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This I Believe

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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advocate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
to advocate
She advocates stricter gun control.
advocates = publicly supports
DefinitionGenerally this sense of advocate means:
to recommend or publicly support (someone or something)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 63
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
an advocate supporting
She is a passionate advocate for children's welfare.
advocate = a person who publicly supports and works to advance a cause
DefinitionGenerally this sense of advocate means:
a person who publicly supports and works to advance a cause

or more rarely:

someone acting in the role of a defense lawyer in England's past and in some jurisdictions today
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 53
Web Links
ambivalent
1 use
Polling indicates the public is ambivalent on the subject. Their opinions change depending upon the latest headlines.
ambivalent = with mixed feelings
DefinitionGenerally ambivalent means:
having mixed feelings about something — such as when part of you wants to do something and part of you does not
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 31
Web Links
civil rights movement
2 uses
The civil rights movement was too diverse and fragmented to be credited to any one person, but Martin Luther King Jr. is most commonly associated with it.
civil rights movement = popular effort to establish political and social equality for African Americans in the USA (1954-1968)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 53
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she felt despair
Don't give in to despair.
despair = a feeling of hopelessness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of despair means:
hopelessness; or distress (such as extreme worry or sadness from feeling powerless to change a bad situation)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 43
Web Links
dissent
3 uses
The Alien and Sedition Acts were attempts to silence early political dissent in America.
dissent = disagreement
DefinitionGenerally dissent means:
to disagree; or disagreement or conflict — typically between people who cooperate, and often with official or majority beliefs
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useFrwd.
Web Links
divine
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
to forgive is divine
Her pies are divine.
divine = wonderful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
heresy
2 uses
It is a hardline form of Sunni Islam that condemns all other strains as heresy.
heresy = something immoral
DefinitionGenerally heresy means:
opinions or actions most people consider immoral
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 70
Web Links
lucid
3 uses
Although she was on heavy pain medication, she was still lucid.
lucid = capable of thinking clearly
DefinitionGenerally lucid means:
of a person:  capable of thinking clearly

or:

of language:  clearly expressed so it is easily understood
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 31
Web Links
objective
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an objective viewpoint
By any objective analysis, you would have to agree that...
objective = fact-based (not influenced by personal feelings or preferences)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of objective means:
fact-based without the influence of personal feelings or preferences
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useFrwd.
Web Links
orthodox
3 uses
The new findings challenge orthodox views.
orthodox = normal
DefinitionGenerally orthodox means:
normal (describing thinking or behavior as commonly or traditionally accepted)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
parole
3 uses
Being home by 10 pm is one of the conditions of my parole.
parole = conditional early release from imprisonment
DefinitionGenerally this sense of parole means:
conditional early release from imprisonment in which a person is required to comply with special conditions
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 59
Web Links
pious
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
The cartoon with a drawing of Muhammad outraged many pious Muslims.
pious = highly religious
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
positive
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
had a positive effect
Lower interest rates positively affected home sales.
positively = in a good or beneficial manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
good or beneficial
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
rectify
1 use
I am doing what I can to rectify the error.
rectify = correct, fix, or make right
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
secular
1 use
Many countries of the Middle East and North Africa maintain a dual system of secular courts and religious courts, in which the religious courts mainly regulate marriage and inheritance.
secular = non-religious
DefinitionGenerally secular means:
not religious
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
sustain   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
sustained by her faith
We sustained ourselves on bread and water.
sustained = supported
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
provide support or necessities
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
sustained through the ages
For twenty years, the company has sustained its leading position in creating special effects for films.
sustained = maintained through time
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
to continue through time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 76
Web Links
venerate
1 use
Most contemporary Hindus do not actually worship the cow; though many venerate her.
venerate = regard with feelings of respect and reverence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 49
Web Links
zeal
2 uses
She attacks each challenge with zeal.
zeal = active interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 29
Web Links
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