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The Crucible

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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condemn   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 11 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
She condemned their plan
  PROCTOR: Why'd you let her? You heard me forbid her to go to Salem any more!
  ELIZABETH: I couldn't stop her.
  PROCTOR, holding back a full condemnation of her: It is a fault, it is a fault, Elizabeth—you're the mistress here, not Mary Warren.
condemnation = expression of strong criticism

(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 this sense of condemn means:
express strong criticism
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 2
Web Links
2  —9 uses as in:
was condemned to life in prison
DANFORTH: And seventy-two condemned to hang by that signature?
condemned = sentenced (assigned legal punishment)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of condemn means:
force into an undesired activity or situation — such as to legally sentence someone to punishment

or:

find guilty — especially in court

or:

provide the means of finding guilty
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
conjure
10 uses
PARRIS, to Abigail: Then you were conjuring spirits last night.
conjuring = summoning to be present
DefinitionGenerally conjure means:
summon into action or bring into existence — often as if by magic
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
contempt   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 11 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
...his contempt for Parris is clear:
contempt = disrespect and dislike
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
2  —7 uses as in:
held in contempt of court
DANFORTH: In that case, I have no choice but to arrest you for contempt of this court, do you know that?
contempt = the crime of willful disrespect for the authority of a court
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
the crime of willful disobedience to or disrespect for the authority of a court or legislative body
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
contend   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 7 uses
1  —1 use as in:
She contended that...
Do you know, Mr. Proctor, that the entire contention of the state in these trials is that the voice of Heaven is speaking through the children?
contention = something claimed

(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 this sense of contend means:
to claim that something is true
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 3
Web Links
2  —6 uses as in:
She contended with it
I have had enough contention since I came; I want no more.
contention = argument

(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 this sense of contend means:
to struggle
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 1
Web Links
contradict
1 use
You people seem not to comprehend that a minister is the Lord's man in the parish; a minister is not to be so lightly crossed and contradicted
contradicted = disagreed with
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
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAct 1
Web Links
critical
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a critical problem
PROCTOR—he knows this is critical, and is striving against his disgust with Hale and with himself for even answering:
critical = important
DefinitionGenerally this sense of critical means:
important, serious, or dangerous
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAct 2
Web Links
deposition
13 uses
GILES, pointing at his deposition: The proof is there! I have it from an honest man who heard Putnam say it!
deposition = transcript (written copy) of answers to questions asked in preparation for a trial
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deposition means:
a pretrial questioning of a witness or the resulting transcript
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 3
Web Links
direct
9 uses
1  —1 use as in:
was direct in my instructions
He is steeped in sorrow, exhausted, and more direct than he ever was.
direct = straightforward (specific and to the point)

(editor's note:  This describes Hale at the beginning of Act 4 when he is very clear in saying that the accused are innocent and he is doing the devil's work in asking them to confess to save their lives.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAct 4
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —8 uses
dispute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
their border dispute
He was called upon to arbitrate disputes as though he were an unofficial judge, and Rebecca also enjoyed the high opinion most people had for him.
disputes = disagreements

(editor's note:  To arbitrate is to act as an impartial referee who helps people who disagree to reach an agreement.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
disagreement, argument, or conflict
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 1
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
She disputes his claim.
ELIZABETH: I cannot dispute with you, sir; I lack learning for it.
dispute = argue
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
challenge, argue about, or fight over
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAct 4
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
establish a positive tone
Salem had been established hardly forty years before.
established = founded (started)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library21 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAct 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
DANFORTH—(his first real outburst, in which his contempt for Parris is clear): Mr. Parris, I bid you be silent! (He stands in silence, looking out the window. Now, having established that he will set the gait.) Mr. Cheever, will you go into the court and bring the children here?
established = demonstrated

(editor's note:  By "he will set the gait," Miller is saying that Danforth will be in charge—like someone who controls the gait/pace at which a horse moves.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAct 3
Web Links
fraudulent
10 uses
I think it is not easy to prove she's fraud, and the town gone so silly.
fraud = someone who deceives others
DefinitionGenerally fraudulent means:
intentional deception — usually for financial gain or ego
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
pretense
9 uses
...and confess your pretense, for a quick confession will go easier with you.
pretense = deception (lying or pretending something is true)
DefinitionGenerally pretense means:
a false appearance or action to help one pretend
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
vengeance
10 uses
1  —10 uses as in:
vengeance is mine
Long-held hatreds of neighbors could now be openly expressed, and vengeance taken,
vengeance = revenge
DefinitionGenerally this sense of vengeance means:
the act of taking revenge

(Revenge means to harm someone to get them back for something harmful that they have done.)
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAct 1
Web Links
warrant   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 14 uses
1  —12 uses as in:
has a warrant to...
I have signed seventy-two death warrants; I am a minister of the Lord, and I dare not take a life without there be a proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it.
warrants = documents authorizing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of warrant means:
a document (granting the right to do something)
for example:
  • a document signed by a judge giving police the right to search a home
  • a document signed by a judge giving police the right to arrest someone
  • a document giving someone the right to buy stock shares at a given price by a given date
  • a voucher documenting the right to receive payment
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useAct 3
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
serious enough to warrant surgery
But this is a snobbish objection and not at all warranted by the facts.
warranted = justified
DefinitionGenerally this sense of warrant means:
to justify (make an action reasonable or necessary)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useAct 1
Web Links
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