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Turtles All the Way Down

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abstract   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
abstract thought
The White River is beautiful in the abstract—blue herons and geese and deer and all that stuff—but the actual water itself smells like human sewage.
abstract = of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
From page 19.4  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 17, p.211.5
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
abstract art
The rest of the art was cool, too—big abstract paintings of hard-edged geometric shapes, an assemblage of old wooden chairs precariously stacked to the ceiling, a huge photograph of a kid jumping on a trampoline alone in a vast harvested cornfield—but Mychal's was my favorite, and not just because I knew him.
abstract = not imitating objects of nature
From page 261.5  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstract means:
not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 22, p.261.5
Web Links
assert
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
asserted her opinion that...
Allen also asserted that aside from a camera at the front gate, there were no surveillance cameras on the property.
asserted = said
From page 17.4  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of assert means:
to say that something is true — especially something disputed
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2, p.17.4
Web Links
bacteria
25 uses
...thinking about how cows literally could not survive if it weren't for the bacteria in their guts, and how that sort of means that cows do not exist as independent life-forms,
bacteria = living creatures so small it takes a microscope to see them
From page 42.6  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
Book25 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1, p.3.9
Web Links
diversity
1 use
That's what has driven the diversity of life.†
diversity = the condition of variety
From page 176.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally diversity means:
the condition of variety — especially in reference to members of a population group who are of different races or cultures
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 14, p.176.9
Web Links
dogged
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
dogged determination
My dogged obsessiveness leads me to ignore all manner of threats, and the risk to the fortune Daisy and I have stumbled into.
dogged = continuing effort despite difficulties
From page 232.2  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dogged means:
continuing effort to achieve something despite difficulties (persistent)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 21, p.232.2
Web Links
domestic
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
domestic happiness
Davis stopped at the doorway for a second, looked back at Mom and me in what must have seemed to him like domestic bliss.
domestic = relating to a home and family
From page 275.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of domestic means:
relating to a home or family
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 23, p.275.3
Web Links
elaborate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
elaborate on your plan
Should I elaborate?
elaborate = add details
From page 238.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elaborate means:
add details or explain in detail
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 21, p.238.9
Web Links
establish
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
establish that there is a need
It's just, like, this isn't going to be some story where the poor, penniless girl gets rich and then realizes that truth matters more than money and establishes her heroism by going back to being the poor, penniless girl, okay?
establishes = demonstrates
From page 199.3  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
show or determine (cause to be recognized or figure out)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 16, p.199.3
Web Links
evolve
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
evolved through natural selection
And single-celled life emerged in the oceans, and then over billions of years, life got more abundant and complex, until two hundred fifty thousand or so years ago, humans evolved, and we started using more advanced tools, and then eventually built spaceships and everything.
evolved = came into existence through evolution
From page 245.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of evolve means:
change of a species over a long period of time through evolution
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14, p.177.5
Web Links
irrelevant
2 uses
He thinks exercise is irrelevant, because Tua is going to unlock the key to eternal life.
irrelevant = not important
From page 147.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally irrelevant means:
not relevant (not related to the subject being considered, or not important enough to want to consider)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 4, p.40.8
Web Links
literally
9 uses
1  —9 uses as in:
literally--not figuratively
....but you're actually thinking about how cows literally could not survive if it weren't for the bacteria in their guts, and...
literally = actually (not an exaggeration)
From page 42.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of literally means:
actually true using the basic meaning of the words (not an exaggeration, metaphor, or other type of figurative speech)
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1, p.6.2
Web Links
meteor
8 uses
She noted, more than once, that the meteor shower was happening, beyond the overcast sky, even if we could not see it.
meteor = streaks of light in the night sky that result from a space rocks burning in the earth's atmosphere
From page 189  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally meteor means:
a streak of light in the night sky that results from a space rock burning in the earth's atmosphere

or:

a meteoroid:  a small space rock that hit the earth's atmosphere

or:

a meteorite:  a stony or metallic object that is the remains of a meteoroid that reached the earth's surface
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 12, p.149.6
Web Links
objective
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
an objective viewpoint
  "This just isn't scary"
  "It objectively is," she said.
objectively = in a manner that focuses on facts—not feelings
From page 262.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of objective means:
fact-based without the influence of personal feelings or preferences
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 22, p.262.9
Web Links
positive   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
I'm absolutely positive!
Our sources indicate that while Pickett has not been positively identified, authorities believe the body found in an offshoot of the Pogue's Run tunnel is indeed that of billionaire construction magnate Russell Davis Pickett, Sr.
positively = with certainty
From page 279  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of positive means:
certain (having no doubt; or used for emphasis)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library19 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 24, p.279
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
had a positive effect
A change in personal circumstances, even a positive one, can trigger anxiety.
positive = good or beneficial
From page 163.8  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 13, p.163.8
Web Links
reflect
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
reflect in the mirror
Davis had paused the movie in the midst of a starfighter battle, and the bright light from a suspended explosion was reflected in his glasses as he turned to me.
reflected = shown (an image)
From page 182.6  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reflect means:
show an image back (on a mirror or other shiny surface)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14, p.182.6
Web Links
relevant
2 uses
Our info is definitely relevant, but it's not like they'll find Pickett just with the night-vision picture, so we might have to split the reward with other people.
relevant = relating in a meaningful way to the issue in question
From page 78.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 7, p.78.2
Web Links
Shakespeare
8 uses
The merest schoolgirl, when she falls in love, has Shakespeare or Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.
Shakespeare = author widely regarded as the greatest in the English language
From page 89.4  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of Shakespeare means:
English dramatist and poet frequently cited as the greatest writer in the English language and who wrote such words as Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet (1564-1616)
Word Statistics
Book8 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 15, p.187.7
Web Links
subtle
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
a subtle shade of blue
I pulled away as subtly as I could manage.
subtly = in a manner that does not draw attention
From page 180.1  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of subtle means:
understated so as not to draw attention to itself
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 4, p.29.9
Web Links
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