That said, I'm from the UK and I managed to get it...
The number in parentheses represents total occurrences in the New York Times Crossword.
If you've never heard of "crosswordese," they're often vowel heavy words that see heavy use crossword puzzles but are used far less frequently in everyday speech. Vowels represent about 25% of letters used in normal speech/writing, but, in crosswords, they represent ~50%.
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