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Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
abolish
1 use
For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life.
abolish = eliminate (end, or do away with)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
adversary
1 use
Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request — that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.
adversary = opponent
DefinitionGenerally adversary means:
an opponent
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
alliance
2 uses
To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge — to convert our good words into good deeds in a new alliance for progress — to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty.
alliance = association formed to support common interests
DefinitionGenerally alliance means:
an association formed to support common interests
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
clergy
1 use
Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens, we observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom — symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning — signifying renewal, as well as change.
clergy = formal religious leaders (typically in Christianity)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
communism
1 use
To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required, not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right.†
communists = people who support an economic system that abolishes private ownership of property with the goal of a classless society
DefinitionGenerally communism means:
an economic system that abolishes private ownership of property with the goal of a classless society
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
conscience
1 use
With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.†
conscience = feeling or appraisal of having personally behaved in a morally right or wrong manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
endeavor
2 uses
The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.†
endeavor = to attempt; or a project or activity attempted
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
heed
1 use
Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah — to "undo the heavy burdens...and let the oppressed go free."†
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
heritage
1 use
Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.†
heritage = something handed down from the past
DefinitionGenerally heritage means:
something handed down from the past
in various senses, including:
  • traditions — as in "Americans inherit a heritage of freedom"
  • cultural practices — as in "Hospitality to strangers is part of Arabic cultural heritage."
  • physical items built and/or protected from long ago — as in "The cathedral is a World Heritage site," or "The national parks are part of our heritage as Americans."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
invective
1 use
To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support — to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective — to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.†
invective = abusive or venomous language — usually expressing criticism or deep-seated ill will
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
prevent
1 use
To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support — to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective — to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.†
prevent = stop (something from happening)
DefinitionGenerally prevent means:
to stop (something from happening)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library38 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
republic
1 use
To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge — to convert our good words into good deeds in a new alliance for progress — to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty.†
republics = governmental systems in which a majority of citizens elect representatives to make laws
DefinitionGenerally republic means:
a system of government in which a majority of citizens elect representatives to make laws
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
revolution
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
the computer revolution
And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe — the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.†
revolutionary = related to or causing dramatic change; of a supporter of the change

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ary" means related to. This is the same pattern you see in words like honorary, cautionary, and momentary.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of revolution means:
dramatic change — sometimes violent overthrow of a government
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
solemn
1 use
For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.†
solemn = very serious—possibly dignified
DefinitionGenerally solemn means:
in a very serious (and often dignified) manner
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library20 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
subversion
1 use
Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas.
subversion = gradual destruction (of an established order)
DefinitionGenerally subversion means:
undermining (gradually destroying from within) — an established order such as a government, institution, or morality
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
sufficient
1 use
For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.†
sufficient = adequate (enough — often without being more than is needed)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
summon
2 uses
Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty.†
summoned = called forth; or called to come
DefinitionGenerally summon means:
to call forth
The exact meaning of summon can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "summon to court" — officially demand that someone appear in court (call them to court)
  • "summon the team to a meeting" — call upon the team members to attend a meeting
  • "summon help" — call others to come and help
  • "summon her courage" — call forth her courage from within
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library35 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
tempered
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
bad news tempered by kindness
Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.†
tempered = made less extreme
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
testimony
1 use
Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty.†
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
tyranny
2 uses
To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny.†
tyranny = harsh and unjust rule
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 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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