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Going After Cacciato

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
abstract
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
abstract thought
Mission, for Lieutenant Corson, was an abstract notion that took meaning in concrete situations, and it was this that most separated him from other officers. Lieutenant Corson did not order his men into the tunnels. He simply ordered the tunnels blown, or blew them himself, and he saw no incompatibility between this and his mission as a soldier.
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 useChapter 22
Web Links
accommodate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
moved to accommodate her
Whether to flee or fight or seek an accommodation.
accommodation = arrangement to satisfy competing interests

(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 accommodate means:
adjust something to provide for a need; or help
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 12
banal
1 use
Was this so banal? Was this so unprofound and stupid?
banal = uninteresting due to a lack of anything original or unusual
DefinitionGenerally banal means:
uninteresting due to a lack of anything original or unusual

(editor's note:  This word is correctly pronounced differently by various educated speakers of American English.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 39
Web Links
benign
1 use
His intentions were benign.
benign = kindly, mild, or harmless
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 39
Web Links
bronze
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
bronze won't corrode in salt water
Like winning the Bronze Star for shooting out a dink's front teeth.
bronze = made of a brownish metal

(editor's note:  The bronze Star is a medal awarded to selected members of the United States military for heroism or other merit.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bronze means:
a brownish-colored metal with red or yellow hues that is made of copper and (usually) tin
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
censure
3 uses
He went to the war because it was expected. Because not to go was to risk censure, and to bring embarrassment on his father and his town.
censure = harsh or formal criticism
DefinitionGenerally censure means:
harsh criticism; or formal criticism from an organization — such as the U.S. Senate
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 39
Web Links
dispassionate
1 use
He spilled some wine and stared down at it dispassionately.
dispassionately = without concern (without emotion)
DefinitionGenerally dispassionate means:
unaffected by strong emotion or bias
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 23
Web Links
empirical
1 use
...it meant the rigorous verification of hypotheses by means of repeated empirical observation,
empirical = based on experience or observation rather than theory
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
endure   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
endured the pain
How, with luck and courage and endurance, they might have found a way.
endurance = the ability to suffer through (or put up with) something difficult or unpleasant
DefinitionGenerally this sense of endure means:
to suffer through (or put up with something difficult or unpleasant)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
endure through the ages
We want a peace that endures.
endures = continues to exist
DefinitionGenerally this sense of endure means:
to continue to exist
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 44
Web Links
fastidious
1 use
No one cared much for Sidney Martin—too fastidious, too skinny, hair too blond and fine. The way he kept pushing. A believer in mission, a believer in searching tunnels and bunkers. Too disciplined. Too clearheaded for such a lousy war.
fastidious = too careful to do everything right

(editor's note:  Fastidious does not have to have a negative connotation, but it usually does. In this case Martin's fellow soldiers think he should relax instead of being careful to do everything according to procedure.)
DefinitionGenerally fastidious means:
giving careful attention to detail

or:

excessively concerned with cleanliness or matters of taste
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
indifferent
4 uses
Beside him, indifferent to it all, the captain in tiger fatigues unwrapped a thin cigar and lit it with a kitchen match.
indifferent = without interest (unconcerned and unsympathetic)
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
Book4 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 33
Web Links
nostalgia
6 uses
"Time," Doc said. He put his glasses on. "It's the only antidote for nostalgia. Just give the man time."
nostalgia = longing for something from the past
DefinitionGenerally nostalgia means:
happiness that come with the memory of good times combined with a hint of sadness that those times are over
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 29
Web Links
obligation
16 uses
Obligation is more than a claim imposed on us; it is a personal sense of indebtedness.
obligation = duty
DefinitionGenerally obligation means:
a duty
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 26
Web Links
persist
5 uses
When First Lieutenant Sidney Martin persisted in making them search tunnels before blowing them, and after Frenchie Tucker and Bernie Lynn died in tunnels, the disobedience became fully organized.
persisted = continued (here as is often the case) despite difficulty
DefinitionGenerally persist means:
to continue — often despite difficulty
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
poignant
1 use
A little girl with gold hoops in her ears and ugly scabs on her brow—did she feel, as he did, goodness and warmth and poignancy when he helped Doc dab iodine on her sores?
poignancy = deep emotion
DefinitionGenerally poignant means:
sharp or intense — typically arousing deep emotion such as sadness, but possibly having or creating a sharp smell, taste, or insight
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 39
Web Links
pragmatic
1 use
A theoretician, a pragmatist, Doc Peret believed deeply in science. ... "The main thing," Doc once said, "is to find what works. That's real science—what works."
pragmatist = someone concerned with practical matters
DefinitionGenerally pragmatic means:
concerned with practical matters — especially where quick results and/or practical experience triumph over theory
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 22
Web Links
refugee
20 uses
For many months now she had been a refugee, traveling west from Saigon with her two aunts.
refugee = someone who fled their homeland; or related to such people
DefinitionGenerally refugee means:
someone who has fled their homeland to getaway from a dangerous or difficult situation; or related to such people
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
speculate
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
don't know, but I'll speculate
It is one thing to speculate about what might be. It is quite another to act in behalf of our dreams, to treat them as objectives that are achievable and worth achieving.
speculate = think or consider
DefinitionGenerally this sense of speculate means:
to think about, wonder, guess or theorize with much uncertainty
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
tranquil
4 uses
We all want dignity and domestic tranquillity. But we want these to be honorable and lasting. We want a peace that endures.
tranquillity = peace (calmness)

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use tranquility.)
DefinitionGenerally tranquil means:
calm and undisturbed
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
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