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Dante's Inferno (translanted by: H.W. Longfellow)

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
abyss
9 uses
Thus he went in, and thus he made me enter The foremost circle that surrounds the abyss.†
abyss = a hole or dropoff so deep the bottom cannot be seen — often used figuratively to imply a frightening bottomless pit
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
adapt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
especially well adapted for
Speaking I went, not to appear exhausted; Whereat a voice from the next moat came forth, Not well adapted to articulate words.†
well adapted = well suited
DefinitionGenerally this sense of adapted means:
to be especially well suited or appropriate for something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useCanto 1.23-34
Web Links
attain
5 uses
God in his mercy such created me That misery of yours attains me not, Nor any flame assails me of this burning.†
attains = gains or reaches something with effort
DefinitionGenerally attain means:
to gain or reach something with effort
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
cleave
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
cleave through
He with the cloven tail assumed the figure The other one was losing, and his skin Became elastic, and the other's hard.†
cloven = split (or divided in two)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of cleave means:
to split something — especially with violent force

or:

to cut through something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.23-34
Web Links
countervail
1 use
  If thou dive, I will not follow thee upon the gallop,
  But I will beat my wings above the pitch;
  The height be left, and be the bank a shield
  To see if thou alone dost countervail us.†
countervail = counterbalance, neutralize, counteract, or offset
DefinitionGenerally countervail means:
to counterbalance, or oppose (the effects of something)—often in such a manner that the effects being opposed are neutralized (made ineffective)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.12-22
Web Links
discern
9 uses
Obscure, profound it was, and nebulous, So that by fixing on its depths my sight Nothing whatever I discerned therein.†
discerned = noticed something that is not obvious
DefinitionGenerally discern means:
to notice or understand something — often something that is not obvious
Word Statistics
Book9 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
By those who, sowing discord, win their burden.
discord = conflict
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 1.23-34
Web Links
disdain
21 uses
Violence can be done the Deity, In heart denying and blaspheming Him, And by disdaining Nature and her bounty.†
disdaining = rejecting as not good enough; or showing a lack of respect
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
Book21 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
dismal
9 uses
This on the belly, that upon the back One of the other lay, and others crawling Shifted themselves along the dismal road.†
dismal = depressing or gloomy
DefinitionGenerally dismal means:
of terrible quality or depressing; or dark and dreary (as when bad weather blocks the sun or when it is drizzly)
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
doleful
9 uses
And now begin the dolesome notes to grow Audible unto me; now am I come There where much lamentation strikes upon me.†
dolesome = expressing or causing sadness
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
engender
4 uses
God they blasphemed and their progenitors, The human race, the place, the time, the seed Of their engendering and of their birth!†
engendering = causing
DefinitionGenerally engender means:
cause — usually a feeling (possibly a situation)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
entreat
7 uses
In her entreaty she besought Lucia, And said, "Thy faithful one now stands in need Of thee, and unto thee I recommend him."†
entreaty = earnest request
DefinitionGenerally entreat means:
to ask — especially while trying hard to overcome resistance
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.12-22
Web Links
fraudulent
8 uses
But because fraud is man's peculiar vice, More it displeases God; and so stand lowest The fraudulent, and greater dole assails them.†
fraudulent = intended to deceive
DefinitionGenerally fraudulent means:
intentional deception — usually for financial gain or ego
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
heed
8 uses
Slow it behoveth our descent to be, So that the sense be first a little used To the sad blast, and then we shall not heed it.†
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
Book8 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
malevolent
1 use
The Guide said: "Now perforce must turn aside Our way a little, even to that beast Malevolent, that yonder coucheth him."
malevolent = evil
DefinitionGenerally malevolent means:
evil
  • of a person — wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
  • of a thing — exerting an evil or harmful influence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.12-22
Web Links
malicious
6 uses
Of every malice that wins hate in Heaven, Injury is the end; and all such end Either by force or fraud afflicteth others.†
malice = the desire to hurt others or see them suffer
DefinitionGenerally malicious means:
wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useCanto 1.12-22
Web Links
novel
1 use
Think of the novel burden which thou hast.
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 1.12-22
Web Links
precede
1 use
Beneath my head the others are dragged down Who have preceded me in simony, Flattened along the fissure of the rock.†
preceded = went or was before
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useCanto 1.12-22
Web Links
vengeance
8 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
vengeance is mine
Not causeless is this journey to the abyss; Thus is it willed on high, where Michael wrought Vengeance upon the proud adultery.†
vengeance = the act of taking revenge
DefinitionGenerally this sense of vengeance means:
the act of taking revenge

(Revenge means to harm someone to get them back for something harmful that they have done.)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.1-11
Web Links
wrath
9 uses
And he in the midst, who at his breast is gazing, Is the great Chiron, who brought up Achilles; That other Pholus is, who was so wrathful.†
wrathful = full of extreme anger
DefinitionGenerally wrath means:
extreme anger or angry punishment
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useCanto 1.12-22
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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