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The Angel Experiment

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
altitude
7 uses
I squinted and focused, all the time gaining altitude.
altitude = elevation (height)
DefinitionGenerally altitude means:
elevation (height) — typically above sea level or above the earth's surface

or:

(metaphorically) a desirable height
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
belligerent
1 use
the kid asked, sounding a lot less belligerent and much more weirded out.
belligerent = hostile (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
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 5
Web Links
bemused
1 use
The five of us followed them to the checkout counter, and I watched in disbelief as the woman, seeming a bit bemused, took out her wallet and paid for Angel's bear.
bemused = perplexed or confused
DefinitionGenerally bemused means:
puzzled or confused
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 5
Web Links
coherent
3 uses
Incoherent murmurings of pleasure escaped my lips as I chewed slowly, savoring every bite.
incoherent = not logically consistent

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in incoherent means not and reverses the meaning of coherent. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
DefinitionGenerally coherent means:
sensible and clear; or describing parts as fitting together in a consistent or pleasing manner
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 2
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
"...Just trust me. Listen to your gut." Well, how many times had I heard him say that? I wondered contemptuously as he walked away.
contemptuously = with dislike and disrespect for his words
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 usePart 3
Web Links
DNA
9 uses
Or where they got our DNA?
DNA = cell structures that transmit genetic information which determines inherited traits such as hair color or height

(editor's note:   Bird is a synonym for avian.)
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
elated
1 use
I felt a trembling sense of elation as I started pulling out the pages I'd taken from the Institute.
elation = feeling of happiness and excitement

(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 elated means:
full of happiness and excitement
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 6
Web Links
gene
13 uses
Superhumans or Genetic Freaks?
genetic = segments of DNA which when combined determine biological traits such as hair color or height
DefinitionGenerally gene means:
a single segment of DNA which when combined determine inherited traits such as hair color or height
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 4
Web Links
incredulous
2 uses
Fang looked incredulous.
incredulous = unbelieving; or having difficulty accepting something so unexpected
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 3
Web Links
literally
9 uses
1  —9 uses as in:
literally--not figuratively
Here, we could live free. I mean literally free, as in, not in cages.
literally = actually (not figuratively; not an exaggeration)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of literally means:
actually true using the basic meaning of the words (not an exaggeration, metaphor, or other type of figurative speech)
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
pathetic
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a pathetic attempt to insult me
"This is pathetic," Fang whispered, and I turned to see him looking at a large cat, like a serval or a margay.
pathetic = contemptible (unworthy or despicable) — possibly mixed with pity
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pathetic means:
very bad — possibly so bad it is laughable (possibly mixed with some feeling of pity)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 6
Web Links
pompous
1 use
"There are signs posted everywhere clearly stating that climbing trees is forbidden," one cop began pompously.
pompously = with excessive self-importance
DefinitionGenerally pompous means:
behaving with excessive self-importance — often with exaggerated dignity or ceremonial splendor

or more rarely:  showing ceremonial splendor (pomp)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 5
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
"I don't know how you're doing it," he said, sounding resigned and irritated.
resigned = (as though) having accepted something undesired as unavoidable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st usePart 5
Web Links
serene
2 uses
I glanced over at Fang and saw that his face looked serene,
serene = calm and untroubled
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
skeptical
2 uses
Even she seemed skeptical.
skeptical = doubtful
DefinitionGenerally skeptical means:
doubtful (that something is true or worthwhile)

or more rarely:

generally tending to doubt what others believe
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 5
Web Links
solemn
8 uses
I looked at her solemnly.
solemnly = with seriousness
DefinitionGenerally solemn means:
in a very serious (and often dignified) manner
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library20 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
solicitous
1 use
He stood up and helped me from my chair, a solicitous hand under my elbow that made my flesh crawl.
solicitous = showing great care or concern
DefinitionGenerally solicitous means:
showing care or concern for someone
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
suppress
2 uses
Nudge suppressed a grin as I gave Gazzy a narrow-eyed glare.
suppressed = kept or tried to keep from developing
DefinitionGenerally suppress means:
trying to keep under control
The exact meaning of suppress can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "suppressed the revolution" — to stop others from doing something by force
  • "suppressed a smile" — kept something from happening
  • "suppressed the story" — kept news from spreading
  • "suppressed her fear" — controlled an emotion
  • "suppressed the memory" — avoided thinking about (perhaps even removed from conscious memory)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 4
Web Links
tentative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
said it tentatively
I looked down, then sucked in my breath so fast I almost choked. I was standing on a translucent platform suspended high over the sewer system. I wanted to scream, feeling off-balance and scared. ... I swallowed hard and tried to get a grip. Tentatively, I glanced down again at the translucent surface.
tentatively = in an unsure or careful manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tentative means:
done in a careful or unsure way (indicating a lack of confidence in exactly what will happen)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 6
Web Links
unobtrusive
1 use
Fang waited for him to get his food and unobtrusively led him to the most private booth.
unobtrusively = in a manner that fits in so as not to attract much attention or disturb others
DefinitionGenerally unobtrusive means:
fitting in so as not to attract much attention or disturb
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
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