toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books
Book Menu

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
baptism
1 use
After he got baptized we wanted him to preach.
baptized = "spiritually renewed" in a Christian ceremony

(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 baptism means:
a Christian ceremony signifying spiritual cleansing and rebirth

or:

a challenging experience that initiates or purifies
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
chastise
3 uses
If we saw him fighting, we chastised him no matter who was wrong.
chastised = scolded or criticized
DefinitionGenerally chastise means:
to scold or criticize
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
chattel
1 use
Before now they didn't kill you because you was somebody chattel.
chattel = property
DefinitionGenerally chattel means:
owned property (in law, tangible property other than real estate)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
condemn
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
She condemned their plan
But somewhere along the way somebody wrote a new set of rules condemning all that.
condemning = expressing strong criticism
DefinitionGenerally this sense of condemn means:
express strong criticism
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
congregation
1 use
When the people saw he didn't want preach, they wanted to make him a deacon. But he didn't want that either. He wanted to sit back in the congregation like the rest of us.
congregation = (among the non-leaders/servers of) people who worship together in the same building
DefinitionGenerally this sense of congregation means:
people who worship together in the same building
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
cultivate
1 use
The black man cultivated this land from ocean to ocean with his back.
cultivated = grew crops or prepared land for them
DefinitionGenerally cultivate means:
enhance growth or development
in various senses, including:
  • to grow crops or prepare land for them
  • enhance a relationship — especially for a purpose
  • develop discernment (better recognition of differences) in taste or judgment
  • to grow a culture in a petri dish
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
entrails
1 use
After hanging him they had gashed out his entrails.
entrails = internal organs — especially the intestines
DefinitionGenerally entrails means:
internal organs — especially the intestines

or more rarely:

the internal parts of anything
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
essence
1 use
What I have tried to do here was not to write everything, but in essence everything that was said.
essence = the defining or most important quality of something

or:

a extract that concentrates important qualities of something such as smell or taste
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
gospel   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
gospel of the Bible
Listening to his travels we knowed he was close to God, and now we wanted him to pick up the gospel.†
gospel = the religious teachings of Jesus
DefinitionGenerally this sense of gospel means:
the religious teachings of Jesus

or:

one of the four books in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that Christian's believe tell the story of Jesus Christ's life and teachings
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
they consider it gospel
"And that makes it gospel truth," he said.†
gospel = an unquestionable truth
DefinitionGenerally this sense of gospel means:
a set of beliefs firmly held by a group

or:

an unquestionable truth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
gospel music
We didn't like for him to listen to the radio, either; 'less he was listening to gospel music on Sundays.†
gospel = a type of vocal music that originated in African-American churches in the United States
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
heed
1 use
Now, if the white men had taken heed to what the river was trying to say to him then, it would have saved a lot of pain later.
heed = paid close attention
DefinitionGenerally heed means:
pay close attention to; or to do what is suggested — especially with regard to a warning or other advice
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
incredulous
1 use
If I were bold enough to ask: "But what about such and such a thing?" she would look at me incredulously and say: "Well, what about it?"
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 useIntr.
Web Links
Martin Luther King Jr.
1 use
"Because they listened to the craziness Martin Luther King was teaching in Alabama," Jimmy said.
Martin Luther King = inspiring U.S. civil rights leader and Baptist minister who campaigned against the segregation of blacks; assassinated (1929-1968)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
narrative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
Narrative of the Life of...
I should mention here that even though I have used only Miss Jane's voice throughout the narrative, there were times when others carried the story for her.
narrative = story
DefinitionGenerally this sense of narrative means:
a story
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useIntr.
Web Links
oblige
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I obliged her every request.
People's always looking for somebody to come lead them. They have always done it-and the Lord has always obliged in some way or another.
obliged = granted a favor, or been helpful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of oblige means:
grant a favor to someone
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
ravish
2 uses
"That girl been ravished," he said.
ravished = raped

(editor's note:  Ravished is seen primarily in classic literature. It is seldom used today.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of ravish means:
to rape, overwhelm or plunder
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
rein
4 uses
He held back on the reins and the horse stopped.
reins = straps used to control a horse
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rein means:
to restrain or control; or a means of control
The meaning of rein depends upon its context. For example:
  • "keep a tight rein on the new employee," or "rein in a horse" — to control or restrain
  • "give the new employee free rein," or "give the horse full rein" — do not restrain
  • "the reins of government" — means of control
  • "the reins of the horse" — leather straps used with a bit to control a horse (You might like to think of other senses of rein as being figurative derivations from this sense.)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
speculate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
don't know, but I'll speculate
He said close as he could speculate I was right in the middle of Luzana.
speculate = guess
DefinitionGenerally this sense of speculate means:
to think about, wonder, guess or theorize with much uncertainty
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
vulgar
1 use
He was coarse and vulgar; he cussed man, God, and nature every day of his life.
vulgar = crude and offensive
DefinitionGenerally vulgar means:
of bad taste — often crude or offensive

or:

unsophisticated (or common) — especially of taste
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
Go to Book Menu
Take Pre-Reading Quiz
† 
Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which is not affiliated with verbalworkout.com™, and does not endorse this site.