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Profiles in Courage

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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approach
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
use the best approach
But Lamar, the learned scholar and professor, approached the issue somewhat differently than his colleagues.†
approached = handled (did something in a particular manner)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
a way of doing something; or a route that leads to a particular place
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.7
Web Links
arbitration
1 use
With rumors of violence and military dictatorship rife, Congress determined upon arbitration by a supposedly nonpartisan Electoral Commission—and Lucius Lamar, confident that an objective inquiry would demonstrate the palpable fraud of the Republican case, agreed to this solution to prevent a recurrence of the tragic conflict which had so aged his spirit and broadened his outlook.
arbitration = an official process of solving a disagreement with the help of an impartial referee
DefinitionGenerally arbitration means:
the process of solving a disagreement with the help of an impartial referee
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.7
Web Links
bona fide
1 use
Even though his speech was repudiated by many in the North, the very fact that one who represented such a belligerent constituency would appeal for understanding in the name of unity and patriotism was recognized in Washington and throughout the South as a bona fide assurance of Southern rights.
bona fide = real
DefinitionGenerally bona fide means:
real (genuine, true, or sincere)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
conscientious
13 uses
It is thinking of that next campaign—the desire to be reelected—that provides the second pressure on the conscientious Senator.†
conscientious = careful to do what is right
DefinitionGenerally conscientious means:
careful to do what is right—especially to perform duties in a thorough manner (as when guided by conscience)
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 0.1
Web Links
contrary   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 13 uses
1  —7 uses as in:
contrary to
We can improve our democratic processes, we can enlighten our understanding of its problems, and we can increase our respect for those men of integrity who find it necessary, from time to time, to act contrary to public opinion.†
contrary to = in opposition to
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
2  —6 uses as in:
on the contrary
On the contrary, the loyalties of every Senator are distributed among his party, his state and section, his country and his conscience.†
on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.7
Web Links
contrast   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
contrast their writing styles
For their very concept of the Senate, in contrast to the House, was of a body which would not be subject to constituent pressures.†
in contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
there is a contrast
Although Senators were paid the munificent sum of $6 per day, and their privileges included the use of great silver snuffboxes on the Senate floor, the aristocratic manners which had characterized the first Senate were strangely out of place when the struggling hamlet of Washington became the capital city in 1800, for its rugged surroundings contrasted sharply with those enjoyed at the temporary capitals in New York and Philadelphia.†
contrasted = differed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
a difference — especially a notable difference; or the side-x-side arrangement of things that draws attention to an unmissable difference
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.0
Web Links
controversy
9 uses
But the seams of compromise were bursting by 1850, as vast new territories acquired by the Mexican War accelerated the pace of the slavery controversy.†
controversy = disagreement
DefinitionGenerally controversy means:
disagreement — especially regarding a public issue that arouses strong feelings
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.3
Web Links
convention
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
to convene
The Federalist Legislature convened at the end of May 1808, with—as the Massachusetts Republican Governor wrote Jefferson—but one "principal object—the political and even the personal destruction of John Quincy Adams."†
convened = met or gathered
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
a large conference or meeting
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.0
Web Links
democracy
16 uses
This may not always be easy, but it nevertheless is the essence of democracy, faith in the wisdom of the people and their views.†
democracy = a system of government in which citizens have power with equal votes
Word Statistics
Book16 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useFrwd.
Web Links
dictate
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
Hitler dictated that...
He had intentionally broken the law and dictatorially thwarted the will of Congress!†
dictatorially = issue commands or orders
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 3.6
Web Links
eulogy
11 uses
—Edmund Burke's eulogy of Charles James Fox for his attack upon the tyranny of the East India Company — House of Commons, December 1, 1783.†
eulogy = formal expression of praise — typically speeches delivered at someone's funeral
DefinitionGenerally eulogy means:
a formal expression of praise — typically a speech given at someone's funeral
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePref.
Web Links
grave
1 use
George Norris called the President's scathing indictment a grave injustice to men who conscientiously tried to do their duty as they saw it;†
grave = serious and solemn
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
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4.8
Web Links
illustrate
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
as illustrated by this example
Many more examples could have been mentioned as illustrative of similar conduct under similar circumstances.†
illustrative = serving to help explain or demonstrate something

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word into an adjective; though over time, what was originally an adjective often comes to be used as a noun. The adjective pattern means tending to and is seen in words like attractive, impressive, and supportive. Examples of the noun include narrative, alternative, and detective.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 4.10
Web Links
minute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
keep the minutes
The minutes were read.†
minutes = formal notes
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minutes means:
a written record of what happened at a meeting
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.0
Web Links
moreover
12 uses
Moreover, I question whether any Senator, before we vote on a measure, can state with certainty exactly how the majority of his constituents feel on the issue as it is presented to the Senate.†
moreover = in addition to what has just been said
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 0.1
Web Links
repudiate
10 uses
The Louisiana delegation and other Southerners publicly repudiated him, and from that moment on his chances for the Presidency were nil.
repudiated = strongly rejected
DefinitionGenerally repudiate means:
strong rejection — especially when the idea or thing being rejected was once embraced
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3.7
Web Links
somber
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a somber mood
And finally, at age seventy, having distinguished himself as a brilliant Secretary of State, an independent President and an eloquent member of Congress, he was to record somberly that his "whole life has been a succession of disappointments."†
somberly = solemnly (in a manner that is serious—not cheerful or lighthearted)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of somber means:
serious and without humor or fun — perhaps sad
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
veto
12 uses
And for the first time in our nation's history, important public measures were passed over a President's veto and became law without his support.†
veto = block (prevent) an action
DefinitionGenerally veto means:
to exercise the right to override another's decision by preventing their intended action
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3.6
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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