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Obasan

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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audible
5 uses
On the last night of Aunt Emily's stay, there is a barely audible whispering that keeps me awake wondering late into the night.
audible = capable of being heard
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
beckon
11 uses
The two women step out, beckoning to the girls to follow them.
beckoning = calling (to follow by using a hand gesture or a nod)
DefinitionGenerally beckon means:
to call — typically to ask or tell someone to come nearer by using a hand gesture or a nod of the head
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
censor
4 uses
I'm told our letters aren't censored yet, but may be at any time.
censored = edited to remove anything authorities consider objectionable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of censor means:
to remove or suppress anything considered obscene, immoral, or politically unacceptable

or:

a person who does such suppression
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
conciliatory
1 use
"Maybe," I said feebly, "he's trying to be conciliatory and see the point of view of the other side."
conciliatory = end bad feelings
DefinitionGenerally conciliatory means:
intended to end bad feelings or build trust
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
decorum
2 uses
Such lack of decorum, it is clear, is as unthinkable as nudity on the street.
decorum = proper manners and conduct
DefinitionGenerally decorum means:
manners and conduct considered to be proper and in good taste
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
deport
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
deport from the U.S.
Deportation on racial grounds has been defined as a crime against humanity,
deportation = forcing someone to leave a country

(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 deport means:
force someone to leave a country
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
discriminate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
suffered discrimination
The Orders-in-Council are based upon racial discrimination.
discrimination = unfair treatment of a group of people (in this case based upon race)

(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 discriminate means:
to treat people of different groups differently — especially unfair treatment due to race, religion or gender
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 39
Web Links
exile
9 uses
The Orders-in-Council provide for the exile of Canadian citizens.
exile = forcing someone to live outside of their home country
DefinitionGenerally exile means:
to force someone to live outside of their homeland; or living in such a condition

or more rarely:  voluntary absence from a place someone would rather be
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
expedient
3 uses
Expedience still demands decisions which will one day be judged unjust.
expedience = the need for practical actions
DefinitionGenerally expedient means:
a practical action — especially one that accepts negative tradeoffs due to circumstances

or:

convenient, speedy, or practical
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
extricate
2 uses
But the silence and the constancy of the nightmare had become unbearable for Grandma and she hoped that by sharing them with her husband, she could be helped to extricate herself from the grip of the past.
extricate = free
DefinitionGenerally extricate means:
free or remove from constraint or difficulty
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 29
Web Links
frayed
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
frayed cloth
I am a flag fraying against the sky.
fraying = showing wear with threads beginning to separate or hang loose
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 28
Web Links
furtive
2 uses
At sundown we scuttle into our holes like furtive creatures.
furtive = nervous about being seen
DefinitionGenerally furtive means:
taking pains to avoid being observed

or:

in a manner indicating nervousness (being cautious or appearing suspicious)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
futile
2 uses
I throw up my hands in futility.
futility = realization that the effort was pointless
DefinitionGenerally futile means:
effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
grave
4 uses
Obasan moves her head slowly and gravely in a nod as she listens.
gravely = in a serious and solemn manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn
The exact meaning of this sense of grave can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad or solemn
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — in a sincere and serious manner
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
indifferent
3 uses
And there are others who, although they wouldn't persecute us, are ignorant and indifferent and...
indifferent = unconcerned or uninterested
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
Book3 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 27
Web Links
pervasive
3 uses
The hardship is so pervasive, so inescapable, so thorough it's a noose around my chest and I cannot move anymore.
pervasive = present all around (widespread)
DefinitionGenerally pervasive means:
existing throughout something; or generally widespread
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
protrude
7 uses
Rusted nails protrude from the walls.
protrude = stick out
DefinitionGenerally protrude means:
to stick out from
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
Fumi is resigned to not coming with us.
resigned = accepted something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
scrutiny
1 use
RCMP carefully scrutinized each bundle, each suitcase, each barrel.
scrutinized = examine

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word to a verb. This is the same pattern you see in words like apologize, theorize, and dramatize.)
DefinitionGenerally scrutiny means:
careful examination of something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 27
Web Links
virulent
1 use
This particular nurse was a Jap-hater of the most virulent sort.
virulent = harsh or hateful
DefinitionGenerally virulent means:
of disease:  very bad — perhaps very contagious

or

harsh or hateful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
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