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BoneMan's Daughters

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
alternative
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
an alternative plan
Or he could engage them, hoping to stall them while he looked for alternatives.†
alternatives = possibilities
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
approach
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
approached the city
And for a single second he considered stopping and developing a more stealthy approach.†
approach = getting near
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 20
Web Links
condescending
1 use
Her mother offered Burt a condescending grin.
condescending = a manner treating others as inferiors
DefinitionGenerally condescending means:
treating others as inferior; or doing something considered beneath one's position or dignity
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
contrast
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
contrast their writing styles
In contrast, the man who stood by the door looked as though he'd just stepped out of the shower before slipping into a freshly pressed shirt.†
in contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 35
Web Links
direct   (4 meanings)
4 meanings, 15 uses
1  —11 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
The floor moved under him and he knew that if Alvin was directly below him, he'd already heard the weak foundation moving.†
directly = close, or in a straight line
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The road runs directly to Las Vegas." — straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • "It was a direct hit." — exact
  • "The plant is in direct sunlight." — unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • "She wants a direct meeting with him." — personal (without other people in between)
  • "She paid direct attention to what he was reading." — close
  • "a direct gaze" — straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
was direct in my instructions
But they had no direct evidence of Phil Switzer's movements over the previous year.†
direct = clear, straightforward, or to the point
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
directed her question to
He didn't yell anything specifically, just a roar of outrage directed at the BoneMan and whatever demonic entity had possessed him to visit such pain upon him.†
directed = aimed, or intended for
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
to indicate direction; or to cause movement or focus in a direction or towards an object
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "intentionally directed fire at unarmed civilians" — aimed a gun
  • "directed the question to her" — aimed a question
  • "directed her north" — pointed in a particular direction
  • "directed attention to the 3rd paragraph" — focused attention on a particular object
  • "The sound of her voice directed him to the kitchen." — guided or gave directions to someone to help them move to a particular place
  • "She directed him to the airport." — gave directions to send someone to a particular place
  • "She directed the boat north." — steered it
  • "directed the letter to" — send a letter to a particular person by putting a name and address on it
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library36 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
4  —2 uses as in:
directed the movie
A crew cut topped the Assistant Director in Charge's large square head, giving him the appearance of a softer, kinder version of Frankenstein, sans scars.†
director = someone (or one of a group) who is in charge of an organization or project — sometimes someone in charge of making a film or other performance

(editor's note:  The suffix "-or" often converts a verb to a noun that means "a person who."  This is the pattern you see in words like actor, editor, and visitor.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
supervise, control, or to be in charge of
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library29 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
dispute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
She disputes his claim.
There's no disputing what we found.
disputing = challenging (arguing about)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
challenge, argue about, or fight over
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 28
Web Links
evaluate
6 uses
He had to pass this debriefing and psych evaluation, and shaking hands not withstanding, he would demonstrate that he was just fine.†
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
Book6 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
indulgent
2 uses
Bethany was growing into a young woman with a bright future who would thrive in this self-indulgent landscape called North America.
self-indulgent = excessively kind to or undemanding of oneself
DefinitionGenerally indulgent means:
to treat with extra kindness or tolerance
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
irony
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
situational irony
Here she was thinking about razor blades while her mother and Welsh were toasting life. There was irony.
irony = when what happens is very different than what might be expected (in this case their toasting how wonderful life is while she is feeling such pain)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
when what happens is very different than what might be expected; or when things are together that seem like they don't belong together — especially when amusing or an entertaining coincidence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
irrelevant
1 use
That is irrelevant!†
irrelevant = not relevant (not related to the subject being considered, or not important enough to want to consider)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
loathe
6 uses
And despite her loathing of little girls who jumped up and down with their fists clenched, she did just that.†
loathing = disgust or intense dislike
DefinitionGenerally loathe means:
hate, detest, or intensely dislike
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
meticulous
6 uses
Kracker put a large hand on a sheet of paper and slid it next to a neatly stacked pile on his meticulously arranged desk.†
meticulously = in a manner treating details with great care
DefinitionGenerally meticulous means:
treating details with great care
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
nevertheless
1 use
Nevertheless, he'd remained at his post in San Antonio for two years before accepting another overseas post, this time in Turkey.†
nevertheless = in spite of that (used to connect contrasting ideas)
DefinitionGenerally nevertheless means:
in spite of that (Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
precede
1 use
A hissing preceded his voice.†
preceded = went or was before
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
prodigal
1 use
He was the father embracing his prodigal child.
prodigal = referring to the person, in the commonly referenced Christian parable, The Prodigal Son

Editor's notes:
  • The author is probably referring to a character in a commonly referenced Christian parable, The Prodigal Son.
  • A parable is a story told to teach a moral lesson.
  • The Prodigal Son is a parable about extreme forgiveness and features a father embracing his child.
  • This is a common usage of prodigal; though it more generally refers to anyone (not just The Prodigal Son) who is long absent; or recklessly wasteful.
DefinitionGenerally prodigal means:
recklessly wasteful

or more rarely:

abundant (extravagant in amount)

or more rarely still:

long absent (someone who has been away a long time)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 38
Web Links
relevant
1 use
The knowledge felt distant, only vaguely relevant because it couldn't be true, not in its entirety.†
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 18
Web Links
remorse
7 uses
An overwhelming sense of remorse flooded his mind.†
remorse = deep regret for doing something that was wrong
DefinitionGenerally remorse means:
a feeling of deep regret for doing something that was wrong
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
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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