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William Wilson

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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allude
1 use
In a word, nothing could more seriously disturb me, (although I scrupulously concealed such disturbance,) than any allusion to a similarity of mind, person, or condition existing between us.†
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
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
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altercation
2 uses
One night, about the close of my fifth year at the school, and immediately after the altercation just mentioned, finding every one wrapped in sleep, I arose from bed, and, lamp in hand, stole through a wilderness of narrow passages from my own bedroom to that of my rival.†
altercation = a noisy argument, confrontation, or fight
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
attribute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I attribute it to...
That he observed it in all its bearings, and as fixedly as I, was apparent; but that he could discover in such circumstances so fruitful a field of annoyance, can only be attributed, as I said before, to his more than ordinary penetration.†
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
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
Any burst of indignation upon this discovery would have affected me less than the silent contempt,
contempt = disrespect and dislike
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
contradict
2 uses
It may seem strange that in spite of the continual anxiety occasioned me by the rivalry of Wilson, and his intolerable spirit of contradiction, I could not bring myself to hate him altogether.†
contradiction = something (typically a statement) that disagrees with itself; or (more rarely) the act of disagreeing

(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 contradict means:
disagree
in various senses, including:
  • to say something is not true — as in "She contradicted his testimony."
  • to say something else is true when both can't be true — as in "I don't believe her. She contradicted herself as she told us what happened."
  • to be in conflict with — as in "Her assertions contradict accepted scientific principles."
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
contrived
4 uses
I frequently engaged him in play, and contrived, with the gambler's usual art, to let him win considerable sums, the more effectually to entangle him in my snares.†
contrived = unnatural or arranged
DefinitionGenerally contrived means:
unnatural seeming (due to careful planning)

or more rarely:

arranged (that something should happen)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
disdain
1 use
Perhaps the gradation of his copy rendered it not so readily perceptible; or, more possibly, I owed my security to the master air of the copyist, who, disdaining the letter, (which in a painting is all the obtuse can see,) gave but the full spirit of his original for my individual contemplation and chagrin.†
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
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
enable
4 uses
He appeared to be destitute alike of the ambition which urged, and of the passionate energy of mind which enabled me to excel.†
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
Book4 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
indulge
2 uses
I had indulged more freely than usual in the excesses of the wine-table; and now the suffocating atmosphere of the crowded rooms irritated me beyond endurance.†
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
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
malicious
1 use
It was my intention, now, to put my scheme in operation, and I resolved to make him feel the whole extent of the malice with which I was imbued.†
malice = the desire to hurt others or see them suffer
DefinitionGenerally malicious means:
wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
moreover
1 use
These, moreover, utterly trivial, and even ridiculous in themselves, assume, to my fancy, adventitious importance, as connected with a period and a locality when and where I recognise the first ambiguous monitions of the destiny which afterwards so fully overshadowed me.†
moreover = in addition to what has just been said
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
nevertheless
1 use
Such, nevertheless, was the fact.†
nevertheless = in spite of that (used to connect contrasting ideas)
DefinitionGenerally nevertheless means:
in spite of that (Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
novel
2 uses
I became aware of the figure of a youth about my own height, and habited in a white kerseymere morning frock, cut in the novel fashion of the one I myself wore at the moment.
novel = pleasantly new and original
DefinitionGenerally this sense of novel means:
new and original — typically something considered good
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
officious
2 uses
I have already more than once spoken of the disgusting air of patronage which he assumed toward me, and of his frequent officious interference withy my will.†
officious = too eager to tell others what to do
DefinitionGenerally officious means:
too eager to tell others what to do — often regarding unimportant matters
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
omit
1 use
To be brief upon a vile topic, none of the low finesse was omitted, so customary upon similar occasions that it is a just matter for wonder how any are still found so besotted as to fall its victim.†
omitted = to exclude or neglect something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
perish
1 use
It was a solid structure, with massy door, sooner than open which in the absence of the "Dominic," we would all have willingly perished by the peine forte et dure.†
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
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
proportional
1 use
And was it only fancy which induced me to believe that, with the increase of my own firmness, that of my tormentor underwent a proportional diminution?†
proportional = appropriate or related in size, amount, or degree
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
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scorn
2 uses
This has been already too much an object for the scorn—for the horror—for the detestation of my race.†
scorn = disrespect or reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
vary
2 uses
The morning's awakening, the nightly summons to bed; the connings, the recitations; the periodical half-holidays, and perambulations; the play-ground, with its broils, its pastimes, its intrigues;—these, by a mental sorcery long forgotten, were made to involve a wilderness of sensation, a world of rich incident, an universe of varied emotion, of excitement the most passionate and spirit-stirring.†
varied = differed; or changed
DefinitionGenerally vary means:
to be different, or to change
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
veritable
2 uses
—to me how veritably a palace of enchantment!†
veritably = used for emphasis:  to describe one thing as almost like another (more intense) thing
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
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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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