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Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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accompany
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
accompany on the journey
"By the way," said Chuck Muckle, "I'll be flying down to Coconut Cove so I can personally accompany the lovely Miss Dixon to our groundbreaking."
accompany = travel with
From page 214.4  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accompany means:
to travel along with
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 11, p.136.1
Web Links
alternative
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
an alternative plan
A third alternative was for Roy to try apologizing to Dana again, this time oozing remorse and sincerity.
alternative = possible thing to do
From page 100.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8, p.95.4
Web Links
apprehension
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
apprehension about finals
Roy felt a strange mixture of apprehension and excitement.
apprehension = worry or concern about what will happen
From page 173.7  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of apprehension means:
worry about what is to come
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 14, p.173.7
Web Links
caustic
1 use
"Oh," Beatrice said caustically, "the one you went chasing when you shoulda been minding your own business."
caustically = sarcastically or critically
From page 74  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally caustic means:
of a chemical substance:  corrosive; capable of destroying or eating away such as a strong acid

or:

of a person:  sarcastic, critical, or harsh
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 7, p.74
Web Links
compose   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
compose a poem
Roy had mentally prepared himself to be blindfolded and tied up again—he'd even composed a short speech for the occasion.
composed = written
From page 67.8  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of compose means:
to write or create something with care — especially music or a literary work, but could be other things as diverse as a plan or a letter
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6, p.67.8
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
keep your composure
While another line of kids boarded, Dana composed himself as if he were a model citizen.
composed = settled or calmed
From page 96.7  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of compose means:
to calm someone or settle something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8, p.96.7
Web Links
consternation
1 use
Her chilly gray eyes narrowed and her waxy lips pursed in consternation.
consternation = dismay (unhappiness, worry, and often confusion) — typically over something unexpected
From page 20.1  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2, p.20.1
Web Links
contrast
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
contrast their writing styles
By contrast, the owl publicity was a nightmare for Mother Paula's All-American Pancake Houses, Inc., which found itself the subject of an unflattering front-page article in the Wall Street Journal.
by contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
From page 283.6  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useEpil., p.283.6
Web Links
demonstrate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —1 use as in:
It demonstrates my point.
That meant Dana would feel obligated to demonstrate what a tough hombre he was.†
demonstrate = show
From page 95.8  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of demonstrate means:
to show
The exact meaning of this sense of demonstrate can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "I will demonstrate how to throw a Frisbee." — show how to do something
  • "I will demonstrate how much quicker the new computer is than the old one." — show how something works
  • "Her questioned demonstrated that she was listening and thinking deeply about what was said." — showed to be true or proved
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8, p.95.8
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
demonstrate to protest
Kelly Colfax began firing questions: How'd you get involved in the demonstration?†
demonstration = public protest

(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.)
From page 278.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of demonstrate means:
a public display supporting a cause — usually joining with others in a political protest
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 20, p.272.4
Web Links
environment
6 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
the environmental movement
Mr. Eberhardt explained that he had borrowed the file, xeroxed every page, and then taken the material to some lawyers who were experts on environmental matters.
environmental = the quality of human, animal, and plant life
From page 279.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of environment means:
the natural world (life, air, water, land...) — often used in reference to the impact of human technology
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 21, p.279.6
Web Links
illustrate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
as illustrated by this example
Garrett held his hands a foot apart to illustrate.†
illustrate = help make clear
From page 215.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to help make clear — typically by example
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 17, p.215.9
Web Links
malevolent
1 use
Dana grinned malevolently.
malevolently = wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
From page 184.8  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally malevolent means:
evil
  • of a person — wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
  • of a thing — exerting an evil or harmful influence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15, p.184.8
Web Links
perturb
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she was perturbed
His expression was perturbed and preoccupied.
perturbed = disturbed or uneasy
From page 164.7  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perturb means:
to disturb in mind or make uneasy
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14, p.164.7
Web Links
positive   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
In Montana, the only animals that dug holes like that were gophers and badgers, and Roy was positive there weren't many of those in Florida.†
positive = certain
From page 124.2  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
certain (having no doubt; or used for emphasis)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10, p.124.2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
had a positive effect
Curly finally came up with something positive to contribute.†
positive = good or beneficial
From page 257.1  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 19, p.257.1
Web Links
tone
10 uses
It's not the content of the letter so much as the tone.
tone = general feeling, mood, or attitude
From page 33.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tone means:
the general feeling, mood, or attitude of something — especially of something said or written
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3, p.33.2
Web Links
trace
4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
found a trace of
When Curly told his wife of his overnight guard duties, she received the news with no trace of annoyance or concern.
trace = indication (sign)
From page 129.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trace means:
a small quantity; or any indication or evidence of
The exact meaning of this sense of trace depends upon its context. For example:
  • a small indication that something was present — as in "The plane disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean without leaving a trace."
  • a very small amount of something — as in "The blood test showed a trace of steroids."
  • any evidence of something — as in "We did not find a trace of the gene."
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6, p.68.3
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —1 use
variation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a variation on a theme
It was a sweltering afternoon, but Roy had resigned himself to the fact that there was no change of seasons in South Florida, only mild variations of summer.
variations = differences
From page 289.6  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of variation means:
something that is different than others of its type (synonyms could include: adaptation, version, alternate form)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useEpil., p.289.6
Web Links
yield
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
will yield valuable data
Roy poked the tip of the dead branch through the loose dirt, but it yielded no clues.†
yielded = gave
From page 68.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to produce (usually something wanted); or the thing or amount produced
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6, p.68.3
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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