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Three Cups of Tea

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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adulterate
1 use
Fauji cement was reputed to be reasonable and not too adulterated with additives to crumble in Himalayan weather.
adulterated = made inferior 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 6
Web Links
banish
4 uses
He wants you banished from Pakistan.
banished = expelled or gotten rid of
DefinitionGenerally banish means:
to expel or get rid of
in various senses, including:
  • to force someone to leave a country as punishment
  • to push an idea from the mind
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
clone
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
Can we clone it?
If it were possible to clone fifty more Gregs, there is no doubt in my mind Islamic terrorism would quickly become a thing of the past.†
clone = copy
DefinitionGenerally this sense of clone means:
to make a copy of something — especially a genetically identical copy created with technology
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
defer   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
deferred the decision
Mortenson decided to defer the raise the board had approved for him,
defer = delay
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
delay or postpone (hold off until a later time)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
She ... was the first educated woman in a valley of three thousand people. She didn't defer to anyone,
defer = yield her opinions in favor of those of others
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
submit or yield (typically to another person's opinion because of respect for that person or their knowledge)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
dispose
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
disposed the troops along...
With Syed Abbas, he visited the nurmadhar of Chunda, Haji Ibramin, and convinced him to put the men of his village at their disposal.†
disposal = command

(editor's note:  When something is "at someone's disposal" it is "at their command," or "available for their use." They can use it as they please.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
the arrangement, positioning, or use of things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
doctrine
1 use
Pakistan's dysfunctional educational system made advancing Wahhabi doctrine a simple matter of economics.
doctrine = a belief (or system of beliefs or principles) accepted as authoritative by some group
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
empower
4 uses
If you really want to change a culture, to empower women, improve basic hygiene and health care, and fight high rates of infant mortality, the answer is to educate girls.
empower = give knowledge to someone that permits doing something
DefinitionGenerally empower means:
give or delegate authority or power to

or:

give knowledge or confidence to someone that permits doing something
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
establish
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
It had stood for nearly five hundred years, and had served as a Buddhist temple before Islam had established a foothold in Baltistan.†
established = created
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
fatwa
18 uses
Parvi said that a local sher, a religious leader who doesn't like the idea of us educating girls, just declared a fatwa on me, trying to prevent CAI from building any more schools in Pakistan.
fatwa = ruling on a point of Islamic law that is given by a recognized authority
DefinitionGenerally fatwa means:
a ruling on a point of Islamic law that is given by a recognized authority
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
grave
3 uses
Ordinarily, the cleric carried himself with a grave dignity and released words with the same measured regularity with which he fingered his tasbih, or string of prayer beads.†
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
Book3 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useIntr.
Web Links
illustrate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an illustrated children's book
Dr. Nazir Abdul, a pediatrician, explained that while the Taliban had ruled Kabul, they had banned all books with illustrations and publicly burned any they found.†
illustrations = drawings or photographs

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tions", converts a verb into a plural noun that denotes results of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in actions, illustrations, and observations.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to draw pictures (or provide photographs) to accompany a book or other writing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
impoverish
10 uses
In this impoverished community of mud and stone huts, both Mortenson's life and the lives of northern Pakistan's children changed course.
impoverished = poor
DefinitionGenerally impoverish means:
make someone poorer; or make something less valuable
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
migrate
2 uses
The Balti had originally migrated southwest from Tibet, via Ladakh, more than six hundred years ago, and their Buddhism had been scoured away as they traveled over the rocky passes and replaced by a religion more attuned to the severity of their new landscape—Shiite Islam.†
migrated = moved from one place to another
DefinitionGenerally migrate means:
move from one place to another — sometimes seasonally
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
non-governmental organization
3 uses
I knocked on doors and visited NGOs that had been in the business of educating girls for a long time.
NGOs = non-governmental organizations (private, non-profit organizations working for member goals at the international level)
DefinitionGenerally non-governmental organization means:
private, non-profit organizations working for member goals at the international level — possibly through direct action, but especially by lobbying government officials
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
novel
1 use
Another forceful personality, Brigadier General Bhangoo, had a more novel way of demonstrating his support for Mortenson.†
novel = new and original
DefinitionGenerally this sense of novel means:
new and original — typically something considered good
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
privation
1 use
They had the hard, winnowed look of men who've spent much of their life outdoors, suffering privation.
privation = lack of basic things needed to live in a satisfactory manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
procure
2 uses
Every moment of every day had been filled with tasks, from packing and sorting sacks of flour and freeze-dried food, to procuring permits and arranging plane tickets, to hiring porters and mules.
procuring = getting by special effort
DefinitionGenerally procure means:
get by special effort
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
somber
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a somber mood
"There has been far too much dying in these hills," Sadhar Khan said, 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 23
Web Links
vanquish
3 uses
In valleys like the Upper Braldu, Islam has never completely vanquished older, animist beliefs.
vanquished = completely defeated
DefinitionGenerally vanquish means:
to defeat completely
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
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