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Outcasts United

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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approach   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 12 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
approached the city
As these beleaguered adults approach, the uniformed sons and daughters whose pursuit of soccer has inspired their expeditions are nowhere to be seen.†
approach = get near
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
to get closer to (near in space, time, quantity, or quality)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library104 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
2  —8 uses as in:
use the best approach
When she had registered with the Immigration and Naturalization Service upon filing her green card application, Luma had been fingerprinted; her fingers were placed on an ink pad and carefully rolled over the card beneath. The woman at the Walton County jail had a different approach; she grabbed Luma's hand, inked her fingertips, and then slammed her hand down on the counter.
approach = technique (way 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
Book8 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
approached her with the proposal
Though he had not shown up at the second tryouts or at either of two subsequent practices, Fornatee thought that scrimmage day was the right time to make his approach to Coach Luma, to ask to get reinstated to the team.†
approach = attempt to start talking (about a subject)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
to begin communication with someone about something — often a proposal or a delicate topic
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
direct   (6 meanings)
6 meanings, 17 uses
1  —1 use as in:
depart directly
She walked out of the building and directly onto the team bus, parked just in front of the Walton County jail.†
directly = immediately
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
without delay, or in the quickest manner, or without going somewhere else first
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 27
Web Links
2  —7 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
Before the game, Luma had the Fugees line up and take simple shots from directly in front of the net.†
directly = close
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The road runs directly to Las Vegas." — straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • "It was a direct hit." — exact
  • "The plant is in direct sunlight." — unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • "She wants a direct meeting with him." — personal (without other people in between)
  • "She paid direct attention to what he was reading." — close
  • "a direct gaze" — straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
was direct in my instructions
Luma's mother, Sawsan, was emotional and direct, and there was never any doubt about her mood or feelings.†
direct = straightforward (open and honest)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
4  —3 uses as in:
directed her question to
During a heated game outside Atlanta, players and even some parents directed a vulgar racial epithet at Fugees players from the sideline.†
directed = aimed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
to indicate direction; or to cause movement or focus in a direction or towards an object
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "intentionally directed fire at unarmed civilians" — aimed a gun
  • "directed the question to her" — aimed a question
  • "directed her north" — pointed in a particular direction
  • "directed attention to the 3rd paragraph" — focused attention on a particular object
  • "The sound of her voice directed him to the kitchen." — guided or gave directions to someone to help them move to a particular place
  • "She directed him to the airport." — gave directions to send someone to a particular place
  • "She directed the boat north." — steered it
  • "directed the letter to" — send a letter to a particular person by putting a name and address on it
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library36 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
5  —4 uses as in:
directed the jury to...
He was confidently directing his team from center midfield, ordering his defense to move up the field in an effort to set up the offsides trap.†
directing = instructing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
6  —1 use as in:
directed the movie
Nowadays, Hong is the director of accounting for a large Atlanta-area real estate firm and oversees thirteen employees.†
director = supervisor (person in charge)

(editor's note:  The suffix "-or" often converts a verb to a noun that means "a person who."  This is the pattern you see in words like actor, editor, and visitor.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
supervise, control, or to be in charge of
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library29 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
disparage
1 use
Africans in Egypt also faced racial discrimination—they were disparaged as "chocolata" or "honga bonga" by some hostile Egyptians, who were growing weary of their uninvited guests.
disparaged = criticized or made seem less important
DefinitionGenerally disparage means:
to criticize or make seem less important — especially in a disrespectful or contemptuous manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 26
Web Links
diversity
21 uses
As diversity becomes the norm, in other words, people cease to focus on it.
diversity = the condition of variety (in this case having 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
Book21 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useIntr.
Web Links
flout
2 uses
Luma counted the episode as a hard lesson, and vowed not to let any player, no matter how talented, get away with flouting team rules.
flouting = openly disregarding
DefinitionGenerally flout means:
to openly disregard — typically a law, rule, or custom
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
focus   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 29 uses
1  —27 uses as in:
Turn your focus to question #2.
The extra help has freed Luma to focus her energies on her real love, coaching.†
focus = concentrate
DefinitionGenerally this sense of focus means:
verb: to concentrate, look at, or pay attention to

noun: the act of concentration, or the ability to concentrate

(to concentrate is to direct attention or effort towards a single thing)
Word Statistics
Book27 uses
Library75 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
The focus of our study is...
LUMA MADE THE team the focus of her energies in those early days in Georgia.†
focus = center (where attention is concentrated)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of focus means:
where attention is concentrated or directed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
bring into focus; or out of focus
As his eyes adjusted, a few cars came into focus.†
focus = view (a state where something can be seen clearly)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of focus means:
a state where something has come into view or can be seen clearly

(Typically this is said of the appearance of an image or picture, but it can also be said of something that get's attention, or of an understanding that become clear.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
hiatus
3 uses
After their big win in their first game back after Luma's enforced hiatus, the 15s had lost 4–1 to a middle-of-the-pack team.
hiatus = gap in time without activity
DefinitionGenerally hiatus means:
a gap in time (when there is no or less activity)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
liberal arts
1 use
Shamsoun, Natnael, and Yousph were all accepted at Pfeiffer University, a liberal arts college in North Carolina.
liberal arts = intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills
DefinitionGenerally liberal arts means:
studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useEpil.
Web Links
refugee
302 uses
The family are refugees and have no medical records.
refugees = people who fled their homeland
DefinitionGenerally refugee means:
someone who has fled their homeland to getaway from a dangerous or difficult situation; or related to such people
Word Statistics
Book302 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
taciturn
2 uses
Taciturn and withdrawn boys who hadn't so much as grunted for the first two-thirds of practice now shouted insistently for the ball.
taciturn = with a tendency to be reserved and not to talk
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
ubiquitous
1 use
The Fugees had other opportunities—two free kicks and a handful of corner kicks—but time and again the plays were broken up by a ubiquitous presence for the Fire:
ubiquitous = being present everywhere or all the time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 31
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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