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Forged by Fire

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acknowledge
1 use
He did not acknowledge Aunt Queen, nor did he thank her for the meal.
acknowledge = recognize publically (in this case, act as if he noticed she were there)
DefinitionGenerally acknowledge means:
express recognition of someone or something; or admit something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library29 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
agitate
1 use
Monique was the one who looked agitated—and overdressed.
agitated = not calm
DefinitionGenerally agitate means:
to stir up or shake — emotionally (as when people are angered or upset) or physically (as when a washing machine cleans clothes)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
appropriate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
it is appropriate
Monique knew about it, but was so afraid of Jordan that she'd accepted it as appropriate discipline.
appropriate = suitable (fitting) for the situation
DefinitionGenerally this sense of appropriate means:
suitable (fitting) for a particular situation
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
assert
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
asserted her authority
"Who you callin' punk?" B. J. had asserted without fear.
asserted = forcefully exercised rights
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assert means:
to be forceful in exercising influence or rights
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 15
Web Links
condolence
1 use
Please accept my condolences.
condolences = an expression of sympathy to another who is in sorrow
DefinitionGenerally condolence means:
an expression of sympathy to another who is in sorrow — typically in grief over a death in the family
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7
Web Links
desolate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
felt desolate
The flames, the fear, the feeling of utter desolation were too much for him to handle.
desolation = a feeling of extreme sadness or misery—often with loneliness

(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 desolate means:
sad or miserable—and often lonely
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she felt despair
Gerald hung up in despair.
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
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
direct   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
He stayed in their room, ignoring Monique and her nonstop television, with the air conditioner turned up as high as it could get and blowing directly on him.†
directly = straight (in a straight line)
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
Book1 use
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
was direct in my instructions
Rob's dad never asked directly how things were with Gerald and Angel, but he called every few months, talking of school or baseball or the weather—letting Gerald know that he was around, just in case.†
directly = in a straightforward manner (open and uncomplicated)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
directed her question to
When she saw the blue thunder on Aunt Queen's face, the lady wasn't sure if it was directed toward her or toward the boy, so she backed off a little, saying with a smile, "I'm afraid his little go-cart is a total loss, however."†
directed = aimed
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 3
Web Links
indulge
1 use
She thrived on Christmas carols, delighted in decorations, and indulged in special treats and goodies.
indulged = enjoyed (having given into a desire that would not be good in excess)
DefinitionGenerally indulge means:
to give into a desire or enjoy something — especially in excess of what is thought good—such as a desire to eat too much cake, or be too lazy

or:

to allow or help someone to get their way or enjoy something — especially something that (probably because of excess) is not considered to be good or proper
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
negative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
had a negative effect
Especially if Jordan doesn't do anything to get a negative report from probation.†
negative = bad
DefinitionGenerally this sense of negative means:
bad or harmful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
plaintive
1 use
"Jordan, what should I do?" Monique asked plaintively.
plaintively = in a sad manner
DefinitionGenerally plaintive means:
expressing sadness — sometimes with a plea for help
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
purge
1 use
He wanted to beat something, to cry, to scream, but all he could do was listen to Angel as she threw up the way she used to, the only way she knew to purge the tension of Jordan's presence in the house.
purge = get rid of (things thought undesirable)
DefinitionGenerally purge means:
get rid of things thought undesirable
The exact meaning of purge can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "purge the government of our enemies" — get rid of people for political reasons
  • "purge my closet of everything I haven't worn in a year" — get rid of undesired things
  • "To purge yourself of crippling sorrow, you'll need to express it." — get rid of unwanted feelings
  • "I'm doing a 24-hour purge and then starting a new diet." — emptying the intestinal tract
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 16
Web Links
resignation
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
Aunt Queen's shoulders drooped a bit then, and she said with resignation, "But unfortunately, this ain't one of them."
resignation = 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 2
Web Links
salve
1 use
When she stopped, she had washed his hand with cool water and soothed him with warm hugs and wrapped with salve and bandages the place where the fire soldier had stabbed him.
salve = a cream or liquid put onto skin to make it feel better or heal
DefinitionGenerally salve means:
a cream or liquid put onto skin to make it feel better or heal

or:

anything that eases pain or anxiety; or the act of doing such
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
scorn
1 use
"Yeah, she probably even apologized for Christmas," said Gerald scornfully.
scornfully = in a disrespectful or rejecting manner
DefinitionGenerally scorn means:
disrespect or reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
sentinel
1 use
Sometimes the cart would be a tank, as he passed cautiously through rows of armed cling peaches and silent sentinels that looked like boxes of Frosted Flakes.
sentinels = a person who stands guard or looks out for something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
stifle
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
the heat is stifling
Even across the gym, it seemed she could smell his stifling cologne.
stifling = making breathing more difficult
DefinitionGenerally this sense of stifle means:
to make breathing difficult or impossible — often from heat or humidity
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17
Web Links
sullen
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a sullen mood
Angel was sullen and quiet;
sullen = showing a gloomy or bad mood
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sullen means:
being unhappy and withdrawn
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 18
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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