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The Fall of the House of Usher

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
abrupt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an abrupt change
...one evening, having informed me abruptly that the lady Madeline was no more, he stated his intention of preserving her corpse for a fortnight, (previously to its final interment,) in one of the numerous vaults within the main walls of the building.
abruptly = suddenly and unexpectedly
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abrupt means:
sudden and unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
acute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
acute pain
The writer spoke of acute bodily illness...
acute = a severe illness with a rapid onset
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute means:
sharp (severe or strong) — usually negative
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
acute sense of smell
Said I not that my senses were acute? I now tell you that I heard her first feeble movements in the hollow coffin.
acute = highly perceptive
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute means:
sharp (highly perceptive in some area or mentally sharp)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
agitate
7 uses
The MS. gave evidence of nervous agitation.
agitation = emotional unrest

(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 agitate means:
to stir up or shake — emotionally (as when people are angered or upset) or physically (as when a washing machine cleans clothes)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
alleviate
2 uses
...and during this period I was busied in earnest endeavors to alleviate the melancholy of my friend.
alleviate = to lessen something that is bad
DefinitionGenerally alleviate means:
to lessen something that is bad — especially to lessen pain
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
annihilate
1 use
It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression;
annihilate = to completely destroy
DefinitionGenerally annihilate means:
to completely destroy or defeat
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
apathy
1 use
A settled apathy, a gradual wasting away of the person, and frequent although transient affections of a partially cataleptical character, were the unusual diagnosis.
apathy = lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
convey
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
convey her thoughts
Certain accessory points of the design served well to convey the idea that this excavation lay at an exceeding depth below the surface of the earth.
convey = communicate or express
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
countenance
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a pleasant countenance
A glance, however, at his countenance, convinced me of his perfect sincerity.
countenance = facial expression
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
facial expression; or face; or composure or manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
discern
3 uses
...and no torch, or other artificial source of light was discernible;
discernible = noticeable
DefinitionGenerally discern means:
to notice or understand something — often something that is not obvious
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discordant music
a discordant melody
discordant = unpleasant sounding
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
unpleasant sound — especially a combination of sounds that sound wrong together (though sometimes done intentionally in music)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
futile
2 uses
...the futility of all attempt at...
futility = pointlessness (uselessness)
DefinitionGenerally futile means:
effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
luminous
4 uses
...were glowing in the unnatural light of a faintly luminous and distinctly visible gaseous exhalation which hung about and enshrouded the mansion.
luminous = glowing or shining

(also used metaphorically to describe beauty or intelligence)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
oppress
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
oppressive heat
a mental disorder which oppressed him
oppressed = weighed heavily on the senses or spirit
DefinitionGenerally this sense of oppress means:
to make uncomfortable (weigh heavily on the senses or spirit)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
pervasive
3 uses
I know not how it was—but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit.
pervaded = spread throughout or filled
DefinitionGenerally pervasive means:
existing throughout something; or generally widespread
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
scrutiny
1 use
Perhaps the eye of a scrutinizing observer might have discovered a barely perceptible fissure, which, extending from the roof of the building in front, made its way down the wall in a zigzag direction, until...
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
tremulous
2 uses
The once occasional huskiness of his tone was heard no more; and a tremulous quaver, as if of extreme terror, habitually characterized his utterance.
tremulous = quivering (shaky)
DefinitionGenerally tremulous means:
quivering (shaky) — usually from weakness or fear — especially of the voice
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
unobtrusive
2 uses
repeated deeds of munificent yet unobtrusive charity
unobtrusive = fitting in so as not to attract much attention
DefinitionGenerally unobtrusive means:
fitting in so as not to attract much attention or disturb
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
vivacious
3 uses
His action was alternately vivacious and sullen.
vivacious = having an engaging liveliness — when said of a person, typically said of a female
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
wane
2 uses
Sleep came not near my couch—while the hours ... waned away.
waned = gradually declined
DefinitionGenerally wane means:
a gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number) — especially the part of the moon that is visible
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
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