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Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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anxiety
6 uses
While she was glad that these bouts of anxiety no longer overwhelmed her, it also meant she was getting comfortable here, and that scared her.†
anxiety = nervousness or worry
From page 14.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library23 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2, p.14.8
Web Links
approach
10 uses
1  —10 uses as in:
approached the city
As she approached Jo's, she felt the trace of a memory stir to life.†
approached = went to
From page 371.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of approach means:
to get closer to (near in space, time, quantity, or quality)
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library104 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9, p.87.8
Web Links
conflict
1 use
She didn't know how to reconcile these conflicting pieces of her past and the horror of what she'd just lived through.†
conflicting = opposing (struggling against each other)
From page 366.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally conflict means:
a struggle or disagreement
in various senses, including:
  • a serious disagreement — as in "political conflict"
  • the tension from two opposing ideas or feelings — as in "I'm conflicted about where I should go to college."
  • a violent fight or war — as in "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict"
  • an idiom that refers to tension between responsibilities to different entities — "conflict of interest"
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library21 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 41, p.366.3
Web Links
consequence
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a direct consequence of
Carly had always been the one who reached for the camera, and consequently, there were dozens of photographs of him with the kids.†
consequently = resultantly (as a result)
From page 20.8  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3, p.20.8
Web Links
context
1 use
She'd never run into Jo in town before, and seeing her out of context felt strange for some reason.†
out of context = misleading because something is presented without the setting or situation in which it occurred
From page 212.4  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally context means:
the setting or situation in which something occurs
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 23, p.212.4
Web Links
contrast
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
contrast their writing styles
By contrast, Katie seemed delighted by the idea.
by contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
From page 250.7  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 useChapter 27, p.250.7
Web Links
convention
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
to convene
The terminal wasn't located in a bad part of town; she saw the convention center and Trocadero Theater, which made her feel safe, but it also meant she could never afford a hotel room in the area.†
convention = formal gathering
From page 206.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
a large conference or meeting
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 22, p.206.3
Web Links
direct   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 5 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
From his angle, he couldn't see the faces of the people directly in front of him, so he changed directions.†
directly = close
From page 311.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The road runs directly to Las Vegas." — straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • "It was a direct hit." — exact
  • "The plant is in direct sunlight." — unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • "She wants a direct meeting with him." — personal (without other people in between)
  • "She paid direct attention to what he was reading." — close
  • "a direct gaze" — straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14, p.120.8
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
directed her question to
When she called the phone company, she was directed to customer service.†
directed = steered
From page 197.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
to indicate direction; or to cause movement or focus in a direction or towards an object
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "intentionally directed fire at unarmed civilians" — aimed a gun
  • "directed the question to her" — aimed a question
  • "directed her north" — pointed in a particular direction
  • "directed attention to the 3rd paragraph" — focused attention on a particular object
  • "The sound of her voice directed him to the kitchen." — guided or gave directions to someone to help them move to a particular place
  • "She directed him to the airport." — gave directions to send someone to a particular place
  • "She directed the boat north." — steered it
  • "directed the letter to" — send a letter to a particular person by putting a name and address on it
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library36 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 22, p.197.3
Web Links
disdain
1 use
In time, she'd learned to pretend she was oblivious to the attention of those men; in other instances, she showed obvious disdain, because she'd known what would happen if she didn't.†
disdain = a lack of respect
From page 86.1  Typical Usage
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 9, p.86.1
Web Links
dispose
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
disposed the troops along...
So, swallowing my nervousness, I wandered over and proceeded to use every ounce of charm I had at my disposal.†
disposal = command

(editor's note:  When something is "at someone's disposal" it is "at their command," or "available for their use." They can use it as they please.)
From page 89.5  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
the arrangement, positioning, or use of things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 9, p.89.5
Web Links
highlight   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
highlight the main findings
When silver highlighted the world beyond the window, Katie and Jo stepped out onto the front porch. [In reference to leaves turning "from silver to black and to silver again as they shimmered in the evening breeze."]†
highlighted = called attention to
From page 70.8  Typical Usage
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 7, p.70.8
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
highlights of the year
It was a sleepy little town, and she surmised that an event like this was probably the highlight of the year.†
highlight = something that stands out
From page 307.7  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 35, p.307.7
imply
2 uses
He implied that she was in danger if he couldn't find her.†
implied = suggested (said indirectly)
From page 224  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally imply means:
to suggest or say indirectly — possibly as a logical consequence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 24, p.224
Web Links
interpret
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
her interpretation of the data
She shrugged, leaving it open to interpretation.†
interpretation = understanding of meaning

(editor's note:  In this context, the phrase "open to interpretation" means that different people could understand the meaning of her shrug in different ways.)
From page 89.8  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of interpret means:
to understand or explain something in a particular way — often the meaning or significance of something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9, p.89.8
Web Links
oblivious
6 uses
In time, she'd learned to pretend she was oblivious to the attention of those men; in other instances, she showed obvious disdain, because she'd known what would happen if she didn't.†
oblivious = unaware of
From page 86.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9, p.86.1
Web Links
passage
1 use
Sometimes she would read him passages and he would hear her voice and watch the way she leaned against the counter and think to himself that she was the most beautiful woman in the world.†
passages = short parts of longer written works
From page 225.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of passage means:
a short part of a longer written work
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 24, p.225.9
Web Links
positive
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
  "Are you sure?"
  "I'm positive. I couldn't be mad at you for that."†
positive = certain
From page 252.3  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 27, p.252.3
Web Links
scrutiny
3 uses
He trailed off, feeling the weight of her scrutiny.†
scrutiny = careful look or inspection
From page 82.4  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally scrutiny means:
careful examination of something
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 35, p.307.8
Web Links
vary
1 use
He accepted her occasional silences and varying moods, and he treated her with a gentleness that astonished and touched her.†
varying = differing; or changing
From page 229.4  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally vary means:
to be different, or to change
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 25, p.229.4
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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