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This I Believe II

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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ambivalent
1 use
I surrender to ambivalence, to happy contradictions and seeming inconsistencies in myself and almost everything else, including God.
ambivalence = 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 60
Web Links
austere
1 use
The dispassionate mathematical laws of physics seem austere and impersonal, like a star or the moon.
austere = stern (strict — without consideration for human feelings)
DefinitionGenerally austere means:
a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

or:

of a person:  stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 53
Web Links
benevolent
1 use
With each gift the threads of benevolence are knotted, snaring both giver and recipient.
benevolence = kindness and goodwill
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 41
Web Links
convention   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
to convene
...public radio was created to be a commons, a place where citizens could convene to speak and listen in the common interest.
convene = come together (to meet)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
a large conference or meeting
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
conventional behavior
I don't thoroughly understand the conventions of each tradition and...
conventions = things that are normal
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
We have remained close, however, and have even glimpsed islands of agreement as we navigate the rapids of discord.
discord = conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
diversity
3 uses
Industrialization has turned life into an industry and systematically destroys the essential diversity that provides richness to the human experience.
diversity = variety
DefinitionGenerally diversity means:
the condition of variety — especially in reference to members of a population group who are of different races or cultures
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 25
Web Links
incredulous
1 use
"..." I asked incredulously.
incredulously = with disbelief; or with difficulty accepting something so unexpected
DefinitionGenerally incredulous means:
unbelieving; or having difficulty accepting something so unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 39
Web Links
innate
2 uses
I believe in our innate potential for brutality.
innate = of a quality:  present at birth or existing as an inseparable part of something greater
DefinitionGenerally innate means:
of a quality:  present at birth; or arising from within rather than having been learned or acquired
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 64
Web Links
integrity
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a person of high integrity
They did it with rare courage and integrity.
integrity = strong moral principles — especially honesty
DefinitionGenerally this sense of integrity means:
having strong moral principles — especially honesty
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
irony   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
verbal irony
In an age of irony, an earnest statement is a target.
irony = saying one thing while meaning something else
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 useIntr.
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
dramatic irony
Well, I'm in the library parsing a Jane Austen novel looking for dramatic irony, while many of my old friends are dead or in jail.
dramatic irony = when the meaning of a situation is understood by one person, but not by another
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dramatic irony means:
when the meaning of a situation is understood by one person, but not by another — especially when a reader or audience knows what characters of a story do not (such as in the play, Romeo and Juliet)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 54
Web Links
novel
1 use
Later I realized what made the experience so novel: He was the first old person I'd spent time with who wasn't in my family.
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 useChapter 28
Web Links
positive
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a positive attitude
That was when I began to realize that I had been tyrannized by the idea that everyone must always have a positive attitude.†
positive = optimistic or agreeable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
optimistic (expecting or focusing good things); or agreeable
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 32
Web Links
profound
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
For me, it is profoundly humbling.
profoundly = with the greatest intensity or emotional depth
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 44
Web Links
relevant
1 use
I'm no Martin Luther King but his call to action is as relevant now as it was then,
relevant = meaningful
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
resilient
3 uses
I believe in the power of human resilience.
resilience = ability to withstand strain and/or quickly recover from it
DefinitionGenerally resilient means:
able to withstand strain and/or quickly recover from it — such as a person retaining a positive attitude, or a material returning to its shape after being bent, stretched, or pressed
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 63
Web Links
revere
5 uses
As I grew older, I discovered that this reverence for life was not shared by all of humanity.
reverence = deep respect
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 25
Web Links
scrutiny
2 uses
...we are duty bound to confront moral dilemmas and scrutinize the implications of our actions.
scrutinize = look at very carefully

(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
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
turbulent
4 uses
I was researching how fish swim in turbulent flow and discovered that they could surf on swirling eddies without using much muscle.
turbulent = rough (rapid and irregular flow) (or disturbed and disordered)
DefinitionGenerally turbulent means:
a state of disturbance and disorder

or:

of liquid or gas:  rough (rapid and irregular flow)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 45
Web Links
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Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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