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The Secret Life of Bees

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
accord   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 4 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
according to, or in accord with
According to August, if you've never seen a cluster of beehives first thing in the morning, you've missed the eighth wonder of the world.
according to = as stated by
From page 286.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
in keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
This sense of accord is often seen in the form according to or accordingly where it can take on more specific meanings. For example:
  • "According to Kim, ..." — as stated by
  • "To each according to her ability." — based upon
  • "Points are scored according to how well they perform." — depending upon
  • "The dose is calculated according to body weight." — in proportion to
  • "We got a flat tire. Accordingly, I pulled to the side of the road." — because of what was just said; or as a result
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3, p.58.5
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
done of her own accord
I was surprised when the prayer we said after dinner each night, the one with the beads, started up of its own accord and recited itself in the back reaches of my head.
own accord = own mind (by itself—as though it had a mind of its own)
From page 191.1  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
mind
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10, p.191.1
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
accord her the respect deserved
Her true role is less that of a queen than mother of the hive, a title often accorded to her.
accorded = given (special treatment)
From page 232.2  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
to give someone special treatment — especially respect
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12, p.232.2
Web Links
aptitude
3 uses
I think he believed it would stir up ideas of college, which he thought a waste of money for girls, even if they did, like me, score the highest number a human being can get on their verbal aptitude test.
aptitude = natural ability or suitability
From page 15.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally aptitude means:
natural ability
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1, p.15.7
Web Links
bolster
1 use
I wanted you to have a chance to get yourself on solid ground, get your heart bolstered up first.
bolstered = supported or strengthened

(editor's note:  This is when August explains the reason she didn't say she knew who Lily was even though August recognized her from the start.)
From page 236.4  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bolster means:
support or strengthen
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 12, p.236.4
Web Links
determine
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
is determined to succeed
I wanted to bend down and kiss her, for how small and determined she looked.
determined = firm in purpose
From page 131.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1, p.24.6
direct   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
depart directly
She looked like she wanted us all to fill our lips with snuff and go directly to the Tiburon jail and spit on people's shoes.
directly = immediately
From page 182.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
without delay, or in the quickest manner, or without going somewhere else first
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9, p.182.3
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
Experiments have shown that the bees obtain it directly from the body of the queen.
directly = straight (without anything in between)
From page 102.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
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
1st useChapter 6, p.102.1
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
directed her question to
"Is August expecting you?" she said, directing her words to Rosaleen.
directing = aiming
From page 69.4  Typical Usage
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
Book1 use
Library36 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4, p.69.4
Web Links
forfeit
1 use
I remember thinking that he probably loved me in his own smallish way. He had forfeited me over, hadn't he? I still tell myself that when he drove away that day he wasn't saying good riddance; he was saying, Oh, Lily, you're better off there in that house of colored women.
forfeited = surrendered to another
From page 299.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally forfeit means:
to lose or surrender something — often as a penalty
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14, p.299.9
Web Links
fugitive
7 uses
And if she knew that Rosaleen was a true fugitive, wouldn't she have to call the police?
fugitive = person hiding from police to avoid arrest
From page 101.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of fugitive means:
someone who is running away or hiding to avoid arrest or an unpleasant situation
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5, p.101.8
Web Links
genuine
5 uses
  "When he proposed, she said no."
  "But she married him," I said, genuinely confused.
genuinely = truly

(editor's note:  This introduces the moment when Lily learns that her mother married her father because she became pregnant with Lily.)
From page 248.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally genuine means:
real (as when a person is sincere or an object is not a replica or fake)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library24 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2, p.41.5
Web Links
imply
1 use
  "You act like you don't believe I can do it."
  "I didn't say that."
  "You implied it."
implied = said indirectly
From page 127.8  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally imply means:
to suggest or say indirectly — possibly as a logical consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 7, p.127.8
Web Links
indignant
2 uses
"Righteous indignation" is what Brother Gerald called it.
indignation = anger at something unjust or wrong

(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.)
From page 87.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 5, p.87.7
Web Links
preserve   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
preserve the records
When we bathe Our Lady in it, I guess you'd say we're preserving her for another year, at least inside our hearts we're doing that.
preserving = protecting (keeping as is)
From page 269.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of preserve means:
to protect something or to keep it as it is
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 13, p.269.7
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
preserve the peaches
See, Lily, honey is a preservative.
preservative = something that keeps things from spoiling

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ative" in preservative means tending to. This is the same pattern you see in words like representative, creative, and comparative.)
From page 269.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of preserve means:
to prepare food in a way that keeps it from spoiling
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 13, p.269.6
Web Links
righteous
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
a righteous cause
Jesus had righteous indignation when he turned over the tables in the temple and drove out the thieving moneychangers.
righteous = moral
From page 87.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of righteous means:
morally correct; or morally justified

or:

acting or feeling morally superior — especially when it isn't true (this meaning is more typically seen as a compound word beginning with "self-")
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5, p.87.7
Web Links
tone
6 uses
But Rosaleen, who had less sense than I'd dreamed, said in this tone like she was explaining something real hard to a kindergarten student, "I'm going to register my name so I can vote, that's what."
tone = quality of voice expressing an attitude
From page 31.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tone means:
the general feeling, mood, or attitude of something — especially of something said or written
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1, p.18
Web Links
trace   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
found a trace of
There wasn't a trace of cunning in May, and you could depend on her not to overthink her answers.
trace = tiny amount
From page 173.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trace means:
a small quantity; or any indication or evidence of
The exact meaning of this sense of trace depends upon its context. For example:
  • a small indication that something was present — as in "The plane disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean without leaving a trace."
  • a very small amount of something — as in "The blood test showed a trace of steroids."
  • any evidence of something — as in "We did not find a trace of the gene."
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1, p.13.6
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
traced a path
I reached out and traced black Mary's heart with my finger.
traced = followed
From page 164.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trace means:
to follow
The exact meaning of this sense of trace depends upon its context. For example:
  • "The hunters traced the deer into the woods." — followed or tracked
  • "With soft kisses, she gently traced the scar running down his cheek." — followed
  • "The path traces along the edge of the forest." — follows
  • "A single tear traced its way down her cheek." — followed a specific path
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8, p.164.8
Web Links
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