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The Cask of Amontillado

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
aperture
1 use
I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within.
aperture = opening
DefinitionGenerally aperture means:
an opening  — especially a small one that controls the amount of light admitted for a camera or microscope

or:

the measured diameter of the opening
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
clamor
2 uses
I replied to the yells of him who clamored.
clamored = was yelling
DefinitionGenerally clamor means:
loud noise and/or persistent demands — especially from human voice
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
definitive
2 uses
At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitively settled—
definitively = settled in a manner that is definite and final
DefinitionGenerally definitive means:
best possible, final, or definite (beyond question)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
descend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
descend the mountain
We passed through a range of low arches, descended, passed on, and ... arrived at a deep crypt,
descended = moved downward
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
move or slope downward
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
displace
1 use
Within the wall thus exposed by the displacing of the bones, we...
displacing = moving
DefinitionGenerally displace means:
force to move; or to take the place of
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
distill
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
distill the whisky
He turned towards me, and looked into my eyes with two filmy orbs that distilled the rheum of intoxication.
distilled = concentrated

(editor's note:  In this context, rheum refers to liquid that drips from the eyes.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of distill means:
to make a more pure or concentrated liquid by boiling it and condensing its vapors (as is done when making whisky or some petroleum products)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
embedded
1 use
...whose fangs are imbedded in the heel.
imbedded = firmly stuck into
DefinitionGenerally embedded means:
firmly within
in various senses, including:
  • firmly stuck into — as a thorn into a finger
  • enclosed within — as a fossil within a rock
  • implanted as a part — sometimes specifically of a reporter living with a military unit
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
endeavor
1 use
It was in vain that Fortunato, uplifting his dull torch, endeavored to pry into the depths of the recess.
endeavored = tried or attempted
DefinitionGenerally endeavor means:
to attempt; or a project or activity attempted
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
explicit
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
explicit instructions
I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house.
explicit = clear
DefinitionGenerally this sense of explicit means:
clear and with enough detail so there is no confusion
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
fetter
1 use
A moment more and I had fettered him to the granite.
fettered = chained
DefinitionGenerally fetter means:
to restrain or hinder

or more archaically:

a shackle for the ankles
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
gesticulate
1 use
He laughed and threw the bottle upwards with a gesticulation I did not understand.
gesticulation = hand or body movement

(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 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
grotesque
1 use
He repeated the movement—a grotesque one.
grotesque = distorted and unnatural
DefinitionGenerally grotesque means:
distorted and unnatural in shape or size — especially in a disturbing way

or:

ugly, gross, or very wrong
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
niche
3 uses
But now there came from out the niche a low laugh that erected the hairs upon my head.
niche = smaller area within
DefinitionGenerally niche means:
a smaller market within a larger market — such as the market for scissors designed for people who are left-handed

or:

a role for which someone is especially well-suited

or:

a shallow recess, cranny or crevice
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
obstinate
1 use
There was then a long and obstinate silence.
obstinate = stubborn
DefinitionGenerally obstinate means:
stubbornly not doing what others want
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
perceive
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
though blind, can perceive light
Within the wall thus exposed by the displacing of the bones, we perceived a still interior recess,
perceived = saw

(editor's note:  In this context, interior recess means a "small area on the inside".)
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
recoil
1 use
"You jest," he exclaimed, recoiling a few paces.
recoiling = moving backward suddenly
DefinitionGenerally recoil means:
to move backward suddenly (sometimes figuratively)
especially:
  • the backward jerk of a gun or cannon when it is fired
  • when a person flinches (suddenly draws back) from someone or something, as with fear, disgust, or pain
  • when a person is emotionally repulsed, as by disgust
  • when something intended to go in one direction figuratively falls back in the opposite direction; for example, a story told to hurt someone that comes back to hurt the teller
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
render
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
rendered service or a verdict
But I must first render you all the little attentions in my power.
render = give
DefinitionGenerally this sense of render means:
to give or supply something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
resolve
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
How did you resolve the problem?
At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitively settled—but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk.
resolved = settled
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to solve a problem or settle a disagreement
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
resume
1 use
When at last the clanking subsided, I resumed the trowel, and finished without interruption the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh tier.
resumed = began again
DefinitionGenerally resume means:
begin or take on again
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
subside
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
her anger subsided
When at last the clanking subsided, I resumed the trowel, and finished without interruption the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh tier.
subsided = stopped or became less severe
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subside means:
become less intense, less severe, or less active — perhaps going away entirely
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
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