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The Wedding

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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adapt
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
adapted to the new rules
Originally from Pollocksville—a small hamlet twelve miles south of New Bern—he'd attended East Carolina University, and during my first year at the firm, he often asked me how I was adapting to life in a small town.†
adapting = changing to fit a different situation
DefinitionGenerally this sense of adapt means:
changed to fit a different situation; or made suitable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
anecdote
3 uses
No, my sin was a small one in the grand scheme of things, an incident that under different circumstances might have been the subject of a humorous anecdote in later years.†
anecdote = a short story that is true — often told for amusement or to make a point
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
attribute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
It is an attribute of...
I remember marveling at her animated features as she recounted the details of her life growing up in New Bern, and it was the first time I sensed the attributes I would always cherish: her intelligence and passion, her charm, the carefree way she seemed to view the world.†
attributes = characteristics (of something or someone)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
a characteristic (of something or someone)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
I attribute it to...
Her siblings are the same way, and I attribute that to Noah and Allie.†
attribute = credit (point to as the source of something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something)
in two typical senses:
  • "I attribute it to her work." — to say who or what made something happen
  • "Remember to attribute any quotations in your paper." — indicate the source of a quotation or idea
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
austere
1 use
There was an austere beauty to the coastal lowlands, and I wove past farms and tobacco barns that looked almost abandoned.†
austere = a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration; or stern in manner
DefinitionGenerally austere means:
a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

or:

of a person:  stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
consequence
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
But it was the lack of sleep that raised her ire most of all, and consequently, nothing irritated her more than hearing stories of other mothers whose infants slept through the night within weeks of leaving the hospital.†
consequently = resultantly (as a result)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
I am in the habit of deferring to Jane in most matters of this sort,
deferring = yielding (treating her opinions as more valuable than his own)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
submit or yield (typically to another person's opinion because of respect for that person or their knowledge)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
delude
5 uses
Noah once told me why the swan never left, and his explanation was one of the reasons the doctors thought him delusional.†
delusional = out of touch with reality (having false beliefs)
DefinitionGenerally delude means:
deceive (convince to have a false belief)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
epiphany
1 use
It was the letter I had tried but failed to write in the past, the kind that Noah had once suggested, and though I'd once found the very idea impossible, the epiphanies of the past year, and particularly the past week, lent my words an uncharacteristic grace.
epiphanies = sudden realizations
DefinitionGenerally epiphany means:
a sudden realization — especially one of importance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
evaluate
2 uses
Jane was the oldest of her siblings—only seven years separated the four of them—and I could tell from their faces when we arrived that they were still evaluating me.†
evaluating = thinking carefully and making a judgment about
DefinitionGenerally evaluate means:
to think carefully and make a judgment about something
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
evoke
2 uses
It would be new but familiar; appreciative but filled with longing; and its very inspiration would evoke the same feelings in her.†
evoke = call forth or cause
DefinitionGenerally evoke means:
to call forth or cause — typically to arouse an emotion or bring a memory to mind
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
imply
2 uses
I hesitated, aware there was more to her question than its innocence implied.†
implied = suggested (said 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 usePro.
Web Links
irony
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
situational irony
I did the same thing that, ironically, I would do again some three decades later:
ironically = an entertaining coincidence 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
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
nonchalant
4 uses
"Sounds like it'll be fun," I called out with what I hoped sounded like nonchalance.†
nonchalance = calmness and lack of concern
DefinitionGenerally nonchalant means:
calm in manner — appearing unconcerned
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
nonetheless
9 uses
Even though I realized that it might be only temporary, it nonetheless stoked the small flame of hope I had begun to nurture in secret.†
nonetheless = in spite of that (used to connect contrasting ideas)
DefinitionGenerally nonetheless means:
in spite of that (Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nevertheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
nostalgia
2 uses
I'd come here, I suppose, because the events of the morning had only deepened my nagging sense of nostalgia and longing.†
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
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
omit
1 use
More often than I would ever have believed possible, I've been pulled aside by a husband asking whether he was legally obligated to leave something to his wife or whether he could omit her entirely in favor of his mistress.†
omit = to exclude or neglect something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
primarily
1 use
Though he had one in his home, it had been primarily for the children when they were young, and by the time I came into their lives, it was seldom turned on.†
primarily = mainly
DefinitionGenerally primarily means:
mainly (most importantly)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
scrutiny
4 uses
She tilted her head, scrutinizing me.†
scrutinizing = looking 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
Book4 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
skeptical
4 uses
She eyed me skeptically.†
skeptically = in a doubtful manner (regarding the truth of something)
DefinitionGenerally skeptical means:
doubtful (that something is true or worthwhile)

or more rarely:

generally tending to doubt what others believe
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 8
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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