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Dr. Heidegger's Experiment

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
accustomed
1 use
Over the central bookcase was a bronze bust of Hippocrates, with which, according to some authorities, Dr. Heidegger was accustomed to hold consultations in all difficult cases of his practice.†
accustomed = used to (adapted to and with an expectation of)
DefinitionGenerally accustomed means:
to be or to become psychologically or physically used to something

(used to is an expression that means someone has adapted to and has an expectation of something so it does not seem unusual)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
assimilate
1 use
Youth, like the extremity of age, had effaced the strongly-marked characteristics of middle life, and mutually assimilated them all.†
assimilated = took in, transformed, or fit in
DefinitionGenerally assimilate means:
take in, transform, or fit in
The exact meaning of assimilate can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "assimilate to a new country" — fitting into a prevailing culture
  • "assimilate the information" — transform information within the mind into understanding
  • "assimilate the food" — transform nutrients within the body for its use
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
beseech
1 use
But Dr. Heidegger besought them to stay a moment.†
besought = asked strongly or begged for something
DefinitionGenerally beseech means:
to ask strongly or beg for something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
bestow
1 use
The liquor, if it really possessed such virtues as Dr. Heidegger imputed to it, could not have been bestowed on four human beings who needed it more wofully.†
bestowed = gave
DefinitionGenerally bestow means:
to give — typically to present as an honor or give as a gift
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
chide
1 use
Blushing, panting, struggling, chiding, laughing, her warm breath fanning each of their faces by turns, she strove to disengage herself, yet still remained in their triple embrace.†
chiding = scolding or criticizing
DefinitionGenerally chide means:
to tell someone they have done wrong — sometimes in a gentle way to encourage better behavior
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
deference
1 use
Now he rattled forth full-throated sentences about patriotism, national glory, and the people's right; now he muttered some perilous stuff or other, in a sly and doubtful whisper, so cautiously that even his own conscience could scarcely catch the secret; and now, again, he spoke in measured accents, and a deeply deferential tone, as if a royal ear were listening to his wellturned periods.†
deferential = politely respectful
DefinitionGenerally deference means:
polite respect — often when submitting to another's wishes
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
delude
1 use
Was it delusion? even while the draught was passing down their throats, it seemed to have wrought a change on their whole systems.†
delusion = a false belief

(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 delude means:
deceive (convince to have a false belief)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
diffuse
1 use
As the liquor diffused a pleasant perfume, the old people doubted not that it possessed cordial and comfortable properties; and though utter sceptics as to its rejuvenescent power, they were inclined to swallow it at once.†
diffused = mixed in; or spread; or softened; or calmed
DefinitionGenerally diffuse means:
to spread; or to soften or calm

or:

to be spread out (not concentrated) — sometimes implying a lack or organization or the use of too many words
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
dispute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
She disputes his claim.
He sat in a high-backed, elaborately-carved, oaken arm-chair, with a gray dignity of aspect that might have well befitted that very Father Time, whose power had never been disputed, save by this fortunate company.†
disputed = challenged, argued about, or fought over
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
challenge, argue about, or fight over
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
foliage
1 use
The crushed and dried petals stirred, and assumed a deepening tinge of crimson, as if the flower were reviving from a deathlike slumber; the slender stalk and twigs of foliage became green; and there was the rose of half a century, looking as fresh as when Sylvia Ward had first given it to her lover.†
foliage = plant leaves
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
however
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
However, complications may...
Soon, however, a singular change began to be visible.†
however = a word used to connect contrasting ideas as when using though, in spite of that, in contrast, nevertheless, etc.
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
though (or another expression that connects contrasting ideas)

(Based on idea 1 we might not expect idea 2, but this is a way of saying that even though idea 1 exists, we still have idea 2.  Synonyms include in spite of that, , nevertheless, nonetheless, on the other hand, in contrastand but.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library61 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
infamous
1 use
Mr. Gascoigne was a ruined politician, a man of evil fame, or at least had been so till time had buried him from the knowledge of the present generation, and made him obscure instead of infamous.†
infamous = having an exceedingly bad reputation
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
melancholy
1 use
They were all melancholy old creatures, who had been unfortunate in life, and whose greatest misfortune it was that they were not long ago in their graves.†
melancholy = a sad feeling or manner
DefinitionGenerally melancholy means:
a sad feeling or manner — sometimes thoughtfully sad
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
mischievous
1 use
The Widow Wycherly—if so fresh a damsel could be called a widow—tripped up to the doctor's chair, with a mischievous merriment in her rosy face.
mischievous = naughtily playful
DefinitionGenerally mischievous means:
playfully causing minor trouble; or describing the smile of someone doing so
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
recollect
1 use
And, before proceeding further, I will merely hint that Dr. Heidegger and all his foul guests were sometimes thought to be a little beside themselves,—as is not unfrequently the case with old people, when worried either by present troubles or woful recollections.†
recollections = memories

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tions", converts a verb into a plural noun that denotes results of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in actions, illustrations, and observations.)
DefinitionGenerally recollect means:
to remember — especially experiences from long ago
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
repentance
1 use
The doctor's four venerable friends made him no answer, except by a feeble and tremulous laugh; so very ridiculous was the idea that, knowing how closely repentance treads behind the steps of error, they should ever go astray again.†
repentance = to feel regret for having done wrong and to desire to be a better person in the future
DefinitionGenerally repentance means:
the feeling or expression of regret for having done something wrong with a firm decision to be a better person in the future
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
resume
1 use
At the motion of his hand, the four rioters resumed their seats; the more readily, because their violent exertions had wearied them, youthful though they were.†
resumed = began again
DefinitionGenerally resume means:
begin or take on again
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
tinged
1 use
The crushed and dried petals stirred, and assumed a deepening tinge of crimson, as if the flower were reviving from a deathlike slumber; the slender stalk and twigs of foliage became green; and there was the rose of half a century, looking as fresh as when Sylvia Ward had first given it to her lover.†
tinge = a slight amount; or to contain a slight amount
DefinitionGenerally tinged means:
with a slight amount

(If an amount of what is not clear from context, it is typically of color.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
tremulous
2 uses
The doctor's four venerable friends made him no answer, except by a feeble and tremulous laugh; so very ridiculous was the idea that, knowing how closely repentance treads behind the steps of error, they should ever go astray again.†
tremulous = quivering (shaky)
DefinitionGenerally tremulous means:
quivering (shaky) — usually from weakness or fear — especially of the voice
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
wither
5 uses
There were three white-bearded gentlemen, Mr. Medbourne, Colonel Killigrew, and Mr. Gascoigne, and a withered gentlewoman, whose name was the Widow Wycherly.†
withered = shriveled (wrinkled) or weakened
DefinitionGenerally wither means:
to shrivel (wrinkle and contract — usually from lack of water)

or:

to become weaker; or feel humiliated
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
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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