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I Heard the Owl Call My Name

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
acute pain
A week later one of the boys of the village was very ill in the night with what Mark was sure was acute appendicitis.
acute = severely negative (with a rapid onset)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute means:
sharp (severe or strong) — usually negative
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
appalling
3 uses
The young bush pilot was properly appalled by the imminent prospect of birth.
appalled = terrified (dismayed)
DefinitionGenerally appalling means:
shockingly terrible or horrible
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
arrogant
2 uses
There was pride in his eyes without arrogance.
arrogance = an excessive sense of superiority
DefinitionGenerally arrogant means:
having an excessive sense of superiority
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
calamity
31 uses
The vicar might as well know right now that as for himself, he was an atheist; he considered Christianity a calamity.
calamity = a disastrous event
DefinitionGenerally calamity means:
a disastrous event; or the distress resulting from it
Word Statistics
Book31 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
congregation
1 use
Then he ... went to the church where the congregation was waiting.
congregation = people who worship together in the same building
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
defer
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
deferred to her wishes
the young wives would gather here in her house to defer to her judgment,
defer = submit or yield
DefinitionGenerally this sense of defer means:
submit or yield (typically to another person's opinion because of respect for that person or their knowledge)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
discern
1 use
One totem pole was so old he could discern only the top figure, a bear wearing...
discern = to notice or understand something that is not obvious
DefinitionGenerally discern means:
to notice or understand something — often something that is not obvious
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
disdain
1 use
And sometimes he broke his own copper—big as a shield, its buying power as great as three thousand of the white man's dollars—broke it to show to his guests his disdain for his own wealth.
disdain = a lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
dissent
2 uses
Mark felt a strange little wind of dissent which seemed to whisper in the firs, to precede him, to follow him wherever he went.
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
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
elaborate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an elaborate design
they could see through the portholes the rich polished helm, the gleaming mahogany of the main cabin with its elaborate bar.
elaborate = detailed in design
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elaborate means:
having details and complexity — sometimes fancy or ornate
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 3.13
Web Links
enmity
1 use
On the way back to the boat they passed three young Indians, loud spoken, ill-kempt and slovenly, and he felt the boys stiffen with enmity.
enmity = hatred
DefinitionGenerally enmity means:
hatred toward someone or between people — typically long-lasting
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.14
Web Links
grave
2 uses
"This bear did not die of a bullet," one of the Indians told him gravely.
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
Book2 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
indifferent
1 use
for the first time he knew the stolid, stubborn indifference of the inanimate.
indifference = lack of concern
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
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
perceptive
1 use
the sudden, unexpected gift of peace which they had offered him in their quiet, perceptive way.
perceptive = better at noticing things than most people
DefinitionGenerally perceptive means:
to be better at noticing or realizing things than most people
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.22
Web Links
pious
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a good, pious woman
When I try to put it into words, it comes out one of those ... over-pious platitudes at which Bishops are expected to excel.
pious = religious or moral
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.20
Web Links
poignant
1 use
He had seen the sadness, the richness, the tragic poignancy of a way of life that each year, bit by bit, slipped beyond memory and was gone.
poignancy = intense sadness
DefinitionGenerally poignant means:
sharp or intense — typically arousing deep emotion such as sadness, but possibly having or creating a sharp smell, taste, or insight
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 4.21
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
And in the hospital, don't you remember the doctor's face, the look of quiet resignation upon it, and the way he hesitated an instant before answering your questions?
resignation = acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable
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 4.21
Web Links
static
1 use
Mark tried to say that no village, no culture, can remain static.
static = not changing
DefinitionGenerally this sense of static means:
not moving or not changing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.13
Web Links
tentative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
said it tentatively
he sat down and pumped the pedals and very tentatively,
tentatively = in an unsure or hesitant manner
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tentative means:
done in a careful or unsure way (indicating a lack of confidence in exactly what will happen)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
treacherous
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
the road is steep and treacherous
its site was chosen wisely because the river, its access, is treacherous and easily defended.†
treacherous = dangerous
DefinitionGenerally this sense of treacherous means:
dangerous — often in a non-obvious way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.1
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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