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The Sunlight Dialogues

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
alternative
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
an alternative plan
You had no alternatives, in that case.†
alternatives = possibilities
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
analysis   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
analysis of relevant data
He slept with her sometimes—that was before the accident—and often he would lie with his hands behind his head and listen with egoistic pleasure to her analyses of his condition.†
analyses = instances or results of detailed examinations

(editor's note:  This is the plural of analysis.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of analysis means:
the process or result of examining and thinking about something to better understand it
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
psychiatrist suggested analysis
They say young Tag went to Clive Paxton about it, he wanted to send her to an analyst, more money than the Hodges have had for a goodly number of years.†
analyst = psychiatrist
DefinitionGenerally this sense of analysis means:
psychiatric treatment — (using any of many theories of the human mind that use talk therapy to understand the unconscious mind)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
democracy
13 uses
You know how democracy works, son?†
democracy = a system of government in which citizens have power with equal votes
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
elaborate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
elaborate on your plan
The rest of the epic elaborates it, describing the kinds of immortality Gilgamesh tries for and misses—eternal youth, lasting fame, and so on.†
elaborates = adds details or explains in detail
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elaborate means:
add details or explain in detail
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
establish
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
No sooner were the words established in his mind than his belly closed tight and sour around the thought of his uncle.†
established = created
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
grave
3 uses
"It's a grave indignity, having to sit on your hands," the Sunlight Man said.†
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
Book3 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
indifferent
86 uses
He felt queerly indifferent.
indifferent = without interest (unconcerned and uninterested)
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
Book86 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePro.
Web Links
irrelevant
13 uses
Irrelevant to the careening of the car, the whirling lights.†
irrelevant = not relevant (not related to the subject being considered, or not important enough to want to consider)
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
malicious
10 uses
Not malice, exactly—but more like malice than what went before, the wreck of the Volkswagen.†
malice = the desire to hurt others or see them suffer
DefinitionGenerally malicious means:
wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
minute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
minute size
But afterward Clive Paxton walked in his garden, scrutinizing his lilacs and althea for minute flaws, giving orders, critically turning loose earth with his foot.†
minute = small
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minute means:
small, exceptionally small, or insignificant
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
keep the minutes
He shall attend all meetings of stock-holders and of the Board of Directors and keep the minutes thereof.
minutes = formal notes (of a meeting)
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 14
Web Links
ominous
12 uses
Ominously, the Chief snapped his fingers and pointed at Boyle.†
ominously = threatening (suggestive of, or foreshadowing bad things to come)
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
probation
5 uses
They merely waited, and when his probation was up and nothing to stop him, he would be gone.
probation = a period of time during which a criminal who has been released from prison must comply with special conditions
DefinitionGenerally probation means:
a period of testing (especially of person)
in various senses, including:
  • a period during which a criminal does not have to be in prison as long as they demonstrate good behavior and obey special restrictions
  • a period during which a new employee is tried out on the job and during which the employee does not have all the privileges of a regular employee
  • a period during which a student's grades or behavior must improve to prevent being kicked out of school
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
relevant
1 use
Flemming) The following is a summary of my activities with respect to Flemming Construction, Inc. Everything is included which seemed at all relevant to the question of the capacity in which I acted with respect to the company from time to time.†
relevant = 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 14
Web Links
righteous
19 uses
1  —19 uses as in:
a righteous cause
"I mean—righteousness," the Old Man said.†
righteousness = morally correct behavior
DefinitionGenerally this sense of righteous means:
morally correct; or morally justified

or:

acting or feeling morally superior — especially when it isn't true (this meaning is more typically seen as a compound word beginning with "self-")
Word Statistics
Book19 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
scorn
32 uses
Kozlowski, for one, was mildly scornful of, and mildly amused by, the uniform he wore.†
scornful = full of strong disrespect or rejection
DefinitionGenerally scorn means:
disrespect or reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book32 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
subtle
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a subtle difference or thinker
He was in no shape to catch any subtleties, that was for sure.†
subtleties = things that are not obvious, but noticeable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions)

or:

capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
tyranny
13 uses
He sounded now incredibly like one of those lawyers summing up, tyrannical and grandiose.†
tyrannical = harsh and unjust
DefinitionGenerally tyranny means:
harsh and unjust rule
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
wrath
12 uses
The drunk—he was pale and effeminate and quick to wrath—would stop singing at this, as though the name Herr Robert had some meaning the others didn't catch.†
wrath = extreme anger
DefinitionGenerally wrath means:
extreme anger or angry punishment
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
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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