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The Swiss Family Robinson

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
accompany
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accompany on the journey
With these thoughts I accompanied Jack and Franz to the fort.
accompanied = traveled along with
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accompany means:
to travel along with
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
accord   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 18 uses
1  —15 uses as in:
according to, or in accord with
The effects of course vary according to the quantity taken, and such remedies should be applied as will best counteract the effect of each poison:
according to = depending upon (in keeping with)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
in keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
This sense of accord is often seen in the form according to or accordingly where it can take on more specific meanings. For example:
  • "According to Kim, ..." — as stated by
  • "To each according to her ability." — based upon
  • "Points are scored according to how well they perform." — depending upon
  • "The dose is calculated according to body weight." — in proportion to
  • "We got a flat tire. Accordingly, I pulled to the side of the road." — because of what was just said; or as a result
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
done of her own accord
The perverse creature had obstinately resisted our attempts to bring her with us, but finding herself deserted, had followed of her own accord,
own accord = own mind — voluntarily (without anyone asking)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
mind
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
capricious
1 use
the sea has only just ceased from its raging, and being at the best of times of uncertain and capricious nature, we may chance to be detained on the island, or forced to land at a considerable distance from home.
capricious = tending to make sudden changes
DefinitionGenerally capricious means:
impulsive or unpredictable or tending to make sudden changes — especially impulsive behavior
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
contrived
40 uses
Why could not we contrive a place like that, where we could sleep safely at night?
contrive = arrange

(editor's note:  This book also frequently uses the form contrivance to refer to something that is arranged. Today contrive is often used to indicate that something is arranged in an artificial way.)
DefinitionGenerally contrived means:
unnatural seeming (due to careful planning)

or more rarely:

arranged (that something should happen)
Word Statistics
Book40 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
There was so much to be done ... that Fritz, who had hoped to set out on his solitary expedition that day, deferred it until the next;
deferred = postponed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
submit or yield (typically to another person's opinion because of respect for that person or their knowledge)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
diligent
5 uses
let us search diligently, but as quietly as possible.
diligently = with hard work and care
DefinitionGenerally this sense of diligent means:
hard work and care in tasks — often continuing when others might quit because of difficulties
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
an outburst of the most hideous and discordant noises.
discordant = unpleasant sounding
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
dispose
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
disposed the troops along...
See how secure it is; guarded on all sides by these high cliffs, and accessible only by the narrow passage to the ford, while from this point it is so easy to reach the ship that the whole of its valuable cargo is at our disposal.†
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 3
Web Links
distend
3 uses
He will soon begin to gorge his prey, and slowly but surely it will disappear down that distended maw!
distended = extended or swollen
DefinitionGenerally distend means:
to extend — especially the swelling outward of a part of the body; e.g., the stomach
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
dwell
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a modest dwelling
Having already undergone one rainy reason, we knew well its discomforts, and thought of many useful arrangements in the laying-out of our dwelling.
dwelling = a house or shelter in which someone lives
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
excursion
23 uses
At the mention of an excursion, the four children were wild with delight, and, capering around me, clapped their hands for joy.
excursion = a short journey
DefinitionGenerally excursion means:
a short journey taken for pleasure

or:

a digression from the main path of a journey
Word Statistics
Book23 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
impetuous
2 uses
Jack, with his usual impetuosity, wished to send a shot in amongst the robber band, but I prevented him, for I knew that the bird or two he might kill would be of no use to us, while his shot would not drive away the rest, even had we wished it.
impetuosity = impulsiveness (tendency to act suddenly without much thought)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impetuous means:
impulsive (acting suddenly without much thought) — often with an unfortunate consequence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
incessant
13 uses
Incessant rain battered down above us,
incessant = continuous
DefinitionGenerally incessant means:
continuous — often in an annoying way
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
inclined
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I'm inclined to
My wife and Franz were left behind, for our proposed work was even more horrible than that of the preceding day; they could not assist, and had no inclination to witness it.
inclination = desire (a tendency; or an attitude that favors something)

(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 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
indolent
3 uses
Ernest, two years younger, was tall and slight; in disposition, mild, calm and studious; his early faults of indolence and selfishness were almost entirely overcome.
indolence = laziness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
induce
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
induce her to
This they found no easy matter, for the birds, left so long alone, were shy, and nothing would induce them to come on shore and be caught.
induce = persuade
DefinitionGenerally this sense of induce means:
to persuade somebody to do something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
oblige
25 uses
1  —25 uses as in:
I am obliged by law.
Vague ideas passed through my mind, but every one I was obliged to reject.
obliged = required (to do something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of oblige means:
require (obligate) to do something
Word Statistics
Book25 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
prudent
6 uses
I exclaimed, "Why, you are a model of prudence and industry!"
prudence = good sense and caution
DefinitionGenerally prudent means:
sensible and careful
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
resolve
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
We resolved to transplant a supply of both roots to our kitchen garden.
resolved = decided
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 9
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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