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Drown

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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arbitrary
1 use
The trickles of money he sent back were not premeditated like those sent by his other friends, calculated from what he needed to survive; these were arbitrary sums that often left him broke and borrowing until the next payday.
arbitrary = based on impulse
DefinitionGenerally arbitrary means:
based on chance or impulse (rather than upon reasoning, consistent rules, or a proper sense of fairness)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 10
Web Links
commute
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
commute from New Jersey
It was nearly a two-hour commute,
commute = regular travel — such as between home and work
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 5
Web Links
conciliatory
1 use
I try to sound conciliatory.
conciliatory = in a manner intended to end bad feelings or to build trust
DefinitionGenerally conciliatory means:
intended to end bad feelings or build trust
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 7
Web Links
contrite
1 use
Pruitt said he was contrite and determined and asked us to come again.
contrite = feeling sorrow or regret for a fault or offense
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 7
Web Links
cryptic
1 use
Taa also had a penchant for uttering cryptic one-liners about my father, usually after she'd downed a couple of shots of Brugal.
cryptic = difficult to understand
DefinitionGenerally cryptic means:
secretive or difficult to understand
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 4
Web Links
deliberate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
need to deliberate
The sun could have set twice on his deliberations but with his eyes quitting, his farm in Azua now dust and his familia in need, what could he really do?
deliberations = thoughts or discussions of considerations

(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 deliberate means:
to think about or discuss — especially with great care
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 10
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a deliberate thinker
The actors throw themselves around, passionate, but their words are plain and deliberate.
deliberate = said with great care — often slowly
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deliberate means:
done with great care — often slowly
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 5
Web Links
diligent
1 use
He could have afforded another bus ticket but that would have bitten into the rent money he had so diligently saved on the advice of many a veteran immigrant.
diligently = carefully
DefinitionGenerally this sense of diligent means:
hard work and care in tasks — often continuing when others might quit because of difficulties
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 10
Web Links
disdain
1 use
He was disdainful of anyone who had a regular crowd of parasites loafing about their stores, discussing the taste of yuca and their last lays.
disdainful = full of disrespect
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 useStory 10
Web Links
elaborate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an elaborate design
I watched him go through the elaborate ritual of lighting up—the flip of the thin cigarrillo into his lips and then the spark, a single practiced snap of the thumb.
elaborate = special (with carefully arranged details)
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 useStory 4
Web Links
inclined
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I'm inclined to
Nilda had continued to put on weight after the birth of the third Ramon and while Papi favored heavy women, he didn't favor obesity and wasn't inclined to go home.
inclined = with an attitude that favored
DefinitionGenerally this sense of inclined means:
a tendency, mood, desire, or attitude that favors something; or making someone favor something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useStory 10
Web Links
incredulous
1 use
I looked at Wilquins incredulously.
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 useStory 2
Web Links
indifferent
1 use
When Papi showed the figures to the Hernandez brothers, written on the border of a newspaper, they were indifferent.
indifferent = 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
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 10
Web Links
indignant
1 use
Pesao looks at his face, giggles and flings another pebble at the hens, who scatter indignantly.
indignantly = with annoyance at being wronged
DefinitionGenerally indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useStory 9
Web Links
lucid
2 uses
It was a lucid enjoyable night that would stick out in his memory like a spike.
lucid = clear in his mind (in this case, with a mind not clouded by rum or beer)
DefinitionGenerally lucid means:
of a person:  capable of thinking clearly

or:

of language:  clearly expressed so it is easily understood
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 10
Web Links
obscure
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
it obscured my view
Cataracts were slowly obscuring Stefan's eyes; the disease had cost him half a finger and his last job.
obscuring = blocking (so his vision grows worse)

(editor's note:  Having a cataract means the lens of the eye is cloudy, so that it is difficult to see through it.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
to block from view or make less visible or understandable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useStory 10
Web Links
probation
3 uses
The two fights he had were reported to the bosses and they put him on probation.
probation = a period during which someone is watched carefully to assure behavior improves
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
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 10
Web Links
resolve
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
Her resolve weakened.
He tried to see his familia but each time he set his mind to it, his resolve scattered like leaves before a hurricane wind.
resolve = determination (firm plan to do something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
firmness of purpose (strong determination to do something)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useStory 10
Web Links
tremulous
1 use
It is always good to return home, she said tremulously.
tremulously = in a quivering (shaky) manner
DefinitionGenerally tremulous means:
quivering (shaky) — usually from weakness or fear — especially of the voice
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 10
Web Links
unobtrusive
1 use
He walked back the way he had come and went into the hotel, its spastic neon sign obtrusively jutting into the street.
obtrusively = in a manner demanding attention

(Editor's note:  Unobtrusive is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of obtrusive without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unobtrusively means not and reverses the meaning of obtrusively. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally unobtrusive means:
fitting in so as not to attract much attention or disturb
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useStory 10
Web Links
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