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Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abrupt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an abrupt change
He breaks away from her abruptly towards the upstage corner.
abruptly = suddenly and unexpectedly
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abrupt means:
sudden and unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.33
Web Links
abstract
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
abstract thought
My desire might be to make this boy ... a worshipper of abstract and unifying God.
abstract = of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 2.35
Web Links
agitate
3 uses
ALAN is very agitated.
agitated = stirred up emotionally (not calm)
DefinitionGenerally agitate means:
to stir up or shake — emotionally (as when people are angered or upset) or physically (as when a washing machine cleans clothes)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useScene 1.5
Web Links
anguish
2 uses
[DORA wrings her hands in anguish.]
anguish = extreme pain, suffering, or distress
DefinitionGenerally anguish means:
extreme pain, suffering, or distress (of body or mind)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.7
Web Links
belligerent
1 use
ALAN [belligerently, standing up]:
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
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.6
Web Links
convention
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
conventional behavior
Too conventional, for him. Finding a religion in Psychiatry is really for very ordinary patients.
conventional = normal or typical
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useScene 2.25
Web Links
converge
2 uses
For a moment they seem to converge on the boy as he stands in the middle of the stable,
converge = come together
DefinitionGenerally converge means:
to come together; or to be adjacent or similar
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.16
Web Links
furtive
3 uses
Furtively ALAN enters the square from the top end,
furtively = in a manner indicating nervousness
DefinitionGenerally furtive means:
taking pains to avoid being observed

or:

in a manner indicating nervousness (being cautious or appearing suspicious)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.29
Web Links
insolent
1 use
ALAN moves away from him, insolently takes up a packet of DYSART's cigarettes from the bench, and extracts one.
insolently = rudely disrespectfully
DefinitionGenerally insolent means:
rudely disrespectful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.17
Web Links
irony
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
verbal irony
  DYSART: Mrs Strang, what on earth has got into you? Can't you see the boy is highly distressed?
  DORA [ironic]: Really?
ironic = saying one thing while meaning another

(editor's note:  Dora is being sarcastic because Dysart has asked a question with such an obvious answer. So when she says "Really?", rather than meaning "Do you really think so?", she is saying "Of course I see he is distressed. Why would you ask such a stupid question?")
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.23
Web Links
mane
4 uses
Now all you do is hold onto his mane.
mane = long coarse hair growing on the back of the neck of a horse
DefinitionGenerally mane means:
long coarse hair such as that which grows around a lion's head or on the back of a horse's neck
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.35
Web Links
novel
1 use
Of course, there's nothing novel in that.
novel = new and original
DefinitionGenerally this sense of novel means:
new and original — typically something considered good
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useScene 1.17
Web Links
perceptive
1 use
Wicked and—of course, perceptive.
perceptive = to be better at noticing or realizing things than most people
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 1.17
Web Links
pretense
1 use
At least that's the pretence.
pretence = a false appearance or action to help one pretend

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use pretense.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.25
Web Links
provincial
1 use
I shrank my own life. ... I settled for being pallid and provincial, out of my own eternal timidity.
provincial = unsophisticated

(editor's note:  In this context, pallid means feeble or weak.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of provincial means:
unsophisticated (meant disapprovingly to refer to old-fashioned or narrow-minded attitudes and ideas)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.25
Web Links
rein
6 uses
He reins the horse round, and wheels to face the parents.
reins = forces (the horse) in a direction by pulling on straps that are attached to the bit in its mouth

(editor's note:  This word rein is also used outside the context of horses to indicate that something is "restrained or controlled".)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rein means:
to restrain or control; or a means of control
The meaning of rein depends upon its context. For example:
  • "keep a tight rein on the new employee," or "rein in a horse" — to control or restrain
  • "give the new employee free rein," or "give the horse full rein" — do not restrain
  • "the reins of government" — means of control
  • "the reins of the horse" — leather straps used with a bit to control a horse (You might like to think of other senses of rein as being figurative derivations from this sense.)
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.10
Web Links
relentless
3 uses
Relentlessly, as this happens, three more horses appear in cones of light: not naturalistic animals like the first three, but dreadful creatures out of nightmare.
relentlessly = in an extreme manner that does not stop
DefinitionGenerally relentless means:
to continue without stopping in an extreme manner — often of something that is harsh or oppressive
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.6
Web Links
resume
2 uses
FRANK resumes his seat.
resumes = begins again to take (goes back to)
DefinitionGenerally resume means:
begin or take on again
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.13
Web Links
revere
2 uses
Lost in wonder, he starts almost involuntarily to kneel on the floor in reverence—but is sharply interrupted by...
reverence = deep respect with a mixture of wonder
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 1.14
Web Links
spontaneous
1 use
He kisses her spontaneously.
spontaneously = instinctively and uninhibitedly (without plan)
DefinitionGenerally spontaneous means:
behaving in an instinctive, uninhibited manner

or:

happening naturally (without planning or external force)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useScene 2.33
Web Links
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