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The Tell-Tale Heart

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
acute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
acute sense of smell
Above all was the sense of hearing acute.
acute = highly perceptive (much better than normal)
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
agony
1 use
But anything was better than this agony!†
agony = intense suffering
DefinitionGenerally agony means:
intense feelings of suffering — can be from mental or physical pain
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
anxiety
1 use
And now a new anxiety seized me—the sound would be heard by a neighbour!†
anxiety = nervousness or worry
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library23 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
audacious
1 use
In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.†
audacity = boldness and daring
DefinitionGenerally audacious means:
bold and daring (inclined to take risks) — especially in violating social convention in a manner that could offend others
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
cease
1 use
At length it ceased.
ceased = stopped
DefinitionGenerally cease means:
to stop or discontinue
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library26 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
deride
1 use
Anything was more tolerable than this derision!†
derision = critical disrespect — typically while laughing at or making fun of

(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 deride means:
to criticize with strong disrespect — often
with humor
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
dissemble
1 use
I shrieked, "dissemble no more!†
dissemble = hide or disguise the truth without outright lying
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
distinct
3 uses
The ringing became more distinct:—It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness—until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.†
distinct = clear, easily noticed, and/or identifiable as different or separate
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library30 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
gesticulate
1 use
I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased.†
gesticulations = gestures (hand or body movements) made while speaking or to express something

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tions", converts a verb into a plural noun that denotes results of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in actions, illustrations, and observations.)
DefinitionGenerally gesticulate means:
to make gestures (hand or body movements) while speaking or to express something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
hideous
2 uses
—It is the beating of his hideous heart!†
hideous = extremely ugly, offensive, and/or frightening
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
however
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
However, complications may...
This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall.†
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
Book1 use
Library61 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
inquire
1 use
And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night.†
inquiring = asking about or looking into
DefinitionGenerally inquire means:
to ask about or look into something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
profound
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
profound idea
So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect...
profound = far-reaching in insight
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
deep or far-reaching in intellect or consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
refrain
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
refrain from laughing
...for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still.
refrained = resisted (in this case, resisted stopping the heartbeat)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of refrain means:
avoid or resist doing something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
sagacious
1 use
Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers—of my sagacity.†
sagacity = wisdom
DefinitionGenerally sagacious means:
wise — especially through long experience and thoughtfulness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
sufficient
1 use
And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head.†
sufficient = adequate (enough — often without being more than is needed)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
supposition
1 use
Yes, he had been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain.†
suppositions = things supposed  (rather than things known to be so)
DefinitionGenerally supposition means:
something supposed (rather than something known to be so) — especially when others doubt that reality
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
trifle
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a trifling matter
argued about trifles
trifles = unimportant things
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trifle means:
something of small importance; or a small quantity
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
wane
1 use
The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence.†
waned = a gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number) — especially the part of the moon that is visible
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
wary
1 use
I had been too wary for that.†
wary = nervous or distrustful
DefinitionGenerally wary means:
nervous about (or distrustful of) someone or something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library22 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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