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Le Morte D'Arthur, Volume I

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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beseech
26 uses
When this false damosel understood this, she went to the Lady Lile of Avelion, and besought her of help, to be avenged on her own brother.†
besought = asked strongly or begged for something
DefinitionGenerally beseech means:
to ask strongly or beg for something
Word Statistics
Book26 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
besiege
11 uses
But I understand by the besieging of this castle she may forbear thy fellowship.†
besieging = surrounding and cutting-off supplies; or overwhelming
DefinitionGenerally besiege means:
to surround with armed forces, and cut-off supplies or attack

or:

to make an overwhelming number of requests, complaints, or comments — typically in an annoying manner and sometimes while surrounding
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 7
Web Links
cleave   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 13 uses
1  —1 use as in:
cleave through
When Beaumains saw his shield cloven asunder he was a little ashamed of that stroke and of her language; and then he gave him such a buffet upon the helm that he fell on his knees.†
cloven = split (or divided in two)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of cleave means:
to split something — especially with violent force

or:

to cut through something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 7
Web Links
2  —12 uses as in:
cleave to
So King Pellinore gave him such a stroke upon the helm that he clave the head down to the chin, that he fell to the earth dead.†
clave = held firmly
DefinitionGenerally this sense of cleave means:
to hold firmly to something — such as an object, a person or idea
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
contrary   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
contrary to
...in this wise: The high and mighty Emperor Lucius sendeth to the King of Britain greeting, commanding thee to acknowledge him for thy lord, and to send him the truage due of this realm unto the Empire, which thy father and other to-fore thy precessors have paid as is of record, and thou as rebel not knowing him as thy sovereign, withholdest and retainest contrary to the statutes and decrees made by the noble and worthy Julius Cesar, conqueror of this realm, and first Emperor of Rome.†
contrary to = in opposition to
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 5
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
on the contrary
Not so, said Sir Gheris, for both Sir Launcelot and Sir Palomides were on the contrary party against the Knight with the Black Shield.†
on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 9
Web Links
grievous
9 uses
And as they sat at their supper Balin overheard one complain grievously by him in a chair.†
grievously = very serious; or very bad; or causing grief
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
grovel
15 uses
And so suddenly Beaumains pulled him upon the ground grovelling.†
grovelling = showing submission or fear

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use groveling.)
DefinitionGenerally grovel means:
to show submission or fear — sometimes by crawling or lying face down
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 7
Web Links
homage
24 uses
I have espied thy king met never yet with worshipful man, but tell him, I will have his head without he do me homage.†
homage = respect or loyalty
DefinitionGenerally homage means:
respect or loyalty; or something done to show respect or loyalty
Word Statistics
Book24 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
King Arthur
512 uses
Of the birth of King Arthur and of his nurture.†
King Arthur = mythical king of the Britons (English) recognized as such when he was able to pull the sword Excalibur from the stone that had locked its blade; created the Knights of the Round Table to protect his people
Word Statistics
Book512 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
malicious
7 uses
And if he depart from your court and go to King Arthur's court, wit ye well he will get him such friends there that he will not set by your malice.†
malice = the desire to hurt others or see them suffer
DefinitionGenerally malicious means:
wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useBook 1
Web Links
manor
19 uses
Right so there came a knight and a lady with six squires, and saluted Accolon, and prayed him for to arise, and come and rest him at his manor.†
manor = a large house of a lord or wealthy person; or the house and the land around it
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 4
Web Links
rebuke
35 uses
This was the cause of the northern host: that they were reared for the despite and rebuke the six kings had at Carlion.†
rebuke = criticize severely; or such criticism
Word Statistics
Book35 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 6
Web Links
repentance
35 uses
It shall be soon revenged, said King Ban, for I trust in God mine ure is not such but some of them may sore repent this.†
repent = feel regret for having done wrong and resolve 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
Book35 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 7
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
he resigned the rule of the realm
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 useBook 5
Web Links
scorn
12 uses
Some of the kings had marvel of Merlin's words, and deemed well that it should be as he said; and some of them laughed him to scorn, as King Lot; and more other called him a witch.†
scorn = disrespect or reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useBook 7
Web Links
treachery
9 uses
Ye say well, said Arthur; now assay ye all my barons; but beware ye be not defiled with shame, treachery, nor guile.†
treachery = betrayal
DefinitionGenerally treachery means:
the behavior of someone who pretends to be a friend and then tricks, cheats, or betrays
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2
Web Links
treason
45 uses
How Ulfius impeached Queen Igraine, Arthur's mother, of treason; and how a knight came and desired to have the death of his master revenged.†
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
Book45 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1
Web Links
yield   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 26 uses
1  —18 uses as in:
will yield valuable data
And then they yode both on foot to them, and bade them yield them, and tell their names outher they should die.†
yield = give
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to produce (usually something wanted); or the thing or amount produced
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useBook 1
Web Links
2  —8 uses as in:
yield to pressure
And then he yielded him unto Sir Tristram.†
yielded = gave in, gave way, or gave up
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to give in, give way, or give up
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 6
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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