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Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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agony
18 uses
and Seth, howling in agony .
agony = intense feelings of suffering (can be from mental or physical pain)
DefinitionGenerally agony means:
intense feelings of suffering — can be from mental or physical pain
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
alternative
7 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
an alternative plan
You gave me two alternatives that you could live with, and I chose the one that I could live with. That's how compromise is supposed to work.
alternatives = different possibilities
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
apathy
2 uses
I recognized the apathy at once.
apathy = lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 25
Web Links
belligerent
2 uses
I tilted my head back and glared at him, embarrassment making me lash out, belligerent.
belligerent = hostile (with the attitude of one eager to fight)
DefinitionGenerally belligerent means:
hostile (the attitude of one eager to fight); or one already engaged in a fight or war
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
deliberate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 7 uses
1  —1 use as in:
deliberate insult
"Don't worry about me," he insisted, smiling with deliberate cheer, too brightly.
deliberate = intentional
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deliberate means:
to do something intentionally (do it on purpose)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
2  —6 uses as in:
need to deliberate
Edward scrutinized my face while I deliberated.
deliberated = thought with great care
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deliberate means:
to think about or discuss — especially with great care
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
I didn't want to be a source of familial discord when they were already arguing.
discord = conflict and argument
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
dissent
1 use
Now, there's a world full of dissension about this, but the vast majority seem to think that there are some rules that have to be followed.
dissension = disagreement

(editor's note:  The suffix "-sion", 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 admission from admit, discussion from discuss, and invasion from invade.)
DefinitionGenerally dissent means:
to disagree; or disagreement or conflict — typically between people who cooperate, and often with official or majority beliefs
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
distend
1 use
After forcing down three helpings, Charlie kicked his feet up on the spare chair and folded his hands contentedly across his distended stomach.
distended = extended or swollen
DefinitionGenerally distend means:
to extend — especially the swelling outward of a part of the body; e.g., the stomach
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
exasperated
8 uses
Edward threw his hands up in exasperation.
exasperation = great annoyance

(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 exasperated means:
greatly annoyed
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
incredulous
8 uses
Alice stared up at him, eyes wide and incredulous.
incredulous = unbelieving
DefinitionGenerally incredulous means:
unbelieving; or having difficulty accepting something so unexpected
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
indifferent
7 uses
He shrugged indifferently.
indifferently = without interest
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest
in various senses, including:
  • unconcerned — as in "She is indifferent to what is served to eat."
  • unsympathetic — as in "She is indifferent to his needs."
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context) — as in "an indifferent performance"
  • impartial — as in "We need a judge who is indifferent."
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
oblivious
6 uses
They were used circumspectly, and the humans remained, for the most part, oblivious.
oblivious = unaware
DefinitionGenerally oblivious means:
unaware of
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
relevant
2 uses
That conversation isn't relevant to my decision.
relevant = related in a meaningful way
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
resolve   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
Her resolve weakened.
I labored to put some resolve into my tone.
resolve = 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 12
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
How did you resolve the problem?
Perhaps if we can talk to these young ones, explain the rules, it can be resolved peacefully.
resolved = settled
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to solve a problem or settle a disagreement
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
scrupulous
1 use
I had a sinking feeling that Alice was going to get her way, mostly because she was totally unscrupulous when there was something she wanted,
unscrupulous = unethical

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unscrupulous means not and reverses the meaning of scrupulous. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
scrutiny
7 uses
But I scrutinized his every action minutely, looking for any evidence that he had been harmed.
scrutinized = carefully looked at

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word to a verb. This is the same pattern you see in words like apologize, theorize, and dramatize.)
DefinitionGenerally scrutiny means:
careful examination of something
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
subtle   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
a subtle shade of blue
Charlie, in an obvious maneuver that he meant to be subtle, shrugged in between us and put his arm around my shoulders.
subtle = understated so as not to draw attention
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
understated so as not to draw attention to itself
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a subtle difference or thinker
Absentmindedly, I twisted my right hand to the side, and watched the sunlight glitter subtly off the scar James had left there.
subtly = in a slightly noticeable manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions)

or:

capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
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