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In the Unlikely Event

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
attribute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I attribute it to...
She attributed her success to sleep, good food and muscular control.†
attributed = credited (pointed to a source for something)
From page 130.4  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 useAll, p.130.4
Web Links
byline
3 uses
I hear he's considered so good the paper is doubling his salary and giving him his own byline.
byline = printed line giving the name of the writer of an article
From page 161.8  All Book Uses  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
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.67.3
Web Links
candid
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a candid photograph
One of many candid camera shots taken during the play "Goodbye, My Fancy," presented by the Vail-Deane School Dramatic Club, assisted by the Pingry Players.†
candid = unposed
From page 226.1  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of candid means:
unposed — typically said of a photograph
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAll, p.226.1
Web Links
condolence
3 uses
They waited on line to express their condolences.†
condolences = expression of sympathy
From page 204.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally condolence means:
an expression of sympathy to another who is in sorrow — typically in grief over a death in the family
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.204.2
Web Links
contradict
1 use
Christina didn't contradict him or any of the other girls.†
contradict = disagree
From page 210.8  Typical Usage
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
1st useAll, p.210.8
Web Links
controversial
2 uses
As principal he has a veto over controversial stories.†
controversial = tending to arouse strong disagreement
From page 324.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAll, p.324.3
Web Links
dispose
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
disposed the troops along...
A car and driver are at Natalie's disposal, delivering her and young Ruby to Miri's house for Dr. O's party.†
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 487.6  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.487.6
Web Links
enable
1 use
Here was a transport that could be modified to carry 52 passengers, enabling non-scheduled airlines to offer cut-rate service across the country, and between this area and Florida in the winter.†
enabling = making possible
From page 108.6  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally enable means:
to make possible
in various senses, including:
  • to give someone the ability, knowledge, or authority to do something — as in "The study will enable an informed discussion."
  • to activate a computer system for use — as in "You can enable the feature in the Settings Page."
  • to permit someone to repeat bad behavior, so they reinforce the bad pattern — as in "I don't want to enable her drug addiction."
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAll, p.108.6
Web Links
establish
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
establish a positive tone
He was fifteen years older and already established in business.†
established = settled
From page 17.6  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAll, p.17.6
Web Links
evaluate
2 uses
You never knew when the chief stewardess might show up to run a checklist, observing the dress and work habits of the girls, an evaluation procedure most of them dreaded.†
evaluation = the process of thinking carefully and making a judgment about 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 276.4  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally evaluate means:
to think carefully and make a judgment about something
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAll, p.276.4
Web Links
indignant
4 uses
A few days after the crash, a "Public Indignation" meeting was held at City Hall, demanding authorities shut down Newark Airport.†
indignation = anger or annoyance at something unjust or wrong

(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 214.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally indignant means:
angered or annoyed at something unjust or wrong
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAll, p.214.7
Web Links
malicious
1 use
That was malicious gossip.†
malicious = wanting to see others suffer; or threatening evil
From page 277.3  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAll, p.277.3
Web Links
maternal
3 uses
But she had to admit, she felt maternal toward Christina.†
maternal = relating to a mother; or characteristic of parents — such as to care for and help to develop
From page 92.4  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.92.4
Web Links
optimistic
1 use
Daisy admired Polina's optimism.†
optimism = a tendency to expect and see the best in all things
From page 221.6  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally optimistic means:
expecting the best; or focusing on the good part of things
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library15 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAll, p.221.6
Web Links
perish
4 uses
Stewardess Who Perished in Crash Warned Sister†
perished = died, was destroyed, or ceased to exist
From page 127.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally perish means:
to die — especially in an unnatural way

or:

to be destroyed or cease to exist
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAll, p.127.1
Web Links
positive   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
had a positive effect
At least they were doing something positive.†
positive = good or beneficial
From page 223.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useAll, p.145.5
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
a positive attitude
Hard work and a positive attitude paid off.†
positive = optimistic or agreeable
From page 274.7  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
optimistic (expecting or focusing good things); or agreeable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useAll, p.274.7
Web Links
revise
1 use
Tiny had returned it to her in case she wanted to revise it.†
revise = change
From page 325.8  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally revise means:
to change (and hopefully improve) — most frequently to improve a written document, but it can be any intentional change such as a change in an estimated amount, a plan, or a series of procedures
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useAll, p.325.8
Web Links
scorn
1 use
The only outburst came from a Chinese delegate who referred scornfully to America's allies as "running dogs."†
scornfully = in a disrespectful or rejecting manner
From page 147.2  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally scorn means:
disrespect or reject as not good enough
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useAll, p.147.2
Web Links
simulate
1 use
A thousand soldiers, positioned in foxholes only 7,000 yards away from the blast, surged forward minutes after the explosion in a simulated attack to encircle and capture the devastated area.†
simulated = made an imitation or representation of
From page 446.4  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally simulate means:
make an imitation or representation of
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useAll, p.446.4
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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