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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
alternative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an alternative plan
Then, she took me down to the import section and told me about "real" alternative music.
alternative = non-standard (in this case referring to a style of music different than standard rock)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of alternative means:
something available as another possibility
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 3
Web Links
articulate
1 use
She kept saying it was an "articulate" film. ... The thing is, I didn't know what it said even if it said it very well.
articulate = clearly expressed a message (or messages)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of articulate means:
the act of or ability of clearly expressing with words; or to clearly express with words
The exact meaning of this sense of articulate depends upon its context. For example:
  • "She is articulate and persuasive." — well-spoken (expresses her ideas clearly)
  • "She articulated what everyone was thinking." — said aloud
  • "After the stroke, she had to learn to articulate her consonants." — speak distinctly (so each word can be understood)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 3
Web Links
auspicious
1 use
[regarding his laughing so much as a child] It seems like a rather "auspicious" beginning.
auspicious = favorable; or suggestive of good things to come
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
bias
2 uses
And maybe I'm biased, but when my sister quoted a pop song and talked about the future, it seemed great.
biased = showing favoritism (under the influence of a personal preference that prevents being objective)
DefinitionGenerally bias means:
a personal preference — especially a prejudice that prevents objective consideration

or:

any tendency to move in a particular direction — such as a car that tends to want to swerve toward the right
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 4
Web Links
context
1 use
Nobody can be as big as the Beatles because the Beatles already gave it a "context."  The reason they were so big is that they had no one to compare themselves with, so the sky was the limit. Sam added that nowadays a band or someone would compare themselves to the Beatles after the second album, and their own personal voice would be less from that moment on.
context = an historical situation (in this case, to which things since it are compared)
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 usePart 3
Web Links
convention
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
conventional behavior
I asked my brother if Kelly was unconventionally beautiful.
"No, she's hot beautiful."
unconventionally = in an unusual way

(editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unconventionally means not and reverses the meaning of conventionally. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 2
Web Links
corpulent
3 uses
The nice thing was my Aunt Helen was never on a diet. And my Aunt Helen was "corpulent."
corpulent = excessively fat
DefinitionGenerally corpulent means:
with excessive body fat
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
flaunt
2 uses
All night, he kept yelling, "Flaunt it, baby!"
flaunt it = show it off
DefinitionGenerally flaunt means:
the act of showing off (displaying something in an obvious way for others to admire or envy)

or:

openly defiant of rules or expectations
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
idealism
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
youthful idealism
Anyway, they have this discussion, and the kid is an idealist in a temporary way.
idealist = someone who believes behavior should be guided by high ideals or standards
DefinitionGenerally this sense of idealism means:
the belief that behavior should be guided by high ideals or standards and often that good things will result — sometimes used to imply that such beliefs are unrealistic
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
initiate
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
initiate into the fraternity
I think this is the initiation for new cast members.
initiation = ceremony (to accept new members)

(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 initiate means:
to accept someone's membership into an organization — typically in a ceremony — sometimes including a period of instruction and/or test
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 3
Web Links
literally
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
literally--not figuratively
From the time we got into the car to the time we came home, my mom literally did not stop talking.
literally = what follows is actually true — not an exaggeration
DefinitionGenerally this sense of literally means:
actually true using the basic meaning of the words (not an exaggeration, metaphor, or other type of figurative speech)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
nostalgia
3 uses
They spent the rest of the afternoon playing old video games like Donkey Kong and feeling nostalgic, which as a general statement, I found sad and sweet.
nostalgic = with a 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
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 4
Web Links
perspective   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
Look at it from her perspective
Maybe it's good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there.†
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
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useEpil.
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
Keep it in perspective
Just like what my sister said when I had been in the hospital for a while. She said that she was really worried about going to college, and considering what I was going through, she felt really dumb about it. And really, I don't think I have it any better or worse than she does. I don't know. It's just different. Maybe it's good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there.
perspective = a sensible view

(editor's note:  This editor thinks Charlie is saying that sometimes you can't properly understand a person's feelings unless you've been in their shoes.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of perspective means:
a sensible view of a situation that considers its different parts in a balanced way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useEpil.
Web Links
perversion
3 uses
I opened the door to the basement, and my sister and this boy were naked. ... And she screamed at me in a whisper. "Get out. You pervert."
pervert = someone who likes sexual practices considered unacceptable by society

(editor's note:  In this case, Charlie's sister is accusing him of intentionally invading the privacy of she and her boyfriend.)
DefinitionGenerally perversion means:
the conversion of something so it is not what it should be — especially a sexual practice considered unacceptable by society
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
rebuttal
1 use
"YES!" was Patrick's rebuttal.
rebuttal = argument in opposition
DefinitionGenerally rebuttal means:
a statement arguing against something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 4
Web Links
sequel
1 use
They fight all the time, so I figured that the movie was at least something different, which it wasn't because it was a sequel.
sequel = something that follows and continues something else — especially a film or book

or more rarely:  something that follows as a result of something else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
sober   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
Talk to me when your sober.
I mentioned the titles because they were as great when I listened to them sober.
sober = not under the influence of alcohol
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
I need to sober up.
After we sobered up a bit with coffee and Mini Thins, Patrick drove me home.
sobered up = became less drunk
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sober up means:
to become less drunk
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 4
Web Links
theme
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
theme of the novel
He is always making mix tapes for my sister with very specific themes. One was called "Autumn Leaves."
themes = an idea that is unifying or recurrent
DefinitionGenerally this sense of theme means:
a basic idea that underlies what is being said or done — especially in a literary or artistic work
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st usePart 1
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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