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The Masque of the Red Death

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
blasphemy
1 use
"who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery?"
blasphemous = disrespectful of something considered sacred
DefinitionGenerally blasphemy means:
something said or done that is disrespectful of something considered sacred — especially God or religion
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
countenance
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a pleasant countenance
look upon the countenances of those who entered
countenances = faces
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
daunt
1 use
But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious.
dauntless = never discouraged or intimidated

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-less" in dauntless means without. This is the same pattern you see in words like fearless, homeless, and endless.)
DefinitionGenerally daunt means:
to discourage or intimidate
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she felt despair
...sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within.
despair = hopelessness
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
disconcerting
2 uses
...there came yet another chiming of the clock, and then were the same disconcert and tremulousness and meditation as before.
disconcert = nervousness (disruption of composure)
DefinitionGenerally disconcerting means:
disrupt composure — such as to confuse or worry
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
eccentric
1 use
This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince's own eccentric yet august taste.
eccentric = unconventional

(editor's note:  In this context, august is a synonym for regal or majestic.)
DefinitionGenerally eccentric means:
unconventional or strange; or a person with such traits
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
endure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
endured the pain
And yet all this might have been endured,
endured = suffered through
DefinitionGenerally this sense of endure means:
to suffer through (or put up with something difficult or unpleasant)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
endure through the ages
they have endured but an instant
endured = lasted (continued to exist)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of endure means:
to continue to exist
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
impede
2 uses
...the folding doors slide back nearly to the walls on either hand, so that the view of the whole extent is scarcely impeded.
impeded = obstructed (made more difficult)
DefinitionGenerally impede means:
create difficulty so as to slow or prevent (something)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
lapse
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
after the lapse of many hours
...and then, after the lapse of sixty minutes...
lapse = passing (of a period of time)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of lapse means:
a period of time — often a period that has passed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
novel
1 use
There was a sharp turn at every twenty or thirty yards, and at each turn a novel effect.
novel = new and original
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
pervasive
1 use
...a light laughter at once pervaded the assembly;
pervaded = spread through or filled
DefinitionGenerally pervasive means:
existing throughout something; or generally widespread
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
prevail
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
prevailing attitude
These windows were of stained glass whose color varied in accordance with the prevailing hue of the decorations of the chamber into which it opened.
prevailing = most common or influential

(editor's note:  In this context, hue is a synonym for color.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of prevailing means:
most common, powerful, or influential
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
resolve
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
They resolved to leave means neither of ingress or egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within.
resolved = decided

(editor's note:  This could be paraphrased as:  "They decided to leave neither entry or exit to...")
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
revel
4 uses
And the revel went whirlingly on, until at length there commenced the sounding of midnight upon the clock.
revel = party
DefinitionGenerally revel means:
to take delight in

or:

to party — especially in a noisy way
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
scrutiny
1 use
...that the closest scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat.
scrutiny = careful look or inspection
DefinitionGenerally scrutiny means:
careful examination of something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
solemn
3 uses
with a slow and solemn movement
solemn = serious and possibly dignified
DefinitionGenerally solemn means:
in a very serious (and often dignified) manner
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library20 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
sustain
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
sustained by her faith
...this spectral image (which with a slow and solemn movement, as if more fully to sustain its role, stalked to and fro among the waltzers)...
sustain = support
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
provide support or necessities
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
tangible
1 use
...a throng of the revellers at once threw themselves into the black apartment, and, seizing the mummer, whose tall figure stood erect and motionless within the shadow of the ebony clock, gasped in unutterable horror at finding the grave-cerements and corpse-like mask ... untenanted by any tangible form.
tangible = capable of being touched

(editor's note:  This could be paraphrased as:  "...a group of partiers went into the dark apartment, and, grabbing the silent man, whose tall figure stood upright and motionless in the shadow of the clock, gasped in extreme horror at finding his burial clothes and corpse-like mask ... uninhabited by a body.")
DefinitionGenerally tangible means:
capable of being touched, or easily understood so there is no question of its value or reality
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
tapestry
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
the tapestry hangs in the museum
The second chamber was purple in its ornaments and tapestries, and here the panes were purple.
tapestries = rug-like artworks — often hung on a wall for display
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tapestry means:
rug-like artwork — often hung on a wall for display
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
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