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The Minister's Black Veil

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
affirm
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I affirm the statement
...one or two affirmed that there was no mystery at all,
affirmed = agreed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of affirm means:
to firmly state that something is true
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
apprehensive
1 use
Father Hooper at first replied merely by a feeble motion of his head; then, apprehensive, perhaps, that his meaning might be doubted, he exerted himself to speak.
apprehensive = worried
DefinitionGenerally apprehensive means:
worried over possible misfortune
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
censure
1 use
even the mildest censure would lead him to...
censure = criticism
DefinitionGenerally censure means:
harsh criticism; or formal criticism from an organization — such as the U.S. Senate
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
congregation
1 use
Each member of the congregation...
congregation = people who worship together in the same building
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
countenance
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a pleasant countenance
...the veil lay heavily on his uplifted countenance.
countenance = face
DefinitionGenerally this sense of countenance means:
facial expression; or face; or composure or manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
decorum
2 uses
But there was the decorously grave, though unmoved physician, seeking only to...
decorously = with manners and conduct considered to be proper and in good taste
DefinitionGenerally decorum means:
manners and conduct considered to be proper and in good taste
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
dismal
3 uses
This dismal shade must separate me from the world:
dismal = depressing
DefinitionGenerally dismal means:
of terrible quality or depressing; or dark and dreary (as when bad weather blocks the sun or when it is drizzly)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
eccentric
2 uses
...it was reckoned merely an eccentric whim,
eccentric = unconventional or strange
DefinitionGenerally eccentric means:
unconventional or strange; or a person with such traits
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
expedient
1 use
...it was found expedient to send a deputation of the church, in order to deal with Mr. Hooper about the mystery, before it should grow into a scandal.
expedient = practical
DefinitionGenerally expedient means:
a practical action — especially one that accepts negative tradeoffs due to circumstances

or:

convenient, speedy, or practical
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
grave
1 use
But there was the decorously grave, though unmoved physician, seeking only to mitigate the last pangs of the patient whom he could not save.
grave = serious and solemn

(editor's note:  In this context, decorously is a synonym for proper, mitigate is a synonym for reduce, and pangs is a synonym for pain.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn
The exact meaning of this sense of grave can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad or solemn
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — in a sincere and serious manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
indifferent
1 use
...would lead him to consider an indifferent action as a crime.
indifferent = neutral (nothing negative or of interest)
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest
in various senses, including:
  • unconcerned — as in "She is indifferent to what is served to eat."
  • unsympathetic — as in "She is indifferent to his needs."
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context) — as in "an indifferent performance"
  • impartial — as in "We need a judge who is indifferent."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
iniquity
1 use
Each member of the congregation, the most innocent girl, and the man of hardened breast, felt as if the preacher had crept upon them, behind his awful veil, and discovered their hoarded iniquity of deed or thought.
iniquity = immoral or unjust acts
DefinitionGenerally iniquity means:
immorality; or an immoral act
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
melancholy
4 uses
Though reckoned a melancholy man, Mr. Hooper had a placid cheerfulness for such occasions,
melancholy = sad
DefinitionGenerally melancholy means:
a sad feeling or manner — sometimes thoughtfully sad
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
mitigate
1 use
...seeking only to mitigate the last pangs of the patient whom he could not save.
mitigate = make less harmful or unpleasant

(editor's note:  In this context, pangs is a synonym for pains.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
pious
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
There were the deacons, and other eminently pious members of his church.
pious = highly religious and moral
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
plausible
1 use
This was what gave plausibility to the whispers, that Mr. Hooper's conscience tortured him...
plausibility = apparent reasonableness (though unknown)
DefinitionGenerally plausible means:
apparently reasonable, but unproven
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
reproach
1 use
In this manner Mr. Hooper spent a long life, irreproachable in outward act, yet shrouded in dismal suspicions;
irreproachable = beyond criticism (not capable of being criticized)

(editor's note:  The prefix, "ir-" in irreproachable means not. The suffix "-able means capable of. Hence, we get the definition, "not capable of being criticized" which is often said with the expression, "beyond reproach.)
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism — especially where a relationship makes the disapproval result in disappointment or shame
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
revere
1 use
he paid due reverence to the...
reverence = respect
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
sober
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a sobering thought
But the strangest part of the affair is the effect of this vagary, even on a sober-minded man like myself.
sober = serious
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sobering means:
serious; or making one serious or calm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
venerable
3 uses
I pray you, my venerable brother, let not this thing be!
venerable = respected
DefinitionGenerally venerable means:
respected (worthy of respect) — typically because of age or position
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
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