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Seabiscuit by Hillenbrand

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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attribute
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
I attribute it to...
Falling into a severe depression attributed to his taking constant doses of purgatives to fight a weight problem he could not beat, he shot himself to death at age twenty-nine.
attributed = credited (pointed to as the cause of something)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something)
in two typical senses:
  • "I attribute it to her work." — to say who or what made something happen
  • "Remember to attribute any quotations in your paper." — indicate the source of a quotation or idea
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.9
Web Links
bequeath
1 use
Hastings passed both speed and malevolence down to his son Fair Play, who in turn bequeathed it to his incomparable son, Man o' War.
bequeathed = passed down
DefinitionGenerally bequeath means:
give or pass down — often upon death in a will
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
contrast   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
contrast their writing styles
In contrast, Strub's purse was staggering: $100,000, plus a few thousand dollars in entry revenue, to the winner.†
in contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
there is a contrast
The contrast between the two horses could not have been more glaring.†
contrast = notable difference
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
a difference — especially a notable difference; or the side-x-side arrangement of things that draws attention to an unmissable difference
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.14
Web Links
convention
4 uses
1  —4 uses as in:
conventional behavior
But Smith was a radical departure from conventional trainers.†
conventional = normal or typical
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
cultivate
8 uses
He also lived out a fantasy that he had probably cultivated since childhood.†
cultivated = developed, grown, or prepared for growing crops
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
Book8 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.18
Web Links
deemed
5 uses
Seabiscuit had been a very late foal, born at the end of May 1933, but in January 1935, half a year short of his actual birthday, he was deemed a two-year-old, officially eligible to race.
deemed = believed or judged
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
despair
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
do not despair
Finally back in his stirrups and straightened out, Woolf despaired over his position.†
despaired = lost hope
DefinitionGenerally this sense of despair means:
to lose hope
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.12
Web Links
diabetes
9 uses
Diabetes has never been easy to live with.†
diabetes = any of several metabolic disorders characterized by abnormally high glucose levels in the blood and marked by excessive urination and persistent thirst
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
dispute
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
She disputes his claim.
The other would come home the undisputed champion of American racing.†
undisputed = not challenged, argued about, or fought over

(Editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in undisputed means not and reverses the meaning of disputed. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
challenge, argue about, or fight over
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 6 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
As the weekday wonder and the money man, Pollard and Woolf established themselves in the uppermost tier of North American racing.†
established = set (caused acceptance of)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.17
Web Links
2  —3 uses as in:
establish that there is a need
Fitzsimmons soon established himself as the most successful conditioner of Thoroughbreds in the nation.†
established = proved
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
malevolent
1 use
Hastings passed both speed and malevolence down to his son Fair Play, who in turn bequeathed it to his incomparable son, Man o' War.
malevolence = the desire to do evil or to hurt others
DefinitionGenerally malevolent means:
evil
  • of a person — wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
  • of a thing — exerting an evil or harmful influence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
maxim
1 use
He lived by a single maxim: "Learn your horse."
maxim = a short saying that expresses a general truth or principle
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
mollify
2 uses
To mollify reporters, he would take Seabiscuit out onto the track during the heavily attended morning hours, but only for slow workouts or jogs.
mollify = calm
DefinitionGenerally mollify means:
calm someone who is or may become angry or upset
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.9
Web Links
negative
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
had a negative effect
Fortunately, he suffered no negative consequences.†
negative = bad or harmful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
precede
4 uses
Accordingly, expectations for Woolf's career in the saddle preceded him into the world.†
preceded = went or was before
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.4
Web Links
recession
1 use
Riddle, wrote one spectator, "was accused of everything under the sun save the shooting of Lincoln and the current recession."
recession = a period when the economy does poorly
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.14
Web Links
wane
8 uses
He was always alone, even back then, in the waning days of the nineteenth century.†
waning = declining or diminishing
DefinitionGenerally wane means:
a gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number) — especially the part of the moon that is visible
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
yearling
9 uses
It may have been the fastest quarter ever run by a yearling.†
yearling = an animal between one and two years of age
DefinitionGenerally yearling means:
an animal between one and two years of age — (in the case of a race or show horse, the horse is treated as though it's birthday was January 1st of the year prior to its birth)
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
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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