toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books
Book Menu

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
candid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
your candid opinion
One student laid it wide open when she said with complete candor, "Of course you can't eliminate the degree and grading system. After all, that's what we're here for."
candor = honesty and directness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 3
Web Links
capricious
5 uses
The preselection of facts is not based on subjective, capricious "whatever you like" but on Quality, which is reality itself.
capricious = whim (or unpredictable chance)
DefinitionGenerally capricious means:
impulsive or unpredictable or tending to make sudden changes — especially impulsive behavior
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
component
16 uses
A motorcycle may be divided for purposes of classical rational analysis by means of its component assemblies and by means of its functions.
component = part of something

(editor's note:  In this context, an assembly is a collection of assembled parts that together can be thought of as a single part. In this case, the motorcycle contains many assemblies.)
DefinitionGenerally component means:
a part of something
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
Particular rules seem at first discordant, but looking more closely we see in general that they resemble each other;
discordant = in conflict with each other
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 3
Web Links
discriminate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discriminating taste
I said a process of discrimination goes to work on this handful of sand and divides it into parts.
discrimination = recognizing differences — especially fine distinctions

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discriminate means:
to recognize or perceive differences — especially fine distinctions
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 3
Web Links
disdain
1 use
The welder is in, an old man in his sixties or seventies, and he looks at me disdainfully...a complete reversal from the waitress.
disdainfully = with a lack of respect; or with a sense of superiority
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 4
Web Links
disparage
2 uses
The name Sophist was even applied without disparagement to Socrates and Plato themselves.
disparagement = criticism
DefinitionGenerally disparage means:
to criticize or make seem less important — especially in a disrespectful or contemptuous manner
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 3
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
establish a positive tone
He described how a second wave of crystallization, guided by analogies to established mathematics, produced what he later named the "Theta-Fuchsian Series."†
established = generally accepted
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
It's proper to begin with the regular facts, but after a rule is established beyond all doubt, the facts in conformity with it become dull because they no longer teach us anything new.†
established = demonstrated or proved
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 3
Web Links
hierarchy
26 uses
Kingdoms, empires, churches, armies have all been structured into hierarchies.
hierarchies = something divided into levels — typically by importance
DefinitionGenerally hierarchy means:
a ranking — typically by importance; or something with such a ranking — such as an organization of people
Word Statistics
Book26 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
immutable
1 use
And the parts have relationships to one another and these relations are immutable.
immutable = not subject to change
DefinitionGenerally immutable means:
unchangeable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 4
Web Links
objective
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an objective viewpoint
The knife of subjectivity-and-objectivity had cut Quality in two and killed it as a working concept.
objectivity = understanding based on facts 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 usePart 3
Web Links
obscure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
it obscured my view
This has been forestalled and obscured until now, but nevertheless must be known.
obscured = hidden; or made less visible
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
knows the famous and the obscure
...some of whom, like Socrates and Aristotle and Newton and Einstein, were known to almost everyone, but most of whom were far more obscure.
obscure = not known to many people
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not known to many people; or unimportant or undistinguished
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
predilection
1 use
To be right and throw it away in order to please the predilections of his teachers, that would be the monstrosity!
predilections = preferences (predispositions in favor of something)
DefinitionGenerally predilection means:
preference (a predisposition in favor of something); or tendency (normal behavior)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 4
Web Links
rational
37 uses
Not everyone understands what a completely rational process this is, this maintenance of a motorcycle.
rational = based on using reason
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
Book37 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
refute
9 uses
He was able to get away with this because logical refutation required more talent than any of the students had.
refutation = evidence or argument that something is false

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
DefinitionGenerally refute means:
to disprove or argue against
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 3
Web Links
relevant
5 uses
It's an old rule of logic that the competence of a speaker has no relevance to the truth of what he says,
relevance = meaningful relation
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st usePart 3
Web Links
rhetoric
86 uses
What you're supposed to do in most freshman-rhetoric courses is to read a little essay or short story, discuss how the writer has done certain little things to achieve certain little effects, and then have the students write an imitative little essay or short story to see if they can do the same little things.
rhetoric = study of the technique and rules for using language effectively — especially to persuade
DefinitionGenerally rhetoric means:
the use of (or study of using) words to make a point — typically implying skillful use
Word Statistics
Book86 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 3
Web Links
taciturn
1 use
By far the greatest part of his work is careful observation and precise thinking. That is why mechanics sometimes seem so taciturn and withdrawn when performing tests.
taciturn = reserved and uncommunicative
DefinitionGenerally taciturn means:
with a tendency to be reserved and not to talk
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
Go to Book Menu
Take Pre-Reading Quiz
† 
Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which is not affiliated with verbalworkout.com™, and does not endorse this site.