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A Child Called It

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
anxiety
1 use
As I continued my chores, my anxiety grew.
anxiety = nervousness or worry
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library23 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
compassion
2 uses
In the past, I had seen her treat animals with more compassion than she did me.
compassion = feeling or showing sympathy for another's suffering
DefinitionGenerally compassion means:
sympathy for another's suffering and wanting to help
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
despise
3 uses
I came to despise the neighbors, my relatives and anybody else who had ever known me and the conditions under which I lived.
despise = dislike strongly
DefinitionGenerally despise means:
to dislike strongly and to look down upon with disrespect
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
dispassionate
1 use
I turned my head to see Father, looking on dispassionately, as his son "mooned" him and as the brown seepage spilled into the bucket.
dispassionately = in a manner that is unaffected by strong emotion or bias
DefinitionGenerally dispassionate means:
unaffected by strong emotion or bias
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
fidget
2 uses
I fidget in my chair, watching the secretary type papers.
fidget = make small restless movements
DefinitionGenerally fidget means:
to make small restless movements
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
hideous
4 uses
She then revealed my hideous crime.
hideous = extremely ugly or offensive
DefinitionGenerally hideous means:
extremely ugly, offensive, and/or frightening
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
hypnotize
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
hypnotized by her performance
Looking towards the west, I stare in awe at the hypnotic power of the waves.
hypnotic = fascinating to the point of becoming unaware of other things
DefinitionGenerally this sense of hypnotize means:
fascinate so much that awareness of other surrounding things is lost or too much trust is granted
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useEpil.
Web Links
monotone
1 use
Again, her voice was monotone—completely without emotion.
monotone = unvarying in pitch
DefinitionGenerally monotone means:
sound unvarying in pitch — especially the human voice
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
morbid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
morbidly obese
By October, my morbid life was in full swing.
morbid = unhealthy in a very bad or distasteful way
DefinitionGenerally this sense of morbid means:
unhealthy or related to disease — especially of a serious long-term illness
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
negative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
negative feedback from customers
I usually shook my head in a negative gesture.†
negative = indicating an answer of "no"
DefinitionGenerally this sense of negative means:
to express criticism or disagreement, or (especially when talking over a radio or in a military setting) to say "no"
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
nurture
2 uses
When she yelled at us, her voice changed from the nurturing mother to the wicked witch.
nurturing = helping development and growth (in this case, of her child)
DefinitionGenerally nurture means:
help develop or grow
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
pauper
1 use
On my hands and knees while scrubbing the bathroom tile, I imagined I was the prince in the story The Prince and the Pauper.
pauper = someone who is very poor

(editor's note:  The Prince and the Pauper is a story about a prince and a poor person who look alike and pretend to be each other.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
perspective
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
Look at it from her perspective
I bring a perspective born in the brutal reality of child abuse and nurtured in hope for a better tomorrow.
perspective = way of seeing and thinking about things
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perspective means:
a particular way of seeing or thinking about things
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useP
Web Links
phenomenon
1 use
Some readers will find the story unreal and disturbing, but child abuse is a disturbing phenomenon that is a reality in our society.
phenomenon = thing that exists
DefinitionGenerally phenomenon means:
something that exists or happened — especially something of special interest — sometimes someone or something that is extraordinary
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useP
Web Links
positive   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —1 use as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
I took positive control over my life.†
positive = absolute (used for emphasis)
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 useEpil.
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
had a positive effect
My blessings also mean having the opportunity to meet so many people who had a positive impact on my life.†
positive = good or beneficial
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
prevail
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
reason will prevail
They encouraged my hunger to prevail.
prevail = do well (prove superior or win)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of prevail means:
prove superior or win
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useEpil.
Web Links
savor
2 uses
I watch the officer closely as I slowly eat my cookies. I savor them as long as I can. I don't know when I will be eating again.
savor = relish (take great pleasure from)
DefinitionGenerally savor means:
to take great pleasure from; or the pleasure or flavor enjoyed
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useEpil.
Web Links
stupor
1 use
She still has a hangover from last night's stupor.
stupor = a state in which there is little ability to think (in this case, referring to her having been so drunk she had little ability to think)
DefinitionGenerally stupor means:
a state in which there is little ability to think — as from being very sleepy, drunk, or stunned
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
wrath
2 uses
He even caught her wrath at work.
wrath = intense anger
DefinitionGenerally wrath means:
extreme anger or angry punishment
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
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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