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The Lucky One

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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coalesce
1 use
He liked sleep, and he liked the way his thoughts seemed to coalesce while he was dreaming.
coalesce = come together
DefinitionGenerally coalesce means:
to merge or bring different things together
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 19
Web Links
contrite
2 uses
Clayton shuffled his feet, trying to look contrite.
contrite = sorry and full of regret for a fault or offense
DefinitionGenerally contrite means:
feeling sorrow or regret for a fault or offense
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 26
Web Links
direct   (5 meanings)
5 meanings, 16 uses
1  —1 use as in:
depart directly
Despite the rain, he stepped out of the car and headed directly for Thigh-bolt.†
directly = immediately
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
without delay, or in the quickest manner, or without going somewhere else first
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
2  —6 uses as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
He looked directly at her.†
directly = straight (exactly where stated; used for emphasis)
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
Book6 uses
Library62 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12
Web Links
3  —3 uses as in:
was direct in my instructions
Instead of answering directly, he reached for another handful of sand.†
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
Book3 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
4  —4 uses as in:
directed her question to
He directed cruise missiles with pinpoint accuracy, all geared toward the destruction of Clayton's life.†
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
Book4 uses
Library36 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9
Web Links
5  —2 uses as in:
directed the movie
I already told the music director I'd be visiting my sister, and she says there's no problem.†
director = supervisor (person in charge)

(editor's note:  The suffix "-or" often converts a verb to a noun that means "a person who."  This is the pattern you see in words like actor, editor, and visitor.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of direct means:
supervise, control, or to be in charge of
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library29 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
dominate
3 uses
She took a left at the major intersection, heading toward an older neighborhood, one dominated by Craftsman-style homes and large, spacious porches.
dominated = where the most noticeable thing is

Editor's notes:
  • This is a less common sense of dominated which usually means "to be most influential or powerful."
  • The expression "dominated by whatever" indicates that whatever is the most conspicuous or noticeable thing.
  • If architecture interests you, you might like to know that Craftsman-style homes are known for front porches that are under an extension of the main roof which is supported by square columns, and by handcrafted stone and/or woodwork. You can see pictures at Google images of Craftsman homes.
DefinitionGenerally dominate means:
to control; or to be most influential, powerful, abundant, important, or conspicuous
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 20
Web Links
elaborate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
elaborate on your plan
When he spoke, his voice was steady, like a professor elaborating on a subject he taught.
elaborating = explaining in detail
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elaborate means:
add details or explain in detail
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
an elaborate design
There was just something exciting about maintaining the pretense that nothing had changed between them; it gave the relationship an illicit feeling, almost like an affair. ... Every now and then while Beth and Logan were engaged in keeping up their elaborate facade, Nana would mutter something nonsensical like "camels in the Sahara" or "it's like hair and slippers."
elaborate = complicated
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elaborate means:
having details and complexity — sometimes fancy or ornate
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 18
Web Links
hippie
7 uses
He followed the sound toward the logging road and saw the stranger with a dog, walking slowly up the road, looking like some kind of hippie from the sixties.
hippie = member of the counterculture that first became prevalent in the early 1960's in San Francisco — associated with long hair, illegal drugs, casual sex, and opposition to violence.
DefinitionGenerally hippie means:
member of the counterculture that first became prevalent in the early 1960's in San Francisco — associated with long hair, illegal drugs, casual sex, and opposition to violence.
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
interpret
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
her interpretation of the data
He could see why she interpreted his actions as those of an obsessed madman.†
interpreted = understood (in a particular way)
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 29
Web Links
liberal arts
2 uses
Selective, challenging, with an emphasis on liberal arts.
liberal arts = studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills
DefinitionGenerally liberal arts means:
studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
negative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
had a negative effect
Gramps had a way of dwelling on the negative.†
negative = bad or harmful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
Web Links
passage
1 use
From her spot, she could see him read along with the Bible passages, take notes, and listen intently to everything the pastor said.†
passages = short parts of longer written works
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 23
Web Links
perspective
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
Look at it from her perspective
If you look at this from my perspective, this is what I see: an intelligent, charming, beautiful woman, not yet thirty, witty, and passionate.†
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
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
positive   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
Are you positive you didn't mess around with anyone else back then?†
positive = certain
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
certain (having no doubt; or used for emphasis)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a positive attitude
Power of positive thinking and all that.†
positive = optimistic (focusing on good things)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
optimistic (expecting or focusing good things); or agreeable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
reticent
3 uses
"Tell me in ten words or less," she suggested, sensing his reticence.
reticence = reluctance to speak freely
DefinitionGenerally reticent means:
reluctant — especially to speak freely
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
yield
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
will yield valuable data
His search yielded zippo, which only infuriated him further, since he realized that it meant Thigh-bolt had lied to his face and Clayton hadn't picked up on it.†
yielded = produced
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to produce (usually something wanted); or the thing or amount produced
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5
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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