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All the Pretty Horses

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
absolve
1 use
...that one thing, which could absolve them of any but the grossest defect, was an interest in cattle.
absolve = forgive
DefinitionGenerally absolve means:
to find someone blameless; or forgive; or relieve (of a requirement or obligation)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
austere
1 use
She looked up at him and her face was pale and austere in the uplight and her eyes lost in their darkly shadowed hollows save only for the glint of them and he could see her throat move in the light and he saw in her face and in her figure something he'd not seen before and the name of that thing was sorrow.
austere = without comfort
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 2
Web Links
capitulate
1 use
When he felt his position secure he capitulated to the rebels and led them against the government.
capitulated = surrendered (stopped resisting)
DefinitionGenerally capitulate means:
to stop resisting something — such as surrendering to someone else's decision or accepting a military defeat
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
consequence   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 7 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
But I have seen the consequences in the real world and they can be very grave indeed.
consequences = results
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
of little consequence
In an ideal world the gossip of the idle would be of no consequence.
consequence = importance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
importance or relevance
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
countenance
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a pleasant countenance
He tried to read in her countenance any disposition of the mistress so recently visited that might reflect upon his case.
countenance = facial expression
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
facial expression; or face; or composure or manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
John Grady would likely defer to his judgment.
defer = yield
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 2
Web Links
deference
4 uses
The man stood at his bed and took off his hat as though in deference to some wounded hero.
deference = polite respect
DefinitionGenerally deference means:
polite respect — often when submitting to another's wishes
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
demure
1 use
Rawlins finished his plate and thanked the woman and John Grady told her what he'd said and she smiled and nodded demurely.
demurely = shyly or modestly
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 1
Web Links
denounce
1 use
At one point Gustavo brought General Huerta to him at gunpoint and denounced him as a traitor but Francisco would not hear of it and reinstated him.
denounced = accused publicly
DefinitionGenerally denounce means:
to strongly criticize or accuse publicly

or more rarely:  to inform against someone (turn someone into the authorities)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
diverge
1 use
He thought the world's heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world's pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower.
diverging = becoming different
DefinitionGenerally diverge means:
to move apart; or be or become different
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
dubious
1 use
Rawlins handled the boots dubiously.
dubiously = with doubt (as to whether they were any good)
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful
in various senses, including:
  • doubtful that something should be relied upon — as in "The argument relies on a dubious assumption."
  • doubtful that something is morally proper — as in "The company is accused of using dubious sales practices to influence minors."
  • bad or of questionable value — as in "The state has the dubious distinction of the highest taxes."
  • doubtful or uncertain — as in "She is dubious about making the change."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
guile
1 use
If there was guile there it was of no sort he could reckon with and he sat in the dirt and pulled off his left boot and reached down into it and took out the small damp sheaf of bills.
guile = cunning and deceit
DefinitionGenerally guile means:
cunning (shrewdness and cleverness) and deceitful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
hobbled
18 uses
They walked out through the grass, Blevins hobbling after them.
hobbling = walking with difficulty

(editor's note:  This book also frequently uses hobble in a less common sense:  "tying together two legs of a horse so it will not wander far away")
DefinitionGenerally this sense of hobbled means:
walked with difficulty (due to injury or physical impediment)

or:

hindered (made the action or progress of something difficult)
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
inclined
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
on an incline or incline his head
The loose horses walked uncertainly down the shallow rock incline of the basin and blew at the water and drank.
incline = slope
DefinitionGenerally this sense of incline means:
to be at an angle or to bend
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
intractable
1 use
By dark he'd ridden eleven of the sixteen horses. Not all of them so tractable.
tractable = easy to manage or control

(editor's note:  This word is usually seen with the prefix "-in" as intractable. The prefix "-in" often means "not" and reverses the meaning of the root word as in this case or in incomplete or ineffective.)
DefinitionGenerally intractable means:
difficult
in various senses, including:
  • of problems or disease — difficult to solve or cure
  • of people or animals — difficult to manage or control
  • of materials — difficult to manipulate
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
perfunctory
1 use
They had about them a perfunctory air, like men accustomed to caring for livestock.
perfunctory = working without much effort
DefinitionGenerally perfunctory means:
done without much interest or effort — especially as when dispensing with a formality
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
rancor
1 use
His movements were precise and without rancor.
rancor = anger or hatred
DefinitionGenerally rancor means:
deep and bitter anger or hatred — especially when long-standing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
revere
2 uses
They bred mares almost daily for three weeks and sometimes twice daily and Antonio regarded the stallion with great reverence and great love and...
reverence = deep respect and admiration
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
twilight
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
pink clouds in a twilight sky
The sun was down and a blue twilight filled the park and...
twilight = the light from the sky between daylight and darkness (in this case just after sunset)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of twilight means:
the time of day between daylight and darkness (just after sunset or just before sunrise); or the light from the sky at that time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
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