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The Namesake

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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auspicious
1 use
The wedding will be in Calcutta, a little over a year from now, on an auspicious January day, just as she and her husband were married nearly thirty-four years ago.
auspicious = favorable; or suggestive of good things to come
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
bequeath
1 use
They reach out to people, hosting dinner parties, bequeathing little bits of themselves to their friends.
bequeathing = giving or passing down
DefinitionGenerally bequeath means:
give or pass down — often upon death in a will
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
component
4 uses
Jonathan nods in acceptance, distracted by the task of setting up his stereo components.
components = parts
DefinitionGenerally component means:
a part of something
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
disparage
1 use
He feels tenderness toward her when she disparages herself this way.
disparages = criticizes
DefinitionGenerally disparage means:
to criticize or make seem less important — especially in a disrespectful or contemptuous manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
dwell   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
Don't dwell on it.
Ashima is outraged by the remark, dwelling on it all day.
dwelling = to think or let attention stay on (or return to) something for a prolonged period
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dwell means:
to think, communicate, or let attention stay on (or return to) something for a prolonged period
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
It dwells in the forest.
...one day he was to dwell in a snowy place himself,
dwell = live in
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dwell means:
make one's home in; or to live in; or to stay (in a place)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
fastidious
2 uses
He is fastidious about his clothing; their first argument had been over a sweater she'd shrunk in the washing machine.
fastidious = giving careful attention to detail
DefinitionGenerally fastidious means:
giving careful attention to detail

or:

excessively concerned with cleanliness or matters of taste
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
highlight
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
highlight the main findings
Alongside the clutter there is a starkness about the place that appeals to him: the floors are bare, the woodwork stripped, many of the windows without curtains to highlight their generous proportions.†
highlight = emphasize (call attention to)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of highlight means:
emphasize (call attention to something)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
however
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
However much she tried...
Still, he knows that each component of a building, however small, is nevertheless essential, and he finds it gratifying that after all his years of schooling, all his crits and unbuilt projects, his efforts are to have some practical end.†
however = regardless of how
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
to whatever degree (regardless of how much; or whatever unspecified amount)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
indifferent
7 uses
Assured by his grades and his apparent indifference to girls, his parents don't suspect Gogol of being, in his own fumbling way, an American teenager.
indifference = lack of 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
Book7 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
indulgent
4 uses
When he reaches Broadway he changes his mind and hails a cab. The decision feels indulgent, as it is not particularly late, or cold, or raining, and he is in no great rush to be home.
indulgent = like he is treating himself too well (excessive kindness to himself without enough concern for the cost)
DefinitionGenerally indulgent means:
to treat with extra kindness or tolerance
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
inhibit
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
inhibited the growth of...
In retrospect she saw that her sudden lack of inhibition had intoxicated her more than any of the men had.
inhibition = restraint

(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 inhibit means:
to limit the activity of someone or something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
nostalgia
4 uses
She speaks with nostalgia of the years her family had spent in England,
nostalgia = longing for something past
DefinitionGenerally nostalgia means:
happiness that come with the memory of good times combined with a hint of sadness that those times are over
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
novel
1 use
She both fits in perfectly yet remains slightly novel.
novel = new and original
DefinitionGenerally this sense of novel means:
new and original — typically something considered good
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
perpetual
10 uses
She was in her thirties, unmarried, perpetually sipping herbal tea.
perpetually = continually; or always
DefinitionGenerally perpetual means:
continuing forever without change

or:

occurring so frequently it seems continual
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
persist
8 uses
They enter complaining of the cold that has persisted this far into spring,
persisted = continued
DefinitionGenerally persist means:
to continue — often despite difficulty
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
profound
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
profound sadness
The relentless uniformity of it upsets him profoundly, more so than even the hospital, and the sight of his father's face.
profoundly = with greatest intensity or emotional depth
DefinitionGenerally this sense of profound means:
of greatest intensity or emotional depth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
relevant
2 uses
He knows that this sort of life, one which is such a proud accomplishment for his own parents, is of no relevance, no interest, to her, that she loves him in spite of it.
relevance = importance
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 6
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
Though she knows it's not his fault, she can't help but associate him, at times, with a sense of resignation, with the very life she has resisted, has struggled so mightily to leave behind.
resignation = having accepted something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable or the lesser of evils
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
revere
4 uses
He does not thank God; he openly reveres Marx and quietly refuses religion.
reveres = regards with feelings of deep respect and admiration
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 10
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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