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A Death in the Family

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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alternative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an alternative plan
The alternatives were not at all distinct in his mind; he was puzzled, but no less proud and expectant than before.†
alternatives = possibilities
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
beseech
7 uses
Show me if I am wrong, I beseech Thee.†
beseech = to ask strongly or beg for something
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
commend
4 uses
Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit, she said, taking her hands from her face and looking meekly at her aunt.†
commend = praise or recommend
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
consequence   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
a direct consequence of
She would remember, every ten minutes or so, to inquire courteously whether he was tired, but he was seldom tired in her company; with her, he never felt embarrassment in saying he had to go to the bathroom, for she never seemed annoyed, but in consequence he seldom found it necessary to go when they came together on these downtown trips.†
consequence = result
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
of little consequence
Sometimes on these evenings his father would hum a little and the humming would break open into a word or two, but he never finished even a part of a tune, for silence was even more pleasurable, and sometimes he would say a few words, of very little consequence, but would never seek to say much, or to finish what he was saying, or to listen for a reply; for silence again was even more pleasurable.†
consequence = importance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
importance or relevance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
...their astonished contempt at his complete lack of spirit to strike out against his tormentors,
contempt = lack of respect
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
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
contradict
2 uses
This account of it was false, Rufus was sure, but it seemed to him more exciting than his own, and more creditable to his father and to him, and nobody could question, scornfully, whether that could kill, as they could of just a blow on the chin; so he didn't try to contradict.†
contradict = disagree
DefinitionGenerally contradict means:
disagree
in various senses, including:
  • to say something is not true — as in "She contradicted his testimony."
  • to say something else is true when both can't be true — as in "I don't believe her. She contradicted herself as she told us what happened."
  • to be in conflict with — as in "Her assertions contradict accepted scientific principles."
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
deceive
10 uses
I think it's just a perfect shame, deceiving a little child like that who's been brought up to trust people, and laughing right in his face!†
deceiving = lying or misleading
DefinitionGenerally deceive means:
to lie to or mislead someone — occasionally to lie to oneself by denying reality
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
endure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
endured the pain
Just do your best to endure it and...
endure = suffer through
DefinitionGenerally this sense of endure means:
to suffer through (or put up with something difficult or unpleasant)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
endure through the ages
the thing she resented with enduring anger and distaste,
enduring = lasting (continuing to exist through time)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of endure means:
to continue to exist
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
grave
12 uses
It was not really anything of a separation, yet he was surprised to find that it seemed to him a grave one, perhaps because his business was grave, or because of the solemn hour.†
grave = serious and solemn
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn
The exact meaning of this sense of grave can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad or solemn
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — in a sincere and serious manner
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
incredulous
7 uses
This is crazy, he told himself incredulously.†
incredulously = with disbelief; or with difficulty accepting something so unexpected
DefinitionGenerally incredulous means:
unbelieving; or having difficulty accepting something so unexpected
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
indifferent
6 uses
Rufus had never seen him so indifferent; and the instant he saw him, he knew that he would never see him otherwise.†
indifferent = without interest
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest
in various senses, including:
  • unconcerned — as in "She is indifferent to what is served to eat."
  • unsympathetic — as in "She is indifferent to his needs."
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context) — as in "an indifferent performance"
  • impartial — as in "We need a judge who is indifferent."
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
malevolent
1 use
As she passed Rufus she gave him a glance filled with satisfaction, and he answered it with a glance of helpless malevolence.
malevolence = the desire to do evil or to hurt others
DefinitionGenerally malevolent means:
evil
  • of a person — wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
  • of a thing — exerting an evil or harmful influence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
nevertheless
1 use
Annoyed with herself, she nevertheless could not help feeling a little hurt.†
nevertheless = in spite of that (used to connect contrasting ideas)
DefinitionGenerally nevertheless means:
in spite of that (Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
precede
1 use
Her hand on the doorknob, she turned off the light and preceded him into the kitchen.†
preceded = went or was before
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
relevant
1 use
The darkness became at once more intimate and more hollow; the engine sounded different, a smooth, easy drone; budding limbs swelled up and swept with sudden speed through the last of the vivid light; the auto bored through the center of the darkness of the universe; its poring shafts of light, like an insect's antennae, feeling into distinctness every relevant small obstacle and ease of passage, and very little else.†
relevant = relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
reproach
8 uses
And if I do break down, why don't reproach yourself.†
reproach = a criticism; or to express criticism
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism — especially where a relationship makes the disapproval result in disappointment or shame
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
subdue
2 uses
1  —2 uses
verb as in: subdued the opposition
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, he sang loudly, almost in fury, within himself: the everlasting light! and upon these words a sob leapt up through him which he could not subdue but could only hope to conceal.†
subdue = control or put down by force or intimidation
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subdue means:
to control, prevent, or make less intense — sometimes through force
The exact meaning of subdue depends upon its context. For example:
  • "subdued a nation" — defeated militarily and brought under control
  • "subdued the fever" — made it less intense or defeated it
  • "subdued her enthusiasm" — made it less intense
  • "subdued her fears" — made them less intense or overcame them
  • "subdued my emotions" — kept them under control
  • "subdued the crowd" — quieted or controlled it
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
vary
2 uses
The noise of each locust is pitched in some classic locust range out of which none of them varies more than two full tones: and yet you seem to hear each locust discrete from all the rest, and there is a long, slow, pulse in their noise, like the scarcely defined arch of a long and high set bridge.†
varies = differs; or changes
DefinitionGenerally vary means:
to be different, or to change
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
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