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1st to Die

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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arrogant
4 uses
I took him for one of those arrogant investment-banker types from the Brandt side.†
arrogant = having an excessive sense of superiority
From page 180.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 2, p.180.5
Web Links
attribute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I attribute it to...
No attribution.†
attribution = the act of crediting (a source for something)

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", 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 action, education, and observation.)
From page 66.6  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
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useBook 1, p.66.6
Web Links
bolster
1 use
I felt Claire's hand bolstering my arm, and leaned into her.
bolstering = supporting
From page 51  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bolster means:
support or strengthen
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useBook 1, p.51
Web Links
brief   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
briefed her
McBride had to be back in the office for a press briefing on the investigation.
briefing = to give a summary of important information to someone
From page 189.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useBook 1, p.33.7
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
legal brief
With a sigh, she shifted a tower of briefs aside.
briefs = summaries of important facts — especially opinions regarding a legal case
From page 240.5  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of brief means:
a summary of important facts — especially an opinion of a legal case
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useBook 3, p.240.5
Web Links
byline
1 use
The byline read Cindy Thomas.
byline = printed line giving the name of the writer of an article
From page 38.4  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of byline means:
a line giving the name of the writer of an article — typically at the top of the article
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1, p.38.4
Web Links
chronicle
29 uses
After two years spent covering local interest on the Metro desk of the Chronicle, Cindy could feel a story that might jump-start her career.†
chronicle = a record of events; or the act of creating such a record or telling others of the events
From page 28.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book29 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1, p.28.7
Web Links
coincide
1 use
You stayed two nights, coinciding with the Voskuhl murders.†
coinciding = to be similar — especially to happen at the same time or place
From page 311.2  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useBook 3, p.311.2
Web Links
condescending
3 uses
He has no idea how condescending he can be.†
condescending = treating others as inferior; or doing something considered beneath one's position or dignity
From page 43.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1, p.43.2
Web Links
contrast
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
contrast their writing styles
In contrast, mine looked about as densely packed as a political headquarters two hours after the candidate has conceded.†
in contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
From page 15  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 useBook 1, p.15
Web Links
cultivate
2 uses
We cultivated it with our children.†
cultivated = developed, grown, or prepared for growing crops
From page 228.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally cultivate means:
enhance growth or development
in various senses, including:
  • to grow crops or prepare land for them
  • enhance a relationship — especially for a purpose
  • develop discernment (better recognition of differences) in taste or judgment
  • to grow a culture in a petri dish
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useBook 2, p.228.7
Web Links
disdain
1 use
She would have every reason to look at me with complete disdain — but she didn't.†
disdain = a lack of respect
From page 331.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally disdain means:
a lack of respect — often suggesting distaste and an undeserved sense of superiority

or:

to reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useBook 4, p.331.9
Web Links
epiphany
1 use
Our eyes locked in one of those shining moments of epiphany.
epiphany = sudden realization
From page 386.1  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally epiphany means:
a sudden realization — especially one of importance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 4, p.386.1
Web Links
evaluate
3 uses
I hesitated, giving him an evaluating stare.†
evaluating = thinking carefully and making a judgment about
From page 46.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally evaluate means:
to think carefully and make a judgment about something
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useBook 1, p.46.6
Web Links
mentor
2 uses
"By any chance" — I leaned forward, no longer able to control my tone — "were you mentoring Kathy in Cleveland last Saturday, the night she was killed?"†
mentoring = guiding and advising
From page 265.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally mentor means:
someone who guides and advises another who is less experienced; or the act of providing such guidance
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useBook 3, p.265.1
Web Links
nevertheless
1 use
Nevertheless, I have to come back to this particular fan.†
nevertheless = in spite of that (used to connect contrasting ideas)
From page 264  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally nevertheless means:
in spite of that (Used to connect contrasting ideas. Other synonyms could include words and phrases such as nonetheless, all the same, still,  and however.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useBook 3, p.264
Web Links
passage
1 use
There's a passage in Thoreau: "Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in."†
passage = a short part of a longer written work
From page 104.4  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useBook 2, p.104.4
Web Links
scorn
1 use
I wanted Jacobi's sarcasm, Sam Roth's scorn, jogging on the Marina Green.†
scorn = disrespect or reject as not good enough
From page 168.4  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useBook 2, p.168.4
Web Links
testify
4 uses
I had gone up against his firm once or twice in the witness box, testifying in homicide cases.†
testifying = providing evidence of something — especially oral evidence in court
From page 80.4  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally testify means:
provide evidence of something — especially to say something under oath in a court of law
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useBook 1, p.80.4
Web Links
yield
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
will yield valuable data
Raleigh's interview with the groom's parents had yielded nothing eventful.†
yielded = produced
From page 197.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to produce (usually something wanted); or the thing or amount produced
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useBook 2, p.197.3
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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