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The Hidden Oracle

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
accommodate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
the room can accommodate four
The circumference could have accommodated a Roman hippodrome.
accommodated = provided for
From page 255.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of accommodate means:
provide (or have the ability to provide) for something desired or needed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAll, p.255.3
Web Links
acquit
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she acquitted herself well
I had never before seen a centaur hang hooves on a tubular crest, but Chiron acquitted himself well.†
acquitted = handled (conducted or behaved)
From page 340.7  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acquit means:
to handle oneself in a specified way — which is typically in a positive way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.340.7
Web Links
cadaver
4 uses
One of the cadavers began to stir.
cadavers = dead human bodies
From page 64.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally cadaver means:
the dead body of a human being — especially one used for medical study
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.59.3
Web Links
commute
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
commute from New Jersey
And the commute was quite easy now that the Labyrinth is back in service.
commute = regular journey
From page 169.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of commute means:
regular travel — such as between home and work
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.50.7
Web Links
compose   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
compose a poem
I was trying to decide between "You Send Me" and an original composition, "I'm Your Poetry God, Baby," when a voice yelled, "HEY!"
composition = written work

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ition" often changes a verb into a related noun. This is the same pattern seen in words like addition, partition, and definition.)
From page 12.4  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of compose means:
to write or create something with care — especially music or a literary work, but could be other things as diverse as a plan or a letter
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAll, p.12.4
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
composed of many parts
Groves are typically composed of trees, rather than, say, Fudgsicles.
composed = made up
From page 202.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of compose means:
to create something by arranging parts; or to be those parts
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAll, p.202.9
Web Links
consternation
1 use
To my consternation, I found that I couldn't.
consternation = dismay (unhappiness and worry)
From page 174  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally consternation means:
dismay (unhappiness, worry, and often confusion) — typically over something unexpected
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.174
Web Links
descend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
thieves descended upon us
Another pledge to myself: once I became a god again, I would descend upon this camp and take away all their horns.†
descend = attack
From page 156.1  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 useAll, p.156.1
Web Links
digress
1 use
But I digress.
digress = wander from the main topic
From page 326.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally digress means:
wander from a direct or straight course — typically verbally
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.326.9
Web Links
dispose
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
disposed the troops along...
I will use every means at my disposal to bring her safely from the ants' lair, and this oath supersedes any previous oath I have made.†
disposal = command

(editor's note:  When something is "at someone's disposal" it is "at their command," or "available for their use." They can use it as they please.)
From page 238.2  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispose means:
the arrangement, positioning, or use of things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAll, p.238.2
Web Links
ebb
1 use
I could already feel my strength ebbing.
ebbing = decreasing
From page 294.7  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally ebb means:
decline — typically gradually as with the height of the tide
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.294.7
Web Links
edict
1 use
I had been handed an edict worse than a thousand advertisements for pasta makers.
edict = order
From page 304.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally edict means:
an order — typically a formal proclamation or a legally binding court decree
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.304.9
Web Links
irrational
1 use
Her denial was so complete, so irrational, I realized there was no way I could argue with her.
irrational = unreasonable (ignoring reason and logic)
From page 306.1  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally irrational means:
not reasonable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAll, p.306.1
Web Links
labyrinth
31 uses
I missed hobbling with her through the Labyrinth, our legs tied together.†
labyrinth = a maze (a system of paths so complex it is virtually impossible to exit once inside)
From page 306.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally labyrinth means:
a maze (a complex system of paths or tunnels in which it is easy to get lost)

or:  anything so complicated that it is extremely confusing

or:  a complex anatomical system of interconnecting cavities — especially the inner ear
Word Statistics
Book31 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.121.4
Web Links
luxuriant
1 use
His hair was curly and dark like mine, except not as fashionably tousled or luxuriant.
luxuriant = richly thick
From page 81.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally luxuriant means:
characterized by growing well or being richly thick or abundant — as of vegetation or hair

or (more rarely):

characterized by luxury (very comfortable or extravagant)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.81.9
Web Links
mosaic
1 use
I had my own lake, three hundred rooms, frescoes of gold, mosaics done in pearls and diamonds—I could finally live like a human being!
mosaics = art consisting of a design made of many pieces of colored material such as stone or tile
From page 280.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally mosaic means:
art consisting of a design made of many pieces of colored material such as stone or tile

or more rarely:

anything made of many differing parts of equal importance, but varying appearance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.280.9
Web Links
positive
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
a positive attitude
I'm trying to stay positive."†
positive = optimistic
From page 106.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
optimistic (expecting or focusing good things); or agreeable
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.43.4
Web Links
pungent
1 use
He used flowery language like .... well, like every sentence was a pungent bouquet of metaphors.
pungent = powerful
From page 310.7  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally pungent means:
strong smelling or tasting

or much more rarely: anything sharp, painful, or penetrating — physically or emotionally
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.310.7
Web Links
raze
1 use
The grove must be razed.
razed = completely destroyed (flattened)
From page 287.8  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally raze means:
completely destroy — usually of buildings with the implication that they are flattened to the ground
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.287.8
Web Links
strata
1 use
She set down a bowl of tortilla chips and a casserole dish filled with elaborate dip in multicolored strata, like sedimentary rock.
strata = layers
From page 40.7  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally strata means:
layers

or:

levels, classes, or groups into which people or other things are divided
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.40.7
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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