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A Good Man is Hard to Find AND OTHER STORIES

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
adrenaline
1 use
The kiss, which had more pressure than feeling behind it, produced that extra surge of adrenalin in the girl that enables one to carry a packed trunk out of a burning house, but in her, the power went at once to the brain.†
Adrenalin = a trademark name for the chemical that is the "fight or flight" stimulating hormone secreted by the adrenal gland in response to stress
DefinitionGenerally adrenaline means:
"fight or flight" stimulating hormone secreted by the adrenal gland in response to stress (making the body feel excited and ready for action)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 9.
Web Links
afflict
6 uses
"Of your affliction," Mrs. Connin said icily.†
affliction = something that causes ongoing suffering

(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 afflict means:
cause suffering — such as illness, pain, or unhappiness
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 2.
Web Links
amble
5 uses
Bobby Lee and Hiram came ambling back from the woods.†
ambling = walking leisurely
DefinitionGenerally amble means:
to walk leisurely or slowly
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 1.
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
The girl gave him a contemptuous look
contemptuous = showing a 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 useStory 9.
Web Links
contradict
1 use
Mr. Head had contradicted him.†
contradicted = disagreed
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 useStory 6.
Web Links
disdain
1 use
Nelson, though he had not had water since some he had drunk out of a paper cup on the train, passed by the spigot, disdaining to drink where his grandfather had.†
disdaining = rejecting as not good enough; or showing a lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useStory 6.
Web Links
displace
27 uses
The Displaced Person The peacock was following Mrs. Shortley up the road to the hill where she meant to stand.†
displaced = forced to move
DefinitionGenerally displace means:
force to move; or to take the place of
Word Statistics
Book27 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 10.
Web Links
dispute
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
She disputes his claim.
This is the way He wanted me to be and I ain't disputing His way.†
disputing = challenging, arguing about, or fighting over
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
challenge, argue about, or fight over
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useStory 5.
Web Links
dogged   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
dogged determination
His feet were completely dead now, his knees worked like old hinges, his kidneys functioned when they would, but his heart persisted doggedly to beat.†
doggedly = with continuing effort despite difficulties
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dogged means:
continuing effort to achieve something despite difficulties (persistent)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 8.
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
dogged by problems
He recognized it, for it had been dogging all his days.†
dogging = following; or persistently annoying
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dogged means:
followed; or persistently annoyed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 8.
Web Links
dwell
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a modest dwelling
This street contained two— and three-story wooden dwellings.†
dwellings = houses or shelters in which people live
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dwelling means:
a house or shelter in which someone lives
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 6.
Web Links
earnest
2 uses
"He who losest his life shall find it," he said simply and he was so sincere, so genuine and earnest that: Mrs. Hopewell would not for the world have smiled.†
earnest = sincere or serious
DefinitionGenerally earnest means:
characterized by sincere belief

or:

intensely or excessively serious
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useStory 9.
Web Links
gesticulate
4 uses
About fifteen feet from the gesticulating group, she stopped and made her presence felt by training her gaze on the back of Mrs. McIntyre's neck.†
gesticulating = making gestures (hand or body movements) while speaking or to express something
DefinitionGenerally gesticulate means:
to make gestures (hand or body movements) while speaking or to express something
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 10.
Web Links
grave
1 use
The straight chair against the wall looked stiff and attentive as if it were awaiting an order and Mr. Head's trousers, hanging to the back of it, had an almost noble air, like the garment some great man had just flung to his servant; but the face on the moon was a grave one.†
grave = serious and solemn
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn
The exact meaning of this sense of grave can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad or solemn
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — in a sincere and serious manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 6.
Web Links
indifferent
3 uses
Then Susan said, "How?" in an indifferent tone and she knew that she had them.†
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
Book3 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 7.
Web Links
indignant
5 uses
He gave one low cry of pain and indignation.†
indignation = anger or annoyance at something unjust or wrong

(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 indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useStory 7.
Web Links
obligation
8 uses
Guizac," she said, "I can barely meet my obligations now."†
obligations = a duty
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 10.
Web Links
persist
3 uses
Mr. Head persisted, his voice expressionless.†
persisted = continued
DefinitionGenerally persist means:
to continue — often despite difficulty
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 6.
Web Links
sulk
9 uses
I can run it without you but not without them and if you mention this girl to Sulk again, you won't have a job with me.†
sulk = to be overly unhappy and unsociable
DefinitionGenerally sulk means:
to be overly unhappy and unsociable — often due to disappointment or a sense of not getting what was deserved
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 10.
Web Links
vary
1 use
He told her that he was twenty-eight years old and had lived a varied life.†
varied = differed; or changed
DefinitionGenerally vary means:
to be different, or to change
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useStory 3.
Web Links
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