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Snow Crash

Top-Ranked Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
constraint
2 uses
There's no physics to worry about, no constraints on acceleration, no air resistance.
constraints = limitations (in this case, no physical laws)
DefinitionGenerally constraint means:
limitation (something that limits something else)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useChapter 3-4
Web Links
contrast
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
contrast their writing styles
By contrast other civilizations seem "speechless" or at least, as may have been the case in Egypt, not entirely cognizant of the creative and transformational powers of language.†
by contrast = in a comparison that shows differences
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contrast means:
point to differences between; or compare to show differences
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 35-36
Web Links
converge
15 uses
The body converges to a sharp nose.†
converges = comes together
DefinitionGenerally converge means:
to come together; or to be adjacent or similar
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13-14
Web Links
convey
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
convey her thoughts
I don't know how my face conveyed that information, or what kind of internal wiring in my grandmother's mind enabled her to accomplish this incredible feat.†
conveyed = communicated or expressed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convey means:
communicate or express
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 7-8
Web Links
CT scan
1 use
CAT scans, NMR scans, PET scans, EEGs.
CAT scans = 3-dimensional X-ray images of parts of the body using computerized axial tomography

(editor's note:  Today the term CT scan is replacing CAT scan. CT is for computerized tomography. CAT is for computerized axial tomography.)
DefinitionGenerally CT scan means:
a diagnostic medical test that uses X-rays to create a 3-dimensional image of part of the body
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 25-26
Web Links
descend
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
descend from royalty
The Sukuma people of Africa say that the language is kinatuns, the tongue of the ancestors of all magicians, who are thought to have descended from one particular tribe.†
descended = come (genetically)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of descend means:
figuratively, to have come down a path from the past; i.e., to originate or come from — such as in reference to ancestors or evolutionary origins
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 27-28
Web Links
discord
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
discordant music
...hears a discordant beetling over the metal hurricane of his sound system and realizes that it is a smoke alarm...
discordant = unpleasant sounding
DefinitionGenerally this sense of discord means:
unpleasant sound — especially a combination of sounds that sound wrong together (though sometimes done intentionally in music)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 1-2
Web Links
DNA
13 uses
So did Lagos think that the Asherah virus actually altered the DNA of brain cells?†
DNA = cell structures that transmit genetic information which determines inherited traits such as hair color or height
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1-2
Web Links
duplicity
1 use
There is a big flurry of publicity-obvious PR plants-after the Nipponese tried to use their old-boy network to shut him out of the telecommunications market there, and he took it to the American public, spending $10 million of his own money on a campaign to convince Americans that the Nipponese were duplicitous schemers.
duplicitous = deceptive (lying to or misleading others)
DefinitionGenerally duplicity means:
deception (lying to or misleading others) — usually over an extended period
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 13-14
Web Links
enable
12 uses
I don't know how my face conveyed that information, or what kind of internal wiring in my grandmother's mind enabled her to accomplish this incredible feat.†
enabled = made possible
DefinitionGenerally enable means:
to make possible
in various senses, including:
  • to give someone the ability, knowledge, or authority to do something — as in "The study will enable an informed discussion."
  • to activate a computer system for use — as in "You can enable the feature in the Settings Page."
  • to permit someone to repeat bad behavior, so they reinforce the bad pattern — as in "I don't want to enable her drug addiction."
Word Statistics
Book12 uses
Library9 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 55-56
Web Links
epiphany
1 use
Seeing this woman at the commissary, he finally went through a belated, dim-witted epiphany, not a brilliant light shining down from heaven, more like the brown glimmer of a half-dead flashlight from the top of a stepladder: Juanita hadn't really changed much at all since those days, just grown into herself.
epiphany = sudden realization
DefinitionGenerally epiphany means:
a sudden realization — especially one of importance
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7-8
Web Links
establish
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
establish a positive tone
She has established her space on the pavement.†
established = set in place
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library25 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 5-6
Web Links
flexible
10 uses
We're making bucks here-Kongbucks and yenand we can be flexible on pay and bennies.†
flexible = bendable or adaptable
DefinitionGenerally flexible means:
bendable or adaptable
in various senses, including:
  • easily bent without physical damage or injury — as of a hose or gymnast
  • able to adjust readily to different conditions — as of a plan
  • willing to make concessions — as of a negotiator or a boss
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 37-38
Web Links
flout
1 use
But in the early days of Christianity, there must have been a lot of chaos, a lot of radicals and free thinkers running around, flouting tradition.
flouting = openly disregarding
DefinitionGenerally flout means:
to openly disregard — typically a law, rule, or custom
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 55-56
Web Links
interpret
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
her interpretation of the data
Lagos modified the strict Chomskyan theory by supposing that learning a language is like blowing code into PROMs-an analogy that I cannot interpret.†
interpret = understand or explain
DefinitionGenerally this sense of interpret means:
to understand or explain something in a particular way — often the meaning or significance of something
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 35-36
Web Links
malevolent
1 use
But from a modem standpoint, semen is just a carrier of information-both benevolent sperm and malevolent viruses.
malevolent = exerting a harmful influence
DefinitionGenerally malevolent means:
evil
  • of a person — wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
  • of a thing — exerting an evil or harmful influence
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 33-34
Web Links
mystic
10 uses
Said it was irrational mysticism.†
mysticism = belief in realities that are outside of scientific understanding and normal experience
DefinitionGenerally mystic means:
relating to realities that are outside of scientific understanding and normal experience; or one who attempts to tune into such realities
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 7-8
Web Links
phenomenon
9 uses
Y.T. does a double take at this new phenomenon: Ng using the street name for a controlled substance.†
phenomenon = something that exists or happened — often of special interest
DefinitionGenerally phenomenon means:
something that exists or happened — especially something of special interest — sometimes someone or something that is extraordinary
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library8 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 3-4
Web Links
revise
1 use
Genesis 11:6-9, Revised Standard Version.†
revised = changed
DefinitionGenerally revise means:
to change (and hopefully improve) — most frequently to improve a written document, but it can be any intentional change such as a change in an estimated amount, a plan, or a series of procedures
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 13-14
Web Links
static
1 use
The situation is fairly static.
static = not moving or not changing

(editor's note:  Static is more commonly used in this book with another, better-known, meaning.)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 23-24
Web Links
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Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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