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How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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appease
3 uses
Enough guavas to appease even the greediest Island santo for life!
appease = satisfy
DefinitionGenerally appease means:
satisfy or pacify (make less angry or upset) — typically by giving something wanted
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
cadaver
1 use
Between meals, Don Jose sketched rather than dissected the cadavers and caught up on his sleep on a bench below a Gauguin and alongside several Van Goghs in the Prado.
cadavers = dead human bodies
DefinitionGenerally cadaver means:
the dead body of a human being — especially one used for medical study
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.13
Web Links
cadence
2 uses
Now and again the changed cadence of a story coming through made Sandi lean forward and listen.
cadence = recurring pattern of sounds
DefinitionGenerally cadence means:
rhythm or recurring pattern of sounds or movements
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.10
Web Links
confide
7 uses
"The girls are having such fun," she heard her mother confide to Mrs. Fanning.
confide = place trust (in someone) and talk about private things
DefinitionGenerally confide means:
to place trust (in someone) by talking about private things or telling secrets
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
cursory
1 use
Some nights, though, if she got a good idea, she rushed into Yoyo's room, a flushed look on her face, her tablet of paper in her hand, a cursory knock on the door she'd just thrown open.
cursory = hasty (in this case, not serving as a proper knock at a door)
DefinitionGenerally cursory means:
quick—not thorough (without attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.7
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
But why the girls would have a Baggy of oregano in their room was un misterio she deferred to her mistress to solve.
deferred = left or yielded
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 2.6
Web Links
dissent
1 use
"Let me finish," the mother said, sensing dissension.
dissension = disagreement

(editor's note:  The suffix "-sion", 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 admission from admit, discussion from discuss, and invasion from invade.)
DefinitionGenerally dissent means:
to disagree; or disagreement or conflict — typically between people who cooperate, and often with official or majority beliefs
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
dubious
1 use
Like a missionary, her cousins will say, like one of those Peace Corps girls who have let themselves go so as to do dubious good in the world.
dubious = doubtful
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
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
innumerable
3 uses
On her lap lay one of those innumerable pads of paper her husband brought home from his office, compliments of some pharmaceutical company, advertising tranquilizers or antibiotics or skin cream.
innumerable = too numerous to be counted
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.7
Web Links
migrate
3 uses
By this time the kisses had migrated from behind my ear to my neck.
migrated = moved (from one place to another)
DefinitionGenerally migrate means:
move from one place to another — sometimes seasonally
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
mitigate
1 use
I knew that in our family the least mention of the guardia got instant, unmitigated attention.
unmitigated = complete (not diminished)

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unmitigated means not and reverses the meaning of mitigated. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.12
Web Links
muse
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
her musings
She shakes her head, musing to herself.
musing = thinking (reflecting deeply)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of muse means:
reflect (think) deeply on a subject — perhaps aloud
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
profound
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
"Tears, tears," Joe said, reciting again, "tears from the depths of some profound despair."
profound = intense
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
recluse
1 use
I became more and more of a recluse, avoiding our old haunts for fear of running into him.
recluse = someone withdrawn from society (living alone and avoiding contact)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
reconcile
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
reconciled their differences
There was a reconciliation of sorts.
reconciliation = make up (agree enough to get along)

(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 reconcile means:
to bring into agreement
The exact meaning of reconcile can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "We reconciled our differences and are on friendly terms now." — settled or found a way to accept
  • "They did break up, but they reconciled since then." — made up
  • "I need to reconcile my goals with my abilities." — make compatible
  • "I need to reconcile my checkbook." — get the checkbook numbers and the bank statement to agree
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
Papito has resigned his United Nations post and so is not very well liked by the government right now.
resigned = quit from
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
to quit — especially a job or position; or a document expressing such an act
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 3.11
Web Links
satiate
1 use
Satiated, the dark bird rises and joins a rolling cluster of rain clouds in the northern sky.
satiated = filled to satisfaction (having eaten enough)
DefinitionGenerally satiate means:
to satisfy a hunger; or fill to satisfaction (typically said of hunger for food, but can be said of anything desired—such as of knowledge or sensual pleasure)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
sonnet
7 uses
Our next workshop, no one understood what my sublimated love sonnet was all about, but Rudy's brought down the house.
sonnet = a poem consisting of 14 lines with a fixed rhyme scheme
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
tentative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
said it tentatively
Those tenuous, tentative first life-impressions have scattered like reflections in a pond under the swirling hand of an older brother or sister saying, I remember the day you ate the rat poison, Carlos, or, I remember the day you fell down the stairs... He has heard Laura in the living room speaking with two men, one of them with a ripply, tricky voice, the other with a coarser voice, a thicker laugh, a big man, no doubt.
tentative = in an unsure way (indicating a lack of confidence)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tentative means:
done in a careful or unsure way (indicating a lack of confidence in exactly what will happen)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3.11
Web Links
vivacious
4 uses
His bad boy always drove me to my vivacious good girl.
vivacious = having an engaging liveliness — when said of a person, typically said of a female
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.5
Web Links
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