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All Over but the Shoutin'

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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aesthetic
1 use
The men of the church, who paid the bills for construction with money they couldn't really spare, did not care much for aesthetics, but they knew their Bible, particularly Matthew. Only a fool will build on sand, and since there was no solid rock, they built their own out of cement. I think Matthew was referring to character, not architecture, but...
aesthetics = concern for what is beautiful
DefinitionGenerally aesthetic means:
related to beauty or good taste — often referring to one's appreciation of beauty or one's sense of what is beautiful

or:

beautiful or tasteful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.9
Web Links
apathy
1 use
I have written mostly about people whose lives came and went on tides of whim, apathy and cruelty.
apathy = lack of interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePro.
Web Links
austere
1 use
He is not smiling. He stops at my desk and leans against it. I do not remember exactly what he said but it was something to the effect of, "I know we said we would try to get you some gentle editing, but . . ." and my heart froze.
  ". . . but we had to change the comma in your lead." And now he is smiling, and I know I have been had. I do not mind at all. I only hope he does not notice that my laughter is laced with something not too far from hysteria.
  This, I think, is the cold and austere New York Times?
austere = stern and without comfort
DefinitionGenerally austere means:
a notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration

or:

of a person:  stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.30
Web Links
avarice
1 use
The TV preachers peddled promises, and offered hope to people who had none. There would have been great good in that, I believe, if they had not followed every sermon with a request for a portion of their flock's old-age pensions. Instead, it was an odd mix of good and evil, and people like my momma understood their avarice but forgave it, because the words the men spoke were comfort to her and their preaching was first-rate.
avarice = excessive desire for wealth
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.9
Web Links
benevolent
1 use
God was a benevolent force.
benevolent = kind
DefinitionGenerally benevolent means:
kind, generous, or charitable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1.9
Web Links
cliché
8 uses
...and all his adult life he has lived life pretty much like he wanted. The price, from time to time, is jail, and every time he goes in my momma dies a little more inside. I know it is a cliché to say that, but...
cliché = an expression that lacks impact because it is heard so often
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
congregation
1 use
He tells his congregation that he is living proof that religion can save anyone.
congregation = people who worship together in the same building
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.15
Web Links
debase
1 use
If they would kill a priest, why would they not kill a peasant without a second thought, or torture them for sport, or debase them.
debase = degrade (in this case, decrease their human dignity)
DefinitionGenerally debase means:
to degrade (decrease) the purity, quality, or status of something — often morality or metals
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.33
Web Links
disdain
3 uses
It may even be that I saw the disdain in places where it didn't exist.
disdain = a lack of respect
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 1.2
Web Links
highlight
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
highlights of the year
The highlight of my time there, at least in the first few months, was the story of Mopsy the chicken.†
highlight = best part
DefinitionGenerally this sense of highlight means:
something that stands out
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.23
however   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
However much she tried...
All it took was an angry word or some insult, however slight, and the subtle differences in our characters vanished and you would have thought we were children of Beelzebub, unbound.†
however = regardless of how
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
to whatever degree (regardless of how much; or whatever unspecified amount)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.10
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
However you do it, get it done!
They did not see what they were doing as anything wrong; their daddies had been free to take game when they wanted, however they wanted.†
however = in whatever way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.23
Web Links
inclined   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
I'm inclined to
He did not want to make his living selling whiskey on a large scale... The men who made it by the trunkload were much more inclined to prison, and that would have left his family alone in the teeth of the Depression. So he made a few gallons, enough to bring out the dogs and the deputies now and again, but never the federal men.
inclined = tending (to end up in)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of inclined means:
a tendency, mood, desire, or attitude that favors something; or making someone favor something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
on an incline or incline his head
She drove to the lake and parked her car on the boat ramp's steep incline,
incline = angle (hill)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of incline means:
to be at an angle or to bend
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3.36
Web Links
objective
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an objective viewpoint
We are taught in this business to leave our emotions out of a story, to view things with pure and perfect objectivity, but that was impossible on this story.
objectivity = lack of bias (influence of personal feelings or preferences)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of objective means:
fact-based without the influence of personal feelings or preferences
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 2.23
Web Links
prone
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
prone to
I climbed trees and was prone to fall out of them.
prone = had a tendency (to do something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of prone means:
having a tendency (to do something)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
relevant
1 use
We had heard he was sick, but that information registered somewhere far below my second-hand motorcycle and my first real kiss in relevance and importance.
relevance = importance (meaningful relation to the issue in question) (in this case, his life)
DefinitionGenerally relevant means:
relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
revere
1 use
"Is that Bear Bryant?" he reverently asks.
reverently = with feelings of deep respect and admiration

(editor's note:  Bear Bryant was a highly successful football coach at the University of Alabama. At the time of his retirement in 1982, he had more wins than any other coach, 6 national championships, and 13 conference championships.)
DefinitionGenerally revere means:
regard with feelings of deep respect and admiration — sometimes with a mixture of wonder and awe or fear
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.17
Web Links
rigorous
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a rigorous math class
To hear him tell it, they were marble-lined palaces, an escape from the rigors of the newsroom.
rigors = difficulties (things that are difficult and demanding)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rigorous means:
difficult and demanding
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2.20
Web Links
serene
4 uses
I described the serenity of the park,
serenity = peaceful calmness
DefinitionGenerally serene means:
calm and untroubled
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePro.
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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