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Fahrenheit 451
Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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abstract   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
abstract thought
He examined his eternal matchbox, the lid of which said GUARANTEED: ONE MILLION LIGHTS IN THIS IGNITER, and began to strike the chemical match abstractedly, blow out, strike, blow out, strike, speak a few words, blow out.
abstractedly = without thinking about it
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstract means:
of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance

or more rarely:

describing someone as distracted — thinking about something outside of the immediate conversation or circumstances
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 1
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
abstract art
And at the museums, have you ever been? All abstract. That's all there is now. My uncle says it was different once. A long time back sometimes pictures said things or even showed people.
abstract = not imitating nature
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstract means:
not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 1
Web Links
consonant
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
consonant or vowel?
A special spot-wavex-scrambler also caused his televised image, in the area immediately about his lips, to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully.
consonants = speech sounds that are not vowels

(editor's note:  On standardized tests, you are more likely to see a very different sense of consonant which means "in keeping with; or in harmony with" as in "Her behavior was consonant with her beliefs.")
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consonant means:
a letter of the alphabet (or a speech sound) that is not a vowel
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
controversy
1 use
Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don't step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. ... The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that!
controversy = disputes where there is strong disagreement
DefinitionGenerally controversy means:
disagreement — especially regarding a public issue that arouses strong feelings
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 1
Web Links
displace
3 uses
The zipper displaces the button and a man lacks just that much time to think while dressing at dawn, a philosophical hour, and thus a melancholy hour.
displaces = takes the place of
DefinitionGenerally displace means:
force to move; or to take the place of
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 2
Web Links
environment
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
conditions in that environment
The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school.
environment = surrounding conditions
DefinitionGenerally this sense of environment means:
surrounding conditions (such as:)
  • conditions in a geographic area
  • conditions that affect a particular activity — such as business, learning, or raising children
  • conditions that create a certain mood — such as one of romance or competition
  • conditions that impact a particular computer system, subsystem, or program
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 1
Web Links
evaluate
1 use
Eventually, I could put out ears into all parts of the city, with various men, listening and evaluating.
evaluating = thinking carefully and making judgements
DefinitionGenerally evaluate means:
to think carefully and make a judgement about something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 2
Web Links
exhalation
3 uses
He smelled the heavy musk-like perfume mingled with blood and the gummed exhalation of the animal's breath,
exhalation = air breathed out
DefinitionGenerally exhalation means:
the act of breathing air out of the lungs; or the air breathed out
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
fugitive
3 uses
The fugitive cannot escape if everyone in the next minute looks from his house.
fugitive = person fleeing law enforcement officers
DefinitionGenerally this sense of fugitive means:
someone who flees from an unpleasant situation — especially fleeing law enforcement officers
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
function
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
can't function well without sleep
It [the mechanical hound] doesn't like or dislike. It just 'functions'.
functions = works or operates
DefinitionGenerally this sense of function means:
work or operate — sometimes to work or operate normally or in a particular way
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 1
Web Links
inclined
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I'm inclined to
"I'm inclined to believe you need the psychiatrist," said Montag.
inclined = have a tendency (suspect it is true, but not positive)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of inclined means:
a tendency; in the mood; or an attitude that favors something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 1
Web Links
luminous
3 uses
Out of a helicopter glided something that was not machine, not animal, not dead, not alive, glowing with a pale green luminosity.
luminosity = glow (emission of light)
DefinitionGenerally luminous means:
glowing or shining

(also used metaphorically to describe beauty or intelligence)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
melancholy
5 uses
The zipper displaces the button and a man lacks just that much time to think while dressing at dawn, a philosophical hour, and thus a melancholy hour....
melancholy = thoughtfully sad
DefinitionGenerally melancholy means:
a sad feeling or manner — sometimes thoughtfully sad
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 1
Web Links
meteor
2 uses
They don't know that this is all one huge big blazing meteor that makes a pretty fire in space, but that some day it'll have to hit.
meteor = a rock from space burning in the earth's atmosphere
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
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
objective
2 uses
He slapped her face with amazing objectivity and repeated the question.
objectivity = lack of personal feeling
DefinitionGenerally this sense of objective means:
fact-based without the influence of personal feelings or preferences
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 3
Web Links
perish
2 uses
But when he was held, rootless, in mid-air, by Hercules, he perished easily.
perished = died
DefinitionGenerally perish means:
to die — especially in an unnatural way

or:

to be destroyed or cease to exist
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st usePart 2
Web Links
sloth
2 uses
And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away.
sloth = a slow and seldom-moving animal

(editor's note:  On standardized tests, you are more likely to see another sense of sloth which means "an unwillingness to work or exert oneself" as in "She is guilty of intellectual sloth.")
DefinitionGenerally sloth means:
laziness (an unwillingness to work or exert oneself)

or:

a type of animal that seldom moves and is typically very slow when it does move
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st usePart 3
Web Links
trace   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
trace the origin or development
He found the audio-capsule, he heard your voice, he was going to trace it.
trace = find out where it came from
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trace means:
to find, search, research, or keep track of

This sense of trace usually has to do with information. It's specific meaning depends on its context. Here are some representative samples by category:

  • to find or search for something through investigation — often the origin of something

    • "The police traced the call." — found out where it originated
    • "We are tracing the lost luggage" — searching for
    • "Can you trace the problem to its source?" — find through investigation
    • "She traced her family history to discover that her great-grandmother came to the United States from Lithuania when the Nazis occupied it." — discovered something through investigation

  • to research or report on the development of something

    • "She traced the history of the automobile in her paper." — researched the development of something
    • "Her presentation traced recent progress in alternative energy solutions." — reported on

  • to monitor or keep track of the progress or development of something

    • She traces the progress of at-risk students — monitors information
    • "I used binoculars to trace her progress up the mountain." — monitor, follow, or track

Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
trace a picture or outline
Her fingers were tracing the book's outline and as the shape became familiar her face looked surprised and then stunned.
tracing = following along (drawing)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of trace means:
copy the lines of an image; or draw an outline; or carefully draw a specific pattern

This sense of trace has to do with drawing, but it's specific meaning depends on its context. Here are some representative samples by category:

  • copying the outline of an image

    • "She used tracing paper to make a copy." — paper you can see through, so that when it is placed on a picture, you can use a pencil to follow the lines of the image being copied
    • She projected the image onto the wall, then hung a sheet of paper there, and traced the projected image onto the paper." — followed the lines with her pencil

  • draw an outline or a specific pattern

    • "She used her toe to trace half the fish symbol in the sand." — draw a simple outline
    • "The child used a stick to trace circles and swirls in the mud." — draw

Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library13 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st usePart 1
Web Links
yield
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
will yield valuable data
Something, something .... And on either side of the river was there a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
yielded = produced
DefinitionGenerally this sense of yield means:
to produce (usually something wanted); or the thing or amount produced
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st usePart 3
Web Links
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