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Nectar in a Sieve

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
assuage
1 use
"I would not have thought it," she said slowly, "had I not seen for myself."
"Thought what?" I said. "Seen what?"
"That you have so much passion in your body," she said insolently, "that you seek assuagement thus."
assuagement = to be soothed
DefinitionGenerally assuage means:
to soothe (make something less unpleasant or frightening)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
bewilder
8 uses
Nathan turned bewildered eyes on me.
bewildered = confused
DefinitionGenerally bewilder means:
to confuse someone
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
contempt
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
"She is a fool," Nathan said contemptuously when I told him.
contemptuously = with disrespect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect for someone or something thought inferior — often accompanied by a feeling of dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
disdain
1 use
"...Men are all the same."
I saw Kunthi shrug with a slight disdain; Janaki was quiet.
disdain = lack of respect
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 useChapter 1
Web Links
distend
1 use
Dead dogs, cats and rats cluttered the roadside, or floated starkly on the waters with blown distended bellies.
distended = extended or swollen
DefinitionGenerally distend means:
to extend — especially the swelling outward of a part of the body; e.g., the stomach
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
dowry
10 uses
...but I was without beauty and without dowry and it was the best she could do.
dowry = in some societies, money or property given by a woman's family to the husband at marriage

or less formally: money or property a bride brings to a marriage
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
endure
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
endured the pain
But we had come too far, hoped too high, endured too much, to turn back now.
endured = suffered through (or to put up with something difficult or unpleasant)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of endure means:
to suffer through (or put up with something difficult or unpleasant)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library18 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
exasperated
5 uses
Several times work stopped altogether ... while Kenny and Selvam strode about the deserted site in exasperation,
exasperation = great annoyance

(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 exasperated means:
greatly annoyed
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
futile
3 uses
Perhaps they both knew the futility of trying to restrain Kali.
futility = pointlessness (uselessness)
DefinitionGenerally futile means:
effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
indifferent
5 uses
We stared at the cruel sky, calm, blue, indifferent to our need.
indifferent = unsympathetic
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
Book5 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 26
Web Links
mitigate
1 use
I washed him slowly, and massaged oil into his body, hoping to mitigate the whiteness of it, hoping to give colour to his skin,
mitigate = make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
morose
2 uses
Janaki said, morosely, she wished it could happen to her; a child each year was no fun.
morosely = sullenly (in an unhappy manner)
DefinitionGenerally morose means:
unhappy — often with a withdrawn personality
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
obscure
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
the view or directions are obscure
Dust lay thick on the floor, there were neat hillocks of chipped cement and the earth where bandicoots, for some obscure reason of their own, had dug.
obscure = not clearly understood
DefinitionGenerally this sense of obscure means:
not clearly seen, understood, or expressed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
pervasive
3 uses
...our distaste for the city grew and grew and became a sweeping, pervading hatred.
pervading = existing throughout something
DefinitionGenerally pervasive means:
existing throughout something; or generally widespread
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
pretense
3 uses
I put the clothes away, making a pretence of going to the door.
pretence = a false appearance or action to help one pretend

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use pretense.)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
prudent
1 use
Prudently we took his advice to follow closely,
prudently = with good sense and caution
DefinitionGenerally prudent means:
sensible and careful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 25
Web Links
refute
1 use
...they cannot refute it,
refute = disprove (prove that something is false)
DefinitionGenerally refute means:
to disprove or argue against
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
reproach
5 uses
Sometimes I would go to see my parents, but seldom, since there was so much to be done in my own home; and my mother, knowing this, did not reproach me for the long intervals between my visits.
reproach = criticize
DefinitionGenerally reproach means:
a criticism; or to express criticism — especially where a relationship makes the disapproval result in disappointment or shame
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
somber
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a somber mood
She looked at me sombrely: "Feed him; he is hungry."†
sombrely = solemnly (in a manner that is serious—not cheerful or lighthearted)

(editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use somberly.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of somber means:
serious and without humor or fun — perhaps sad
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
torment
7 uses
...who knows what fears tormented his child's mind?
tormented = caused great mental or physical suffering
DefinitionGenerally torment means:
to cause or to experience great mental or physical suffering
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
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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