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Freakonomics

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
analysis   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
analysis of relevant data
Most academic analyses of this sort tend to languish, unread, on a dusty library shelf.†
analyses = instances or results of detailed examinations

(editor's note:  This is the plural of analysis.)
From page 33.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of analysis means:
the process or result of examining and thinking about something to better understand it
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1, p.33.3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
psychiatrist suggested analysis
Within a few years, Feldman was delivering 8,400 bagels a week to 140 companies and earning as much as he had ever made as a research analyst.†
analyst = psychiatrist
From page 45.1  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of analysis means:
psychiatric treatment — (using any of many theories of the human mind that use talk therapy to understand the unconscious mind)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1, p.45.1
Web Links
attribute
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
I attribute it to...
These theories were not only logical; they were also encouraging, for they attributed the crime drop to specific and recent human initiatives.†
attributed = credited (pointed to a source for something)
From page 3.4  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something)
in two typical senses:
  • "I attribute it to her work." — to say who or what made something happen
  • "Remember to attribute any quotations in your paper." — indicate the source of a quotation or idea
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useIntro., p.3.4
Web Links
bona fide
2 uses
His teachers think he may be a bona fide math genius.
bona fide = true
From page 157  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally bona fide means:
real (genuine, true, or sincere)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4, p.126.6
Web Links
context
4 uses
This distinction probably has less to do with the admittedly small amount of money involved (Feldman's bagels cost one dollar each, cream cheese included) than with the context of the "crime."†
context = the setting or situation in which something occurs
From page 47.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5, p.149.7
Web Links
contrast
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
contrast their writing styles
In contrast, the students with the teachers identified as cheaters scored far worse, by an average of more than a full grade level.†
in contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
From page 35.2  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1, p.35.2
Web Links
correspond   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
corresponding time period
The letter a, b, c, or d indicates a correct answer; a number indicates a wrong answer, with 1 corresponding to a, 2 corresponding to b, and so on.
corresponding = equivalent (representing the same value)
From page 27.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspond means:
connect or fit together by being equivalent, proportionate, or matched

(Two things are equivalent if they have the same or very similar value, purpose, or result.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1, p.27.5
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
foreign correspondent of the paper
Years later, when he served as a rare white correspondent for the Pittsburgh Courier, the country's largest black newspaper, he wrote under the pseudonym Daddy Mention—after a black folk hero who, as myth told it, could outrun the blast of a sheriff's shotgun.
correspondent = reporter
From page 54.6  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of correspondent means:
a reporter — typically from a foreign country or with a particular expertise
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2, p.54.6
Web Links
deemed
4 uses
In some cases, hiring additional police was considered a violation of the era's liberal aesthetic; in others, it was simply deemed too expensive.
deemed = believed or judged
From page 126  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4, p.126
Web Links
descend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
thieves descended upon us
Media scrutiny, after all, creates a powerful incentive: if two sumo wrestlers or their stables have been rigging matches, they might be leery to continue when a swarm of journalists and TV cameras descend upon them.
descend = come
From page 42.5  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
to come or arrive — especially suddenly or from above or as an attack
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1, p.42.5
Web Links
discriminate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
suffered discrimination
Meanwhile, if an elderly white woman doesn't answer a single question correctly and is still not voted off, some sort of discriminatory favoritism would seem to be at play.†
discriminatory = in a manner that unfairly treats people of different groups differently
From page 75.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discriminate means:
to treat people of different groups differently — especially unfair treatment due to race, religion or gender
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 2, p.75.9
Web Links
diverse
6 uses
Though extraordinarily diverse, these crimes all have a common trait: they were sins of information.†
diverse = varied (having variety with differences)
From page 66.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally diverse means:
varied (having variety amongst things of the same kind) — especially with regard to ideas or members of a population group
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2, p.66.2
Web Links
establish   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
His reputation for candid thinking on race was already well established.†
established = set (firmly existing)
From page 184.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 6, p.184.6
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
In examining the income gap between black and white adults—it is well established that blacks earn significantly less—scholars have found that the gap is virtually eradicated if the blacks' lower eighth-grade test scores are taken into account.†
established = known or proven
From page 161.2  Typical Usage
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 useChapter 5, p.161.2
Web Links
innovate
7 uses
It was the sort of innovative policing strategies put into place in New York City, where murders would fall from 2,262 in 1990 to 540 in 2005.†
innovative = new and different

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word into an adjective; though over time, what was originally an adjective often comes to be used as a noun. The adjective pattern means tending to and is seen in words like attractive, impressive, and supportive. Examples of the noun include narrative, alternative, and detective.)
From page 3.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally innovate means:
bring something new to an environment
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useIntro., p.3.3
Web Links
instigate
1 use
Oscar Danilo Blandon, the so-called Johnny Appleseed of Crack, may have been the instigator of one ripple effect, in which by his actions a single person inadvertently causes an ocean of despair.
instigator = someone who starts something or causes it to happen
From page 113.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally instigate means:
start or set into motion — typically some kind of conflict
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3, p.113.3
Web Links
Netherlands
1 use
NETHERLANDS & BELGIUM
Netherlands = A European country (sometimes called Holland) and that literally means "lower countries"
From page 19  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally Netherlands means:
A European country (sometimes called Holland) which together with two autonomous regions in the Caribbean make up the Kingdom of the Netherlands. People of The Netherlands are called Dutch and their language is called Dutch. Netherlands literally means "lower countries". Much of the country is reclaimed land that is below sea level. The country is also known for canals, tulip fields, windmills, and bicycling.
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1, p.19
Web Links
phenomenon
6 uses
Roland G. Fryer Jr., the young black economist who analyzed the "acting white" phenomenon and the black-white test score gap, may be among the next.†
phenomenon = something that exists or happened — often of special interest
From page 184.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally phenomenon means:
something that exists or happened — especially something of special interest — sometimes someone or something that is extraordinary
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3, p.108.2
Web Links
precede
2 uses
On nine of the fifteen tests, the six correct answers are preceded by another identical string, 3-a-1-2, which includes three of four incorrect answers.†
preceded = went or was before
From page 30.4  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally precede means:
to go or do before
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4, p.119.4
Web Links
primarily
3 uses
Since the science of economics is primarily a set of tools, as opposed to a subject matter, then no subject, however offbeat, need be beyond its reach.†
primarily = mainly
From page 13.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally primarily means:
mainly (most importantly)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useIntro., p.13.9
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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