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The Omnivore's Dilemma

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
abundant
2 uses
When food is abundant and cheap, people will eat more of it.
abundant = present in great quantity
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
approach
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
use the best approach
Unable to choose between the two approaches, I decided to try both.
approaches = ways of doing something
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
a way of doing something; or a route that leads to a particular place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.22
Web Links
bacteria
25 uses
They can develop into new types of bacteria that the drugs don't affect.
bacteria = microorganisms (living creatures so small it takes a microscope to see them)
DefinitionGenerally bacteria means:
microorganisms (living creatures so small it takes a microscope to see them) that can both cause disease and be beneficial. They are different and larger than viruses.
Word Statistics
Book25 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
bushel
18 uses
Looking at it one way, each American eats only about a bushel of corn per year.
bushel = a unit of measure used for dry goods (filling an 8 gallon container)
DefinitionGenerally bushel means:
a unit of measure used for dry goods (filling an 8 gallon container)

or:

a large amount — as in "bushels of fun"
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
calorie
40 uses
Just because they offer a supersized 64-ounce Big Gulp and 1,250-calorie, 5-cup restaurant plate of spaghetti and meatballs doesn't mean that's the amount you should eat.
calorie = a unit of energy most commonly known as a measure of the potential weight gain the body gets from food

(editor's note:  For example, there are 750 of them in a 64oz Big Gulp and the average person should get about 2,000 of them a day.)
DefinitionGenerally calorie means:
a unit of energy most commonly known as a measure of potential weight gain the body gets from food
Word Statistics
Book40 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
diabetes
2 uses
Because of diabetes and all the other health problems caused by obesity, kids in the U.S. today may turn out to be the first group of Americans with life spans that are shorter than their parents'.
diabetes = a disease in which the body can't control the amount of sugar in the blood and that is marked by excessive urination and persistent thirst
DefinitionGenerally diabetes means:
any of several metabolic disorders characterized by abnormally high glucose levels in the blood and marked by excessive urination and persistent thirst
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
discriminate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
suffered discrimination
Not too long ago, racism and discrimination against women was accepted by a lot of people.
discrimination = unfair treatment of a group of people (in this case due to gender)

(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 discriminate means:
to treat people of different groups differently — especially unfair treatment due to race, religion or gender
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 4.19
Web Links
diverse
1 use
Maybe the food system should be diverse too.
diverse = varied (having variety with differences)
DefinitionGenerally diverse means:
varied (having variety amongst things of the same kind) — especially with regard to ideas or members of a population group
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.16
Web Links
diversity
3 uses
This diversity, with many different types of crops, allowed the farmer to get by if prices fell for any one crop.
diversity = the condition of variety
DefinitionGenerally diversity means:
the condition of variety — especially in reference to members of a population group who are of different races or cultures
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
domesticated
6 uses
Zoologists will tell you that certain animals more or less "chose" domestication.
domestication = being made fit for service to humans

(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 domesticated means:
to make fit for service to humans or home life — by breeding or taming
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.19
Web Links
enzyme
2 uses
That's when Japanese chemists discovered an enzyme that could transform glucose into the much sweeter sugar molecule called fructose.
enzyme = any complex protein that is produced by cells and acts a chemical catalyst (causing a chemical reaction)
DefinitionGenerally enzyme means:
a substance that causes a chemical reaction

(typically a complex protein produced by living cells—which acts as a chemical catalyst without being changed)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.21
Web Links
ferment
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
ferment grapes
Some is fermented to become ethanol.
fermented = chemically changed by a living agent
DefinitionGenerally this sense of ferment means:
chemically change by a living agent — such as when yeast or bacteria changes sugar to alcohol when making wine
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
forage
18 uses
I don't want to have to forage every meal.
forage = to search for and gather
DefinitionGenerally forage means:
to search for and gather — often food and provisions
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.18
Web Links
glutton
1 use
They don't want to look like gluttons.
gluttons = people who regularly eat or drink to excess
DefinitionGenerally glutton means:
someone who consumes more than they should — especially eating and drinking too much

The expression:  "a glutton for punishment" refers to someone who persist in some activity despite negative consequences (as though loving the punishment)

The expression: "a glutton for whatever" refers to people who like whatever a lot — such that "a glutton for sunshine" loves sunshine.
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
hybrid
20 uses
A hybrid is a plant or animal whose parents have different traits.
hybrid = something of mixed origin (in this case, a plant or animal produced by crossbreeding)
DefinitionGenerally hybrid means:
something of mixed origin
in various senses, including:
  • of cars — powered by both electricity and gasoline
  • in biology — a plant or animal produced by crossbreeding
  • in linguistics — a word that is composed of parts from different languages (e.g., monolingual has a Greek prefix and a Latin root)
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
parasitic
4 uses
Moving every day also keeps the cows healthier, because they can get away from their droppings, which can contain unhealthy parasites.
parasites = of a species that lives on (or in) another species and eats from it without providing return benefit

or:

a person who lives off others' efforts without providing return benefit to them
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.12
Web Links
pneumatic
1 use
The stunner has a pneumatic-powered 'gun' that fires a steel bolt about seven inches long and the diameter of a fat pencil.
pneumatic = using air
DefinitionGenerally pneumatic means:
of or relating to or using air
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.19
Web Links
resolve
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
But I had resolved to think about it.
resolved = definitely decided
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.19
Web Links
sustain
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
sustained through the ages
To Joel, sustainable organic farming means using this free solar energy instead of fossil fuel energy.
sustainable = capable of continuing through time

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-able" means able to be. This is the same pattern you see in words like breakable, understandable, and comfortable.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
to continue through time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3.13
Web Links
synthetic
9 uses
Several of the ingredients were synthetic additives that are permitted under federal organic rules.
synthetic = artificial (man-made rather than natural)
DefinitionGenerally synthetic means:
artificial (man-made rather than natural); or not genuine
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.10
Web Links
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