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Walkabout

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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adapt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
adapted to the new rules
Adaptable as adults could never be, they made the desert their home.†
adaptable = able to change to fit a different situation

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-able" means able to be. This is the same pattern you see in words like breakable, understandable, and comfortable.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of adapt means:
changed to fit a different situation; or made suitable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
appalling
4 uses
The idea of being manhandled by a naked black boy appalled her: struck at the root of one of the basic principles of her civilized code.†
appalled = shocked by how terrible or horrible something is
DefinitionGenerally appalling means:
shockingly terrible or horrible
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
apprehensive
1 use
He peered at the rocks a little apprehensively, half-expecting some Martian monster to come leaping out; indeed, from the far side of a jagged outcrop of granite, he could, now that he listened carefully, hear something that sounded rather like a Martian feeding: a sort of scrunching-mingled-with-heavy-breathing noise.†
apprehensively = worried over possible misfortune
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
contrast
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
it is a contrast
Beneath the thick, closely-woven foliage the shade was deep: a striking contrast to the glare of the bush.†
contrast = something notably different
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
something noticeably different (compared to something else or to other things)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
ebb
3 uses
She felt the tension ebb slowly out of him, the trembling die gradually away.†
ebb = decline — typically gradually as with the height of the tide
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
evoke
1 use
They found that it drew like chalk on a blackboard; and soon the lakeside rocks were covered with drawings: crude but evocative drawings: drawings that would have been a psychologist's delight.†
evocative = bringing strong feelings or memories to mind

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word into an adjective; though over time, what was originally an adjective often comes to be used as a noun. The adjective pattern means tending to and is seen in words like attractive, impressive, and supportive. Examples of the noun include narrative, alternative, and detective.)
DefinitionGenerally evoke means:
to call forth or cause — typically to arouse an emotion or bring a memory to mind
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
foliage
6 uses
Beneath the thick, closely-woven foliage the shade was deep: a striking contrast to the glare of the bush.†
foliage = plant leaves
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
forage
2 uses
Then they started to forage for wood.
forage = search for and gather — often food and provisions
DefinitionGenerally forage means:
to search for and gather — often food and provisions
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
heathen
1 use
I reckon he won't go to heaven. 'Cause he's a little heathen.
heathen = someone who is not a Christian
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
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
inhibit
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she is shy and inhibited
Then, giving way to uninhibited delight, he started to caper round and round the bush boy.†
uninhibited = acting naturally without being overly self-conscious

(Editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in uninhibited means not and reverses the meaning of inhibited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of inhibited means:
unable to act naturally due to being overly self-conscious
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
perish
1 use
Three-quarters of an inch long, forty per cent jaw and forty per cent powerful grass-hop-perish legs.†
perish = die, be destroyed, or cease to exist
DefinitionGenerally perish means:
to die — especially in an unnatural way

or:

to be destroyed or cease to exist
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
pervasive
1 use
The water was luke-warm; for though the sun was no longer shining on it directly, the all-pervading heat had found it out: had warmed it almost to the temperature of blood.†
pervading = spreading or filling
DefinitionGenerally pervasive means:
existing throughout something; or generally widespread
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
plateau
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
found on the plateau
...he only stopped when they came to the edge of the plateau and the soft redstone gave way to granite;
plateau = high land that is reasonably flat
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
precede
1 use
For in his tribal timetable he had only arrived at the stage of walking alone: the stage immediately preceding the proving-of-manhood: the stage of the walkabout.†
preceding = prior (in time or space)
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
replenish
2 uses
Peter and Mary tidied up the camp, replenished the fire, cooked the last of the yarrawa and offered the bush boy a share -but he wouldn't eat.†
replenished = replaced what was used up; or restored to a previous condition
DefinitionGenerally replenish means:
replace what was used up; or restore to a previous condition
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
Resigned to the inevitable, he was willing himself to death.
resigned = having accepted something undesirable as unavoidable (in this case, his death)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
scorn
2 uses
He looked at the children critically; but there was in his appraisal no suggestion of scorn.†
scorn = disrespect or reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
scrutiny
1 use
Mary, beginning to resent this scrutiny, intensified her glare.†
scrutiny = careful look or inspection
DefinitionGenerally scrutiny means:
careful examination of something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
subconscious
3 uses
Subconscious twinges of jealousy had been tormenting her.†
subconscious = mental activity of which we are not aware, but which can influence feelings and behavior

(editor's note:  Many people use this as a synonym for unconscious; though experts in the mind may distinguish a difference.)
DefinitionGenerally subconscious means:
mental activity of which one is not aware, but which can influence feelings and behavior; or the part of the mind that engages in such activity
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
taut
2 uses
Her nerves were strung taut.†
taut = pulled or drawn tight;
or: subjected to great tension
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 5
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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