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Their Finest Hour

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abyss
1 use
But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.†
abyss = a hole or dropoff so deep the bottom cannot be seen — often used figuratively to imply a frightening bottomless pit
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
accumulate
1 use
We have also brought back a great mass of stores, rifles and munitions of all kinds which had been accumulated in France during the last nine months.†
accumulated = collected or gradually increased
DefinitionGenerally accumulate means:
to collect or gradually increase
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
compel
1 use
In the Skagerrak, because of the distance, we could give no air support to our surface ships, and consequently, lying as we did close to the enemy's main air power, we were compelled to use only our submarines.†
compelled = forced; or (more rarely) convinced
DefinitionGenerally compel means:
to force someone to do something

or more rarely:

to convince someone to do something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
comprised
1 use
This force comprises all our best-trained and our finest troops, including scores of thousands of those who have already measured their quality against the Germans and found themselves at no disadvantage.†
comprises = makes up; or includes
DefinitionGenerally comprised means:
made up of (composed of); or included
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
consequence
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
In the Skagerrak, because of the distance, we could give no air support to our surface ships, and consequently, lying as we did close to the enemy's main air power, we were compelled to use only our submarines.†
consequently = resultantly (as a result)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library28 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
continuous
4 uses
Thus, the invasion of Great Britain would at this time require the transportation across the sea of hostile armies on a very large scale, and after they had been so transported they would have to be continually maintained with all the masses of munitions and supplies which are required for continuous battle—as continuous battle it will surely be.†
continuous = continuing in time or space without interruption or irregularity
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
contrary
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
on the contrary
It in no way diminishes, but on the contrary definitely increases, the power of our long-distance blockade.†
on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
detrimental
1 use
I do not see how any of these factors can operate to our detriment on balance before the winter comes; and the winter will impose a strain upon the Nazi regime, with almost all Europe writhing and starving under its cruel heel, which, for all their ruthlessness, will run them very hard.†
detriment = harm or damage
DefinitionGenerally detrimental means:
causing harm or damage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
dominion
4 uses
We have also over here Dominions armies.†
dominions = dominance or power over others; or a region so dominated
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
equivalent
1 use
Only three British divisions or their equivalent were able to stand in the line with their French comrades.†
equivalent = being equal or essentially equal
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
Web Links
evoke
1 use
The House may be assured that the utmost ingenuity is being displayed and imagination is being evoked from large numbers of competent officers, well-trained in tactics and thoroughly up to date, to measure and counterwork novel possibilities.†
evoked = called forth or caused
DefinitionGenerally evoke means:
to call forth or cause — typically to arouse an emotion or bring a memory to mind
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
Web Links
futile
1 use
That I judge to be utterly futile and even harmful.†
futile = effort that is pointless because it is unproductive or unsuccessful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
however
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
However, complications may...
However, General Weygand had to fight without them.†
however = a word used to connect contrasting ideas as when using though, in spite of that, in contrast, nevertheless, etc.
DefinitionGenerally this sense of however means:
though (or another expression that connects contrasting ideas)

(Based on idea 1 we might not expect idea 2, but this is a way of saying that even though idea 1 exists, we still have idea 2.  Synonyms include in spite of that, , nevertheless, nonetheless, on the other hand, in contrastand but.)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library61 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
impending
1 use
This brings me, naturally, to the great question of invasion from the air, and of the impending struggle between the British and German Air Forces.†
impending = about to happen
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
inflexible
1 use
I have thought it right upon this occasion to give the House and the country some indication of the solid, practical grounds upon which we base our inflexible resolve to continue the war.
inflexible = not willing to change our minds
DefinitionGenerally inflexible means:
not bendable or adaptable
in various senses, including:
  • not willing to compromise or make concessions — as when a boss says "Do it my way or you're fired."
  • not able to adjust well to different conditions — as of a schedule that cannot be changed
  • not easily bent without physical damage or injury — as of brittle steel or person with stiff joints
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
Web Links
novel
1 use
...the enemy is crafty and cunning and full of novel treacheries and stratagems.
novel = new and original
DefinitionGenerally this sense of novel means:
new and original — typically something considered good
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
Web Links
treachery
1 use
All I will say is that untiring vigilance and mind-searching must be devoted to the subject, because the enemy is crafty and cunning and full of novel treacheries and stratagems.†
treacheries = acts of betrayal
DefinitionGenerally treachery means:
the behavior of someone who pretends to be a friend and then tricks, cheats, or betrays
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
tyranny
2 uses
Win or lose, sink or swim, better die than submit to tyranny—and such a tyranny.'†
tyranny = harsh and unjust rule
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
Web Links
unanimous
1 use
It has received the almost unanimous support of both Houses of Parliament.†
unanimous = with everyone in agreement
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
writhe
1 use
I do not see how any of these factors can operate to our detriment on balance before the winter comes; and the winter will impose a strain upon the Nazi regime, with almost all Europe writhing and starving under its cruel heel, which, for all their ruthlessness, will run them very hard.†
writhing = moving in a twisting or contorted motion
DefinitionGenerally writhe means:
to move in a twisting or contorted motion — often of a person when struggling or in pain
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
Web Links
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