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An American Tragedy

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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accord   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 71 uses
1  —68 uses as in:
according to, or in accord with
Clyde was in accord with this wish of the Griffiths,
accord = in agreement
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
in keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
This sense of accord is often seen in the form according to or accordingly where it can take on more specific meanings. For example:
  • "According to Kim, ..." — as stated by
  • "To each according to her ability." — based upon
  • "Points are scored according to how well they perform." — depending upon
  • "The dose is calculated according to body weight." — in proportion to
  • "We got a flat tire. Accordingly, I pulled to the side of the road." — because of what was just said; or as a result
Word Statistics
Book68 uses
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
done of her own accord
She wanted to leave there of her own accord.
own accord = own mind (voluntarily without anyone asking)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
mind
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
accord her the respect deserved
...this same type of treatment was accorded him by Stuart,
accorded = given to (as a special treatment)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
to give someone special treatment — especially respect
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
apathy
3 uses
His manner was too restless, his embraces too apathetic, his tone without real tenderness.
apathetic = without interest or enthusiasm
DefinitionGenerally apathy means:
lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
apparent
64 uses
"Ever hear of people being resuscitated after they have apparently drowned?"
apparently = seemingly (something appears to have happened, but may not have)
DefinitionGenerally apparent means:
clear or obvious; or appearing as such but not necessarily so
Word Statistics
Book64 uses
Library66 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
appropriate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
it is appropriate
And before he could add anything to the nervous gloom which shadowed her face, she added: "That other money was for her, you know, to bring her back here after her—her"—she hesitated over the appropriate word but finally added—"husband left her there in Pittsburgh.†
appropriate = suitable (fitting)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of appropriate means:
suitable (fitting) for a particular situation
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
bolster
3 uses
And invariably at the strong and tonic or protective sound of his voice Clyde stirring as with a bolstering force and finding himself able, and without shaking or quavering, to tell the short but straitened story of his youth.
bolstering = supporting
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bolster means:
support or strengthen
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
consequence   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 62 uses
1  —55 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
"Don't know or don't care anything about that," replied Griffiths senior, feeling that his son was a little jealous and in consequence disposed to be unfair to Clyde.
consequence = result
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book55 uses
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —7 uses as in:
of little consequence
...he was a person of consequence, just the same.
consequence = importance
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
importance or relevance
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
dubious
58 uses
At once Dr. Glenn became dubious again, though he gave her no sign.
dubious = doubtful or suspicious
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful
in various senses, including:
  • doubtful that something should be relied upon — as in "The argument relies on a dubious assumption."
  • doubtful that something is morally proper — as in "The company is accused of using dubious sales practices to influence minors."
  • bad or of questionable value — as in "The state has the dubious distinction of the highest taxes."
  • doubtful or uncertain — as in "She is dubious about making the change."
Word Statistics
Book58 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
evade   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
evade the enemy
...suddenly he caught her face between his two hands and kissed her, before really she could evade him.
evade = get away from
DefinitionGenerally this sense of evade means:
physically avoid or get away from; or: said of something that is hard to obtain
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
evade the question
...he found Kemerer as respectful and evasive as ever.
evasive = avoiding telling the whole truth

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word into an adjective; though over time, what was originally an adjective often comes to be used as a noun. The adjective pattern means tending to and is seen in words like attractive, impressive, and supportive. Examples of the noun include narrative, alternative, and detective.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of evade means:
to avoid or try to avoid either a responsibility or telling the whole truth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
inclined   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
I'm inclined to
...[a] man inclined to favor conservative procedure in all things,
inclined = with a tendency
DefinitionGenerally this sense of inclined means:
a tendency, mood, desire, or attitude that favors something; or making someone favor something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
on an incline or incline his head
His head ... appeared chronically to incline forward,
incline = angle or bend
DefinitionGenerally this sense of incline means:
to be at an angle or to bend
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
indifferent
74 uses
And yet how much and how indifferently he had sinned against her!
indifferently = unsympathetically
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
Book74 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
minute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
minute size
At the point of land favored by Roberta, into a minute protected bay with a small, curved, honey-colored beach, and safe from all prying eyes north or east.†
minute = small
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minute means:
small, exceptionally small, or insignificant
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
keep the minutes
He had lost no time, as soon as he discovered there was a possibility of their (Belknap & Jephson) taking over the defense of Clyde, in going over the minutes of the coroner's inquest as well as the doctors' reports and the letters of Roberta and Sondra.†
minutes = formal notes
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minutes means:
a written record of what happened at a meeting
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
rebuttal
1 use
And Justice Oberwaltzer at once announcing that because of the lateness of the hour, and in the face of a number of additional witnesses for the defense, as well as a few in rebuttal for the prosecution, he would prefer it if the work for the day ended here.
rebuttal = argument in opposition
DefinitionGenerally rebuttal means:
a statement arguing against something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
revere
8 uses
Apart from his father, perhaps, there was no one here to whom he offered any reverence.
reverence = respect and admiration
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
somber
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a somber mood
Heit's heavy eyes glowed somberly.†
somberly = solemnly (in a manner that is serious—not cheerful or lighthearted)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of somber means:
serious and without humor or fun — perhaps sad
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
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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