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Wide Sargasso Sea

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abject
1 use
The bamboos take an easier way, they bend to the earth and lie there, creaking, groaning, crying for mercy. The contemptuous wind passes, not caring for these abject things. (Let them live.)
abject = extremely miserable, low and submissive
DefinitionGenerally abject means:
extreme (in a negative sense such as misery, hopelessness, submissiveness, cruelty, or cowardice)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
benevolent
1 use
Marble memorial tablets on the walls commemorating the virtues of the last generation of planters. All benevolent. All slave-owners.
benevolent = kind, generous, or charitable

(editor's note:  The reference to slave owners contrasts with the sentences before it.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 2
Web Links
capricious
1 use
It was often raining when I woke during the night, a light capricious shower, dancing playful rain, or...
capricious = unpredictable
DefinitionGenerally capricious means:
impulsive or unpredictable or tending to make sudden changes — especially impulsive behavior
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
He spoke politely enough, but I could feel his dislike and contempt.
contempt = 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 usePart 2
Web Links
context
1 use
But it was a dull thought, like a child spelling out the letters of a word which he cannot read, and which if he could would have no meaning or context.
context = the setting or situation in which something occurs
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 2
Web Links
credulous
1 use
The white people, sometimes credulous, pretend to dismiss the whole thing as nonsense.
credulous = gullible (being too willing to believe)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
disconcerting
2 uses
At least it shadowed her eyes which are too large and can be disconcerting.
disconcerting = disturbing or unsettling
DefinitionGenerally disconcerting means:
disrupt composure — such as to confuse or worry
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
discreet
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
discreet--not showy or gossipy
I also told them to engage a staff of servants whom I was prepared to pay very liberally — so long as they keep their mouths shut, I thought — provided that they are discreet, I wrote.
discreet = trustworthy with secrets
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discreet means:
trustworthy with secrets and/or inconspicuous or unobtrusive
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
disdain
1 use
And if we were never envious, they never seemed vain. Helene and Germaine, a little disdainful, aloof perhaps, but Louise, not even that.
disdainful = superior (not respecting them that much)
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 usePart 1
Web Links
forsake
5 uses
'I will not forsake her,' I said wearily.
forsake = abandon or give up on
DefinitionGenerally forsake means:
to abandon or give up on — such as someone who needs you, or an idea, or a place
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
haughty
2 uses
I never put my eyes on a man haughty and proud like that — he walk like he own the earth.
haughty = arrogant
DefinitionGenerally haughty means:
arrogant or condescending (acting superior or self-important)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
hypocrite
3 uses
"The old hypocrite," she kept saying.
hypocrite = someone who violates claimed moral standards
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
indifferent
8 uses
He nodded indifferently. A hundred years, a thousand all the same to...
indifferently = 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
Book8 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 2
Web Links
infamous
3 uses
...my mother was mad and an infamous woman...
infamous = having an exceedingly bad reputation
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
magistrate
5 uses
Mr Fraser is an Englishman, a retired magistrate, and he insisted on telling me at length about some of his cases.
magistrate = judge
DefinitionGenerally magistrate means:
a judge or judicial official
The exact meaning of magistrate varies widely depending upon the context. For example:
  • in the U.S. federal court:  assists district court judges by handling minor offenses or administrative tasks such as preliminary hearings (often referred to as a magistrate judge rather than just a magistrate)
  • in some U.S. states:  a judge in the state court
  • in France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, and other civil law countries:  a sitting magistrate is a judge and a standing magistrate is a prosecutor
  • in England:  may be a volunteer without formal legal training who performs a judicial role with regard to minor matters
  • in ancient Rome:  a powerful officer with both judicial and executive power
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
malicious
3 uses
Her expression was so full of delighted malice, so intelligent, above all so intimate that I felt ashamed and looked away.
malice = desire to see others suffer
DefinitionGenerally malicious means:
wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 2
Web Links
massacre
7 uses
And who was massacred here?
massacred = the savage and excessive killing of many people
DefinitionGenerally massacre means:
the savage and excessive killing of many people

or:

to defeat an opponent by a wide margin
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
obstinate
3 uses
If she was a child she was not a stupid child but an obstinate one.
obstinate = stubbornly not doing what others want
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
persist
2 uses
I woke in the dark after dreaming that I was buried alive, and when I was awake the feeling of suffocation persisted.
persisted = continued
DefinitionGenerally persist means:
to continue — often despite difficulty
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 2
Web Links
pious
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
Mr Mason stopped swearing and began to pray in a loud pious voice.
pious = religious
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
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