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Murder in the Cathedral

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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absolve
4 uses
Rome alone can absolve those who break Christ's indenture.†
absolve = find blameless; or forgive
DefinitionGenerally absolve means:
to find someone blameless; or forgive; or relieve (of a requirement or obligation)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
alliance
2 uses
Sooner shall enmity turn to alliance.†
alliance = association formed to support common interests
DefinitionGenerally alliance means:
an association formed to support common interests
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
compel
2 uses
Some presage of an act Which our eyes are compelled to witness, has forced our feet Towards the cathedral.†
compelled = forced; or (more rarely) convinced
DefinitionGenerally compel means:
to force someone to do something

or more rarely:

to convince someone to do something
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
...their contempt towards the Church shown.
contempt = disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
You defer to the fact.
defer = submit
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
Web Links
disdain
1 use
Fare forward, shun two files of shadows : Mirth merrymaking, melting strength in sweetness, Fiddling to feebleness, doomed to disdain; And godlovers' longings, lost in God.†
disdain = a lack of respect
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 1
Web Links
dismay
2 uses
The Archbishop shall be at our head, dispelling dismay and doubt.†
dismay = sadness, disappointment, or worry
DefinitionGenerally dismay means:
to feel sadness, disappointment, or worry — typically in response to something surprising
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
duplicity
1 use
I see nothing quite conclusive in the art of temporal government, but violence, duplicity and frequent malversation.
duplicity = deception — such as lying
DefinitionGenerally duplicity means:
deception (lying to or misleading others) — usually over an extended period
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
establish
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
establish a positive tone
That is in accordance with our long established principle of Trial by Jury.†
established = existing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
insolent
2 uses
Saving your insolence and greed.†
insolence = rude, disrespectful behavior or action
DefinitionGenerally insolent means:
rudely disrespectful
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
martyr
29 uses
Who has stretched out his hand to the fire and remembered the Saints at All Hallows, Remembered the martyrs and saints who wait? and who shall Stretch out his hand to the fire, and deny his master? who shall be warm By the fire, and deny his master?†
martyrs = dies or suffers due to upholding principle; or people who have suffered such a fate
DefinitionGenerally martyr means:
someone who dies or suffers to uphold principles — especially someone killed for refusing to renounce their religion, or someone who commits a suicide death in the name of their religion

or:

someone who suffers a great deal
Word Statistics
Book29 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
perish
1 use
Leave us to perish in quiet.†
perish = die, be destroyed, or cease to exist
DefinitionGenerally perish means:
to die — especially in an unnatural way

or:

to be destroyed or cease to exist
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
persecution
2 uses
It is fortified By persecution: supreme, so long as men will die for it.†
persecution = very bad and unfair treatment
DefinitionGenerally persecution means:
very bad and unfair treatment of others — usually because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or political beliefs
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
precede
2 uses
I always precede expectation.†
precede = to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
pretense
5 uses
For a little time the hungry hawk Will only soar and hover, circling lower, Waiting excuse, pretence, opportunity.†
pretence = a false appearance or action to help one pretend

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use pretense.)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
refute
1 use
If you make charges, Then in public I will refute them.†
refute = disprove or argue against
DefinitionGenerally refute means:
to disprove or argue against
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
...he resigned the office of Chancellor,
resigned = quit
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 2
Web Links
scorn
2 uses
Shall the Son of Man be born again in the litter of scorn?†
scorn = disrespect or reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
treachery
2 uses
Pursue your treacheries as you have done before : No one shall say that I betrayed a king.†
treacheries = acts of betrayal
DefinitionGenerally treachery means:
the behavior of someone who pretends to be a friend and then tricks, cheats, or betrays
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
treason
3 uses
Only John, the Dean of Salisbury, Fearing for the King's name, warning against treason, Made them hold their hands.†
treason = an act of betrayal
DefinitionGenerally treason means:
betraying someone or something — typically betraying one's own country

(in this context, to betray is to not be loyal—often by helping enemies)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
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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