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The Pit and the Pendulum

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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agony
8 uses
I had but escaped death in one form of agony, to be delivered unto worse than death in some other.
agony = intense suffering
DefinitionGenerally agony means:
intense feelings of suffering — can be from mental or physical pain
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
allude
1 use
...there flashed upon my mind what I cannot better describe than as the unformed half of that idea of deliverance to which I have previously alluded,
alluded = indirectly referenced
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
annihilate
1 use
Long suffering had nearly annihilated all my ordinary powers of mind.
annihilated = completely destroyed
DefinitionGenerally annihilate means:
to completely destroy or defeat
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
comprehend
2 uses
Yet, for a wild moment, did my spirit refuse to comprehend the meaning of what I saw.
comprehend = understand
DefinitionGenerally comprehend means:
to understand something — especially to understand it completely
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library20 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
conjecture
1 use
...I busied myself in vain, unconnected conjecture.
conjecture = forming conclusions based on inconclusive evidence
DefinitionGenerally conjecture means:
a conclusion or opinion based on inconclusive evidence; or the act of forming of such a conclusion or opinion
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she felt despair
I saw that some ten or twelve vibrations would bring the steel in actual contact with my robe, and with this observation there suddenly came over my spirit all the keen, collected calmness of despair.
despair = distressed (at not knowing how to improve a bad situation)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of despair means:
hopelessness; or distress (such as extreme worry or sadness from feeling powerless to change a bad situation)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
There was a discordant hum of human voices!
discordant = conflicting
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
earnest
3 uses
... and much earnestness of endeavor have enabled me vaguely to recall.
earnestness = sincerity or seriousness

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
DefinitionGenerally earnest means:
characterized by sincere belief

or:

intensely or excessively serious
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
endeavor
7 uses
...endeavoured to appreciate or understand what was taking place.
endeavoured = tried or attempted

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use endeavored.)
DefinitionGenerally endeavor means:
to attempt; or a project or activity attempted
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
hideous
4 uses
It seemed evident that mine was not, at least, the most hideous of fates.
hideous = extremely ugly, offensive, and/or frightening
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
impede
1 use
I felt nothing; yet dreaded to move a step, lest I should be impeded by the walls of a tomb.
impeded = stopped (from proceeding)
DefinitionGenerally impede means:
create difficulty so as to slow or prevent (something)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
notwithstanding
2 uses
Notwithstanding terrifically wide sweep (some thirty feet or more) and the its hissing vigor of its descent, sufficient to sunder these very walls of iron, still the fraying of my robe would be all that, for several minutes, it would accomplish.
notwithstanding = despite (in this case, even though the pendulum is very powerful, it won't do much damage for several minutes)
DefinitionGenerally notwithstanding means:
in spite of; or in spite of the thing mentioned
(Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nevertheless, nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
novel
1 use
...he who ponders over the perfume of some novel flower—
novel = pleasantly new and original (not previously encountered)
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
pendulum
9 uses
The measured movement of the pendulum disturbed them not at all.
pendulum = a weight hanging from a fixed location so that the weight swings freely back and forth under the influence of gravity — such as is seen in some mechanical clocks
DefinitionGenerally pendulum means:
a weight hanging from a fixed location so that the weight swings freely back and forth under the influence of gravity — such as is seen in some mechanical clocks

or:

a change that is roughly proportional and in the opposite direction of a prior change — such as a change in opinion
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
perish
4 uses
Shaking in every limb, I groped my way back to the wall; resolving there to perish rather than risk the terrors of the wells,
perish = die
DefinitionGenerally perish means:
to die — especially in an unnatural way

or:

to be destroyed or cease to exist
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
pervasive
2 uses
A suffocating odour pervaded the prison!
pervaded = filled
DefinitionGenerally pervasive means:
existing throughout something; or generally widespread
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
resolve
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
Shaking in every limb, I groped my way back to the wall; resolving there to perish rather than risk the terrors of the wells,
resolving = deciding
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
treacherous
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
the road is steep and treacherous
At first I proceeded with extreme caution, for the floor, although seemingly of solid material, was treacherous with slime.
treacherous = dangerous
DefinitionGenerally this sense of treacherous means:
dangerous — often in a non-obvious way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
tumult
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
couldn't hear over the tumult
At a wave of my hand my deliverers hurried tumultuously away.
tumultuously = in a noisy disorderly manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tumult means:
loud noise — usually created by an unrestrained crowd or some kind of confusion
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
uniform
1 use
They [the rats] had devoured, in spite of all my efforts to prevent them, all but a small remnant of the contents of the dish. I had fallen into an habitual see-saw, or wave of the hand about the platter: and, at length, the unconscious uniformity of the movement deprived it of effect.
uniformity = consistency (being the same)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of uniform means:
consistent (the same in some way)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
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