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Becoming Me

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abstain
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
abstained from alcohol
...to abstain from sex until I marry.
abstain = choose to refrain (not engage in)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstain means:
choose not to do something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 25
Web Links
attribute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I attribute it to...
The other kids who were shot have been released from the hospital now and it sounds like they're all making fairly good recoveries—many people attribute this to all the prayers that have been going up all over town (and even across the country!†
attribute = credit (point to as the source of something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something)
in two typical senses:
  • "I attribute it to her work." — to say who or what made something happen
  • "Remember to attribute any quotations in your paper." — indicate the source of a quotation or idea
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
consequence
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
Although, I must admit it makes me feel pretty nervous being around them, like I have to act all perfect and everything—and consequently I can hardly eat at all, I just sort of pick at my food, which has caused Heather to suspect that I am slightly anorexic (which they thought was kind of cool), and I didn't say anything otherwise, although I'm pretty sure that I'm not (even if I am a little on the skinny side).†
consequently = resultantly (as a result)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
contradict
1 use
My writing teacher, Miss Tyler, uses it a lot, and it means when words seem to contradict one another—like an "honest politician" or a "tidy pig.†
contradict = disagree
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
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
despise
3 uses
And for that reason I think I'm totally despicable.†
despicable = terrible (vile; disgusting) — worthy of being strongly disliked and looked down upon

(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 despise means:
to dislike strongly and to look down upon with disrespect
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
divine
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
to forgive is divine
Tony's point, obviously, was that there was a divine purpose to Clay's life...
divine = coming from God
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 24
Web Links
focus
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
Turn your focus to question #2.
I encouraged her to focus her attention on her relationship with God, and not to worry about Zach.†
focus = concentrate, or look
DefinitionGenerally this sense of focus means:
verb: to concentrate, look at, or pay attention to

noun: the act of concentration, or the ability to concentrate

(to concentrate is to direct attention or effort towards a single thing)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library75 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
highlight
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
highlights of the year
But what was probably the highlight of this meet (for me) was when I was standing on the sidelines and spotted Jenny standing nearby (she was looking right at me), and suddenly I knew the time had come to go and say I'm sorry.†
highlight = best part
DefinitionGenerally this sense of highlight means:
something that stands out
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
imply
1 use
It's not like dating is going to lead everyone right into having sex (like my dad used to imply), which, by the way, brings me to a very interesting point.†
imply = suggest (say indirectly)
DefinitionGenerally imply means:
to suggest or say indirectly — possibly as a logical consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
incredulous
1 use
I ask incredulously.†
incredulously = with disbelief; or with difficulty accepting something so unexpected
DefinitionGenerally incredulous means:
unbelieving; or having difficulty accepting something so unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
indifferent
1 use
So I decide to act kind of indifferent to her, not rude or anything, but just slightly chilly, if you know what I mean.†
indifferent = without interest
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest
in various senses, including:
  • unconcerned — as in "She is indifferent to what is served to eat."
  • unsympathetic — as in "She is indifferent to his needs."
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context) — as in "an indifferent performance"
  • impartial — as in "We need a judge who is indifferent."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
indulge
1 use
But, how, pray tell, could I not indulge in a little kissing under those circumstances.†
indulge = enjoy to excess
DefinitionGenerally indulge means:
to give into a desire or enjoy something — especially in excess of what is thought good—such as a desire to eat too much cake, or be too lazy

or:

to allow or help someone to get their way or enjoy something — especially something that (probably because of excess) is not considered to be good or proper
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
inquiry
1 use
Just the same, I didn't make any more inquiries, but instead tried to focus my attention on Zach and how well he'd run his races today.†
inquiries = questions or investigations
DefinitionGenerally inquiry means:
the act of asking a question or performing an investigation
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
nonchalant
2 uses
Well, naturally, I just act all nonchalant and cool (the way I'd been acting toward him all week, but usually Jenny is around to sort of buffer things).†
nonchalant = calm and unconcerned
DefinitionGenerally nonchalant means:
calm in manner — appearing unconcerned
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
persist
1 use
So I persisted.†
persisted = continued
DefinitionGenerally persist means:
to continue — often despite difficulty
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
perturb
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she was perturbed
I was glad for Zach (although at the same time slightly perturbed that Beanie was bearing her troubles alone).
perturbed = disturbed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perturb means:
to disturb in mind or make uneasy
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
skeptical
1 use
With honest skepticism, I asked her how she could be so sure, and she said that the exact same thing had happened to her parents about a year ago, and that everything worked itself out, and that, by the way, was why her mom got that slick new BMW for Christmas and, of course, why Jenny now has her own car.†
skepticism = doubt (that something is true)
DefinitionGenerally skeptical means:
doubtful (that something is true or worthwhile)

or more rarely:

generally tending to doubt what others believe
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
twinge
2 uses
And today, for the first time since Friday, I felt this little twinge of, I don't know, almost like joy—but not real bubbly or anything.†
twinge = a sudden, short-lived feeling of pain or emotion
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
unprecedented
1 use
And so I am going to do something totally unprecedented (at least in my life).†
unprecedented = not having happened before; or nothing similar having happened before
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
vary
1 use
The other wounded kids are in varying conditions, but they say most are out of critical danger by now.†
varying = differing; or changing
DefinitionGenerally vary means:
to be different, or to change
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
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