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A Horseman in the Sky

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
apparent
2 uses
At a distance of a quarter-mile before him, but apparently at a stone's throw, rose from its fringe of pines the gigantic face of rock, towering to so great a height above him that it made him giddy to look up to where its edge cut a sharp, rugged line against the sky.†
apparently = obviously or clearly; or seemingly so (appearing clear or obvious—though not necessarily so)
DefinitionGenerally apparent means:
clear or obvious; or appearing as such but not necessarily so
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library66 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
apprise
1 use
In case of failure, their position would be perilous in the extreme; and fail they surely would, should accident or vigilance apprise the enemy of the movement.†
apprise = inform
DefinitionGenerally apprise means:
inform (somebody) of something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
commemorate
1 use
For an instant Druse had a strange, half-defined feeling that he had slept to the end of the war and was looking upon a noble work of art reared upon that commanding eminence to commemorate the deeds of an heroic past of which he had been an inglorious part.
commemorate = mark by some ceremony or observation
DefinitionGenerally commemorate means:
mark by some ceremony or observation — especially the memory of something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
commend
1 use
By conscience and courage, by deeds of devotion and daring, he soon commended himself to his fellows and his officers; and it was to these qualities and to some knowledge of the country that he owed his selection for his present perilous duty at the extreme outpost.†
commended = praised or recommended
DefinitionGenerally commend means:
praise or recommend
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
compassion
1 use
At that instant the horseman turned his head and looked in the direction of his concealed foeman—seemed to look into his very face, into his eyes, into his brave, compassionate heart.†
compassionate = feeling or showing sympathy for another's suffering
DefinitionGenerally compassion means:
sympathy for another's suffering and wanting to help
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
conscience
2 uses
It was not for long; in another moment his face was raised from earth, his hands resumed their places on the rifle, his forefinger sought the trigger; mind, heart and eyes were clear, conscience and reason sound.†
conscience = feeling or appraisal of having personally behaved in a morally right or wrong manner
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
cultivate
1 use
He was the son of wealthy parents, an only child, and had known such ease and cultivation and high living as wealth and taste were able to command in the mountain country of Western Virginia.†
cultivation = development, growth, or preparation for growing crops

(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 cultivate means:
enhance growth or development
in various senses, including:
  • to grow crops or prepare land for them
  • enhance a relationship — especially for a purpose
  • develop discernment (better recognition of differences) in taste or judgment
  • to grow a culture in a petri dish
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
eminent
1 use
For an instant Druse had a strange, half-defined feeling that he had slept to the end of the war and was looking upon a noble work of art reared upon that commanding eminence to commemorate the deeds of an heroic past of which he had been an inglorious part.†
eminence = standing above others in attainment or reputation
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
fleeting
1 use
In the fleeting instant of his vision his imagination had been so wrought upon by the apparent grace and ease and intention of the marvelous performance that it did not occur to him that the line of march of aerial cavalry is directly downward, and that he could find the objects of his search at the very foot of the cliff.†
fleeting = lasting a short time
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
formidable
2 uses
Magnified by its lift against the sky and by the soldier's testifying sense of the formidableness of a near enemy, the group appeared of heroic, almost colossal, size.†
formidableness = intimidation or impressiveness

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
DefinitionGenerally formidable means:
intimidating or impressive — arousing fear or admiration due to impressiveness or challenge
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
grave
1 use
One morning he had risen from the breakfast table and said, quietly but gravely: "Father, a Union regiment has arrived at Grafton.†
gravely = in a serious and solemn manner
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
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
languid
1 use
Without a movement, without a sound, in the profound silence and the languor of the late afternoon, some invisible messenger of fate touched with unsealing finger the eyes of his consciousness—whispered into the ear of his spirit the mysterious awakening word which no human lips ever have spoken, no human memory ever has recalled.†
languor = lacking energy or relaxed or moving slowly
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
nevertheless
1 use
Nevertheless, fatigue had been stronger than resolution, and he had fallen asleep.†
nevertheless = in spite of that (used to connect contrasting ideas)
DefinitionGenerally nevertheless means:
in spite of that (Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
resume
2 uses
It was not for long; in another moment his face was raised from earth, his hands resumed their places on the rifle, his forefinger sought the trigger; mind, heart and eyes were clear, conscience and reason sound.†
resumed = began again
DefinitionGenerally resume means:
begin or take on again
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
sinuous
1 use
He saw creeping across the green meadow a sinuous line of figures of men and horses—some foolish commander was permitting the soldiers of his escort to water their beasts in the open, in plain view from a hundred summits!†
sinuous = curving in and out
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
testify
1 use
Magnified by its lift against the sky and by the soldier's testifying sense of the formidableness of a near enemy, the group appeared of heroic, almost colossal, size.†
testifying = providing evidence of something — especially oral evidence in court
DefinitionGenerally testify means:
provide evidence of something — especially to say something under oath in a court of law
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
tranquil
1 use
His teeth were firmly but not rigidly closed; his nerves were as tranquil as a sleeping babe's—not a tremor affected any muscle of his body; his breathing, until suspended in the act of taking aim, was regular and slow.†
tranquil = calm and undisturbed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
translucent
1 use
It may well be that his fixity of attention—-Druse turned his head and looked through the deeps of air downward as from the surface of the bottom of a translucent sea.†
translucent = almost transparent; allowing light to pass through diffusely
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
vertical
1 use
At some distance away to his right it presented a clean, vertical profile against a background of blue sky to a point half the way down, and of distant hills hardly less blue, thence to the tops of the trees at its base.†
vertical = oriented straight up and down (90 degrees relative to the floor)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
vigilant
1 use
In case of failure, their position would be perilous in the extreme; and fail they surely would, should accident or vigilance apprise the enemy of the movement.†
vigilance = careful watch
DefinitionGenerally vigilant means:
carefully observant or attentive — often to possible danger
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
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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