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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
adorn
1 use
The sentinels, facing the banks of the stream, might have been statues to adorn the bridge.†
adorn = decorate
DefinitionGenerally adorn means:
to decorate — especially a person
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
agony
2 uses
Keen, poignant agonies seemed to shoot from his neck downward through every fiber of his body and limbs.†
agonies = intense feelings of suffering — can be from mental or physical pain
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
anguish
1 use
His whole body was racked and wrenched with an insupportable anguish!†
anguish = extreme pain, suffering, or distress
DefinitionGenerally anguish means:
extreme pain, suffering, or distress (of body or mind)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
appalling
1 use
An appalling splash within two yards of him was followed by a loud, rushing sound, DIMINUENDO, which seemed to travel back through the air to the fort and died in an explosion which stirred the very river to its deeps!†
appalling = shockingly terrible or horrible
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
ardent
1 use
Being a slave owner and like other slave owners a politician, he was naturally an original secessionist and ardently devoted to the Southern cause.†
ardently = with intense enthusiasm (or another emotion)
DefinitionGenerally ardent means:
showing or feeling intense emotion — typically strong positive feelings such as enthusiasm or love
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
commotion
1 use
As he shook his head free from the commotion of the smitten water he heard the deflected shot humming through the air ahead, and in an instant it was cracking and smashing the branches in the forest beyond.†
commotion = noisy disturbance
DefinitionGenerally commotion means:
a disturbance — typically noisy
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
deference
1 use
In the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference.†
deference = polite respect
DefinitionGenerally deference means:
polite respect — often when submitting to another's wishes
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
endeavor
1 use
Ah, that was a fine endeavor!†
endeavor = to attempt; or a project or activity attempted
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
gesticulate
1 use
They shouted and gesticulated, pointing at him.†
gesticulated = made gestures (hand or body movements) while speaking or to express something
DefinitionGenerally gesticulate means:
to make gestures (hand or body movements) while speaking or to express something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
heed
1 use
But his disobedient hands gave no heed to the command.†
heed = pay close attention to; or do what is suggested
DefinitionGenerally heed means:
pay close attention to; or to do what is suggested — especially with regard to a warning or other advice
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
imperious
1 use
Circumstances of an imperious nature, which it is unnecessary to relate here, had prevented him from taking service with that gallant army which had fought the disastrous campaigns ending with the fall of Corinth, and he chafed under the inglorious restraint, longing for the release of his energies, the larger life of the soldier, the opportunity for distinction.†
imperious = expecting obedience; or arrogant; or domineering
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
interminable
1 use
The forest seemed interminable; nowhere did he discover a break in it, not even a woodman's road.†
interminable = seemingly endless; or long and unpleasant (often boring or annoying)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
manifest
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
manifest destiny
Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him.†
manifestations = demonstrations (things made obvious or shown)

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tions", converts a verb into a plural noun that denotes results of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in actions, illustrations, and observations.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of manifest means:
obvious; or to make obvious; or to show or demonstrate
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
monotonous
1 use
The sound of a clear, high voice in a monotonous singsong now rang out behind him and came across the water with a distinctness that pierced and subdued all other sounds, even the beating of the ripples in his ears.†
monotonous = lacking in variety and/or boring
DefinitionGenerally monotonous means:
lacking in variety — typically boring
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
nevertheless
1 use
Nevertheless, this one had missed.†
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
perceptible
1 use
As he rose to the surface, gasping for breath, he saw that he had been a long time under water; he was perceptibly farther downstream—nearer to safety.†
perceptibly = in a manner that is capable of being noticed
DefinitionGenerally perceptible means:
capable of being noticed — typically because it is different enough or large enough
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
pivotal
1 use
He had come to the surface facing down the stream; in a moment the visible world seemed to wheel slowly round, himself the pivotal point, and he saw the bridge, the fort, the soldiers upon the bridge, the captain, the sergeant, the two privates, his executioners.†
pivotal = very important
DefinitionGenerally pivotal means:
very important and influencing other events or how things develop
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
poignant
1 use
Keen, poignant agonies seemed to shoot from his neck downward through every fiber of his body and limbs.†
poignant = sharp or intense
DefinitionGenerally poignant means:
sharp or intense — typically arousing deep emotion such as sadness, but possibly having or creating a sharp smell, taste, or insight
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
tranquil
1 use
How coldly and pitilessly—with what an even, calm intonation, presaging, and enforcing tranquility in the men—with what accurately measured interval fell those cruel words: "Company!†
tranquility = peace and quiet; or calmness
DefinitionGenerally tranquil means:
calm and undisturbed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
undulate
1 use
They tore it away and thrust it fiercely aside, its undulations resembling those of a water snake.†
undulations = smooth wave-like motions
DefinitionGenerally undulate means:
a smooth wave-like motion (physical or auditory)

or:

having a wavy or rippled form or surface
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
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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