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John Adams by McCullough

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
ameliorate
1 use
Knowledge and virtues were increased and diffused; arts, sciences useful to man, ameliorating their condition, were improved, more than in any period.
ameliorating = improving (something that is bad)
DefinitionGenerally ameliorate means:
to improve — especially a bad situation
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSubsection 3.12.5
Web Links
bolster
1 use
Although she was bolstered up in her bed and could neither walk or stand, she was always calm.
bolstered = supported
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bolster means:
support or strengthen
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useSubsection 3.11.4
Web Links
clergy
4 uses
He had appealed to the clergy to recognize slavery as a sin, and urged all legislators, "ye advocates for American liberty," to work for the liberty of blacks as well.
clergy = formal religious leaders (typically in Christianity)
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useSubsection 1.1.2
Web Links
consonant
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
in consonance with
"The delicacies of the Comte de Vergennes about communicating my powers [to Britain] are not perfectly consonant to my manner of thinking," Adams wrote to Congress.†
consonant = consistent
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consonant means:
in keeping with (or consistent with, or in harmony with)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSubsection 2.5.1
Web Links
contrast
16 uses
1  —14 uses as in:
contrast their writing styles
John Adams, by contrast, had neither debts nor slaves and all his life abhorred the idea of either.†
by contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book14 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useSubsection 1.2.3
Web Links
unquizzed meaning  —2 uses
deviate
1 use
For Adams, who had argued emphatically at Paris for full repayment of American debt and had never deviated from that view, American reluctance, or inability, to make good on its obligations was a disgrace and politically a great mistake.
deviated = differed or changed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deviate means:
differ or change
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useSubsection 2.7.3
Web Links
doctrine
9 uses
Contrary to basic military doctrine, Washington had divided his forces between Manhattan and Long Island.
doctrine = a belief (or system of beliefs or principles) accepted as authoritative by some group
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useSubsection 3.8.3
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 25 uses
1  —24 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
From his latest information, Jefferson said, it appeared Adams's election to the "first magistracy" was an established fact.†
established = settled
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book24 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useSubsection 2.4.4
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
That your sex are naturally tyrannical is a truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of yours as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of master for the more tender and endearing one of friend.†
established = demonstrated or proved
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useSubsection 1.2.2
Web Links
grave
7 uses
Jefferson insisted that Freneau and his paper were saving the country from monarchy and persuaded Washington that it would be a grave misstep to impede on freedom of the press.†
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
Book7 uses
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useSubsection 1.2.3
Web Links
innumerable
3 uses
The delights of France are innumerable.
innumerable = too numerous to be counted
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSubsection 2.4.3
Web Links
judicious
3 uses
At first, John Quincy objected, saying he preferred to remain at home and prepare for Harvard, but his mother convinced him of the great opportunity inherent in such an experience. In a heartfelt letter of farewell, she would liken the judicious traveler to a river that increases its volume the farther it flows from its source.
judicious = wise
DefinitionGenerally judicious means:
showing good judgment
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSubsection 2.4.4
Web Links
maxim
9 uses
The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
maxim = a short saying that expresses a general truth or principle
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSubsection 1.1.2
Web Links
passage
1 use
It was a perfect autumn day that he would mark with a particularly lovely passage in his diary, revealing in a few lines the degree to which the hard-headed, intractable New Englander was, in the expression of the time, a man of "sensibility."†
passage = a short part of a longer written work
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useSubsection 2.5.3
Web Links
pathos
1 use
"The Psalms of David, in sublimity, beauty, pathos, and originality, or in one word poetry, are superior to all the odes, hymns, and songs in any language," he told Jefferson.
pathos = a quality that arouses pity or sorrow
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useSubsection 3.12.3
Web Links
remonstrate
2 uses
But at first chance Hamilton commenced to "remonstrate" against the mission to France.
remonstrate = argue, complain, or criticize
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSubsection 3.10.5
Web Links
self-righteous
2 uses
...he was Salem-born-and-bred, a Harvard graduate, proud, opinionated, self-righteous, and utterly humorless.
self-righteous = believing oneself morally superior to others
DefinitionGenerally self-righteous means:
believing oneself morally superior to others — especially in an annoying manner
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useSubsection 1.1.2
Web Links
sensuous
1 use
Soon he was filling pages with observations like those on his small scholars and on the arrival of spring, with frequently sensuous responses to nature—to "soft vernal showers," atmosphere full of "ravishing fragrance," air "soft and yielding."
sensuous = relating to pleasure from the body's senses rather than from the intellect
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useSubsection 1.1.2
Web Links
swindle
2 uses
It was said Jefferson had swindled clients as a young lawyer.
swindled = tricked (for money)
DefinitionGenerally swindle means:
tricking or cheating someone — usually to get money
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useSubsection 3.10.5
Web Links
unremitting
4 uses
The King's conduct was called one of "repeated" rather than "unremitting" injuries.
unremitting = in a manner that continues without a break
DefinitionGenerally unremitting means:
continuing without a break
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useSubsection 3.12.2
Web Links
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