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The Catbird Seat

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
accord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
according to, or in accord with
According to her, Mrs. Barrows had met Mr. Fitweiler at a party, where she had rescued him from the embraces of a powerfully built drunken man who had mistaken the president of F & S for a famous retired Middle Western football coach.†
according to = as stated by; or in agreement with
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accord means:
in keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
This sense of accord is often seen in the form according to or accordingly where it can take on more specific meanings. For example:
  • "According to Kim, ..." — as stated by
  • "To each according to her ability." — based upon
  • "Points are scored according to how well they perform." — depending upon
  • "The dose is calculated according to body weight." — in proportion to
  • "We got a flat tire. Accordingly, I pulled to the side of the road." — because of what was just said; or as a result
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library53 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
appalling
1 use
The woman had appalled Mr. Martin instantly, but he hadn't shown it.†
appalled = shocked by how terrible or horrible something is
DefinitionGenerally appalling means:
shockingly terrible or horrible
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
attain
1 use
The aging gentleman had jumped to the conclusion there and then that this was a woman of singular attainments, equipped to bring out the best in him and in the firm.†
attainments = things gained with effort
DefinitionGenerally attain means:
to gain or reach something with effort
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
bewilder
1 use
Mr. Martin allowed less than a second for his bewildered pause.†
bewildered = confused
DefinitionGenerally bewilder means:
to confuse someone
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
blatant
1 use
Mrs. Ulgine Barrows stood charged with willful, blatant, and persistent attempts to destroy the efficiency and system of F & S. It was competent, material, and relevant to review her advent and rise to power.†
blatant = obvious
DefinitionGenerally blatant means:
obvious — often without any attempt to hide bad behavior
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
constant
1 use
In the halls, in the elevator, even in his own office, into which she romped now and then like a circus horse, she was constantly shouting these silly questions at him.†
constantly = in a manner that is unchanging, continuous, or happens repeatedly
DefinitionGenerally constant means:
unchanging, continuous, or happening repeatedly
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library64 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
contradict
1 use
She was still screaming imprecations at Mr. Martin, tangled and contradictory imprecations.†
contradictory = in disagreement
DefinitionGenerally contradict means:
disagree
in various senses, including:
  • to say something is not true — as in "She contradicted his testimony."
  • to say something else is true when both can't be true — as in "I don't believe her. She contradicted herself as she told us what happened."
  • to be in conflict with — as in "Her assertions contradict accepted scientific principles."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
delude
1 use
Barrows is under the delusion," continued Mr. Fitweiler, "that you visited her last evening and behaved yourself in an—uh—unseemly manner."†
delusion = a false belief

(editor's note:  The suffix "-sion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in admission from admit, discussion from discuss, and invasion from invade.)
DefinitionGenerally delude means:
deceive (convince to have a false belief)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
derive
1 use
It had not come yet; he had received no blue memo from the enchanted Mr. Fitweiler bearing nonsensical instructions deriving from the obscene woman.†
deriving = getting
DefinitionGenerally derive means:
to get something from something else

(If the context doesn't otherwise indicate where something came from, it is generally from reasoning—especially deductive reasoning.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
elated
1 use
He had two glasses of milk after brushing his teeth, and he felt elated.†
elated = had a feeling of happiness and excitement
DefinitionGenerally elated means:
full of happiness and excitement
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
exemplary
1 use
"In that time," pursued the president, "your work and your—uh—manner have been exemplary."†
exemplary = serving as an example — especially a good one
DefinitionGenerally exemplary means:
serving as an example — especially one from which to draw a lesson

For instance:

        an example to copy:  exemplary behavior

        an example to avoid:  exemplary punishment
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
infallible
1 use
No one would ever see in it the cautious, painstaking hand of Erwin Martin, head of the filing department at F & S, of whom Mr. Fitweiler had once said, "Man is fallible but Martin isn't.†
fallible = not perfect (likely at some point to make a mistake or to be wrong)
DefinitionGenerally infallible means:
never wrong; or never failing
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
persecution
2 uses
It has taken the form of a persecution complex accompanied by distressing hallucinations.†
persecution = very bad and unfair treatment
DefinitionGenerally persecution means:
very bad and unfair treatment of others — usually because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or political beliefs
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
persistent
1 use
Mrs. Ulgine Barrows stood charged with willful, blatant, and persistent attempts to destroy the efficiency and system of F & S. It was competent, material, and relevant to review her advent and rise to power.†
persistent = continuing — especially despite difficulties or opposition
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
phenomenon
1 use
This brought you, rather than anyone else, to her mind—but again that is a phenomenon for Dr. Fitch and not for us.†
phenomenon = something that exists or happened — often of special interest
DefinitionGenerally phenomenon means:
something that exists or happened — especially something of special interest — sometimes someone or something that is extraordinary
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
precise
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
about noon; 12:03 to be precise
For the hundredth time he resented the element of imprecision, the margin of guesswork that entered into the business.†
imprecision = the quality of lacking exactness or accuracy

(Editor's note:  The prefix "im-" in imprecision means not and reverses the meaning of precision. This prefix is sometimes used before words beginning with "M" or "P" as seen in words like immoral, immature, and impossible.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of precise means:
exact (accurate)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library23 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
relevant
1 use
Mrs. Ulgine Barrows stood charged with willful, blatant, and persistent attempts to destroy the efficiency and system of F & S. It was competent, material, and relevant to review her advent and rise to power.†
relevant = relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
Web Links
resent
1 use
For the hundredth time he resented the element of imprecision, the margin of guesswork that entered into the business.†
resented = felt angry or unhappy about having to accept something not liked
DefinitionGenerally resent means:
to feel anger or unhappiness at having to accept something — often something seen as unjust or something that creates jealousy
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library23 uses in 10 avg bks
resume
2 uses
A gavel rapped in Mr. Martin's mind and the case proper was resumed.†
resumed = began again
DefinitionGenerally resume means:
begin or take on again
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
temperate
1 use
The late Sam Schlosser, the S of F & S, had praised Mr. Martin at a staff meeting several years before for his temperate habits.†
temperate = lacking extremes — especially of weather, climate, or behavior
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use 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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