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The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1

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
Americans, rightly or wrongly, are commended for the ease with which they adapt themselves to foreign conditions; but Mr. Touchett had made of the very limits of his pliancy half the ground of his general success.†
adapt = change to fit a different situation; or make suitable
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 5
Web Links
allude
15 uses
We thought at first that the sister mentioned might be the sister of the clerk; but the subsequent mention of a niece seems to prove that the allusion is to one of my aunts.†
allusion = an indirect reference

(editor's note:  The suffix "-sion", 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 admission from admit, discussion from discuss, and invasion from invade.)
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
attribute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
It is an attribute of...
By what process of logical accretion was this slight "personality," the mere slim shade of an intelligent but presumptuous girl, to find itself endowed with the high attributes of a Subject?†
attributes = characteristics (of something or someone)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
a characteristic (of something or someone)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePref.
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
I attribute it to...
His friends at present judged him more cheerful, and attributed it to a theory, over which they shook their heads knowingly, that he would recover his health.†
attributed = credited (pointed to a source for something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something)
in two typical senses:
  • "I attribute it to her work." — to say who or what made something happen
  • "Remember to attribute any quotations in your paper." — indicate the source of a quotation or idea
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
candid
8 uses
1  —8 uses as in:
your candid opinion
This gentleman took the joke in perfectly good part and candidly confessed that he regarded the affair as a positive intellectual adventure.†
candidly = with honesty and directness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
contrary
7 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
on the contrary
It was on the contrary because she felt too wide-eyed and wished to check the sense of seeing too many things at once.†
on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
correspond
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
corresponding time period
She corresponds to your description; it's for that I wish you to know her.†
corresponds = connects or fits together by being equivalent, proportionate, or matched
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspond means:
connect or fit together by being equivalent, proportionate, or matched

(Two things are equivalent if they have the same or very similar value, purpose, or result.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
dispose
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
disposed the troops along...
One of the humble archeologists who hover about the place had put himself at the disposal of the two, and repeated his lesson with a fluency which the decline of the season had done nothing to impair.†
disposal = command

(editor's note:  When something is "at someone's disposal" it is "at their command," or "available for their use." They can use it as they please.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
the arrangement, positioning, or use of things
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePref.
Web Links
establish
6 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
As regards her relations with Mr. Osmond, however, she hinted at nothing but a long-established calm friendship.†
established = existing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
felicity
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
felicity of expression
While Isabel's host exerted himself to entertain her in this somewhat confidential fashion she looked occasionally at Madame Merle, who met her eyes with an inattentive smile in which, on this occasion, there was no infelicitous intimation that our heroine appeared to advantage.†
infelicitous = awkward or inappropriate

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in infelicitous means not and reverses the meaning of felicitous. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of felicity means:
pleasing and appropriate manner or style; or an instance of such
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
grave
15 uses
The invitation from Lady Pensil, for mysterious reasons, had never arrived; and poor Mr. Bantling himself, with all his friendly ingenuity, had been unable to explain so grave a dereliction on the part of a missive that had obviously been sent.†
grave = serious and solemn
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn
The exact meaning of this sense of grave can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad or solemn
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — in a sincere and serious manner
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
indulge
9 uses
Ralph took a candlestick and moved about, pointing out the things he liked; Isabel, inclining to one picture after another, indulged in little exclamations and murmurs.†
indulged = enjoyed to excess
DefinitionGenerally indulge means:
to give into a desire or enjoy something — especially in excess of what is thought good—such as a desire to eat too much cake, or be too lazy

or:

to allow or help someone to get their way or enjoy something — especially something that (probably because of excess) is not considered to be good or proper
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
moreover
25 uses
It must be added moreover that an incident had occurred which might have seemed to put her good-humour to the test.†
moreover = in addition to what has just been said
Word Statistics
Book25 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePref.
Web Links
odious
8 uses
She accused him of an odious want of seriousness, of laughing at all things, beginning with himself.†
odious = extremely unpleasant, disgusting, dislikable, or worthy of hate
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
precede
4 uses
At present, obviously, nevertheless, he was not likely to displace himself; his journeys were over and he was taking the rest that precedes the great rest.†
precedes = goes, does, or is before
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePref.
Web Links
proportion
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
respond in proportion
The importance of what had happened was out of proportion to its appearance; there had really been a change in her life.†
out of proportion = not appropriate in size, amount, or degree
DefinitionGenerally this sense of proportion means:
appropriate in size, amount, or degree
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
relevant
1 use
"You're looking very well," Osmond repeated still less relevantly than before.†
relevantly = relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
specimen
13 uses
"Well now, there's a specimen," he said to her as they walked up from the riverside and he recognised Lord Warburton.†
specimen = a sample regarded as typical of its class; or a bit of tissue, blood, or urine that is taken for diagnostic purposes
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
superficial
13 uses
My first impressions (of the people at large) are not rose-coloured; but I wish to talk them over with you, and you know that, whatever I am, at least I'm not superficial.†
superficial = relating to a surface rather than to anything deep or penetrating
DefinitionGenerally superficial means:
relating to a surface rather than to anything deep or penetrating (often of injuries or thinking)
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
vulgar
21 uses
He was dressed as a man dresses who takes little other trouble about it than to have no vulgar things.
vulgar = of bad taste
DefinitionGenerally vulgar means:
of bad taste — often crude or offensive

or:

unsophisticated (or common) — especially of taste
Word Statistics
Book21 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
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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