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Nineteen Minutes

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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arraign
34 uses
Judge Cormier was already in her robe, ready to start the arraignment.
arraignment = court proceeding in which a defendant responds to legal charges
DefinitionGenerally arraign means:
call before a court to answer an indictment

or:

accuse of a wrong or an inadequacy
Word Statistics
Book34 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
contrast   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
contrast their writing styles
Judge Cormier looked about as inviting as a sheer cliff wall; by contrast, her daughter was shaking like a leaf.
by contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
there is a contrast
This relationship-four months old now-was still a mystery to her, as much as the constellation of freckles on Patrick's shoulders, the valley of his spine, the startling contrast of his black hair against a white sheet.†
contrast = notable difference
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
a difference — especially a notable difference; or the side-x-side arrangement of things that draws attention to an unmissable difference
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
copious
1 use
He put on a fine show—whispering with Peter, putting his hand on the boy's arm when he got upset, taking copious notes on the direct examination and sharing them with his client.
copious = abundant (large in quantity)
DefinitionGenerally copious means:
abundant (large in quantity or number)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
defendant
29 uses
What did the defendant do?
defendant = person legally accused of a crime
DefinitionGenerally defendant means:
a person or institution legally accused or sued in court
Word Statistics
Book29 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
direct   (5 meanings)
5 meanings, 21 uses
1  —11 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
A wooden bench sat directly opposite, and a line of metal lockers.†
directly = closely
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The road runs directly to Las Vegas." — straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • "It was a direct hit." — exact
  • "The plant is in direct sunlight." — unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • "She wants a direct meeting with him." — personal (without other people in between)
  • "She paid direct attention to what he was reading." — close
  • "a direct gaze" — straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
was direct in my instructions
She talked about Angie, whose parents had split up during the school year and who had failed algebra as an indirect consequence.†
indirect = not straightforward (incidental)

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in indirect means not and reverses the meaning of direct. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
3  —4 uses as in:
directed her question to
As she spoke she directed her words at Peter, and hoped he could read it as an apology.†
directed = aimed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
to indicate direction; or to cause movement or focus in a direction or towards an object
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "intentionally directed fire at unarmed civilians" — aimed a gun
  • "directed the question to her" — aimed a question
  • "directed her north" — pointed in a particular direction
  • "directed attention to the 3rd paragraph" — focused attention on a particular object
  • "The sound of her voice directed him to the kitchen." — guided or gave directions to someone to help them move to a particular place
  • "She directed him to the airport." — gave directions to send someone to a particular place
  • "She directed the boat north." — steered it
  • "directed the letter to" — send a letter to a particular person by putting a name and address on it
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library36 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
4  —1 use as in:
directed the jury to...
As she directed the woman's husband to get behind his wife, holding her upright as she began to push, Lacy felt her pager vibrate at the waistline of her sea-blue scrubs.†
directed = instructed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
5  —3 uses as in:
directed the movie
You can see the version everyone else sees, or you can choose the director's cut-the way he wanted you to see it, before everything else got in the way.†
director = person in charge of making a film

(editor's note:  The suffix "-or" often converts a verb to a noun that means "a person who."  This is the pattern you see in words like actor, editor, and visitor.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
supervise, control, or to be in charge of
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library29 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
engender
1 use
He was crying quietly, and it might have been enough to engender sympathy had he not been wearing a T-shirt splattered with the blood of other students.
engender = cause
DefinitionGenerally engender means:
cause — usually a feeling (possibly a situation)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
guile
1 use
Peter smiled then, so guileless that Lacy felt it smart like a stripe from a whip.
guileless = innocent (cunning or deceit)

(editor's note:  In this context, smart is a synonym for sting.)
DefinitionGenerally guile means:
cunning (shrewdness and cleverness) and deceitful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
illustrate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
as illustrated by this example
You also said that part of your diagnosis of PTSD was illustrated by Peter's retreat into a fantasy world, correct?†
illustrated = helped make clear
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
an illustrated children's book
Joey picked up a Sports Illustrated magazine from three years ago and started to read.†
illustrated = accompanied by pictures
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to draw pictures (or provide photographs) to accompany a book or other writing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
latent
1 use
'First I tested for latent prints,' Selma said, and she showed the results to Patrick.
latent = potentially existing but not presently evident
DefinitionGenerally latent means:
potentially existing but not presently evident or active
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
midwife
20 uses
When Lacy had been a midwife in training, she'd spent months walking around with a little centimeter ruler, measuring.
midwife = a woman skilled in aiding the delivery of babies
DefinitionGenerally midwife means:
a non-doctor who practices the profession of assisting women in childbirth; or to assist in childbirth

or:

someone who helps bring something into existence; or the act of helping to bring something into existence
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
negative   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
had a negative effect
It was the flip side to the passion that made her feel as if she'd gone electric inside-just directed, negatively, at someone weak.†
negatively = in a bad or harmful manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of negative means:
bad or harmful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a negative attitude
When Lacy stepped into a delivery room, she felt poisonous, too negative to be the one to welcome another human being to this world.†
negative = pessimistic or disagreeable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of negative means:
pessimistic (emphasizing bad things) or disagreeable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —1 use
penitent
1 use
He stood sober and penitent, his hands in the pockets of his trousers, as he stared right at Diana.
penitent = feeling sorrow for having done wrong
DefinitionGenerally penitent means:
feeling or expressing sorrow for having done wrong; or a person who does such
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
rebuttal
1 use
And this is even better, because I don't have to fight the prosecutor's usual rebuttal about a grown woman being old enough to know what she's doing when she picks up the knife or the gun.
rebuttal = argument against (something)
DefinitionGenerally rebuttal means:
a statement arguing against something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 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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