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Into the Wild

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
abstract
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
abstract thought
At that stage of my youth, death remained as abstract a concept as non-Euclidean geometry or marriage.
abstract = of a concept not associated with any specific instance
From page 155.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of abstract means:
of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 3, p.22.9
Web Links
adapt
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
adapted to the new rules
It can be argued that youthful derring-do is in fact evolutionarily adaptive, a behavior encoded in our genes.
adaptive = making advantageous changes

(editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word into an adjective; though over time, what was originally an adjective often comes to be used as a noun. The adjective pattern means tending to and is seen in words like attractive, impressive, and supportive. Examples of the noun include narrative, alternative, and detective.)
From page 182.5  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of adapt means:
changed to fit a different situation; or made suitable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 17, p.182.5
Web Links
ambivalent
3 uses
Although McCandless was enough of a realist to know that hunting game was an unavoidable component of living off the land, he had always been ambivalent about killing animals.
ambivalent = with mixed feelings

(editor's note:  In this case, McCandless was uncertain of how hard to try to avoid killing animals even when it would be convenient to do so.)
From page 166.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally ambivalent means:
having mixed feelings about something — such as when part of you wants to do something and part of you does not
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7, p.66.3
Web Links
analysis   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
analysis of relevant data
Westerberg's latter conjecture, as it turned out, was a fairly astute analysis of the relationship between Chris and Walt McCandless.
analysis = understanding based upon examination
From page 64.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of analysis means:
the process or result of examining and thinking about something to better understand it
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7, p.64.3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
psychiatrist suggested analysis
Although there may be some truth in both hypotheses, this sort of posthumous off-the-rack psychoanalysis is a dubious, highly speculative enterprise that inevitably demeans and trivializes the absent analysand.
psychoanalysis = applied psychiatric theory

(editor's note:  Analysand is a rarely encountered word that refers to a person undergoing psychoanalysis.)
From page 184.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of analysis means:
psychiatric treatment — (using any of many theories of the human mind that use talk therapy to understand the unconscious mind)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17, p.184.9
Web Links
ascetic
3 uses
In college McCandless began emulating Tolstoy's asceticism and moral rigor to a degree that first astonished, and then alarmed, those who were close to him.
asceticism = practice of self-denial
From page ii.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally ascetic means:
someone who practices self-denial (often to encourage spiritual growth); or relating to such self-denial

or:

severely plain (without decoration)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useA.N., p.ii.8
Web Links
attribute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
I attribute it to...
To find a documented poisoning attributable to wild sweet pea, I had to go all the way back to the nineteenth-century annals of Arctic exploration.
attributable = with cause able to be traced

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-able" means able to be. This is the same pattern you see in words like breakable, understandable, and comfortable.)
From page 191.7  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
to credit (a source for something)
in two typical senses:
  • "I attribute it to her work." — to say who or what made something happen
  • "Remember to attribute any quotations in your paper." — indicate the source of a quotation or idea
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 18, p.191.7
Web Links
context
1 use
In attempting to understand Everett Ruess and Chris McCandless, it can be illuminating to consider their deeds in a larger context.
context = surrounding situation
From page 96.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally context means:
the setting or situation in which something occurs
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 9, p.96.9
Web Links
existential
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
existential threat
McCandless wasn't some feckless slacker, adrift and confused, racked by existential despair.
existential = related to searching for meaning or direction in life
From page 184.5  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of existential means:
relating to or dealing with existence — especially with human existence
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14, p.134.9
Web Links
fluctuate
1 use
The cable was erected in 1970 to chart the Teklanika's seasonal fluctuations; hydrologists traveled back and forth above the river by means of an aluminum basket that is suspended from the cable with pulleys.
fluctuations = increases and decreases
From page 173.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally fluctuate means:
to alternately increase and decrease in quantity
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 17, p.173.9
Web Links
hubris
3 uses
Eighteen years after the event, I now recognize that I suffered from hubris, perhaps, and an appalling innocence, certainly; but I wasn't suicidal.
hubris = excessive confidence
From page 155.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally hubris means:
excessive pride, arrogance, or confidence
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 8, p.72.1
Web Links
hypothesis
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
a study to test her hypothesis
["short man's complex" or "unresolved Oedipal conflict"]  Although there may be some truth in both hypotheses, this sort of posthumous off-the-rack psychoanalysis is a dubious, highly speculative enterprise that inevitably demeans and trivializes the absent analysand.
hypotheses = ideas that are seemingly reasonable, but unproven

(editor's notes:  An analysand is a person being psychoanalyzed. Posthumous means after death and in this context dubious means doubtful in the sense of "doubting that they are completely true in this instance.")
From page 184.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of hypothesis means:
a seemingly reasonable, but unproven idea or explanation based upon known facts
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 17, p.184.8
Web Links
inimical
1 use
The desert is the environment of revelation, genetically and physiologically alien, sensorily austere, esthetically abstract, historically inimical....
inimical = hostile
From page 25.1  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally inimical means:
harmful or unfriendly
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4, p.25.1
Web Links
insulate   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 4 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
insulate the attic
Alex's cheap leather hiking boots were neither waterproof nor well insulated.
insulated = layered to keep warm
From page 5.3  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of insulate means:
to separate two things to prevent passage of something such as heat, cold, noise, or electricity — often by covering one of the things with a material
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1, p.5.3
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
insulate her from
Instead of living in concert with the land, instead of relying on the country for sustenance as the natives did, he attempted to insulate himself from the northern environment with ill-suited military tools and traditions.
insulate = separate (from harm)
From page 181.9  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally this sense of insulate means:
to separate someone or something from influences thought to be harmful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17, p.181.9
Web Links
onerous
2 uses
He had spent the previous four years, as he saw it, preparing to fulfill an absurd and onerous duty: to graduate from college.
onerous = difficult
From page 22.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally onerous means:
difficult (requiring significant effort)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 3, p.22.8
Web Links
pivotal
2 uses
Then, in the midst of this idyll, came the first of two pivotal setbacks.
pivotal = important
From page 168.6  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally pivotal means:
very important and influencing other events or how things develop
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useA.N., p.iii.2
Web Links
plausible
4 uses
This theory, too, is plausible, but no concrete evidence exists to prove it.
plausible = reasonable
From page 94.8  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally plausible means:
apparently reasonable, but unproven
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 8, p.76.9
Web Links
recumbent
1 use
Too terrified of crevasses to wander far from camp, I spent most of my time recumbent in the tent, the ceiling was too low to allow my sitting upright, fighting a rising chorus of doubts.
recumbent = lying down
From page 140.4  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally recumbent means:
lying down; or horizontal
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 14, p.140.4
Web Links
tundra
5 uses
By the end of September, snow was piling up on the tundra, and the lake had frozen over.
tundra = a vast treeless plain in the northern arctic regions where the subsoil is always frozen
From page 82.9  All Book Uses  Typical Usage
DefinitionGenerally tundra means:
a vast treeless plain in the northern arctic regions where the subsoil is always frozen (between the ice cap and the tree line)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 6, p.60.4
Web Links
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