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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
alternative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an alternative plan
"But all right," went on the rumblings, "so what's the alternative?"
alternative = other 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 7
Web Links
apathy
1 use
apathetic bloody planet, I've no sympathy at all.
apathetic = without interest or enthusiasm
DefinitionGenerally apathy means:
lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
approach   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
approached the city
As they approached the ridge of higher ground they became aware that it seemed to be circular—a crater about a hundred and fifty yards wide.†
approached = moved toward
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
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
use the best approach
Here was an approach that had quite simply not occurred to him.†
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
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
component
3 uses
For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive—you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope.
components = parts (in this case, of the radio)
DefinitionGenerally component means:
a part of something
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
Marvin managed to convey his utter contempt and horror of all things human.
contempt = lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
convey
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
convey her thoughts
With a microsecond pause, and a finely calculated micro-modulation of pitch and timbre—nothing you could actually take offense at—Marvin managed to convey his utter contempt and horror of all things human.†
convey = communicate or express
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
debase
1 use
Many respectable physicists said that they weren't going to stand for this, partly because it was a debasement of science, but mostly because they didn't get invited to those sorts of parties.
debasement = degradation (decrease in the purity or quality)
DefinitionGenerally debase means:
to degrade (decrease) the purity, quality, or status of something — often morality or metals
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
deference
2 uses
they conducted themselves calmly and quietly as they seated themselves deferentially before the desk,
deferentially = with polite respect
DefinitionGenerally deference means:
polite respect — often when submitting to another's wishes
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
doleful
1 use
"Life," said Marvin dolefully, "loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it."
dolefully = sadly

(editor's note:  Loathe is a synonym for hate.)
DefinitionGenerally doleful means:
expressing or causing sadness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
galaxy
58 uses
I mean, here we are on the run and everything, we must have the police of half the Galaxy after us by now, and we stop to pick up hitchhikers.
galaxy = a collection of star systems held together by gravity
DefinitionGenerally galaxy means:
a collection of star systems held together by gravity — for example, our sun is a star whose system includes Earth and the other planets. That star system is a tiny part of the Milky Way galaxy
Word Statistics
Book58 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
irony
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
verbal irony
The irony circuits cut in to his voice modulator ... "All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done."
irony = saying one thing while meaning something else
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
negative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
had a negative effect
She had expected never to see the planet again, but she was disturbed by her negative reaction to the news of the planet's destruction.†
negative = feeling bad
DefinitionGenerally this sense of negative means:
bad or harmful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
passage
2 uses
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a very unevenly edited book and contains many passages that simply seemed to its editors like a good idea at the time.
passages = short parts of longer written works
DefinitionGenerally this sense of passage means:
a short part of a longer written work
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
perfunctory
2 uses
a feeble and perfunctory attempt to clear away some of the appalling mess of his study.
perfunctory = done without much interest or effort
DefinitionGenerally perfunctory means:
done without much interest or effort — especially as when dispensing with a formality
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
positive   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
Eventually, of course, after their Galaxy had been decimated over a few thousand years, it was realized that the whole thing had been a ghastly mistake, and so the two opposing battle fleets settled their few remaining differences in order to launch a joint attack on our own Galaxy—now positively identified as the source of the offending remark.†
positively = with certainty
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
certain (having no doubt; or used for emphasis)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 31
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
a positive attitude
How can anyone maintain a positive mental attitude if you're saying things like that?†
positive = optimistic
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
optimistic (expecting or focusing good things); or agreeable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
recession
3 uses
"...so anyway," he said, trying to find his thread again, "the recession came and we decided it would save a lot of bother if we just slept through it."
recession = a period when the economy does poorly
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
rectify
2 uses
Evolution? they said to themselves, Who needs it? and what nature refused to do for them they simply did without until such time as they were able to rectify the gross anatomical inconveniences with surgery.
rectify = fix
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rectify means:
correct, fix, or make right
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
relevant
1 use
He pressed the entry for the relevant page.
relevant = relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 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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