toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books
Book Menu

Mountains Beyond Mountains

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
adulterate
1 use
Cuba had food rationing and allotments of coffee adulterated with ground peas, but no starvation, no enforced malnutrition.
adulterated = made less good by adding an inferior substance
DefinitionGenerally adulterate means:
corrupt, debase, or make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.21
Web Links
asthma
3 uses
It made her feel essential to him when she'd crack a bawdy joke about some mutual acquaintance and see him fall back onto a sofa, scissoring his feet in the air, laughing so hard that his asthma kicked up.
asthma = a common lung disorder characterized by wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and sometimes coughing
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
austere
2 uses
In an era of fiscal austerity in Peru, they had managed to get the government to put up the money for...
austerity = government spending less money than normal
DefinitionGenerally austere means:
a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

or:

of a person:  stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.16
Web Links
candid
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
your candid opinion
Farmer said, "If I might be so candid, we need help."
candid = honest and straightforward
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 5.25
Web Links
daunt
3 uses
And the prospect of treating more than a handful was daunting.
daunting = intimidating or discouraging
DefinitionGenerally daunt means:
to discourage or intimidate
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.11
Web Links
denounce
4 uses
And he was more interested in denouncing the faults of the capitalist world than in cataloging the failures of socialism.
denouncing = strongly criticizing
DefinitionGenerally denounce means:
to strongly criticize or accuse publicly

or more rarely:  to inform against someone (turn someone into the authorities)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
disdain
3 uses
The fact that any sort of religious faith was so disdained at Harvard and so important to the poor—not just in Haiti but elsewhere, too—made me even more convinced that faith must be something good.
disdained = disrespected
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
disparage
1 use
While riding in a passenger truck through the central plateau, Chouchou had made a disparaging remark about the state of the road.
disparaging = critical
DefinitionGenerally disparage means:
to criticize or make seem less important — especially in a disrespectful or contemptuous manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.11
Web Links
ebullient
2 uses
Some of his e-mails were ebullient:
ebullient = happy and energetic
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
epiphany
3 uses
A slow awakening as opposed to an epiphany.
epiphany = sudden realization
DefinitionGenerally epiphany means:
a sudden realization — especially one of importance
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
florid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
florid color
Jack Roussin, the priest, a beefy man with a florid complexion, would declaim on poverty and injustice, voices in the congregation calling out amens.
florid = reddish
DefinitionGenerally this sense of florid means:
a reddish color — (especially about someone's complexion or in various medical contexts)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 3.14
Web Links
interloper
1 use
"The moral of the story is that energy is the secret to everything in life," said the drunken interloper.
interloper = someone or something that, without invitation, inserts itself
DefinitionGenerally interloper means:
someone or something that, without invitation, inserts itself — such as an uninvited guest at a party or a species that invades non-native territory
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5.24
Web Links
languish
4 uses
In Russia just now, a young man could get thrown in jail for stealing a loaf of bread or a bottle of vodka and, because the criminal justice system was clogged, languish in a detention center for a year or even four years before his case came to trial.
languish = suffer in a bad situation for a long time
DefinitionGenerally languish means:
to suffer in a bad situation for a long time
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.10
Web Links
orthodox
3 uses
What I don't like about Marxist literature is ... the arrogance, the petty infighting, the dishonesty, the desire for self-promotion, the orthodoxy.
orthodoxy = commonly accepted beliefs that are supposed to be accepted without question
DefinitionGenerally orthodox means:
normal (describing thinking or behavior as commonly or traditionally accepted)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.11
Web Links
perfunctory
3 uses
The agent had asked Serena the perfunctory question, "Did you bring anything back from Haiti?"
perfunctory = done without much interest
DefinitionGenerally perfunctory means:
done without much interest or effort — especially as when dispensing with a formality
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.5
Web Links
plateau
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
found on the plateau
For a minute or two the central plateau was laid out in the window beside him, a brown landscape dotted with just a little green,
plateau = high land that is reasonably flat
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.20
Web Links
positive
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
The test came back positive.
On an island of 11 million, only 2,669 had tested positive as of 2000.†
positive = indicating that a condition was found
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
found a condition or substance to be present
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.21
Web Links
pragmatic
3 uses
And it suited Farmer temperamentally because, for all his scholarship and interest in theories, his strongest impulses were pragmatic.
pragmatic = concerned with practical matters
DefinitionGenerally pragmatic means:
concerned with practical matters — especially where quick results and/or practical experience triumph over theory
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
relevant
1 use
The oppression of the poor, the abuse of the vulnerable, and the redemption that comes with fighting for what is right—what ideas could be more relevant in our dear Haiti?
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 2.11
Web Links
TB
266 uses
Tuberculosis had invaded both his lungs, it had begun eating his spine, and it had fractured the long bones of his legs.
tuberculosis = a serious and highly contagious type of lung infection
DefinitionGenerally TB means:
tuberculosis - a serious and highly contagious lung infection transmitted by inhalation or ingestion of tubercle bacilli and manifested in fever and small sores in the lungs
Word Statistics
Book266 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
Go to Book Menu
Take Pre-Reading Quiz
† 
Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which is not affiliated with verbalworkout.com™, and does not endorse this site.