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A Piece of String

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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accomplice
1 use
They accused him of having had the pocketbook brought back by an accomplice, by a confederate.†
accomplice = person who assisted
DefinitionGenerally accomplice means:
a person who joins with another in carrying out a plan — especially an unethical or illegal plan
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
adorn
1 use
These women walked more quickly and energetically than the men, with their erect, dried-up figures, adorned with scanty little shawls pinned over their flat bosoms, and their heads wrapped round with a white cloth, enclosing the hair and surmounted by a cap.†
adorned = decorated
DefinitionGenerally adorn means:
to decorate — especially a person
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
agony
1 use
He passed away early in January, and, in the ravings of death agony, he protested his innocence, repeating: "A little bit of string—a little bit of string.†
agony = intense suffering
DefinitionGenerally agony means:
intense feelings of suffering — can be from mental or physical pain
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
attest
1 use
The peasant, furious, raised his hand and spat on the ground beside him as if to attest his good faith, repeating: "For all that, it is God's truth, M'sieu le Maire.†
attest = to provide evidence or verbally confirm that something is true
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
continuous
1 use
And the sharp, shrill, barking voices made a continuous, wild din, while above it occasionally rose a huge burst of laughter from the sturdy lungs of a merry peasant or a prolonged bellow from a cow tied fast to the wall of a house.†
continuous = continuing in time or space without interruption or irregularity
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
delectable
1 use
Three spits were turning, loaded with chickens, with pigeons and with joints of mutton, and a delectable odor of roast meat and of gravy flowing ever crisp brown skin arose from the hearth, kindled merriment, caused mouths to water.†
delectable = extremely pleasing — especially to the sense of taste or to the eye
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
grave
1 use
He was the notary of the place, a tall, grave man of pompous speech.†
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
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
impassive
1 use
They listened to propositions, maintaining their prices in a decided manner with an impassive face or perhaps deciding to accept the smaller price offered, suddenly calling out to the customer who was starting to go away: "All right, I'll let you have them, Maît' Anthime."†
impassive = having or revealing little emotion — especially under circumstances others would find exciting
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
incredulous
1 use
But the mayor incredulously shook his head: "You will not make me believe, Maitre Hauchecorne, that M. Malandain, who is a man whose word can be relied on, has mistaken this string for a pocketbook."†
incredulously = with disbelief; or with difficulty accepting something so unexpected
DefinitionGenerally incredulous means:
unbelieving; or having difficulty accepting something so unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
indifferent
1 use
Every one, except some of the most indifferent, was on their feet at once and ran to the door, to the windows, their mouths full and napkins in their hand.†
indifferent = without interest
DefinitionGenerally indifferent means:
without interest
in various senses, including:
  • unconcerned — as in "She is indifferent to what is served to eat."
  • unsympathetic — as in "She is indifferent to his needs."
  • not of good quality (which may imply average or poor quality depending upon context) — as in "an indifferent performance"
  • impartial — as in "We need a judge who is indifferent."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
indignant
3 uses
The good man was choking with indignation and fear.†
indignation = anger or annoyance at something unjust or wrong

(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 indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
inhabitant
1 use
When the public crier had finished his tattoo he called forth in a jerky voice, pausing in the wrong places: "Be it known to the inhabitants of Goderville and in general to all persons present at the market that there has been lost this morning on the Beuzeville road, between nine and ten o'clock, a black leather pocketbook containing five hundred francs and business papers.†
inhabitants = people (who live in a particular place)
DefinitionGenerally inhabitant means:
a person who lives in a particular place
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
innumerable
1 use
...the vast court was filled with vehicles of every sort—wagons, gigs, chars-à-bancs, tilburies, innumerable vehicles which have no name, yellow with mud, misshapen, pieced together, raising their shafts to heaven like two arms, or it may be with their nose, on the ground and their rear in the air.
innumerable = too numerous to be counted
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
malicious
1 use
They had once had a quarrel about a halter, and they had borne each other malice ever since.†
malice = the desire to hurt others or see them suffer
DefinitionGenerally malicious means:
wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
peasant
5 uses
It was market-day, and from all the country round Goderville the peasants and their wives were coming toward the town.†
peasants = used historically or possibly in relation to a very poor country:  people of low income, education, and social standing — especially those who raise crops or livestock
DefinitionGenerally peasant means:
used historically or possibly in relation to a very poor country:  a person of low income, education, and social standing — especially one who raises crops or livestock
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
perplex
1 use
At last the mayor, much perplexed, sent him away, warning him that he would inform the public prosecutor and ask for orders.†
perplexed = confused or puzzled
DefinitionGenerally perplex means:
to confuse
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
protrude
1 use
And just behind the animal followed their wives beating it over the back with a leaf-covered branch to hasten its pace, and carrying large baskets out of which protruded the heads of chickens or ducks.†
protruded = stuck out
DefinitionGenerally protrude means:
to stick out from
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
slander
1 use
How can they tell—how can they tell such lies as that to slander an honest man!†
slander = lie in such a way as to damage the reputation of another; or the lies told
DefinitionGenerally slander means:
lie to damage the reputation of another; or the lies told
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
testimony
1 use
He was confronted with M. Malandain, who repeated and sustained his testimony.†
testimony = something that serves as evidence — especially a statement at a trial or hearing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 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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