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Angela's Ashes

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
absolve
4 uses
Then he tells me kneel, gives me absolution, tells me say three Hail Marys, three Our Fathers, three Glory Bes.
absolution = forgiveness for sins

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
DefinitionGenerally absolve means:
to find someone blameless; or forgive; or relieve (of a requirement or obligation)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
afflict
12 uses
I ask Dad what afflicted means and he says, "Sickness, son, and things that don't fit."
afflicted = suffering; or made to suffer
DefinitionGenerally afflict means:
cause suffering — such as illness, pain, or unhappiness
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
atrocious
2 uses
Your eyes look atrocious, Frankie.
atrocious = exceptionally bad
DefinitionGenerally atrocious means:
exceptionally bad, cruel, or ugly
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
baptism
19 uses
Not until late December did they take Male to St. Paul's Church to be baptized
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
Book19 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
clamor
3 uses
I don't want the ghosts of children with green mouths pointing bony fingers at me and clamoring for bits of my chocolate bar.
clamoring = persistently demanding
DefinitionGenerally clamor means:
loud noise and/or persistent demands — especially from human voice
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
conjugate
1 use
He makes charts of Irish grammar, Irish history and algebra at home, hangs them on an easel and we have to chant our way through the cases, conjugations and declensions of Irish, famous names and battles, proportions, ratios, equations.
conjugations = grammatical changes of verb forms to match context

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tions", 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 actions, illustrations, and observations.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of conjugate means:
grammatical changes of verb forms to agree with other words in a sentence for tense, number, person, and other things

English tense example:
    She writes.
    She is writing.
    She will write tomorrow.
    She has written in the past.
  
English number example:
      Jane is...
      Jane and Susan are...
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
consecrate
2 uses
They take bodies any age and do experiments on them and there's not much left to give back nor would you want back bits of baby when they can't be buried in consecrated ground in that condition.
consecrated = made holy by means of religious rites
DefinitionGenerally consecrate means:
make holy by means of religious rites
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
demented
8 uses
they carted him off to the City Home, where they keep old people who are helpless or demented.
demented = not of sound mind (insane)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of demented means:
acting crazy

or:

suffering from cognitive dementia (mental deterioration)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
diversion
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a diversion to draw troops away
I'll create a diversion.
diversion = distraction
DefinitionGenerally this sense of diversion means:
a distraction — something that draws someone's attention so they don't notice something else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
divine
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
to forgive is divine
Euclid is complete in himself and divine in application.
divine = wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
induce
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
induce her to
I do believe,
Induced by potent circumstances
That thou art mine enemy.
induced = persuaded

(editor's notes:  McCourt is quoting Shakespeare here.  In this context, potent means powerful or influential.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of induce means:
to persuade somebody to do something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
lament
2 uses
He says that this seems to be a poem about England but it is a lament for the poet's native land, our own native land, Ireland.
lament = sad poem

(editor's note:  This is a less common sense of lament. Its more common meaning is "to express grief or regret.")
DefinitionGenerally lament means:
to express grief or regret
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
martyr
24 uses
He says that, perhaps, in this class there is a future priest or a martyr for the Faith,
martyr = someone who suffers for the sake of principle — especially someone killed for refusing to renounce their religion
DefinitionGenerally martyr means:
someone who dies or suffers to uphold principles — especially someone killed for refusing to renounce their religion, or someone who commits a suicide death in the name of their religion

or:

someone who suffers a great deal
Word Statistics
Book24 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
patron
7 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
a patron saint
Nurse O'Halloran tells my grandmother, Pray to St. Jude, patron saint of desperate cases.
patron saint = in some Christian denominations:  a saint who is thought to look after a group, activity, or place
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
perfidy
6 uses
He says you'll see the bullet holes all over the front and they should be left there to remind the Irish of English perfidy.
perfidy = deliberate betrayal
DefinitionGenerally perfidy means:
an act of deliberate betrayal; or such behavior
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
pious
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
a good, pious woman
The rain drove us into the church.... Limerick gained a reputation for piety, but we knew it was only the rain.
piety = religious belief
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pious means:
religious or highly moral
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
pneumonia
7 uses
Dr. Troy came and said that child died of pneumonia and why wasn't he in the hospital long ago?
pneumonia = a lung disease
DefinitionGenerally pneumonia means:
respiratory disease characterized by inflammation and accumulation of fluid in the lungs; caused by infectious agents (e.g., viruses or bacteria) or by inhalation of certain irritants
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
Protestant
35 uses
I feel sorry for the beautiful Protestant girls, they're doomed.
Protestant = a member of any of the Western churches that separated from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation
DefinitionGenerally Protestant means:
a member of or relating to any of the Western churches that separated from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation
Word Statistics
Book35 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
sacrilege
5 uses
Malachy, fresh from the speakeasy himself, felt insulted and wanted to argue with the priest, one sacrilege on top of another.
sacrilege = an act disrespectful of something others consider sacred
DefinitionGenerally sacrilege means:
disrespect of something others consider important or sacred
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
squander
4 uses
If you didn't squander the money in the pubs I wouldn't have to follow you the way I did in Brooklyn.
squander = waste
DefinitionGenerally squander means:
to waste — money, resources, or opportunities
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
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