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That Summer

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
acute sense of smell
Just looking at her made me acutely aware of my own height,
acutely = very (highly perceptive of)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute means:
sharp (highly perceptive in some area or mentally sharp)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
an acute angle
I was all bony elbows and acute angles, like a jigsaw puzzle piece that can only go in the middle, waiting for the others to fit around it to make it whole.†
acute angles = ending in a narrow point or angle; or describing an angle measuring less than 90 degrees
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
appropriate
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
it is appropriate
I looked sick, haunted, which I felt was appropriate so I just left my face as it was, without applying any makeup or touching my hair.
appropriate = fitting to the situation
DefinitionGenerally this sense of appropriate means:
suitable (fitting) for a particular situation
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
commotion
2 uses
I said again, louder this time because in our house you have to make a commotion to even be heard.†
commotion = noisy disturbance
DefinitionGenerally commotion means:
a disturbance — typically noisy
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
consensus
1 use
When the music stopped and I opened my eyes, all those elderly couples were grouped around us, applauding and smiling and nodding at each other, a silent consensus that what I'd felt wasn't just imagined.†
consensus = agreement by a group as a whole
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
contort
2 uses
They rock back and forth and their faces get all contorted.†
contorted = twisted
DefinitionGenerally contort means:
twist or bend to an unnatural shape — something such as the human body, a facial expression, or the truth
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
cultivate
1 use
My mother, like Ashley, has always cultivated the family dramatic streak, started by my grandmother, who at important family gatherings liked to fake horrible incidents if she felt she was not getting enough attention.†
cultivated = developed, grown, or prepared for growing crops
DefinitionGenerally cultivate means:
enhance growth or development
in various senses, including:
  • to grow crops or prepare land for them
  • enhance a relationship — especially for a purpose
  • develop discernment (better recognition of differences) in taste or judgment
  • to grow a culture in a petri dish
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
curt
2 uses
She sniffed again, with her eyes closed, then opened them and said curtly, "You've been smoking.†
curtly = in a manner that uses few words or is abrupt and perhaps discourteous or rude
DefinitionGenerally curt means:
brief to the point of rudeness
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
erratic
4 uses
My mother was an erratic defroster.†
erratic = irregular or unpredictable
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
gene
2 uses
It's probably one of those-what do they call them, recessive genes?†
genes = segments of DNA that 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
Book2 uses
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
however
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
However, complications may...
Gwendolyn's head, however, bowed forward, as if even watching was too much for her.†
however = a word used to connect contrasting ideas as when using though, in spite of that, in contrast, nevertheless, etc.
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
though (or another expression that connects contrasting ideas)

(Based on idea 1 we might not expect idea 2, but this is a way of saying that even though idea 1 exists, we still have idea 2.  Synonyms include in spite of that, , nevertheless, nonetheless, on the other hand, in contrastand but.)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library61 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
incredulous
1 use
She sounded incredulous, even as she whispered.†
incredulous = unbelieving; or having difficulty accepting something so unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
indignant
1 use
Well, you're in trouble," Ronald said indignantly, slapping a piece of baloney on the table and marching a Klingon across it.†
indignantly = with anger or annoyance at something unjust or wrong
DefinitionGenerally indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
innovate
1 use
That fashion show had been the most innovative, until this year.†
innovative = new and different

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word into an adjective; though over time, what was originally an adjective often comes to be used as a noun. The adjective pattern means tending to and is seen in words like attractive, impressive, and supportive. Examples of the noun include narrative, alternative, and detective.)
DefinitionGenerally innovate means:
bring something new to an environment
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
mentor
1 use
There had been a long story in the paper this very morning about the novelty wedding of the sports guy and the weather girl, which went into detail about the mentoring relationship between Charlie Baker and the intern he'd taken under his wing during her first shaky days at the station.†
mentoring = guiding and advising
DefinitionGenerally mentor means:
someone who guides and advises another who is less experienced; or the act of providing such guidance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
migrate
1 use
Whenever Sumner was over, everyone came out of their respective hiding places: my mother from the kitchen, my father from in front of the TV, all of us migrating towards his voice and laughter, or whatever it was that made everyone want to be around him.†
migrating = moving from one place to another
DefinitionGenerally migrate means:
move from one place to another — sometimes seasonally
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
nostalgia
1 use
They're having a nostalgia dance but they're short on men.†
nostalgia = longing for something past
DefinitionGenerally nostalgia means:
happiness that come with the memory of good times combined with a hint of sadness that those times are over
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
notwithstanding
1 use
We walked into the lobby of the church and were immediately gathered up in the large arms of my aunt Ree, who was representing the bulk of my father's side of the family, most of whom were still upset about the divorce and sided with my mother, family loyalty notwithstanding.†
notwithstanding = in spite of; or in spite of the thing just mentioned (used to connect contrasting ideas)
DefinitionGenerally notwithstanding means:
in spite of; or in spite of the thing mentioned
(Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nevertheless, nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
solidarity
1 use
I could have said it all right there, all the Hallmark kinds of things that I felt I should say to my mother, words of support and solidarity and comfort.†
solidarity = a state of agreement and support — especially for political action
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
tether
5 uses
It was as if I was attached to her with a tether, her every movement yanking at me, my own hands reaching to shield her from the dangers of her waving arms.†
tether = to tie so as to limit the boundaries of movement; or the rope or other material used to do the tying

(editor's note:  If you've ever played tetherball, it will be easier to remember the meaning of tether.)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
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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