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The Color Purple

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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accompany
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
accompany on the journey
Of course it was impossible to ignore the presence of an aging white woman accompanied by a small black child.
accompanied = traveling with
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accompany means:
to travel along with
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
Web Links
blasphemy
2 uses
She talk and she talk, trying to budge me way from blasphemy.
blasphemy = disrespect of something considered sacred
DefinitionGenerally blasphemy means:
something said or done that is disrespectful of something considered sacred — especially God or religion
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
bound   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —1 use as in:
south-bound lanes
But pretty soon they be bound for overseas.
bound = traveling toward
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bound means:
traveling in a particular direction or to a specific location
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
She's bound to succeed.
She bound to live her life and be herself no matter what.
bound = is determined, or is almost certain
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bound means:
almost certain to; or determined to
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
cultivate
2 uses
And so she cultivated a pious interest in heathens.
cultivated = developed
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
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
deviate
1 use
The roadbuilders didn't deviate an inch from the plan the headman was following.
deviate = change
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deviate means:
differ or change
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
direct   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
And perhaps Samuel and I will found a new church in our community that has no idols in it whatsoever, in which each person's spirit is encouraged to seek God directly, his belief that this is possible strengthened by us as people who also believe.
directly = personally (without anyone in between)
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
Book2 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
directed the jury to...
But eventually he was directed to the governor's mansion, a huge white building, with flags flying in its yard, and there had an audience with the white man in charge.
directed = given directions
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
doting
4 uses
She dote on Henrietta.
dote = show love
DefinitionGenerally doting means:
demonstrating love and uncritical affection
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
harass
3 uses
All we know is that they are said to live deep in the forest, that they welcome runaways, and that they harass the white, man's plantations and plan his destruction?
harass = repeatedly attack to weaken
DefinitionGenerally harass means:
persistently annoy

or:

repeatedly attack to weaken or hinder
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
heathen
3 uses
Well now, she continued, several evenings later, you don't think I paid much attention to the heathen?
heathen = people who do not believe in Christianity
DefinitionGenerally heathen means:
someone who is not civilized or not moral — typically said humorously

or:

an offensive term for a person who does not believe in a preferred religion — especially someone who grew up in a culture that is not familiar with the religion
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
illustrate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
as illustrated by this example
The pictures that illustrate the words.†
illustrate = help make clear
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
Web Links
inclined
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I'm inclined to
I hope when you receive this news of your sister's forward behavior you will not be shocked or inclined to judge me harshly.
inclined = have a tendency
DefinitionGenerally this sense of inclined means:
a tendency, mood, desire, or attitude that favors something; or making someone favor something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
indifferent
5 uses
The worst we have had to endure here is indifference and a certain understandable shallowness in our personal relationships excluding...
indifference = lack of interest
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest
in various senses, including:
  • unconcerned — as in "She is indifferent to what is served to eat."
  • unsympathetic — as in "She is indifferent to his needs."
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context) — as in "an indifferent performance"
  • impartial — as in "We need a judge who is indifferent."
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
initiate
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
initiate into the fraternity
She's going to have the female initiation ceremony too, she said.
initiation = a procedure or ceremony where someone is admitted into a group

(editor's note:  In this case, female genital mutilation or female circumcision is performed at the ceremony.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of initiate means:
to accept someone's membership into an organization — typically in a ceremony — sometimes including a period of instruction and/or test
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
malaria
5 uses
fell ill with malaria and nothing the healer concocted saved him.
malaria = a tropical disease spread by mosquitoes
DefinitionGenerally malaria means:
a tropical disease spread by mosquitoes that, while nonexistent in wealthy nations, strikes hundreds of millions of people a year in developing nations — killing over a million each year

more technically:  an infective disease caused by sporozoan parasites that are transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito; marked by paroxysms of chills and fever
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
pious
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a good, pious woman
And so she cultivated a pious interest in heathens.
pious = religious
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
prevail
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
prevailing attitude
And of course the prevailing popular view of Africans at that time contributed to our feeling of amusement.
prevailing = common or influential
DefinitionGenerally this sense of prevailing means:
most common, powerful, or influential
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
seminary
4 uses
And when Corrine was old enough, she sent her to Spelman Seminary where Aunt Theodosia had gone.
seminary = a school for training ministers
DefinitionGenerally seminary means:
a school for training ministers, priests, or rabbis
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
yield
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
will yield valuable data
And this spot has been good to them, they plant cassava fields that yield huge crops.
yield = produce
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to produce (usually something wanted); or the thing or amount produced
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
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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