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The Pianist

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
acute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
acute pain
The doctor called by Helena Lewicka diagnosed acute inflammation of the gall bladder and recommended a strict diet.
acute = severely negative
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute means:
sharp (severe or strong) — usually negative
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
apathy
3 uses
Life, although so unimportant, had none the less forced me to overcome my apathy and seek some way of earning a living,
apathy = lack of both interest and enthusiasm
DefinitionGenerally apathy means:
lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
belligerent
2 uses
There was also hopeless confusion in the corridors of the centre, where a mood of belligerent self-confidence prevailed.
belligerent = combative (eager to fight)
DefinitionGenerally belligerent means:
hostile (the attitude of one eager to fight); or one already engaged in a fight or war
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
benevolent
1 use
The benevolence of the Germans even persuaded them to allow a delegate from our group to move freely about the city every day and make these purchases on our behalf.
benevolence = kindness
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
contemptible
1 use
Henryk's life was a hard one. He had chosen it himself and had no intention of changing it, believing that it would be contemptible to live in any other way.
contemptible = deserving no respect (worthless or of bad quality)
DefinitionGenerally contemptible means:
very bad (deserving no respect)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
deter
3 uses
Obviously the child was about to be shot as a punishment for his offence and to deter others.
deter = try to prevent (in this case, from similar behavior)
DefinitionGenerally deter means:
try to prevent; or prevent
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
dispose
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
disposed the troops along...
He had a bachelor flat at number 83 Pulawska Street at his disposal, but was not living there himself, and he had agreed to let me occupy it.
disposal = command

(editor's note:  When something is "at someone's disposal" it is "at their command," or "available for their use." They can use it as they please.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
the arrangement, positioning, or use of things
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
dubious
2 uses
We thought his morals dubious and tried to avoid him.
dubious = doubtful (not to be relied upon)
DefinitionGenerally dubious means:
doubtful
in various senses, including:
  • doubtful that something should be relied upon — as in "The argument relies on a dubious assumption."
  • doubtful that something is morally proper — as in "The company is accused of using dubious sales practices to influence minors."
  • bad or of questionable value — as in "The state has the dubious distinction of the highest taxes."
  • doubtful or uncertain — as in "She is dubious about making the change."
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
eccentric
2 uses
Her courage could just as well have been described as eccentricity.
eccentricity = unconventional or strange behavior
DefinitionGenerally eccentric means:
unconventional or strange; or a person with such traits
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
gesticulate
1 use
...the good Samaritan would find himself besieged, hemmed in by ragged apparitions spraying him with tubercular saliva; by children covered with oozing sores who were pushed into his path, by gesticulating stumps of arms, blinded eyes, toothless, stinking open mouths, all begging for mercy at this, the last moment of their lives,
gesticulating = making gestures
DefinitionGenerally gesticulate means:
to make gestures (hand or body movements) while speaking or to express something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
incredulous
1 use
He studied the announcement, shook his head incredulously and read on,
incredulously = 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 useChapter 2
Web Links
indifferent
1 use
She would come home as impassive and indifferent as ever. Day after day she simply sat at the dining table without showing the slightest interest in what might happen.
indifferent = without interest
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 6
Web Links
irony   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
situational irony
'Are you getting the place ready for our concert on Saturday yet?' I asked.
He looked at me as if he didn't know what I was talking about. Then his face showed ironic sympathy for my ignorance of the events that had given a completely different turn to the fate of the ghetto. 'You really think we'll still be alive on Saturday?' he enquired,
ironic = when what happens is very different than what might be expected
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
when what happens is very different than what might be expected; or when things are together that seem like they don't belong together — especially when amusing or an entertaining coincidence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
verbal irony
He sought out the longest streets for his walks, and bowed to the Germans with indescribably ironic grace, happy when one of the soldiers, misled by his beaming face, gave him a civil greeting in return and smiled as if he were a good friend.
ironic = saying one thing while meaning another (in this case, he said it non-verbally)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of irony means:
saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
remonstrate
1 use
The other two were remonstrating with the one who had let us go.
remonstrating = arguing in protest
DefinitionGenerally remonstrate means:
argue, complain, or criticize
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
reproach
2 uses
I bombarded him with questions and reproaches before he could get a word of explanation in,
reproaches = criticisms
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism — especially where a relationship makes the disapproval result in disappointment or shame
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
I was not given a number that first day, but none the less I slept all night, resigned to my fate, although my companions were almost out of their minds with anxiety.
resigned = having accepted 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 10
Web Links
scrupulous
1 use
A scrupulous blackout was imposed on the city at night.
scrupulous = carefully done (with diligent attention to detail)
DefinitionGenerally scrupulous means:
careful to behave ethically and/or diligently (with great care and attention to detail)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
suppress
4 uses
But the love of freedom is native to every human being and every nation, and cannot be suppressed in the long term.
suppressed = kept under control
DefinitionGenerally suppress means:
trying to keep under control
The exact meaning of suppress can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "suppressed the revolution" — to stop others from doing something by force
  • "suppressed a smile" — kept something from happening
  • "suppressed the story" — kept news from spreading
  • "suppressed her fear" — controlled an emotion
  • "suppressed the memory" — avoided thinking about (perhaps even removed from conscious memory)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useP.S.
Web Links
tirade
1 use
He would be angry with me in turn, going scarlet in the face, muttering to himself and waiting for the Germans to go away, when he would ... and begin his tirade:
tirade = speech of angry criticism
DefinitionGenerally tirade means:
a speech of angry criticism
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
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