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Atonement

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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adapt   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
adapted to the new rules
It was the time of adapting to unthinking obedience, of learning to carry bedpans in a stack, and remembering a fundamental rule: never walk up a ward without bringing something back.†
adapting = changing to fit a different situation
DefinitionGenerally this sense of adapt means:
changed to fit a different situation; or made suitable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
especially well adapted for
He discovered he was already well adapted to an army regime, to the terrors of kit inspection and the folding of blankets into precise squares, with the labels lined up.†
well adapted = well suited
DefinitionGenerally this sense of adapted means:
to be especially well suited or appropriate for something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
attribute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I attribute it to...
She was to concede that she may have attributed more deliberation than was feasible to her thirteen-year-old self.†
attributed = credited (pointed to a source for something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something)
in two typical senses:
  • "I attribute it to her work." — to say who or what made something happen
  • "Remember to attribute any quotations in your paper." — indicate the source of a quotation or idea
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
context
2 uses
The context helped, but more than that, the word was at one with its meaning, and was almost onomatopoeic.†
context = the setting or situation in which something occurs
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
contrast
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
contrast their writing styles
She, by contrast, was leaning into his side, nestling her head on his shoulder and holding on to his shirt at the elbow awkwardly with both hands.†
by contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
convention
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
conventional behavior
His opener was conventionally dull.†
conventionally = something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
converge
8 uses
It had baked all afternoon on a table by a south-facing window in the library, and now three fine meandering lines in the glaze, converging like rivers in an atlas, were all that showed.†
converging = coming together
DefinitionGenerally converge means:
to come together; or to be adjacent or similar
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
dilatory
1 use
Thank you for sending us Two Figures by a Fountain, and please accept our apologies for this dilatory response.
dilatory = tardy (late or slow)
DefinitionGenerally dilatory means:
slow; or causing or tending to delay things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
dispose
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
disposed the troops along...
Turner put himself at the disposal of the RAMC captain and helped on the stretcher parties bringing in the wounded.†
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.)
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 2
Web Links
elaborate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
elaborate on your plan
Robbie elaborated upon his circumstances, then ended by asking politely about the parents of the other fellow.†
elaborated = added details or explained 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 1
Web Links
exhalation
1 use
She had not yet woken him and his soft, whistling exhalations blended with winter birdsong that came from somewhere beyond the lawn.
exhalations = the act of breathing air out of the lungs; or the air breathed out
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
grave
2 uses
From behind the desk a grave-faced girl in a business suit gave me my key and told me that the old library had been booked for the exclusive use of our party.†
grave = serious and solemn
DefinitionGenerally this sense of grave means:
serious and/or solemn
The exact meaning of this sense of grave can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad or solemn
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — in a sincere and serious manner
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
illustrate
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
an illustrated children's book
With the help of a dictionary, Robbie had read five pages in a morning and then given up and made do with the illustrations instead.†
illustrations = drawings or photographs

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tions", converts a verb into a plural noun that denotes results of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in actions, illustrations, and observations.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of illustrate means:
to draw pictures (or provide photographs) to accompany a book or other writing
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
irrelevant
5 uses
One could drown in irrelevance.†
irrelevance = the state or degree of not being relevant (not related to the subject being considered, or not important enough to want to consider)
DefinitionGenerally irrelevant means:
not relevant (not related to the subject being considered, or not important enough to want to consider)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
novel
1 use
The scene was novel, the spectators were an unusual element, but the dilemma was familiar enough: how to keep the peace and not humiliate her mother.†
novel = new and original
DefinitionGenerally this sense of novel means:
new and original — typically something considered good
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
precede
5 uses
As on the preceding afternoon, the trouble lay in assembling the cast.†
preceding = prior (in time or space)
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
relevant
4 uses
The contending elements—the fact of his death, his relevance to the case—confused Briony and she struggled with her memory.†
relevance = importance (meaningful relation to the issue in question)
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 3
Web Links
revise
5 uses
That notion was due for revision.†
revision = a change; or a changed version

(editor's note:  The suffix "-sion", 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 admission from admit, discussion from discuss, and invasion from invade.)
DefinitionGenerally revise means:
to change (and hopefully improve) — most frequently to improve a written document, but it can be any intentional change such as a change in an estimated amount, a plan, or a series of procedures
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
tranquil
9 uses
His expression was of tranquil incomprehension.†
tranquil = calm and undisturbed
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
yield
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
yield to pressure
It cracked loudly as it yielded to her unblemished incisors, and there was revealed the white edge of the sugar shell, and the dark chocolate beneath it.†
yielded = gave in, gave way, or gave up
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to give in, give way, or give up
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 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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