toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books
Book Menu

It Happened to Nancy

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
acquire
2 uses
I didn't even understand what AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) meant before.†
acquired = obtained (came into possession of)
From page 129.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally acquire means:
obtain (come into the possession of something)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library17 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 8-Feb, p.129.9
Web Links
anguish
2 uses
No one in the whole world has ever been in such deep anguish .... please .... please.†
anguish = extreme pain, suffering, or distress
From page 172.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally anguish means:
extreme pain, suffering, or distress (of body or mind)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8-Feb, p.125.2
Web Links
asthma
5 uses
All my life I've had allergies and asthma and respiratory problems, and I'll gladly have them when I get home, but please, please, not here, not now!†
asthma = a common lung disorder characterized by wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and sometimes coughing
From page 67.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1-Apr, p.3.9
Web Links
bacteria
2 uses
Germs and viruses and bacteria excite him.†
bacteria = microorganisms (living creatures so small it takes a microscope to see them)
From page 60.7  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally bacteria means:
microorganisms (living creatures so small it takes a microscope to see them) that can both cause disease and be beneficial. They are different and larger than viruses.
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3-Jun, p.60.7
Web Links
compassion
2 uses
In fact, I think I'm getting closer to my folks through talking to him about them, and I'm learning more respect and compassion and everything for them now that I'm giving a little thought to how it would be without them.†
compassion = sympathy for another's suffering and wanting to help
From page 13  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1-Apr, p.16.3
Web Links
detach
4 uses
I guess I've just got to detach myself from my out-there life!†
detach = to separate something from something else (physically or emotionally)
From page 251.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11-May, p.175.8
Web Links
discriminate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discriminating taste
I thought I was almost the only one who had it at first, outside of the big cities, where people have indiscriminate sex and use IVs and stuff.†
indiscriminate = without recognition of differences

(Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in indiscriminate means not and reverses the meaning of discriminate. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
From page 129.6  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discriminate means:
to recognize or perceive differences — especially fine distinctions
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 8-Feb, p.129.6
Web Links
endeavor
1 use
And grown-uply endeavoring not to giggle—but that was impossible!†
endeavoring = trying or attempting
From page 2.7  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally endeavor means:
to attempt; or a project or activity attempted
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1-Apr, p.2.7
Web Links
galaxy
3 uses
I just want to sink away and become part of the black nothingness between the planets and the galaxies.†
galaxies = collections of star systems held together by gravity
From page 55.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally galaxy means:
a collection of star systems held together by gravity — for example, our sun is a star whose system includes Earth and the other planets. That star system is a tiny part of the Milky Way galaxy
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2-May, p.55.3
Web Links
gullible
2 uses
I hope and pray dear little thirteen-year-old Margie won't be as dumb and gullible as I was .... or is it already too late?†
gullible = easily tricked because of being too trusting
From page 52.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2-May, p.52.9
Web Links
humiliate
5 uses
I didn't realize how much being an outsider can hurt, how humiliating and ego-battering it is.†
humiliating = extremely embarrassing (decreasing dignity)
From page 195.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally humiliate means:
extremely embarrass (decrease dignity, self-respect, or pride — especially in front of others)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10-Apr, p.156.6
Web Links
minute
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
minute size
After a bit, Aunt Thelma had me close my eyes and describe the picture of the tiny garden in the minutest detail.†
minutest = smallest
From page 235.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of minute means:
small, exceptionally small, or insignificant
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1-Apr, p.37.5
Web Links
motivation
1 use
Anyway, careers take more self-motivation and drive, but "one" can usually get higher and progress faster.†
motivation = the reason for doing something; or the level of desire to do something
From page 61.1  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3-Jun, p.61.1
naive
2 uses
I may be dumb and young and naive, but I'm not stupid.†
naive = lacking experience or sophistication, and the understanding that comes from them — often too trusting or optimistic
From page 88.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1-Apr, p.29.3
Web Links
pneumonia
5 uses
He asked me if my chest felt like it had when I'd had pneumonia, and I said no, it was just like all my insides were swelling and getting stuffed up.†
pneumonia = a lung disease
From page 241.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally pneumonia means:
respiratory disease characterized by inflammation and accumulation of fluid in the lungs; caused by infectious agents (e.g., viruses or bacteria) or by inhalation of certain irritants
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 5-Aug, p.85.8
Web Links
positive
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
I couldn't, I positively couldn't, stand not seeing LEW.†
positively = with certainty; or absolutely (used for emphasis)
From page 147.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
certain (having no doubt; or used for emphasis)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 9-Mar, p.147.1
Web Links
repentance
4 uses
Then he brought out a vial of bleach and said putting repentance into our lives was much like the bleach.†
repentance = to feel regret for having done wrong and to desire to be a better person in the future
From page 63.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally repentance means:
the feeling or expression of regret for having done something wrong with a firm decision to be a better person in the future
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3-Jun, p.63.8
Web Links
speculate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
don't know, but I'll speculate
When the plane set down and I started to get out, my full skirt blew up. I hope everybody in the world couldn't see my fat, stuffed underpants. Everyone in the wide open spaces talking and speculating, here as well as there.†
speculating = wondering or guessing
From page 223.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of speculate means:
to think about, wonder, guess or theorize with much uncertainty
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 21-Mar, p.223.9
Web Links
tact
1 use
The tact is I KNOW I'M BETTER!†
tact = the ability or act of saying or handling things in such a way that others feel good about them
From page 184.9  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 14-Aug, p.184.9
Web Links
whimsical
2 uses
I don't think even Mom realized what a wacky and whimsical adventure we were starting out on.†
whimsical = playful, amusing, or impulsive rather than seriously rational
From page 40.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1-Apr, p.39.9
Web Links
Go to Book Menu
Take Pre-Reading Quiz
† 
Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which is not affiliated with verbalworkout.com™, and does not endorse this site.