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The Maelstrom by Neff

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
abstract
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
abstract thought
That is too abstract a problem for our present dilemma.
abstract = of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
blasphemy
2 uses
But we cannot reach it without disturbing our ancestors, a blasphemy Plumpka will not permit.
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
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
candid
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
your candid opinion
I'd like to hear your candid assessment.
candid = honest and straightforward
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
honest and direct
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
capricious
1 use
For the moment, they were traveling in the proper direction, but the winter winds were capricious.
capricious = unpredictable (prone to change quickly)
DefinitionGenerally capricious means:
impulsive or unpredictable or tending to make sudden changes — especially impulsive behavior
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
contrast
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
there is a contrast
Her understated dress was in marked contrast to her ostentatious house: a simple black jacket, gray tweed pants, and black riding boots.†
contrast = difference
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
a difference — especially a notable difference; or the side-x-side arrangement of things that draws attention to an unmissable difference
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discordant music
The sound was harsh, a discordant clanging that caused Madam Petra to rise again from her chair and walk to a window along the southern wall.
discordant = unpleasant sound
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
unpleasant sound — especially a combination of sounds that sound wrong together (though sometimes done intentionally in music)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
disdain
4 uses
Leaning out over the porch, she gazed down at them disdainfully.
disdainfully = showing a 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
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
dissent
1 use
This is nothing more than Astaroth's attempt to sow dissension in our midst.
dissension = disagreement

(editor's note:  In this context, sow is a synonym for spread or plant.)
DefinitionGenerally dissent means:
to disagree; or disagreement or conflict — typically between people who cooperate, and often with official or majority beliefs
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
distend
1 use
Like a shark preparing to take bait, the goblin's jaws distended.
distended = extended
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 6
Web Links
dubious
3 uses
"Not an easy climb, but it should be manageable."
David glanced dubiously at his stump of a right hand.
dubiously = doubtfully
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
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
epiphany
1 use
Find someone else to endure your frivolous poppycock and threadbare 'epiphanies.'
epiphanies = important and sudden realizations

(editor's notes:  The word epiphanies is in quotes to indicate that the speaker does not consider the realizations to be important.)
DefinitionGenerally epiphany means:
a sudden realization — especially one of importance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
haughty
4 uses
They were also haughty, brutal, and selfish.
haughty = arrogant
DefinitionGenerally haughty means:
arrogant or condescending (acting superior or self-important)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
indifferent
5 uses
Depending on its occupant, the Fool's Perch was viewed with dread or black humor, but rarely indifference.
indifference = lack of concern or 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
Book5 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
mitigate
2 uses
He had never felt such a rush of pure, unmitigated joy.
unmitigated = complete (not diminished)

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unmitigated means not and reverses the meaning of mitigated. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
mystic
41 uses
"Mystics are in high demand these days," said Max.
mystics = people said to comprehend reality using supernatural means
DefinitionGenerally mystic means:
relating to realities that are outside of scientific understanding and normal experience; or one who attempts to tune into such realities
Word Statistics
Book41 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
notorious
5 uses
Lutins were notorious gamblers,
notorious = well known for something bad
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
pragmatic
2 uses
"He's cunning, brutal, and greedy, but he's also pragmatic. ... A tyrant like Prusias doesn't really care why you obey him; he only cares that you obey. But Astaroth is a fanatic. He wants true believers who share his ideals."
pragmatic = concerned with practical matters
DefinitionGenerally pragmatic means:
concerned with practical matters — especially where quick results and/or practical experience triumph over theory
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
revere
5 uses
He was revered as something of a saint and a demigod—a being whose name, likeness, and history were woven into the surroundings and daily life.
revered = admired and respected (with a mixture of wonder and awe)
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 11
Web Links
scrutiny
3 uses
You would only bring scrutiny.
scrutiny = a careful look or inspection
DefinitionGenerally scrutiny means:
careful examination of something
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
stoic
7 uses
His face was a mask of granite stoicism.
stoicism = seeming unaffected by emotions
DefinitionGenerally stoic means:
seeming unaffected by pleasure, pain, or emotions
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library6 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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