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Alias Grace

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
alleviate
3 uses
My Son is at present making a tour of Private Mental Asylums and Clinics in Europe, an investigation very necessary to the work he is engaged upon - work of the utmost significance, which will alleviate human suffering,
alleviate = decrease (lessen something bad)
DefinitionGenerally alleviate means:
to lessen something that is bad — especially to lessen pain
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
approach
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
use the best approach
On Friday he tried a more direct approach.†
approach = technique (way of doing something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
a way of doing something; or a route that leads to a particular place
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
candid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
your candid opinion
What she says has the ring of truth; her manner is candid and sincere; and yet I can't shake the suspicion that, in some way I cannot put my finger on, she is lying to me.
candid = honest and straightforward
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
complacent
2 uses
...and above all we should guard against complacency,
complacency = being too contented (too unworried and satisfied)
DefinitionGenerally complacent means:
contented (unworried and satisfied) — often to a fault
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
contempt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
feels contempt towards her
Simon feels a certain contempt for material self-indulgence;
contempt = lack of respect (perhaps with dislike or disgust)
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 useChapter 4
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
Kinnear did not seem to notice the discord.
discord = conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
dispose
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
disposed the troops along...
He's reviewed all the documents at his disposal — the accounts of the trial, the opinions of the newspapers, the Confessions, even Mrs. Moodie's overblown rendition.†
disposal = command

(editor's note:  When something is "at someone's disposal" it is "at their command," or "available for their use." They can use it as they please.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
the arrangement, positioning, or use of things
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 7 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
They were Church of England, as all the best people were in those days, and also those who wanted to be the best, as it was Established.†
established = created
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
I established the fact that Nancy had been in the habit of selling her employer's cast-off garments to the servants, with or without her master's permission; so McDermott could have come by his Shirt of Nessus honestly enough.†
established = demonstrated
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
furtive
7 uses
Grace Marks glances at you with a sidelong, stealthy look; her eye never meets yours, and after a furtive regard, it invariably bends its gaze upon the ground.
furtive = taking pains to avoid being observed
DefinitionGenerally furtive means:
taking pains to avoid being observed

or:

in a manner indicating nervousness (being cautious or appearing suspicious)
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
inclined   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
I'm inclined to
He always brings something with him; the first day it was a dried flower of some sort, blue it was, the second day a winter pear, the third an onion, you never know what he will bring, although he inclines to the fruits and vegetables;
inclines = has a tendency to favor
DefinitionGenerally this sense of inclined means:
a tendency, mood, desire, or attitude that favors something; or making someone favor something
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
on an incline or incline his head
The fact is so obvious that Simon merely inclines his head.
inclines = bends (or angles) (like an affirmative nod)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of incline means:
to be at an angle or to bend
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
indolent
1 use
indolent waves
indolent = lazy (not forceful)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of indolent means:
lazy; disinclined to work
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
indulgent
4 uses
Simon feels a certain contempt for material self-indulgence; and as a medical student he became habituated to a monkish austerity, and to working long hours under difficult conditions.
self-indulgence = being excessively kind to or undemanding of oneself
DefinitionGenerally indulgent means:
to treat with extra kindness or tolerance
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
laconic
1 use
laconic farmers
laconic = using few words
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
notorious
6 uses
The man was notoriously corrupt, and most unfit for his position.
notoriously = well known for something bad
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
penitent
2 uses
...brought here to be penitent, because this is a Penitentiary and you are supposed to repent while in it,
penitent = feeling or expressing sorrow for having done wrong
DefinitionGenerally penitent means:
feeling or expressing sorrow for having done wrong; or a person who does such
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
phenomenon
4 uses
But if what we have witnessed is a natural phenomenon, who are we to question it?†
phenomenon = thing that exists
DefinitionGenerally phenomenon means:
something that exists or happened — especially something of special interest — sometimes someone or something that is extraordinary
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
pious
6 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
... for a woman as pious as she was, she lied very well;
pious = religious
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
rectify
2 uses
But as you propose to establish a private institution, you will, I trust, incur fewer difficulties of this nature, and will suffer less from the irritating political interference that frequently prevents their rectification; and in this, as in general matters, I wish you every success in your endeavours.
rectification = correction

(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 this sense of rectify means:
correct, fix, or make right
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
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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