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MS. Found in a Bottle

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abyss
2 uses
We were at the bottom of one of these abysses, when a quick scream from my companion broke fearfully upon the night.†
abysses = holes or dropoffs so deep the bottom cannot be seen — often used figuratively to imply frightening bottomless pits
DefinitionGenerally abyss means:
a hole or dropoff so deep the bottom cannot be seen — often used figuratively to imply a frightening bottomless pit
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
aghast
2 uses
If I trembled at the blast which has hitherto attended us, shall I not stand aghast at a warring of wind and ocean, to convey any idea of which the words tornado and simoom are trivial and ineffective?†
aghast = shocked with feelings of surprise and dismay
DefinitionGenerally aghast means:
shocked with feelings of surprise and dismay (sadness, disappointment, or worry)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
appalling
3 uses
I had found the spell of the picture in an absolute life-likeliness of expression, which, at first startling, finally confounded, subdued, and appalled me.†
appalled = shocked by how terrible or horrible something is
DefinitionGenerally appalling means:
shockingly terrible or horrible
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
attain
1 use
It is evident that we are hurrying onwards to some exciting knowledge—some never-to-be-imparted secret, whose attainment is destruction.†
attainment = the gaining or reaching of something with effort; or something gained with effort
DefinitionGenerally attain means:
to gain or reach something with effort
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
attribute
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
I attribute it to...
As I fell, the ship hove in stays, and went about; and to the confusion ensuing I attributed my escape from the notice of the crew.†
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
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
consequence
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
The stowage was clumsily done, and the vessel consequently crank.†
consequently = resultantly (as a result)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred the decision
...prepared myself gloomily for that death which I thought nothing could defer beyond an hour,
defer = delay (postpone)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
delay or postpone (hold off until a later time)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
eloquent
1 use
—Beyond all things, the study of the German moralists gave me great delight; not from any ill-advised admiration of their eloquent madness, but from the ease with which my habits of rigid thought enabled me to detect their falsities.†
eloquent = powerful use of language
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
enable
2 uses
Hereditary wealth afforded me an education of no common order, and a contemplative turn of mind enabled me to methodize the stores which early study very diligently garnered up.†
enabled = made possible
DefinitionGenerally enable means:
to make possible
in various senses, including:
  • to give someone the ability, knowledge, or authority to do something — as in "The study will enable an informed discussion."
  • to activate a computer system for use — as in "You can enable the feature in the Settings Page."
  • to permit someone to repeat bad behavior, so they reinforce the bad pattern — as in "I don't want to enable her drug addiction."
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
endeavor
1 use
It is true that I may not find an opportunity of transmitting it to the world, but I will not fall to make the endeavour.†
endeavour = to attempt; or a project or activity attempted

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use endeavor.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
entity
1 use
A new sense—a new entity is added to my soul.†
entity = person, organization, or anything with a separate existence
DefinitionGenerally entity means:
a person, organization, lifeform, or anything with a separate existence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
however
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
However, complications may...
My uneasiness, however, prevented me from sleeping, and about midnight I went upon deck.†
however = a word used to connect contrasting ideas as when using though, in spite of that, in contrast, nevertheless, etc.
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
though (or another expression that connects contrasting ideas)

(Based on idea 1 we might not expect idea 2, but this is a way of saying that even though idea 1 exists, we still have idea 2.  Synonyms include in spite of that, , nevertheless, nonetheless, on the other hand, in contrastand but.)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library61 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
novel
1 use
Yet it is not wonderful that these conceptions are indefinite, since they have their origin in sources so utterly novel.
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
Web Links
perish
2 uses
All on deck, with the exception of ourselves, had been swept overboard;—the captain and mates must have perished as they slept, for the cabins were deluged with water.†
perished = died, was destroyed, or ceased to exist
DefinitionGenerally perish means:
to die — especially in an unnatural way

or:

to be destroyed or cease to exist
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
recollect
2 uses
In reading the above sentence a curious apothegm of an old weather-beaten Dutch navigator comes full upon my recollection.†
recollection = memory

(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.)
DefinitionGenerally recollect means:
to remember — especially experiences from long ago
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
reconcile
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
reconciled herself to
...will reconcile me to the most hideous aspect of death.
reconcile = bring to terms
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reconcile means:
to come to terms with
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
...that I might resign myself...
resign = surrender (reconcile; or come to accept)
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
Web Links
scrutiny
1 use
I know not how it is, but in scrutinizing her strange model and singular cast of spars, her huge size and overgrown suits of canvas, her severely simple bow and antiquated stern, there will occasionally flash across my mind a sensation of familiar things, and there is always mixed up with such indistinct shadows of recollection, an unaccountable memory of old foreign chronicles and ages long ago.†
scrutinizing = looking at very carefully

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word to a verb. This is the same pattern you see in words like apologize, theorize, and dramatize.)
DefinitionGenerally scrutiny means:
careful examination of something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
subdue
1 use
1  —1 use
verb as in: subdued the opposition
It was an impulsive movement to gain time for thought—to make sure that my vision had not deceived me—to calm and subdue my fancy for a more sober and more certain gaze.†
subdue = control or put down by force or intimidation
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subdue means:
to control, prevent, or make less intense — sometimes through force
The exact meaning of subdue depends upon its context. For example:
  • "subdued a nation" — defeated militarily and brought under control
  • "subdued the fever" — made it less intense or defeated it
  • "subdued her enthusiasm" — made it less intense
  • "subdued her fears" — made them less intense or overcame them
  • "subdued my emotions" — kept them under control
  • "subdued the crowd" — quieted or controlled it
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
tremulous
3 uses
The crew pace the deck with unquiet and tremulous step; but there is upon their countenances an expression more of the eagerness of hope than of the apathy of despair.†
tremulous = quivering (shaky)
DefinitionGenerally tremulous means:
quivering (shaky) — usually from weakness or fear — especially of the voice
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
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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