toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books
Book Menu

Message in a Bottle by Sparks

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
ambivalent
2 uses
No ambivalence this time, no doubt about what he'd said.
ambivalence = uncertainty
DefinitionGenerally ambivalent means:
having mixed feelings about something — such as when part of you wants to do something and part of you does not
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
anxiety
4 uses
The simple act of cutting tomatoes with her by his side eased some of the anxiety he'd felt up to this point.
anxiety = nervousness or worry
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library23 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
demure
1 use
"Go home, Garrett," she said demurely.
demurely = shyly; or pretending shyness in a playful way
DefinitionGenerally demure means:
modest, quiet, and shy; or pretending such in a playful way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
descend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
thieves descended upon us
With the preparation under way, a peaceful silence descended upon them.
descended = came

(editor's note: This is a less common meaning of descended. It's kind of like saying "Silence fell upon them.")
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
to come or arrive — especially suddenly or from above or as an attack
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
earnest
5 uses
She could hear an absolute earnestness in the caller's voice.
earnestness = sincerity or seriousness

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
DefinitionGenerally earnest means:
characterized by sincere belief

or:

intensely or excessively serious
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
famished
1 use
Kevin, now famished, wanted to go to McDonald's again, but she drew the line and suggested that they have breakfast at the Waffle House across the street.
famished = extremely hungry
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
imply
2 uses
Would he be as caring in person as the letter seemed to imply?
imply = suggest (say indirectly)
DefinitionGenerally imply means:
to suggest or say indirectly — possibly as a logical consequence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
inevitable
1 use
I have some friends with boys a little older than he is, and they tell me it's inevitable.
inevitable = certain to happen
DefinitionGenerally inevitable means:
certain to happen (even if one tried to prevent it)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library23 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
irony
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
situational irony
In the beginning, I'd assumed that we were somehow brought together to help you through your time of grief. Yet now, one year later, I've come to believe that it was the other way around. Ironically, I am in the same position you were, the first time we met.
ironically = when what happens is very different than what might be expected
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
when what happens is very different than what might be expected; or when things are together that seem like they don't belong together — especially when amusing or an entertaining coincidence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
objective
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an objective viewpoint
Let's take an objective look at what happened with Garrett, shall we?
objective = fact-based and not influenced by 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 useChapter 10
Web Links
oblivious
6 uses
They talked quietly, oblivious to the throngs around them, neither one of them noticing when the check was brought to the table and the lunch crowd emptied out.
oblivious = unaware of
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
obscure
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
it obscured my view
The tinted windows of the terminal coupled with the pouring rain obscured her view.
obscured = blocked (so she could not see)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
pragmatic
1 use
A little more than a week ago she'd found the first letter, and the words had left a deep impression, though the pragmatist inside her forced her to try to put it behind her.
pragmatist = someone concerned with practical matters
DefinitionGenerally pragmatic means:
concerned with practical matters — especially where quick results and/or practical experience triumph over theory
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
reciprocate
1 use
He was the one person Garrett shared a real understanding with, a feeling reciprocated by the old man.
reciprocated = returned
DefinitionGenerally reciprocate means:
to give in return — such as invitations, gifts, actions, or feelings
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
resolve   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
...she resolved then and there not to tell anyone about what she was feeling.
resolved = decided
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
Her resolve weakened.
His expression as he looked at her cut through all her defenses, her fragile resolve.
resolve = firmness of purpose (in this case, to leave)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
firmness of purpose (strong determination to do something)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
scrutiny
2 uses
But as she scrutinized the writing itself, she saw that she was mistaken.
scrutinized = looked at very carefully

(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
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
simultaneous
4 uses
Lightning and thunder again, almost simultaneously.
simultaneously = at the same time
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st usePro.
Web Links
spontaneous
2 uses
For the first time in what seemed like forever, she had done something completely spontaneous, something she couldn't have imagined doing less than a week ago.
spontaneous = unplanned
DefinitionGenerally spontaneous means:
behaving in an instinctive, uninhibited manner

or:

happening naturally (without planning or external force)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
tentative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
said it tentatively
Running her hand through his hair, she moved her mouth tentatively to his cheek, then to his lips.
tentatively = in an unsure manner (indicating a lack of confidence in exactly what will happen)
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 useChapter 12
Web Links
Go to Book Menu
Take Pre-Reading Quiz
SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which is not affiliated with verbalworkout.com™, and does not endorse this site.