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The Bluest Eye

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abhor
3 uses
She was one of the few things abhorrent to him that he could touch and therefore hurt.
abhorrent = disgusting (hated or detested)
DefinitionGenerally abhor means:
to hate or detest something
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
acquiesce
2 uses
Certain seeds it will not nurture, certain fruit it will not bear, and when the land kills of its own volition, we acquiesce and say the victim had no right to live.
acquiesce = reluctantly accept (it as fair)
DefinitionGenerally acquiesce means:
reluctant or unenthusiastic compliance, consent, or agreement
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
coherent
2 uses
It was time to put all of the pieces together, make coherence where before there had been none.
coherence = clear sense (fitting the parts together in a logical manner)
DefinitionGenerally coherent means:
sensible and clear; or describing parts as fitting together in a consistent or pleasing manner
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
It was their contempt for their own blackness that gave the first insult its teeth.
contempt = disrespect and dislike
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
cultivate
6 uses
Restricted, as a child, to this cocoon of her family's spinning, she cultivated quiet and private pleasures.
cultivated = enhanced the growth or development of
DefinitionGenerally cultivate means:
enhance growth or development
in various senses, including:
  • to grow crops or prepare land for them
  • enhance a relationship — especially for a purpose
  • develop discernment (better recognition of differences) in taste or judgment
  • to grow a culture in a petri dish
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
debase
2 uses
Hearing "civilized" languages debase humans ... I can say that my narrative project is as difficult today as it was thirty years ago.
debase = degrade (in this case, reduce the value or status of being human)
DefinitionGenerally debase means:
to degrade (decrease) the purity, quality, or status of something — often morality or metals
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
discriminate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discriminating taste
Except for Marie's fabled love for Dewey Prince, these women hated men, all men, without shame, apology, or discrimination.
discrimination = recognition of differences (in this case, amongst different men)

(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 useChapter 2
Web Links
disdain
2 uses
It was as though his disdain of human contact had converted itself into a craving for things humans had touched.
disdain = disrespect and distaste leading to avoidance
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
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
diverse
1 use
This diverse education continued for six years, when his father refused to support him any longer, until he "found" himself.
diverse = unfocused (varied)
DefinitionGenerally diverse means:
varied (having variety amongst things of the same kind) — especially with regard to ideas or members of a population group
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
eccentric
1 use
No obviously bad effects were noticed from these ill-advised unions, but one or two old maids or gardener boys marked a weakening of faculties and a disposition toward eccentricity in some of the children.
eccentricity = unconventional or strange behavior
DefinitionGenerally eccentric means:
unconventional or strange; or a person with such traits
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
fabricate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
fabricate a story
I learned quickly, however, what I was expected to do with the doll: rock it, fabricate storied situations around it, even sleep with it.
fabricate = make up something false
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
fastidious
5 uses
She never had to search for anybody to eat with in the cafeteria—they flocked to the table of her choice, where she opened fastidious lunches, shaming our jelly-stained bread with egg-salad sandwiches cut into four dainty squares, pink-frosted cupcakes, sticks of celery and carrots, proud, dark apples.
fastidious = giving careful attention to detail

or:

excessively concerned with cleanliness or matters of taste
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
furtive
5 uses
He could go to jail and not feel imprisoned, for he had already seen the furtiveness in the eyes of his jailer, free to say, "No, suh," and smile, for he had already killed three white men.
furtiveness = nervousness

(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 furtive means:
taking pains to avoid being observed

or:

in a manner indicating nervousness (being cautious or appearing suspicious)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
inarticulate
2 uses
Her inarticulateness made us believe we were eloquent.
inarticulateness = inability to express himself clearly

(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 inarticulate means:
unable to communicate clearly (or to use words)

or (more rarely): a feeling or idea that is not expressed

The exact meaning of inarticulate depends upon its context. For example:
  • unable to find good words to express oneself — as in "She gets inarticulate when she's nervous."
  • verbally expressing a feeling without words — as in "She uttered an inarticulate cry of despair."
  • unable to make oneself heard and understood — as in "She mumbled inarticulately."
  • unable to speak — as in "She was inarticulate with rage."
  • a feeling or idea that is not expressed — as in "We shared an inarticulate fear."
  • inability to express or understand feelings or ideas — as in "She is emotionally inarticulate, " or "Her symphony is inarticulate."
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
indolent
2 uses
We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom.
indolence = laziness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
migrate
1 use
In shifts, lots, batches, mixed in with other families, they migrated, in six months and four journeys, to Kentucky, where there were mines and millwork.
migrated = moved from one place to another
DefinitionGenerally migrate means:
move from one place to another — sometimes seasonally
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
pervasive
3 uses
He believed that since decay, vice, filth, and disorder were pervasive, they must be in the Nature of Things.
pervasive = existing everywhere
DefinitionGenerally pervasive means:
existing throughout something; or generally widespread
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
poignant
1 use
Of all the wishes people had brought him—money, love, revenge—this seemed to him the most poignant and the one most deserving of fulfillment.
poignant = emotionally intense
DefinitionGenerally poignant means:
sharp or intense — typically arousing deep emotion such as sadness, but possibly having or creating a sharp smell, taste, or insight
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
recollect
8 uses
I don't recollect trying to get pregnant that first time.
recollect = remember
DefinitionGenerally recollect means:
to remember — especially experiences from long ago
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
relevant
1 use
We were sinking under the wisdom, accuracy, and relevance of Maureen's last words.
relevance = importance (relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question)
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
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