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The Divine Comedy

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abyss
18 uses
For certain on the brink I found me of the lamentable vale, The dread abyss, that joins a thund'rous sound Of plaints innumerable.†
abyss = a hole or dropoff so deep the bottom cannot be seen — often used figuratively to imply a frightening bottomless pit
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
accord   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 31 uses
1  —30 uses as in:
according to, or in accord with
According to D'Herbelot, he died in 1198: but Tiraboschi places that event about 1206.†
according to = as stated by; or in agreement with
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
Book30 uses
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.N.
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
done of her own accord
This found I true by proof, hearing that spirit And wond'ring; for full fifty steps aloft The sun had measur'd unobserv'd of me, When we arriv'd where all with one accord The spirits shouted, "Here is what ye ask."†
one accord = one mind (in agreement)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
mind
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 2.1-11
Web Links
allude
39 uses
See Notes to Canto XXVII. v. 43 The whole of this passage is alluded to by Petrarch, in his Triumph of Love c. iii. v. 118.†
alluded = indirectly referenced
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book39 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useCanto 2.N
Web Links
avarice
14 uses
Your avarice O'ercasts the world with mourning, under foot Treading the good, and raising bad men up.†
avarice = excessive desire for wealth
Word Statistics
Book14 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.12-22
Web Links
beseech
15 uses
But now my master summoning me back I heard, and with more eager haste besought The spirit to inform me, who with him Partook his lot.†
besought = asked strongly or begged for something
DefinitionGenerally beseech means:
to ask strongly or beg for something
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
chasm
14 uses
Soon as we to him arrive, A little further on mine eye beholds A tribe of spirits, seated on the sand Near the wide chasm.†
chasm = a large gap or divide
DefinitionGenerally chasm means:
a large and deep and steep-sided opening on the earth's surface; or (more rarely) any large gap

or:

a very large difference — often of opinion
Word Statistics
Book14 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
derive
16 uses
It has been observed, that Dante derived the idea of opening his poem by describing himself as lost in a wood, from the Tesoretto of his master.†
derived = got
DefinitionGenerally derive means:
to get something from something else

(If the context doesn't otherwise indicate where something came from, it is generally from reasoning—especially deductive reasoning.)
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useCanto 3.12-22
Web Links
discern
39 uses
That ignoble life, Which made them vile before, now makes them dark, And to all knowledge indiscernible.†
indiscernible = impossible or difficult to notice or understand

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in indiscernible means not and reverses the meaning of discernible. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
DefinitionGenerally discern means:
to notice or understand something — often something that is not obvious
Word Statistics
Book39 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
Nature ever finding discordant fortune, like all seed out of its proper climate,
discordant = conflicting
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useCanto 3.1-11
Web Links
entreat
17 uses
Then by that love which carries them along, Entreat; and they will come.†
entreat = ask earnestly
DefinitionGenerally entreat means:
to ask — especially while trying hard to overcome resistance
Word Statistics
Book17 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.12-22
Web Links
establish
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
A new order of monks, which in a manner absorbed all the others that were established in the west, was instituted, A.D. 529, by Benedict of Nursis, a man of piety and reputation for the age he lived in.†
established = existing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useCanto 3.N
Web Links
forthwith
42 uses
Forthwith I understood for certain this the tribe Of those ill spirits both to God displeasing And to his foes.†
forthwith = immediately
DefinitionGenerally forthwith means:
immediately — (most typically seen in legal documents, formal use, or classic literature)
Word Statistics
Book42 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
heed
20 uses
Look to it well: Take heed thou cleanse thee of their ways.†
heed = pay close attention to; or do what is suggested
DefinitionGenerally heed means:
pay close attention to; or to do what is suggested — especially with regard to a warning or other advice
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.23
Web Links
manifest
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
manifest destiny
The first, If it were true, had through the sun's eclipse Been manifested, by transparency Of light, as through aught rare beside effus'd.†
manifested = made obvious (or shown)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of manifest means:
obvious; or to make obvious; or to show or demonstrate
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 3.1-11
Web Links
novel
1 use
Mine eyes, though bent on view of novel sights Their lov'd allurement, were not slow to turn.†
novel = new and original
DefinitionGenerally this sense of novel means:
new and original — typically something considered good
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useCanto 2.1-11
Web Links
passage
9 uses
The passage in the text I find to be nearly a translation from that work, 1. v. c. 8.†
passage = a short part of a longer written work
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useCanto 1.N.
Web Links
rectify
1 use
  And climbing wind along this mountain-steep,
  Which rectifies in you whate'er the world
  Made crooked and deprav'd.
rectifies = fixes or makes right
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rectify means:
correct, fix, or make right
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 2.23-33
Web Links
repentance
18 uses
Guido Bonatti see: Asdente mark, Who now were willing, he had tended still The thread and cordwain; and too late repents.†
repents = feels or expresses regret for having done something wrong
DefinitionGenerally repentance means:
the feeling or expression of regret for having done something wrong with a firm decision to be a better person in the future
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
subtle
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a subtle difference or thinker
] "He did not desire to know the number of the stars, or to pry into the subtleties of metaphysical and mathematical science: but asked for that wisdom which might fit him for his kingly office." v. 120.†
subtleties = things that are not obvious, but noticeable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions)

or:

capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useCanto 3.N
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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