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Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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absolve
1 use
I saw his hand moving across his face as he absolved me.
absolved = forgave (his sins)
DefinitionGenerally absolve means:
to find someone blameless; or forgive; or relieve (of a requirement or obligation)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
accommodate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
moved to accommodate her
He is cold, but he moves his arm to accommodate me, like he's half-holding me.
accommodate = adjust for
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accommodate means:
adjust something to provide for a need; or help
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 3
appalling
1 use
"Appalling," said Frances.
appalling = terrible or horrible
DefinitionGenerally appalling means:
shockingly terrible or horrible
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
banal
1 use
And so I told him the banal old stuff and he blessed me and dismissed me.
banal = uninteresting due to a lack of anything original or unusual
DefinitionGenerally banal means:
uninteresting due to a lack of anything original or unusual

(editor's note:  This word is correctly pronounced differently by various educated speakers of American English.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 4
Web Links
beguile
1 use
I thought for an instant of the bitter beguiling taste of the cigarettes.
beguiling = enchanting or deceptive
DefinitionGenerally beguile means:
to charm, enchant, or entertain someone; or to deceive — especially through charm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
blasphemy
1 use
This is both theft and blasphemy.
blasphemy = disrespectful of something considered sacred
DefinitionGenerally blasphemy means:
something said or done that is disrespectful of something considered sacred — especially God or religion
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
compensate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she is generously compensated
The battle for compensation lasted years, as these things always do.
compensation = payment to someone (to make up for a loss or inconvenience they suffered)

(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 this sense of compensate means:
to make payment to someone
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 3
Web Links
congregation
1 use
He told the congregation to go in peace,
congregation = people who worship together in the same building
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
conjure
1 use
We were messing about in the night again and we were praying and conjuring and Danny found it running under his feet.
conjuring = summoning into action or bringing into existence — as if by magic
DefinitionGenerally conjure means:
summon into action or bring into existence — often as if by magic
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
enigma
1 use
"An enigma," said the sergeant.
enigma = something mysterious that seems unexplainable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 4
Web Links
hypnotize
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
hypnotized to try to remember
He did hypnotism tricks in the bars in Cullercoats and Whitley Bay.
hypnotism = the act of putting someone into a trance-like state of focused concentration and heightened suggestibility
DefinitionGenerally this sense of hypnotize means:
to put someone into a state of hypnosis (a trance-like state of focused concentration and heightened suggestibility)

(Heightened suggestibility means that the hypnotized person is more inclined to accept and act on suggestions of the hypnotist.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
incantation
1 use
I spent that night awake, making plasticine creatures, breathing prayers and incantations and commands on them while the moon shone down at me.
incantations = recitations of words or sounds believed to have a magical effect

(editor's note:  In this context, a recitation is something said or uttered aloud.)
DefinitionGenerally incantation means:
words believed to have a magical effect when they are said aloud; or the saying of such words
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
nucleus
1 use
We'll be able to create living creatures with chemicals and electricity and nuclear power.
nuclear = coming from the center of an atom where protons & neutrons reside
DefinitionGenerally nucleus means:
the center (or most important part) of something
such as:
  • in physics:  the center of an atom where protons & neutrons are found
  • in biology:  the center of a cell where DNA is found
  • in sociology:  the closest family (mother/father/children in contrast to the extended family)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 2
Web Links
pathetic
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a pathetic attempt to insult me
They've got such pathetic little lives.
pathetic = so bad it is laughable or contemptible (possibly also causing pity)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of pathetic means:
very bad — possibly so bad it is laughable (possibly mixed with some feeling of pity)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
penitent
2 uses
Other penitents are waiting outside.
penitents = people expressing sorrow for having done wrong
DefinitionGenerally penitent means:
feeling or expressing sorrow for having done wrong; or a person who does such
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 4
Web Links
perceptive
1 use
"That's very perceptive, son," said the sergeant.
perceptive = insightful (demonstrating a superior ability to notice or understand things)
DefinitionGenerally perceptive means:
to be better at noticing or realizing things than most people
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 4
Web Links
profound
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
profound idea
We know he's about to tell us something that he thinks is dead profound.
profound = deep or far-reaching in intellect or consequence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
resolve
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I resolved to stop drinking.
Say five Hail Marys and one Our Father and resolve that you will be good.
resolve = definitely decide
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
to decide — typically a firm or formal decision
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
subtle
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a subtle shade of blue
And we ourselves become somehow not ourselves, but we turn subtler, weirder, less attached to our bodies, less attached to our names.
subtler = more understated (less obvious as individuals)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
understated so as not to draw attention to itself
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 3
Web Links
susceptible
1 use
"Five, four, three, two, one," he said. "Wake up, Mary. ... Some's much more susceptible than others. She's a piece of cake."
susceptible = easily influenced (in this case by hypnosis)
DefinitionGenerally susceptible means:
easily influenced or harmed

or:

capable of being treated in a particular way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 2
Web Links
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