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The God of Small Things

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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accord   (3 meanings)
3 meanings, 15 uses
1  —13 uses as in:
according to, or in accord with
He said that according to the Labor Laws we had no grounds on which to dismiss him.
according to = based upon (in keeping with)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
in keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
This sense of accord is often seen in the form according to or accordingly where it can take on more specific meanings. For example:
  • "According to Kim, ..." — as stated by
  • "To each according to her ability." — based upon
  • "Points are scored according to how well they perform." — depending upon
  • "The dose is calculated according to body weight." — in proportion to
  • "We got a flat tire. Accordingly, I pulled to the side of the road." — because of what was just said; or as a result
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
done of her own accord
On bad days the orange walls held hands and bent over him, inspecting him like malevolent doctors, slowly, deliberately, squeezing the breath out of him and making him scream. Sometimes they receded of their own accord, and the room he lay in grew impossibly large, terrorizing him with the specter of his own insignificance.
own accord = own mind (as though walls moved of their own free will)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
mind
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
3  —1 use as in:
accord her the respect deserved
Estha and Rahel accorded the second third and the third third of the Meenachal the deference it deserved.
accorded = gave special treatment to
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
to give someone special treatment — especially respect
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10
Web Links
arbitrary
2 uses
It seemed unnecessarily cruel to make an old man wear a cap sideways like that and arbitrarily re-order the way in which age chose to hang from his chin.
arbitrarily = in a manner based on chance or impulse
DefinitionGenerally arbitrary means:
based on chance or impulse (rather than upon reasoning, consistent rules, or a proper sense of fairness)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 4
Web Links
depravity
2 uses
At Assembly the next morning she was made to look up depravity in the Oxford Dictionary and read aloud its meaning.
depravity = complete immorality or evilness
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
deride
2 uses
His children deride him.
deride = laugh at or made fun of
DefinitionGenerally deride means:
to criticize with strong disrespect — often
with humor
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she felt despair
He didn't know that in some places, like the country that Rahel came from, various kinds of despair competed for primacy. ...personal turmoil dropped by at the wayside shrine of the vast ... turmoil of a nation. That Big God howled like a hot wind... Then Small God... Inured by the confirmation of his own inconsequence ... laughed a hollow laugh, and skipped away cheerfully.
despair = distress (at inability to fix a bad situation)

(editor's notes:  We chose a sample with a lot of vocabulary because it describes an important theme of the book: Even when big things are hopeless, small things may be enjoyed. Vocabulary help: Inured means "so accustomed to something unpleasant, that it is no longer troubling."  Inconsequence is a synonym for unimportance.)
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 1
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discord amongst the group
Over the next two years the political discord, fueled by the Congress Party and the Church, slid into anarchy.
discord = conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
conflict or disagreement — especially among those expected to cooperate

or (especially in the form discordant):

seeming different  or wrong along with everything else
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
disdain
3 uses
An hour after the lights went out, disdaining Mammachi's frightened pleading, little Ammu crept back into the house through a ventilator to rescue her new gumboots that she loved more than anything else.
disdaining = rejecting as not good enough (showing a lack of respect for Mammachi's pleading)
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 21
Web Links
distend
2 uses
Her earlobes had been distended into weighted loops that swung around her neck, her earrings sitting in them like gleeful children in a merry-go-(not all the way)-round.
distended = extended
DefinitionGenerally distend means:
to extend — especially the swelling outward of a part of the body; e.g., the stomach
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8
Web Links
elated
5 uses
So Small God laughed a hollow laugh, and skipped away cheerfully. ... The source of his brittle elation was the relative smallness of his misfortune.
elation = intense feeling of happiness and excitement

(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 elated means:
full of happiness and excitement
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
lucid
2 uses
...something had been written in a child's handwriting. The labored form of each letter and the irregular space between words was full of the struggle for control over the errant, self-willed pencil. The sentiment, in contrast, was lucid:
lucid = clearly expressed so it is easily understood
DefinitionGenerally lucid means:
of a person:  capable of thinking clearly

or:

of language:  clearly expressed so it is easily understood
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14
Web Links
luminous
8 uses
She had a delicate, chiseled face, black eyebrows angled like a soaring seagull's wings, a small straight nose and luminous, nutbrown skin.
luminous = glowing or shining

(also used metaphorically to describe beauty or intelligence)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
Marxism
23 uses
A heady mix of Eastern Marxism and orthodox Hinduism, spiked with a shot of democracy.
Marxism = the economic and political theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that hold that human actions and institutions are economically determined and that class struggle is needed to create historical change and that capitalism will ultimately be replaced by communism
DefinitionGenerally Marxism means:
belief in the economic and political theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that hold that human actions and institutions are economically determined and that class struggle is needed to create historical change and that capitalism will ultimately be replaced by communism
Word Statistics
Book23 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1
Web Links
minute
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
minute size
At the minute spider who lived in a crack in the wall of the back verandah of the History House and camouflaged himself by covering his body with bits of rubbish—a sliver of wasp wing.†
minute = small
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minute means:
small, exceptionally small, or insignificant
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
prudent
2 uses
Inspector Thomas Mathew was a prudent man.
prudent = sensible and careful
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
refute
1 use
Nor, though he knew it to be untrue, did Comrade Pillai refute the allegation of attempted rape in Baby Kochamma's First Information Report.
refute = argue against
DefinitionGenerally refute means:
to disprove or argue against
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 13
Web Links
relevant
2 uses
At first he had wanted to call it Zeus Pickles & Preserves, but that idea was vetoed because everybody said that Zeus was too obscure and had no local relevance, whereas Paradise did.
relevance = importance (meaningful relation to the issue in question)

(editor's note:  In this context, obscure is a synonym for unknown.)
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
resignation   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
submitted her resignation
"I'm afraid I have no option," he said, "but to ask for your resignation."
resignation = to quit a job; or a document expressing that someone is quitting a job
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
to quit — especially a job or position; or a document expressing such an act
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
accepted it with resignation
Mother Bear suffered those beatings with mute resignation.
resignation = acceptance of something undesired as unavoidable
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resignation means:
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 8
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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