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Typical American

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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aesthetic
1 use
She sensed when a guest needed more tea before the guest did, expressed herself by filling his cup, thought in terms of matching, balancing, connecting, completing. In terms, that is, of family, which wasn't so much an idea for her, as an aesthetic.
aesthetic = related to beauty or good taste
DefinitionGenerally aesthetic means:
related to beauty or good taste — often referring to one's appreciation of beauty or one's sense of what is beautiful

or:

beautiful or tasteful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
alacrity
1 use
...he participated in the conversation with as much alacrity as he had formerly shut it out.
alacrity = eagerness and energy
DefinitionGenerally alacrity means:
quickness; and/or cheerful eagerness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.15
Web Links
augment
1 use
Their footsteps beat then, on the wood, as though on the skin of an old, deep drum; they stamped to augment the effect,
augment = enlarge or increase
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5.47
Web Links
capricious
1 use
His feet turned capricious, slipping off at odd angles.
capricious = impulsive or 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 useChapter 4.27
Web Links
coalesce
2 uses
The rest of the family was as shocked as if Theresa had died. They coalesced, quiet, at the foot of her bed. Waiting.
coalesced = came together; or merged
DefinitionGenerally coalesce means:
to merge or bring different things together
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.11
Web Links
digress
1 use
"I think you heard more than enough on this particular subject," Old Chao kept saying. As indeed they all had. ... He did try digressions — wondering if certain aches he'd been having might be arthritis, for example ... but none of these proved sustainable.
digressions = changes of subject

(editor's note:  The suffix "-sions", converts a verb into a plural noun that denotes results of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in discussions from discuss, explosions from explode, and revisions from revise.)
DefinitionGenerally digress means:
wander from a direct or straight course — typically verbally
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.14
Web Links
diligent
4 uses
The third week, however, what could happen even to the cleverest, most diligent, most upright of scholars ... happened to him.
diligent = hard working
DefinitionGenerally this sense of diligent means:
hard work and care in tasks — often continuing when others might quit because of difficulties
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
discern
4 uses
He sniffed again but could not make it out; there was a cat odor in the rug, he realized, past which it was impossible to discern anything.
discern = to notice (in this case, to smell)
DefinitionGenerally discern means:
to notice or understand something — often something that is not obvious
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
discreet
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discreet--not showy or gossipy
...and in the end he can't be kept from making a few discreet inquiries, among friends.
discreet = inconspicuous (not attracting attention)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discreet means:
trustworthy with secrets and/or inconspicuous or unobtrusive
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
discretion
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
Parental discretion advised.
He would not ask. It was a species of agreement. It was a matter of discretion that was also a matter of survival, a matter of being unable to live the life they would otherwise have to lead. They settled on this complicity: they would not heal their rift — their mysterious rift — but bridge it, with manners.
discretion = good manners or good judgment
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discretion means:
good judgment or good taste
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 4.34
Web Links
elated
3 uses
He was elated when she told him the news,
elated = had a feeling of happiness and excitement
DefinitionGenerally elated means:
full of happiness and excitement
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5.47
Web Links
enigma
2 uses
Grover smiled enigmatically.
enigmatically = in a mysterious manner that seems unexplainable
DefinitionGenerally enigma means:
something mysterious that seems unexplainable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.15
Web Links
indifferent
3 uses
[regarding how things look:]  But of course it was easy to be indifferent about them herself when she could count on Helen to spruce things up. Now she longed for a set of white frilly curtains.
indifferent = unconcerned (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
Book3 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.25
Web Links
mortgage
9 uses
A mortgage is a big commitment.
mortgage = a real estate loan; or pledging something for a loan
DefinitionGenerally mortgage means:
a real estate loan; or to offer real estate as collateral for a loan

(collateral is something that has to be given to the lender if the loan isn't paid as agreed)
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.21
Web Links
muse
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
her musings
Still Theresa mused all night, and the next day too.
mused = thought (reflected deeply) on a subject
DefinitionGenerally this sense of muse means:
reflect (think) deeply on a subject — perhaps aloud
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.11
Web Links
nonchalant
3 uses
"You should try it," she said, nonchalant, though in one way, she was taken aback too.
nonchalant = calmly (unconcerned; or as though unconcerned)
DefinitionGenerally nonchalant means:
calm in manner — appearing unconcerned
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.11
Web Links
pragmatic
1 use
This was part of his new pragmatism.
pragmatism = concern 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 4.37
Web Links
profound
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
Ralph burst with pride when Grover was paper-trained; and when he'd shrunk the paper down and moved it successfully outside, he felt such a profound sense of accomplishment that all his organs seemed to relax and settle.
profound = of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5.38
Web Links
resignation   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
Ralph started another list, What It Would Mean If Old Chao Were To Have To Resign In Shame.
resign = to quit a job or position
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
to quit — especially a job or position; or a document expressing such an act
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 3.25
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
It was as if, once she'd resigned herself to her new world, something had taken her over — a drive to make it hers.
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 2.11
Web Links
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