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The Black Cat

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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accompany
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
accompany on the journey
One day she accompanied me, upon some household errand, into the cellar of the old building which our poverty compelled us to inhabit.
accompanied = came with (traveled along with)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accompany means:
to travel along with
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
Web Links
adjacent
1 use
The cat, I remembered, had been hung in a garden adjacent to the house.
adjacent = nearby
DefinitionGenerally adjacent means:
very near — often directly beside
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
allude
1 use
In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise.
allusion = indirect reference

(editor's note:  In this context, tinctured is a synonym for influenced or tinged.)
DefinitionGenerally allude means:
to make an indirect reference
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
attribute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I attribute it to...
The plastering had here, in great measure, resisted the action of the fire—a fact which I attributed to its having been recently spread.
attributed = credited (pointed to as the cause of something) (in this case, had it not still been moist, it would not have resisted the fire)
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
aversion
1 use
With my aversion to this cat, however, its partiality for myself seemed to increase.
aversion = dislike and desire to avoid
DefinitionGenerally aversion means:
dislike that leads to avoidance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
consummate
1 use
It was this unfathomable longing of the soul to ... to do wrong for the wrong's sake only—that urged me to continue and finally to consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute.
consummate = complete in every respect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consummate means:
perfect and complete in every respect; or having a quality to an extreme degree
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
...I had contemptuously destroyed...
contemptuously = disrespectfully and with 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
derive
2 uses
From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions. I was especially fond of animals, and .... This peculiarity of character grew with my growth, and in my manhood, I derived from it one of my principal sources of pleasure.
derived = got
DefinitionGenerally derive means:
to get something from something else

(If the context doesn't otherwise indicate where something came from, it is generally from reasoning—especially deductive reasoning.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
disposition
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a kind disposition
My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition.
disposition = mood
DefinitionGenerally this sense of disposition means:
someone's normal mood, personality, or typical way of behaving
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
docile
1 use
From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition.
docility = tendency to behave
DefinitionGenerally docile means:
easily led or managed — perhaps submissive or well-behaved
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
establish
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity.†
establish = determine or understand
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
expedient
1 use
Finally I hit upon what I considered a far better expedient than either of these.
expedient = an action that is speedy or practical
DefinitionGenerally expedient means:
a practical action — especially one that accepts negative tradeoffs due to circumstances

or:

convenient, speedy, or practical
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
expound
1 use
My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events have terrified—have tortured—have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them.
expound = explain or discuss in detail
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
hideous
3 uses
This hideous murder accomplished, I set myself forthwith, and with entire deliberation, to the task of concealing the body.
hideous = ugly or offensive
DefinitionGenerally hideous means:
extremely ugly, offensive, and/or frightening
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
loathe
3 uses
Whenever I sat, it would crouch beneath my chair, or spring upon my knees, covering me with its loathsome caresses.
loathsome = disgusting
DefinitionGenerally loathe means:
hate, detest, or intensely dislike
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
perceive
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
though blind, can perceive light
I had been looking steadily at the top of this hogshead for some minutes, and what now caused me surprise was the fact that I had not sooner perceived the object thereupon.
perceived = seen
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perceive means:
to become aware of — especially by using the senses (to see, hear, smell, feel, or taste)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
remorse
3 uses
I experienced a sentiment half of horror, half of remorse, for the crime of which I had been guilty; but it was, at best, a feeble and equivocal feeling, and the soul remained untouched.
remorse = regret

(editor's note:  In this context, describing the feeling as equivocal is a way of saying that the feeling is less significant than one would assume were it not for that description.)
DefinitionGenerally remorse means:
a feeling of deep regret for doing something that was wrong
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
I resigned myself thenceforward to despair.
resigned = accepted something undesirable as unavoidable
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
resolve
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
My next step was to look for the beast which had been the cause of so much wretchedness; for I had, at length, firmly resolved to put it to death.
resolved = decided
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
temperate
2 uses
I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife.
intemperate = extreme

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in intemperate means not and reverses the meaning of temperate. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
DefinitionGenerally temperate means:
lacking extremes — especially of weather, climate, or behavior
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use 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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