  • "Test results confounded the experts." — surprised and confused
  • "Do not confound confidence with correctness." — mistake one thing for another
prove wrong, defeat, or frustrate
  • "The test results confounded my theory." — proved wrong
  • "Their defense confounded our offense." — defeated or frustrated
make worse
  • "She confounded the problem by painting without sanding." — made worse
  • "The task is complicated by other confounding factors." — making worse
an exclamation expressing anger or frustration
  • "Confound it! Will I ever get this thing to work?"
  • "I don't understand the confounded directions!"
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
the little carnivores contemptuously known as dopy joes
contemptuously = showing a lack of respect for them
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
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
convention
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
conventional behavior
From there on he climbed more conventionally, digging the spurs into the tree's smooth bark and setting his feet more comfortably on branches when they began to be close enough together to form a ladder.†
conventionally = something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
distort
3 uses
Space-time distortion, but I'm no mathematician.†
distortion = to alter something in an unnatural or untrue way

(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.)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
dwell
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
a modest dwelling
No. Cliff dwellings, you've seen pictures.†
dwellings = houses or shelters in which people live
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dwelling means:
a house or shelter in which someone lives
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
elaborate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
elaborate on your plan
Jackie said that she had no wish to go back to Terra and Jimmy was elaborating.†
elaborating = adding details or explaining in detail
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elaborate means:
add details or explain in detail
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
environment
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
her family environment
He said that if tests were held on Earth, the candidates would just study up on terrestrial environments.†
environments = instances of surrounding conditions
DefinitionGenerally this sense of environment means:
surrounding conditions
in various senses, including:
  • conditions in a location or geographic area — as in "the desert environment"
  • conditions that affect a particular activity — as in "the learning environment"
  • conditions that create a certain mood — as in "a competitive environment," or "a romantic environment,"
  • conditions that impact a particular computer system, subsystem, or program — as in "the Windows environment"
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
establish
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
establish a positive tone
But when the main body of our great race re-establishes contact with us, it is up to us, this little group here tonight, whether they find a civilized society or flea-bitten animals without language, without arts, with the light of reason grown dim .... or no survivors at all, nothing but bones picked clean.†
re-establishes = restores

(Editor's note:  The prefix "re-" in re-establishes means again. This is the same pattern you see in words like reconsider, rearrange, and regenerate.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
futile
4 uses
Futile.†
futile = effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
irony
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
verbal irony
"The Corporation has been assured that the colonists are volunteers." It seemed to Rod that the announcer's tone was ironical. "This is understandable when one considers the phenomenal population pressure..."
ironical = saying one thing while meaning something else
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
irrelevant
2 uses
He felt that he knew what "Deacon" Matson would say .... something about the irrelevancy of fairness to survival.†
irrelevancy = the state of not being relevant (not related to the subject being considered, or not important enough to want to consider)
DefinitionGenerally irrelevant means:
not relevant (not related to the subject being considered, or not important enough to want to consider)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
migrate
5 uses
Three days later the migration of animals started.†
migration = movement from one place to another

(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 migrate means:
move from one place to another — sometimes seasonally
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
minute
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
keep the minutes
Each evening she opened proceedings by reading the minutes of the previous meeting.†
minutes = formal notes (from a meeting)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minutes means:
a written record of what happened at a meeting
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
...had even considered one restless night the advisability of resigning and letting someone who had not lost face take over the responsibility.
resigning = quitting (his job)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
to quit — especially a job or position; or a document expressing such an act
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
revise
1 use
You said that a revised draft was being prepared and the report would be delayed.†
revised = changed
DefinitionGenerally revise means:
to change (and hopefully improve) — most frequently to improve a written document, but it can be any intentional change such as a change in an estimated amount, a plan, or a series of procedures
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
rigorous
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
we follow a rigorous procedure
...they should be determined by rigorous scientific criteria.
rigorous = thorough and careful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rigorous means:
thorough and careful procedures
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
scorn
5 uses
Jacqueline looked scornfully at the figure on the ground.†
scornfully = in a disrespectful or rejecting manner
DefinitionGenerally scorn means:
disrespect or reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 5
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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