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Sole Survivor

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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adapt
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
adapted to the new rules
He thought the smallest unit of a living creature was the cell—which he saw as just a lump of adaptable albumen.†
adaptable = able to change to fit a different situation

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-able" means able to be. This is the same pattern you see in words like breakable, understandable, and comfortable.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of adapt means:
changed to fit a different situation; or made suitable
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4.16
Web Links
anguish
11 uses
The anguished and haunted quality of his own voice had shaken him from sleep.†
anguished = extreme pain, suffering, or distress (of body or mind)
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
ascend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
ascend the mountain
Ascend, now, in the elevator from the little glimpse of Hell at the bottom of those six subterranean levels, leaving the boy in his containment vessel, and come all the way up to the security room where the descent began.†
ascend = move 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 4.16
Web Links
bolster
1 use
Joe was running on an adrenaline high, far beyond his normal level of endurance, and if not for the bolstering effect of panic, he might have collapsed before he topped the ridge.
bolstering = supporting and strengthening
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bolster means:
support or strengthen
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 4.17
Web Links
byline
1 use
As a crime reporter with a frequently seen byline, he had from time to time received story tips from newspaper readers who, to put it charitably, were not well glued together.
byline = printed line giving the name of the writer of an article
DefinitionGenerally this sense of byline means:
a line giving the name of the writer of an article — typically at the top of the article
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.5
Web Links
cadaver
1 use
Abruptly he was gripped by the irrational conviction that the cadavers surrounding him were those of his wife and children; all of them were Michelle and the girls, as though Joe had wandered into a scene in a science fiction movie about clones.
cadavers = bodies
DefinitionGenerally cadaver means:
the dead body of a human being — especially one used for medical study
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
clone
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
It is a clone.
Abruptly he was gripped by the irrational conviction that the cadavers surrounding him were those of his wife and children; all of them were Michelle and the girls, as though Joe had wandered into a scene in a science fiction movie about clones.†
clones = copies
DefinitionGenerally this sense of clone means:
a copy of something — especially an organism with identical genetics created through technology
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
compassion
18 uses
She was a kind and gentle woman, full of compassion for Joe even as she coped with her own loss.†
compassion = sympathy for another's suffering and wanting to help
Word Statistics
Book18 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.12
Web Links
context
2 uses
In the context of what Joe had told her, this recollection seemed by the moment to grow more disturbing to Barbara.†
context = the setting or situation in which something occurs
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3.10
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
do not despair
And any two slices of it, as different as Bel Air and Watts, were nevertheless uncannily alike in essence: rich with the same crazy hungers, hopes, and despairs.†
despairs = loses hope
DefinitionGenerally this sense of despair means:
to lose hope
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.13
Web Links
deviate
1 use
Although it experienced no loss of altitude or airspeed, the 747 began to veer off its assigned flight path, now traveling west-southwest at a seven-degree deviation from Jet Route 146.
deviation = change or difference

(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 deviate means:
differ or change
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.10
Web Links
epiphany
1 use
Well, so, from day one, we've had the funds to try to keep track of all promising research in every discipline, worldwide, that could conceivably lead to the epiphany we expect.
epiphany = important and sudden realization
DefinitionGenerally epiphany means:
a sudden realization — especially one of importance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.15
Web Links
evaluate
1 use
Janice and Amos are isolated for observation and evaluation.†
evaluation = the process of thinking carefully and making a judgment about 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 evaluate means:
to think carefully and make a judgment about something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4.16
Web Links
fallacy
1 use
Pollack would say that the fallacy of your thinking lies in its narrow human perspective.
fallacy = a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning
DefinitionGenerally fallacy means:
a mistaken belief; or a common form of incorrect reasoning
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.16
Web Links
however
52 uses
1  —52 uses as in:
However, complications may...
By Christmas, however, Nina begins to show interest in the world around her.†
however = a word used to connect contrasting ideas as when using though, in spite of that, in contrast, nevertheless, etc.
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
though (or another expression that connects contrasting ideas)

(Based on idea 1 we might not expect idea 2, but this is a way of saying that even though idea 1 exists, we still have idea 2.  Synonyms include in spite of that, , nevertheless, nonetheless, on the other hand, in contrastand but.)
Word Statistics
Book52 uses
Library61 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
malevolent
1 use
Not a ghost, perhaps, but something fully as terrifying and as malevolent as any evil spirit returned from the abyss of the damned... something akin to a ghost.
malevolent = evil
DefinitionGenerally malevolent means:
evil
  • of a person — wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
  • of a thing — exerting an evil or harmful influence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4.13
Web Links
minute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
minute size
There were minute amounts of ethanol in both Blane and Santorelli, but that was just the consequence of putrefaction.
minute = small
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minute means:
small, exceptionally small, or insignificant
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.10
Web Links
nonetheless
10 uses
Ignoring him nonetheless, Joe drove toward the exit.†
nonetheless = in spite of that (used to connect contrasting ideas)
DefinitionGenerally nonetheless means:
in spite of that (Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nevertheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
perish
9 uses
Three hundred and thirty people, including passengers and crew, perished instantly.†
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
Book9 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
precede
3 uses
His own shadow preceded him, then fell behind, but again preceded him, flowed here into a pool of gloom and vanished like a soul into oblivion, only to swim into view three steps later.†
preceded = went or was before
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3.12
Web Links
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