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The Island of Dr. Moreau

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
He was quick to learn, very imitative and adaptive, and built himself a hovel rather better, it seemed to me, than their own shanties.†
adaptive = having the ability to change for different situations

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word into an adjective; though over time, what was originally an adjective often comes to be used as a noun. The adjective pattern means tending to and is seen in words like attractive, impressive, and supportive. Examples of the noun include narrative, alternative, and detective.)
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 14
Web Links
approach
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
approached the city
Again and again I tried to approach his den and come upon him unaware; but always he was too acute for me, and saw or winded me and got away.†
approach = get near
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
to get closer to (near in space, time, quantity, or quality)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library104 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
askew
4 uses
He looked me squarely in the eyes, and twisted his mouth askew.†
askew = not straight; or not right
DefinitionGenerally askew means:
not straight (not in proper alignment)

or:

(when used figuratively) not right, or not as planned
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
confound
6 uses
"Confound you!" said Montgomery.†
confound = confuse or frustrate
DefinitionGenerally confound means:
to confuse, prove wrong, frustrate, or express frustration
in various senses, including:
confuse or surprise — sometimes specifically to confuse one thing with another
  • "confounded by the puzzle" — confused or perplexed
  • "Test results confounded the experts." — surprised and confused
  • "Do not confound confidence with correctness." — mistake one thing for another
prove wrong, defeat, or frustrate
  • "The test results confounded my theory." — proved wrong
  • "Their defense confounded our offense." — defeated or frustrated
make worse
  • "She confounded the problem by painting without sanding." — made worse
  • "The task is complicated by other confounding factors." — making worse
an exclamation expressing anger or frustration
  • "Confound it! Will I ever get this thing to work?"
  • "I don't understand the confounded directions!"
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
contradict
2 uses
I had never beheld such a repulsive and extraordinary face before, and yet—if the contradiction is credible—I experienced at the same time an odd feeling that in some way I had already encountered exactly the features and gestures that now amazed me.†
contradiction = something (typically a statement) that disagrees with itself; or (more rarely) the act of disagreeing

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", 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 action, education, and observation.)
DefinitionGenerally contradict means:
disagree
in various senses, including:
  • to say something is not true — as in "She contradicted his testimony."
  • to say something else is true when both can't be true — as in "I don't believe her. She contradicted herself as she told us what happened."
  • to be in conflict with — as in "Her assertions contradict accepted scientific principles."
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discordant music
A discordant chanting began.
discordant = unpleasant sounding
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
unpleasant sound — especially a combination of sounds that sound wrong together (though sometimes done intentionally in music)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
distort
7 uses
He distorted his lower lip, and nodded his head hopelessly at the grey-haired man beside him, to indicate his powerlessness to help me.†
distorted = altered in an unnatural or untrue way
DefinitionGenerally distort means:
to alter something in an unnatural or untrue way
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
forthwith
11 uses
I heard the unseen dogs growl furiously, and forthwith he ducked back,—coming into contact with the hand I put out to fend him off from myself.†
forthwith = immediately
DefinitionGenerally forthwith means:
immediately — (most typically seen in legal documents, formal use, or classic literature)
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
gesticulate
4 uses
They were gesticulating excitedly.†
gesticulating = making gestures (hand or body movements) while speaking or to express something
DefinitionGenerally gesticulate means:
to make gestures (hand or body movements) while speaking or to express something
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
heed
6 uses
They were talking, or at least one of the men was talking to the other two, and all three had been too closely interested to heed the rustling of my approach.†
heed = pay close attention to; or do what is suggested
DefinitionGenerally heed means:
pay close attention to; or to do what is suggested — especially with regard to a warning or other advice
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
moreover
1 use
At first I had a shivering horror of the brutes, felt all too keenly that they were still brutes; but insensibly I became a little habituated to the idea of them, and moreover I was affected by Montgomery's attitude towards them.†
moreover = in addition to what has just been said
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
perish
3 uses
It has hitherto been supposed that the four men who were in the dingey perished, but this is incorrect.†
perished = died, was destroyed, or ceased to exist
DefinitionGenerally perish means:
to die — especially in an unnatural way

or:

to be destroyed or cease to exist
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
phenomenon
1 use
Because this island is full of inimical phenomena.†
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
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
positive
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
had a positive effect
I left it there, with the water rippling round it, under the still stars, and giving it a wide berth pursued my way towards the yellow glow of the house; and presently, with a positive effect of relief, came the pitiful moaning of the puma, the sound that had originally driven me out to explore this mysterious island.†
positive = good or beneficial
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
ravine
20 uses
The path coiled down abruptly into a narrow ravine between two tumbled and knotty masses of blackish scoriae.†
ravine = a deep narrow steep-sided valley — especially one formed by running water
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
recollect
3 uses
I fancy I recollect some stuff being poured in between my teeth; and that is all.†
recollect = remember
DefinitionGenerally recollect means:
to remember — especially experiences from long ago
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
subsequent
2 uses
Half way up was a square enclosure of some greyish stone, which I found subsequently was built partly of coral and partly of pumiceous lava.†
subsequently = following something else
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useIntr.
Web Links
taint
3 uses
It was a complex trophy of Moreau's horrible skill,—a bear, tainted with dog and ox, and one of the most elaborately made of all his creatures.†
tainted = spoiled or contaminated
DefinitionGenerally taint means:
to spoil something so it is not desirable — as when bacteria contaminates a food; or as when a rumor makes people distrust a person
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
tumult
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
couldn't hear over the tumult
The chanting died down, giving place to a clamour; then it began again, and suddenly broke into a tumult.
tumult = loud, confusing noise from an unrestrained crowd
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tumult means:
loud noise — usually created by an unrestrained crowd or some kind of confusion
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
wretched
7 uses
On the day of its publication a wretched dog, flayed and otherwise mutilated, escaped from Moreau's house.†
wretched = miserable or very bad
DefinitionGenerally wretched means:
very bad
in various senses, including:
  • unfortunate or miserable — as in "wretched prisoners sleeping on the cold floor"
  • of poor quality — as in "wretched roads"
  • morally bad — as in "The wretched woman stole his wallet."
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
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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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