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A Hope in the Unseen

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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candid
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
your candid opinion
Such candor hasn't been easy in his first few days home.
candor = honesty and directness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
descend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
descend the mountain
With only a few seconds before they descend on him, Cedric slips out of his turry black vest-Donald quickly grabs it-and drops his bookbag full of clothes.†
descend = move downward
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
move or slope downward
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
diffident
1 use
So Cedric, sensing this diffident fascination, smiles at all comers but offers few openings.
diffident = hesitant and unassuming
DefinitionGenerally diffident means:
hesitant and unassertive — often due to a lack of self-confidence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
digress
1 use
He flips forward to the chapter on series, an odd digression from the mostly tangible issues of calculus dealing with force or velocity or the trajectory of objects as they bump and bounce through the world.
digression = a wandering from a direct or straight course

(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 digress means:
wander from a direct or straight course — typically verbally
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
discern
4 uses
Cedric turns it down a barely discernible notch.
discernible = noticeable
DefinitionGenerally discern means:
to notice or understand something — often something that is not obvious
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
...their discussion of this obscure point drifts into discord.
discord = argument
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
disdain
1 use
A hundred yards away, inside a long, low mess hall, Cedric Gilliam looks disdainfully at the steam trays of corned beef hash before sliding forward his Styrofoam tray for a ladleful.
disdainfully = with a lack of respect; or sense of distaste
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
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
diverse
7 uses
Ultimately, Yale had to bend to accommodate new ways of thinking and learning from a more diverse student body.
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
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
diversity
17 uses
The first step is to agree that most people share the goal of true diversity, with many races competing freely and successfully.
diversity = the condition of variety (in this case, referencing members of a population group who are of different races or cultures)
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
Book17 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
doleful
1 use
"Guess everybody knows it's not going too good," he says with a doleful laugh and passes it across to her.
doleful = sad
DefinitionGenerally doleful means:
expressing or causing sadness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
highlight
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
highlight the main findings
In February of 2001, an educational program inside the federal government, called the Department of the Interior University, created a forum to highlight "career balance and diversity."†
highlight = emphasize (call attention to)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of highlight means:
emphasize (call attention to something)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
interloper
1 use
While parties across campus jam to twice their usual size—accommodating interlopers from near and far—the kids of East Andrews, realizing suddenly how their days are numbered, try to recapture some of the rosy-cheeked spontaneity of last fall.
interlopers = people or things that, without invitation, insert themselves
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 14
Web Links
Ivy League
22 uses
An Ivy League credential, an indisputable American prize.
Ivy League = a group of universities and colleges in the northeastern United States with a reputation for scholastic achievement and social prestige
DefinitionGenerally Ivy League means:
a group of universities and colleges in the northeastern United States that regularly compete  against each other in sports and have a reputation for scholastic achievement and social prestige

(Specifically:  Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, & Yale)
Word Statistics
Book22 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
meticulous
4 uses
choose your words meticulously and then let them rumble up from some deep furnace of conviction.
meticulously = in a manner treating details with great care
DefinitionGenerally meticulous means:
treating details with great care
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
obscure   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 4 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
it obscured my view
...a plain fact is obscured: they were suited to their times then and they are, likewise, suited to their times now, as middle-aged baby boomer parents.
obscured = hidden (or overshadowed)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
the view or directions are obscure
They both slip into the car, ignoring the driver, as their discussion of this obscure point drifts into discord.
obscure = not clearly understood
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not clearly seen, understood, or expressed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
knows the famous and the obscure
Cedric just smiles, and around the room they go, pulling up obscure CDs and humming songs and reminiscing.
obscure = not known to many people
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not known to many people; or unimportant or undistinguished
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
pedantic
1 use
Some other math professors at Brown have murmured that it's dense and pedantic almost to the point of being unusable or, as Berman warned some students, "definitely not self-serve."
pedantic = with excessive concern for formal rules, details, or book learning
DefinitionGenerally pedantic means:
too concerned with formal rules, details, or book learning
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
pious
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
She gazes into the wide center section of the church, passing over the familiar faces of women and a few men. No one from here-no one from this place of public piety and sacrifice-seems suitable.
piety = highly religious and moral behavior
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
rigorous
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a rigorous math class
He read rigorously for several days, caught a few small errors, and penciled in supporting facts, especially about his evolved musical tastes.
rigorously = with energetic effort (in a difficult and demanding manner)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rigorous means:
difficult and demanding
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useA.N.
Web Links
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Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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