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The Crying of Lot 49

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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alternative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an alternative plan
Those, now that she was looking at them, she saw to be the alternatives.†
alternatives = possibilities
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
ambivalent
1 use
But Roseman had also spent a sleepless night, brooding over the Perry Mason television program the evening before, which his wife was fond of but toward which Roseman cherished a fierce ambivalence, wanting at once to be a successful trial lawyer like Perry Mason and, since this was impossible, to destroy Perry Mason by undermining him.†
ambivalence = uncertainty, indecision, or state of having mixed feelings about something
DefinitionGenerally ambivalent means:
having mixed feelings about something — such as when part of you wants to do something and part of you does not
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
anonymous
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an anonymous author
"The artist is anonymous," Bortz said,
anonymous = unknown (people don't know who created the art)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of anonymous means:
an unknown person, or of an unknown person — such as an unknown author, or donation of an unknown person
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
arid
3 uses
Perhaps it was only that notion, its arid hope, she sensed as this forenoon they made their seaward thrust, which would stop short of any sea.†
arid = lacking sufficient water or rainfall; or lacking vitality of spirit
DefinitionGenerally arid means:
lacking sufficient water or rainfall

or:

lacking vitality or spirit
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
coincide
2 uses
Her climax and Metzger's, when it came, coincided with every light in the place, including the TV tube, suddenly going out, dead, black.†
coincided = to be similar — especially to happen at the same time or place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
consensus
3 uses
Where revolutions break out spontaneous and leaderless, and the soul's talent for consensus allows the masses to work together without effort, automatic as the body itself.†
consensus = agreement by a group as a whole
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
context
1 use
"So they simply stay on," Bortz said, "in the context of conspiracy.†
context = the setting or situation in which something occurs
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
establish
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
establish a positive tone
By 1861 they're well established, not about to be suppressed.†
established = set (firmly existing)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
evaluate
1 use
The bond the probate court had had her post was perhaps their evaluation in dollars of how much did stand in her way.†
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
Web Links
forgery
4 uses
The other forgeries run back to 1893.†
forgeries = things that are represented as real even though they are fake; or the making of such fake items
DefinitionGenerally forgery means:
something that is represented as real even though it is a fake; or the making of such a fake item
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
illustrate
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
an illustrated children's book
Illicit microfilms of the illustrations in that Vatican edition.†
illustrations = drawings or photographs

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tions", converts a verb into a plural noun that denotes results of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in actions, illustrations, and observations.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to draw pictures (or provide photographs) to accompany a book or other writing
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
irrelevant
1 use
...bite to the smog the more inland somnolence of San Narciso did lack, lurked the sea. the unimaginable Pacific, the one to which all surfers, beach pads, sewage disposal schemes, tourist incursions, sunned homosexuality, chartered fishing are irrelevant, the hole left by the moon's tearing-free and monument to her exile; you could not hear or even smell this but it was there, something tidal began to reach feelers in past eyes and eardrums, perhaps to arouse fractions of brain current...†
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 3
Web Links
malicious
2 uses
He walked out of a party one night because somebody used the word "creampuff," it seemed maliciously, in his hearing.†
maliciously = with a desire to see others suffer; or in a threatening manner
DefinitionGenerally malicious means:
wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
metaphor
8 uses
Heretofore the naming of names has gone on either literally or as metaphor.†
metaphor = a figure of speech in which a similarity between two things is highlighted
DefinitionGenerally metaphor means:
a figure of speech in which a similarity between two things is highlighted by using a word to refer to something that it does not literally denote — as when Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage."

When Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players." he was not saying the world is really a stage and all people are actors. But he was pointing to the similarities he wants us to recognize.
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
monopoly
8 uses
Delivering the mail is a government monopoly.†
monopoly = the only supplier of a good or service; or a market with only one supplier
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
precede
2 uses
Certain things, it is made clear, will not be spoken aloud; certain events will not be shown onstage; though it is difficult to imagine, given the excesses of the preceding acts, what these things could possibly be.†
preceding = prior (in time or space)
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
relevant
4 uses
Despair came over her, as it will when nobody around has any sexual relevance to you.†
relevance = importance (meaningful relation to the issue in question)
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
subsequent
1 use
Later on their bones were fished up again and made into charcoal, and the charcoal into ink, which Angelo, having a dark sense of humor, used in all his subsequent communications with Faggio, the present document included.†
subsequent = following something else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
subtle
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a subtle difference or thinker
His visible eye seemed mild and noncommittal, but Oedipa wondered what hang-ups, crises, spookings in the middle of the night might be developed from the shadowed subtleties of his mouth, hidden under a full beard.†
subtleties = things that are not obvious, but noticeable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions)

or:

capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
usurp
4 uses
Evil Duke Angelo, meanwhile, is scheming to amalgamate the duchies of Squamuglia and Faggio, by marrying off the only royal female available, his sister Francesca, to Pasquale the Faggian usurper.†
usurper = one who seizes or takes control without authority
DefinitionGenerally usurp means:
seize or take control without authority
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
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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