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The Diamond Necklace

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
askew
1 use
With frowsy hair, skirts askew and red hands, she talked loud while washing the floor with great swishes of water.
askew = not straight
DefinitionGenerally askew means:
not straight (not in proper alignment)

or:

(when used figuratively) not right, or not as planned
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
calamity
1 use
She waited all day, in the same condition of mad fear before this terrible calamity.
calamity = a disastrous event
DefinitionGenerally calamity means:
a disastrous event; or the distress resulting from it
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
chagrin
1 use
Then they went from jeweler to jeweler, searching for a necklace like the other, trying to recall it, both sick with chagrin and grief.
chagrin = bad feeling due to a mistake
DefinitionGenerally chagrin means:
a bad feeling such as embarrassment, disappointment, or annoyance — especially due to a disconcerting event, mistake or other blow to the ego
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
comprised
1 use
She danced with rapture, with passion, intoxicated by pleasure, forgetting all in the triumph of her beauty, in the glory of her success, in a sort of cloud of happiness comprised of all this homage, admiration, these awakened desires and of that sense of triumph which is so sweet to woman's heart.
comprised = made up of
DefinitionGenerally comprised means:
made up of (composed of); or included
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
contrast
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
there is a contrast
He threw over her shoulders the wraps he had brought, the modest wraps of common life, the poverty of which contrasted with the elegance of the ball dress.
contrasted = was notably different (in this case, inexpensive and plain as compared to expensive and elegant)
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
Web Links
delicacy
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
eat the delicacy
Mathilde suffered ceaselessly, feeling herself born to enjoy all delicacies and all luxuries.
delicacies = things of high quality — such as expensive foods
DefinitionGenerally this sense of delicacy means:
something that is rare or expensive — usually a prized food
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she felt despair
They went toward the Seine in despair, shivering with cold.
despair = hopelessness
DefinitionGenerally this sense of despair means:
hopelessness; or distress (such as extreme worry or sadness from feeling powerless to change a bad situation)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
dictate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
dictate a letter
She wrote at his dictation.
dictation = saying out loud for the purpose of recording

(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 dictate means:
say out loud for the purpose of recording
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
dowry
1 use
She had no dowry, no expectations, no way of being known, understood, loved, married by any rich and distinguished man; so she let herself be married to a little clerk of the Ministry of Public Instruction.
dowry = money or property given by a woman's family to the husband at marriage
DefinitionGenerally dowry means:
in some societies, money or property given by a woman's family to the husband at marriage

or less formally: money or property a bride brings to a marriage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
dwell
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a modest dwelling
She was distressed at the poverty of her dwelling, at the bareness of the walls, at the shabby chairs, the ugliness of the curtains.
dwelling = a house or shelter in which someone lives
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
hierarchy
1 use
Natural ingenuity, instinct for what is elegant, a supple mind are their sole hierarchy, and often make of women of the people the equals of the very greatest ladies.
hierarchy = (basis of) ranking — typically by importance
DefinitionGenerally hierarchy means:
a ranking — typically by importance; or something with such a ranking — such as an organization of people
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
humiliate
1 use
No; there's nothing more humiliating than to look poor among other women who are rich.
humiliating = extremely embarrassing (decreasing dignity, self-respect, or pride)
DefinitionGenerally humiliate means:
extremely embarrass (decrease dignity, self-respect, or pride — especially in front of others)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
impoverish
1 use
She had become the woman of impoverished households—strong and hard and rough.
impoverished = made poor
DefinitionGenerally impoverish means:
make someone poorer; or make something less valuable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
ingenuity
1 use
Natural ingenuity, instinct for what is elegant, a supple mind are their sole hierarchy, and often make of women of the people the equals of the very greatest ladies.
ingenuity = ability to solve problems in smart creative ways
DefinitionGenerally ingenuity means:
the ability to solve problems in smart creative ways
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
odious
1 use
She came to know what heavy housework meant and the odious cares of the kitchen.
odious = extremely unpleasant, disgusting, dislikable, or worthy of hate
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
perceive
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
though blind, can perceive light
But one Sunday, having gone to take a walk in the Champs Elysees to refresh herself after the labors of the week, she suddenly perceived a woman who was leading a child.
perceived = saw (became aware of)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perceive means:
to become aware of — especially by using the senses (to see, hear, smell, feel, or taste)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
reflect
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
I want to reflect on it.
She reflected several seconds, making her calculations and wondering also what sum she could ask without drawing on herself an immediate refusal and a frightened exclamation from the economical clerk.
reflected = thought carefully
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reflect means:
think carefully — possibly aloud or in writing
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
resume
1 use
He resumed: "Come, let us see, Mathilde."
resumed = began again
DefinitionGenerally resume means:
begin or take on again
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
ruinous
1 use
He gave notes, took up ruinous obligations, dealt with usurers and all the race of lenders.
ruinous = catastrophic or extremely harmful (in this case, taking loans that are very hard to repay)
DefinitionGenerally ruinous means:
catastrophic or extremely harmful; or badly damaged or decayed (like ancient ruins)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
tapestry
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
the tapestry hangs in the museum
...she thought of dainty dinners, of shining silverware, of tapestry that peopled the walls with ancient personages and with strange birds flying in the midst of a fairy forest;
tapestry = a heavy fabric with a woven picture that is hung on a wall for display
DefinitionGenerally this sense of tapestry means:
rug-like artwork — often hung on a wall for display
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
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