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Lost Horizon

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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adapt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
adapted to the new rules
Our best subjects, undoubtedly, are the Nordic and Latin races of Europe; perhaps the Americans would be equally adaptable, and I count it our great good fortune that we have at last, in the person of one of your companions, secured a citizen of that nation.†
adaptable = able to change to fit a different situation

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-able" means able to be. This is the same pattern you see in words like breakable, understandable, and comfortable.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of adapt means:
changed to fit a different situation; or made suitable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
alternative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an alternative plan
Or, alternatively (and he thought of it as he contemplated the small orderliness of the cabin against the window background of such frantic natural scenery), the will of man and the lunacy of God.†
alternatively = as another possibility
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
catholic
1 use
Their taste in books was catholic, at any rate; Plato in Greek touched Omar in English; Nietzsche partnered Newton; Thomas More was there, and also Hannah More, Thomas Moore, George Moore, and even Old Moore.
catholic = inclusive of a wide range of people or interests
DefinitionGenerally this sense of catholic means:
universal or inclusive of a wide range of people or interests
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
context
1 use
Conway thought that the argument, in its context of place and circumstance, was in some danger of becoming ludicrous.†
context = the setting or situation in which something occurs
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
contrast   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
contrast their writing styles
There was hardly any stir of wind, in contrast to the upland gales that had raged the night before; the whole valley, he perceived, was a landlocked harbor, with Karakal brooding over it, lighthouse-fashion.†
in contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
there is a contrast
He almost pushed them out of the room, and then, with a scantness of ceremony that was in marked contrast with his earlier manner, turned to his host.†
contrast = difference
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
a difference — especially a notable difference; or the side-x-side arrangement of things that draws attention to an unmissable difference
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
dilatory
1 use
Yet to Conway it did not appear that the Eastern races were abnormally dilatory, but rather that Englishmen and Americans charged about the world in a state of continual and rather preposterous fever heat.
dilatory = slow
DefinitionGenerally dilatory means:
slow; or causing or tending to delay things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
dispose
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
disposed the troops along...
Chang then assured them of his own equal enjoyment, and hoped they would consider the resources of the music room and library wholly at their disposal throughout their stay.†
disposal = command

(editor's note:  When something is "at someone's disposal" it is "at their command," or "available for their use." They can use it as they please.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
the arrangement, positioning, or use of things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
establish
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
Emulation is, after all, a young man's spirit, and Perrault, by the time his monastery was well established, was already full of years.†
established = settled (existing firmly)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
grave
2 uses
Mallinson half-turned away, his face lit with a grave shyness.†
grave = serious and solemn
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
Book2 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
inclined
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I'm inclined to
I've no doubt he has, but my own inclinations are not—at the moment—so assertive.†
inclinations = tendencies (attitudes favoring)

(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 this sense of inclined means:
a tendency, mood, desire, or attitude that favors something; or making someone favor something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
inhabitant
8 uses
In the valley which you have seen, and in which there are several thousand inhabitants living under the control of our order, we have found that the principle makes for a considerable degree of happiness.†
inhabitants = people (who live in a particular place)
DefinitionGenerally inhabitant means:
a person who lives in a particular place
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
novel
2 uses
There were moments in life when one opened wide one's soul just as one might open wide one's purse if an evening's entertainment were proving unexpectedly costly but also unexpectedly novel.†
novel = new and original
DefinitionGenerally this sense of novel means:
new and original — typically something considered good
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
phenomenon
5 uses
Conway had no particular medical knowledge, but, as to most men who have lived in outlandish places, the phenomena of illness were mostly familiar.†
phenomena = things that exists or happened — often of special interest
DefinitionGenerally phenomenon means:
something that exists or happened — especially something of special interest — sometimes someone or something that is extraordinary
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePro.
Web Links
polygamy
1 use
He deprecated polygamy, but he saw no reason to inveigh against the prevalent fondness for the tangatse berry, to which were ascribed medicinal properties, but which was chiefly popular because its effects were those of a mild narcotic.
polygamy = the practice of being married to more than one person at the same time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
precede
1 use
There was a slight nervous twitch near the left eye which was usually noticeable when he worked too hard or drank too much, and as he had been packing and destroying documents throughout the whole of the day and night preceding the evacuation, the twitch was very conspicuous when he climbed into the aeroplane.†
preceding = prior (in time or space)
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
recollect
12 uses
He gave a Speech Day oration in Greek, I recollect, and was outstandingly first-rate in school theatricals.†
recollect = remember
DefinitionGenerally recollect means:
to remember — especially experiences from long ago
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
retort
10 uses
"I know that nobody except a damn fine airman could," retorted Barnard.†
retorted = quickly replied
DefinitionGenerally this sense of retort means:
a quick reply to a question or remark — especially a witty or critical one
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
somber
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a somber mood
Mallinson, who had been somberly enduring these pleasantries, now interposed with something of the shrill acerbity of the barrack square.
somberly = solemnly (in a manner that is serious—not cheerful or lighthearted)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of somber means:
serious and without humor or fun — perhaps sad
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
tranquil
8 uses
One had to breathe consciously and deliberately, which, though disconcerting at first, induced after a time an almost ecstatic tranquillity of mind.†
tranquillity = peace and quiet; or calmness

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use tranquility.)
DefinitionGenerally tranquil means:
calm and undisturbed
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
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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