toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books
Book Menu

The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
anguish
7 uses
One day, in anguish, he saw a raft torn apart in midstream and the men scattered from it.†
anguish = extreme pain, suffering, or distress
DefinitionGenerally anguish means:
extreme pain, suffering, or distress (of body or mind)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 1.10
Web Links
beckon
8 uses
Ladies waved and beckoned with their fans, conversation opened up.
beckoned = called (to come nearer by using a hand gesture)
DefinitionGenerally beckon means:
to call — typically to ask or tell someone to come nearer by using a hand gesture or a nod of the head
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 3.31
Web Links
belligerent
4 uses
Fletcher and myself are as much in love as the day we married," said Mrs. Fletcher belligerently as Leota stuffed cotton into her ears.†
belligerently = with an attitude of one eager to fight
DefinitionGenerally belligerent means:
hostile (the attitude of one eager to fight); or one already engaged in a fight or war
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 1.3
Web Links
commotion
11 uses
"Yes'm, she kept her eyes onwhat's that thing makes all the commotion?†
commotion = noisy disturbance
DefinitionGenerally commotion means:
a disturbance — typically noisy
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 1.1
Web Links
convention
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
conventional behavior
With a married man, most likely, he supposed, slipping quickly into a groove-he was long married-and feeling more conventional, then, in his curiosity as she sat there, leaning her cheek on her hand, looking no further before her than the flowers on the table, and wearing that hat He did not like her hat, any more than he liked tropical flowers.†
conventional = normal or typical
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useStory 4.33
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
do not despair
It was battlesounds he heard most, sending him on, but sometimes ocean sounds, that long beat of waves that would make his heart pound and retreat as heavily as they, and he despaired again in his failure in Ireland when he took a voyage and persuaded with the Catholics with his back against the door, and then ran away to their cries of "Mind the white hat!"†
despaired = lost hope
DefinitionGenerally this sense of despair means:
to lose hope
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 2.20
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discordant music
in a strangely discordant voice
discordant = unpleasant sounding
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
unpleasant sound — especially a combination of sounds that sound wrong together (though sometimes done intentionally in music)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 4.39
Web Links
elated
6 uses
Her anger passed like a remote flare of elation.†
elation = intense feeling of happiness and excitement

(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 elated means:
full of happiness and excitement
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 1.2
Web Links
grave
7 uses
This made a grave and persistent noise in the still air, that seemed meditative like the chirping of a solitary little bird.†
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
Book7 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 1.2
Web Links
hideous
6 uses
He listens as much as he performs, a look of hideous, powerful rapture on his face.†
hideous = extremely ugly, offensive, and/or frightening
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 4.39
Web Links
impervious
4 uses
Just as unharmed as bubbles a child blows, the most impervious things-you've seen grass blades go through bubbles and they still reflect the world, give it back unbroken.†
impervious = not admitting passage through; or not capable of being affected
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 4.33
Web Links
languid
9 uses
"We ran away," said Phoebe languidly.†
languidly = without much energy; or moving slowly or in a relaxed manner
DefinitionGenerally languid means:
lacking energy or relaxed or moving slowly
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 4.35
Web Links
persist
7 uses
Some men's eyes persisted in looking outward when they opened to look inward, and to their delight, there outflung was the astonishing world under the sky.†
persisted = continued
DefinitionGenerally persist means:
to continue — often despite difficulty
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 1.3
Web Links
phenomenon
1 use
Her voice was soft, and she seemed to be still in a tender dream and an unconscious celebration-as though the picnic were not already set rudely in the past, but were the enduring and intoxicating present, still the phenomenon, the golden day.†
phenomenon = something that exists or happened — often of special interest
DefinitionGenerally phenomenon means:
something that exists or happened — especially something of special interest — sometimes someone or something that is extraordinary
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useStory 2.21
Web Links
precarious
7 uses
Not very good for your Uncle Rondo in his precarious condition, I must say.†
precarious = unsafe or unsure
DefinitionGenerally precarious means:
unsafe or in danger of getting worse — especially in danger of falling
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 1.11
Web Links
ravine
11 uses
Then he saw that he was on the edge of a ravine that fell away, a red erosion, and that this was indeed the road's end.†
ravine = a deep narrow steep-sided valley — especially one formed by running water
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 1.15
Web Links
recollect
7 uses
I really don't recollect the faintest.†
recollect = remember
DefinitionGenerally recollect means:
to remember — especially experiences from long ago
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 1.13
Web Links
reproach
10 uses
With a reproachful look at him the woman reached up and took off her hat.†
reproachful = critical (full of criticism)
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism — especially where a relationship makes the disapproval result in disappointment or shame
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useStory 1.4
Web Links
serene
10 uses
Bowman averted his head and saw the woman looking serenely back at the mule, with only satisfaction in her face.†
serenely = in a manner that is calm and untroubled
DefinitionGenerally serene means:
calm and untroubled
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 1.15
Web Links
sojourn
8 uses
God help me, the name Sojourner was laid on my head like the top teetering crown of a pile of things to remember.†
sojourner = someone who visits a place
DefinitionGenerally sojourn means:
a temporary visit to a place
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 3.28
Web Links
Go to Book Menu
Take Pre-Reading Quiz
† 
Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which is not affiliated with verbalworkout.com™, and does not endorse this site.