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Fahrenheit 451
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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consonant
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
consonant or vowel?
It takes longer for babies to learn to voice back-of-the-mouth consonants (like k) than front-of-the-mouth consonants (like p).
consonants = speech sounds that are not a vowels
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consonant means:
a letter of the alphabet (or a speech sound) that is not a vowel
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convoluted
1 use
It's hard to follow her convoluted reasoning.
convoluted = very complex
DefinitionGenerally convoluted means:
highly complex or intricate
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dictum
1 use
She is fond of quoting Ken Kesey's dictum: "You can count the seeds in the apple, but you can't count the apples in the seed."
dictum = saying
DefinitionGenerally dictum means:
a short saying intended to make a point
in various senses, including:
  • a popular saying — such as "Nothing is certain but death and taxes."
  • a formal declaration from a respected source — such as the Constitution's statement that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech"
  • a non-binding remark in a judge's opinion — short for obiter dictum
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liberal arts
1 use
It is a prestigious liberal arts school.
liberal arts = focusing on studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills
DefinitionGenerally liberal arts means:
studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills)
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linguist
1 use
She is a linguist specializing in Native American languages.
linguist = someone who specializes in the study of language
DefinitionGenerally linguist means:
a specialist in the study of language

or:

a person who is skilled in multiple languages
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loam
1 use
In those days the loam in that area was four feet thick.
loam = rich soil
DefinitionGenerally loam means:
a rich soil consisting of a mixture of sand and clay and decaying organic materials
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metropolis
1 use
I want to live and work in the middle of a vibrant metropolis.
metropolis = large, important city
DefinitionGenerally metropolis means:
a large city — especially one that is considered important
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nettle
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
beware of nettles near the river
I ran into some stinging nettles.
nettles = a type of plant that has fine irritating hairs
DefinitionGenerally this sense of nettle means:
a type of plant with stinging or irritating hairs
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olfactory
1 use
Dogs bred for scent-based tasks have higher olfactory capacities than other dogs.
olfactory = relating to the sense of smell
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pantomime
1 use
Though she didn't speak Chinese, she was able to pantomime her meaning.
pantomime = express something through gestures and body movements without words
DefinitionGenerally pantomime means:
a performance or expression of something through gestures and body movements without words
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patronage
1 use
Most ambassadors are selected from career Foreign Service officers, but many are appointed through political patronage.
patronage = political appointment in return for political support
DefinitionGenerally patronage means:
support or favor given
The exact sense of patronage depends upon its context. For example::
  • "wants to increase federal patronage of the arts" — donations made to support an organization or person
  • "a political patronage appointee" — favors given such as political appointments or contracts given in return for political support
  • "rewards repeat patronage" — business from customers — especially recurring business
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pedantic
1 use
Her lectures were too pedantic for my taste.
pedantic = overly concerned with book learning
DefinitionGenerally pedantic means:
too concerned with formal rules, details, or book learning
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proclivity
1 use
She has a proclivity for exaggeration.
proclivity = a natural inclination
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quibble
1 use
Let's not quibble over pennies.
quibble = argue about unimportant things
DefinitionGenerally quibble means:
to argue about unimportant things; or an argument or complaint about something unimportant
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rationalize
1 use
Criminals typically rationalize their behavior. Even when convicted, many blame others for their decisions.
rationalize = think of a good excuse for
DefinitionGenerally this sense of rationalize means:
to think of a good excuse for behavior that seems bad or unreasonable, and to believe the excuse is good or reasonable — typically done subconsciously and often after the behavior in question
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rebuttal
1 use
She presented a rebuttal to the President's State of the Union speech.
rebuttal = statement arguing something is not true
DefinitionGenerally rebuttal means:
a statement that argues that something is not true
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resolve
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
Her resolve weakened.
She never waivered in her resolve to attend a good college.
resolve = determination (firmness of purpose)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of resolve means:
firmness of purpose (strong determination to do something)
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SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 3
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simile
1 use
When she said he was "as subtle as a sledgehammer," she was using ironic simile.
simile = a phrase expressing a similarity between things of different kinds
DefinitionGenerally simile means:
a phrase expressing a similarity between things of different kinds — usually formed with "like" or "as"

as in "It's like looking for a needle in a haystack," or "She is as quiet as a mouse."
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stock
1 use
She bought Google stock before it doubled in value.
stock = shares of ownership of different corporations
DefinitionGenerally this sense of stock means:
shares of ownership of a corporation
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strata
1 use
The Grand Canyon has many exposed rock strata ranging from 200 million to 2 billion years old.
strata = layers
DefinitionGenerally strata means:
layers

or:

levels, classes, or groups into which people or other things are divided
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