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A Sound of Thunder

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
annihilate
1 use
With a stamp of your foot, you annihilate first one, then a dozen, then a thousand, a million, a billion possible mice!†
annihilate = to completely destroy or defeat
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
bacteria
2 uses
We wear these oxygen helmets so we can't introduce our bacteria into an ancient atmosphere.†
bacteria = microorganisms (living creatures so small it takes a microscope to see them)
DefinitionGenerally bacteria means:
microorganisms (living creatures so small it takes a microscope to see them) that can both cause disease and be beneficial. They are different and larger than viruses.
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
bisect
1 use
Up ahead, We'll bisect his trail in sixty seconds.†
bisect = cut in half or cut in two
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
chaos
1 use
For want of a lion, all manner of insects, vultures, infinite billions of life forms are thrown into chaos and destruction.†
chaos = a state of extreme confusion and disorder
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library26 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
embedded
1 use
Embedded in the mud, glistening green and gold and black, was a butterfly, very beautiful and very dead.†
embedded = firmly within; or placed firmly within
DefinitionGenerally embedded means:
firmly within
in various senses, including:
  • firmly stuck into — as a thorn into a finger
  • enclosed within — as a fossil within a rock
  • implanted as a part — sometimes specifically of a reporter living with a military unit
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
Hitler
1 use
Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler-none of them exists.†
Hitler = German Nazi dictator during World War II who murdered millions of Jews and others who were not of the Aryan race
DefinitionGenerally this sense of Hitler means:
German Nazi dictator during World War II; murdered millions of Jews and others who were not of the Aryan race (1889-1945)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
indicate
1 use
He indicated a metal path that struck off into green wilderness, over streaming swamp, among giant ferns and palms.†
indicated = showed
DefinitionGenerally indicate means:
to show (point out, demonstrate, express, or suggest)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library40 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
Web Links
infinite
1 use
For want of a lion, all manner of insects, vultures, infinite billions of life forms are thrown into chaos and destruction.†
infinite = unlimited; without boundaries; or too numerous to count
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
primeval
1 use
Eckels turned slowly to regard the primeval garbage dump, that hill of nightmares and terror.
primeval = ancient
DefinitionGenerally primeval means:
ancient (of or from a long time ago); or having existed from ancient times
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
proportion
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
respond in proportion
A little error here would multiply in sixty million years, all out of proportion.†
out of proportion = not appropriate in size, amount, or degree
DefinitionGenerally this sense of proportion means:
appropriate in size, amount, or degree
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
Queen Elizabeth
1 use
Queen Elizabeth might never be born, Washington might not cross the Delaware, there might never be a United States at all.†
Queen Elizabeth = queen of England and Ireland from 1558 to 1603; daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn; succeeded Mary I (who was a Catholic) and restored Protestantism to England; during her reign Mary Queen of Scots was executed and the Spanish Armada was defeated (1533-1603)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
resilient
1 use
It came on great oiled, resilient, striding legs.†
resilient = able to withstand strain and/or quickly recover from it
DefinitionGenerally resilient means:
able to withstand strain and/or quickly recover from it — such as a person retaining a positive attitude, or a material returning to its shape after being bent, stretched, or pressed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
revoke
1 use
They might revoke our license to travel.
revoke = cancel (take back)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of revoke means:
to void, cancel, or take back — especially to do so in an official manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
species
1 use
Not knowing it, we might kill an important animal, a small bird, a roach, a flower even, thus destroying an important link in a growing species.†
species = a similar group of animals or plants
DefinitionGenerally species means:
a group of animals or plants that are similar — typically identified as a group because they can procreate together (reproduce new members of the group)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
stagnate
1 use
They gazed back at the ruined Monster, the stagnating mound, where already strange reptilian birds and golden insects were busy at the steaming armor.†
stagnating = staying still or not developing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
subliminal
1 use
Eckels stood smelling of the air, and there was a thing to the air, a chemical taint so subtle, so slight, that only a faint cry of his subliminal senses warned him it was there.
subliminal = in a manner not recognized by the conscious mind, but still of influence
DefinitionGenerally subliminal means:
not recognized by the conscious mind, but still of influence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
taint
1 use
Eckels stood smelling of the air, and there was a thing to the air, a chemical taint so subtle, so slight, that only a faint cry of his subliminal senses warned him it was there.
taint = contamination spoiling the air
DefinitionGenerally taint means:
to spoil something so it is not desirable — as when bacteria contaminates a food; or as when a rumor makes people distrust a person
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
talon
1 use
It ran, its pelvic bones crushing aside trees and bushes, its taloned feet clawing damp earth, leaving prints six inches deep wherever it settled its weight.†
taloned = a sharp hooked claw — especially on a bird of prey
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
temperament
1 use
A dead mouse here makes an insect imbalance there, a population disproportion later, a bad harvest further on, a depression, mass starvation, and finally, a change in social temperament in far-flung countries.
temperament = usual mood and tendencies
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
wary
1 use
It moved into a sunlit area warily, its beautifully reptilian hands feeling the air.†
warily = in a nervous or distrustful manner
DefinitionGenerally wary means:
nervous about (or distrustful of) someone or something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library22 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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