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Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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adulterate
1 use
I don't like my crème brûlée adulterated, because then you can't taste through to the quality of the ingredients.
adulterated = corrupted of made less good by adding a foreign or inferior substance
DefinitionGenerally adulterate means:
corrupt, debase, or make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
aesthetic
10 uses
Office chairs in people's minds had a certain aesthetic.
aesthetic = beauty or attractiveness
DefinitionGenerally aesthetic means:
related to beauty or good taste — often referring to one's appreciation of beauty or one's sense of what is beautiful

or:

beautiful or tasteful
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
archaic
1 use
The art historian George Ortiz was once asked by Ernst Langlotz, one of the world's foremost experts on archaic sculpture, whether he wanted to purchase a bronze statuette.
archaic = so extremely old as to belong to an earlier period
DefinitionGenerally archaic means:
so extremely old as to seem to belong to an earlier period; or obsolete
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
belligerent
1 use
The rogue commander was getting more and more belligerent, the United States more and more concerned.
belligerent = hostile (with of 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
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
bias
5 uses
...under conditions of perfect objectivity, and in that unbiased moment, he had said...
unbiased = unprejudiced

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unbiased means not and reverses the meaning of biased. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally bias means:
a personal preference — especially a prejudice that prevents objective consideration

or:

any tendency to move in a particular direction — such as a car that tends to want to swerve toward the right
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useCncl.
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
If Gottman observes one or both partners in a marriage showing contempt toward the other, he considers it the single most important sign that the marriage is in trouble.
contempt = lack of respect
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 1
Web Links
context
9 uses
In order to "know" a couple, we feel as though we have to observe them over many weeks and months and see them in every state ... To make an accurate prediction about something as serious as the future of a marriage—indeed, to make a prediction of any sort—it seems that we would have to gather a lot of information and in as many different contexts as possible. But John Gottman has proven that we don't have to do that at all.
contexts = situations or settings
DefinitionGenerally context means:
the setting or situation in which something occurs
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
convention   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —1 use as in:
to convene
The Getty was getting worried, so they convened a special symposium.
convened = meet formally or call together to meet
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
a large conference or meeting
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
2  —5 uses as in:
conventional behavior
The conventional wisdom at the time held...
conventional = normal
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
deliberate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
deliberate insult
The Diallo shooting, in other words, falls into a kind of gray area, the middle ground between deliberate and accidental.
deliberate = intentional (done on purpose)
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 6
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
need to deliberate
Deliberate thinking is a wonderful tool when we have the luxury of time,
deliberate = consideration of all sides of a question
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deliberate means:
to think about or discuss — especially with great care
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
dispassionate
1 use
In high-stakes, fast-moving situations, we don't want to be as dispassionate and purely rational as the Iowa ventromedial patients.
dispassionate = unaffected by strong emotion
DefinitionGenerally dispassionate means:
unaffected by strong emotion or bias
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
insight
18 uses
But problems that require a flash of insight operate by different rules.
insight = a clear understanding of some aspect of a complex situation
DefinitionGenerally insight means:
a clear understanding of some aspect of a complex situation; or a tendency to have such understandings
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
literally
9 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
literally--not figuratively
They [people with autism] have difficulty interpreting nonverbal cues, such as gestures and facial expressions or ... or drawing understanding from anything other than the literal meaning of words.
literal = most basic (not metaphorical or figurative)
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
Book7 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —2 uses
objective
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an objective viewpoint
...the man complaining about her ability, had listened to her ... under conditions of perfect objectivity, and in that unbiased moment, he had said, "That's who we want!" and sent the remaining trombonists packing.
objectivity = hearing without prejudice (without the influence of personal feelings or preferences)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of objective means:
fact-based without the influence of personal feelings or preferences
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useCncl.
Web Links
rational
1 use
We know we cannot rationally describe the kind of person we will fall in love with:
rationally = in a manner based on using reason rather than emotion
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rational means:
reasonable
in various senses, including:
  • "It's not rational to treat 2+2 as 5." — logical as contrasted to illogical
  • "I know you're upset, but please think about this in a rational manner." — based on reason as contrasted to emotion
  • "When I was 10-years-old, I wasn't very smart, but I was still rational." — capable of using reason as contrasted to being insane or lacking the ability to reason
  • "In matters of the heart, I trust my intuition more than my rational analysis." — based on a logical analysis as contrasted to intuition, instinct, custom, tarot-card reading, or some other system of decision making
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
relevant
2 uses
You have to observe them while they are discussing something of relevance to their relationship.
relevance = importance (having a meaningful relation to the issue in question)
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 5
Web Links
spontaneous
13 uses
Blink is concerned with ... those instantaneous impressions and conclusions that spontaneously arise whenever we meet a new person or confront a complex situation or have to make a decision under conditions of stress.
spontaneously = naturally (without plan)
DefinitionGenerally spontaneous means:
behaving in an instinctive, uninhibited manner

or:

happening naturally (without planning or external force)
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useIntr.
Web Links
subtle
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a subtle difference or thinker
The clues were pretty subtle.
subtle = difficult to understand or hard to notice
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
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
virulent
2 uses
He was virulently anti-American.
virulently = in a harsh and hateful manner
DefinitionGenerally virulent means:
of disease:  very bad — perhaps very contagious

or

harsh or hateful
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
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