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The Lost Symbol

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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apprehend
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
apprehend the criminal
We failed to apprehend the target, and I have every reason to believe he's about to carry out his threat.†
apprehend = catch
DefinitionGenerally this sense of apprehend means:
to capture and arrest someone suspected of breaking the law
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 91-92
Web Links
approach   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
approached the city
Langdon looked up to see a middle-aged woman with a badge and clipboard hurrying toward him, waving happily as he approached.†
approached = moved nearer
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
to get closer to (near in space, time, quantity, or quality)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library104 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1-2
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
use the best approach
He was about to retool and try a different approach when his phone rang.
approach = technique (way of doing something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
a way of doing something; or a route that leads to a particular place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1-2
Web Links
ascend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
ascend the mountain
Then he glanced over at a cramped stairwell that ascended from this level .... climbing higher still.†
ascended = climbed upward
DefinitionGenerally this sense of ascend means:
to move or slope upward — sometimes figuratively as when climbing the corporate ladder
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 133
Web Links
bronze   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 10 uses
1  —9 uses as in:
bronze won't corrode in salt water
Outside the main entrance, two seventeen-ton sphinxes guarded the bronze doors.
bronze = made of a type of high-quality metal
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bronze means:
a brownish-colored metal with red or yellow hues that is made of copper and (usually) tin
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePro.
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a bronze tan
The man's tattoos had obviously been concealed beneath bronzing makeup.†
bronzing = tan-colored (reddish brown)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bronze means:
a reddish-brown or yellowish-brown color like that of one of the metals with the same name — often used to refer to a suntan or a dark glowing complexion
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 117-118
Web Links
convoluted
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
convoluted folds of the brain
After diagonally crossing the crypt, the group entered a dimly lit foyer and began winding through a convoluted series of hallways and dead ends.
convoluted = complexly turning
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convoluted means:
having complex coils, folds, twists, or irregularities
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 27-28
Web Links
direct   (5 meanings)
5 meanings, 154 uses
1  —11 uses as in:
depart directly
"This leads directly to the Temple Room," he whispered as the two men ascended as quickly and quietly as possible.†
directly = straight (without delay by going to other places first)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
without delay, or in the quickest manner, or without going somewhere else first
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3-4
Web Links
2  —54 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
Directly above him, the bronze Statue of Freedom gazed out over the sleeping capital city.†
directly = close
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The road runs directly to Las Vegas." — straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • "It was a direct hit." — exact
  • "The plant is in direct sunlight." — unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • "She wants a direct meeting with him." — personal (without other people in between)
  • "She paid direct attention to what he was reading." — close
  • "a direct gaze" — straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book54 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 81-82
Web Links
3  —6 uses as in:
directed her question to
Well-directed thought is a learned skill.†
directed = focused
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
to indicate direction; or to cause movement or focus in a direction or towards an object
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "intentionally directed fire at unarmed civilians" — aimed a gun
  • "directed the question to her" — aimed a question
  • "directed her north" — pointed in a particular direction
  • "directed attention to the 3rd paragraph" — focused attention on a particular object
  • "The sound of her voice directed him to the kitchen." — guided or gave directions to someone to help them move to a particular place
  • "She directed him to the airport." — gave directions to send someone to a particular place
  • "She directed the boat north." — steered it
  • "directed the letter to" — send a letter to a particular person by putting a name and address on it
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library36 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 25-26
Web Links
4  —1 use as in:
directed the jury to...
"Robert," she directed, "put the pyramid out on the island, if you would."†
directed = instructed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
give instructions or commands
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 89-90
Web Links
5  —82 uses as in:
directed the movie
You snooped the director's classified partition?†
director = supervisor (person in charge)

(editor's note:  The suffix "-or" often converts a verb to a noun that means "a person who."  This is the pattern you see in words like actor, editor, and visitor.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
supervise, control, or to be in charge of
Word Statistics
Book82 uses
Library29 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePro.
Web Links
epiphany
1 use
For a moment, Langdon was back in Westminster Abbey, standing at Newton's pyramidical tomb, where he had experienced a similar epiphany.
epiphany = sudden realization
DefinitionGenerally epiphany means:
a sudden realization — especially one of importance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 85-86
Web Links
illustrate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
as illustrated by this example
"I mention the horned Moses," Bellamy now said, "to illustrate how a single word, misunderstood, can rewrite history."†
illustrate = help make clear
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 5-6
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
an illustrated children's book
He motioned to the page's illustration of ten intertwined circles called Sephiroth.†
illustration = drawing

(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 illustrate means:
to draw pictures (or provide photographs) to accompany a book or other writing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15-16
Web Links
initiate   (4 meanings)
4 meanings, 51 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
initiate discussions
Believe me, he is a walking time bomb ... capable of initiating a series of events that will profoundly change the world as you know it.
initiating = starting
DefinitionGenerally this sense of initiate means:
to cause (something) to begin
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 73-74
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
initiate into the art of drumming
Peter initiated me into this long ago.
initiated = introduced (to an area of knowledge)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of initiate means:
introduce to an activity or area of knowledge
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 131-132
Web Links
3  —19 uses as in:
initiate into the fraternity
Masonic initiation rites had remained shrouded in secrecy for centuries.
initiation = the process of formally accepting someone as a member of a group

(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 initiate means:
to accept someone's membership into an organization — typically in a ceremony — sometimes including a period of instruction and/or test
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1-2
Web Links
4  —29 uses as in:
She is a new initiate.
The thirty-four-year-old initiate gazed down at the human skull cradled in his palms.
initiate = a new member or an organization
DefinitionGenerally this sense of initiate means:
someone who has formally started in an organization, or been introduced to or attained some expertise in a particular field
Word Statistics
Book29 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePro.
Web Links
perspective
7 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
Look at it from her perspective
Think of it simply as changing your perspective, accepting that the world is not precisely as you imagine.†
perspective = way of seeing and thinking about things
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perspective means:
a particular way of seeing or thinking about things
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 21-22
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —1 use
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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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