WORD LISTS

100 Great Words from "Fahrenheit 451" -- Part I Vocabulary

June 6, 2012
These 100 words were plucked from Ray Bradbury's dystopian novel ''Fahrenheit 451,'' published in 1953.

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nozzle
With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history.
conductor
With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history.
stolid
With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black.
stride
He strode in a swarm of fireflies.
swarm
He strode in a swarm of fireflies.
fiery
Later, going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles, in the dark.
halt
He slid to a squeaking halt, the heels one inch from the concrete floor downstairs.
propel
He walked out of the fire station and along the midnight street toward the subway where the silent, air-propelled train slid soundlessly down its lubricated flue in the earth and let him out with a great puff of warm air an to the cream-tiled escalator rising to the suburb.
vanish
Each time he made the turn, he saw only the white, unused, buckling sidewalk, with perhaps, on one night, something vanishing swiftly across a lawn before he could focus his eyes or speak.
compress
Or was the atmosphere compressed merely by someone standing very quietly there, waiting?
phoenix
But he knew his mouth had only moved to say hello, and then when she seemed hypnotized by the salamander on his arm and the phoenix-disc on his chest, he spoke again.
awe
“No, you don't,” she said, in awe.
amber
He saw himself in her eyes, suspended in two shining drops of bright water, himself dark and tiny, in fine detail, the lines about his mouth, everything there, as if her eyes were two miraculous bits of violet amber that might capture and hold him intact.
intact
He saw himself in her eyes, suspended in two shining drops of bright water, himself dark and tiny, in fine detail, the lines about his mouth, everything there, as if her eyes were two miraculous bits of violet amber that might capture and hold him intact.
fragile
Her face, turned to him now, was fragile milk crystal with a soft and constant light in it.
vast
“You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can't have our minorities upset and stirred.
abruptly
Montag laughed abruptly.
pedestrian
My uncle was arrested another time-did I tell you?-for being a pedestrian.
subconscious
“What?” asked Montag of that other self, the subconscious idiot that ran babbling at times, quite independent of will, habit, and conscience.
conscience
“What?” asked Montag of that other self, the subconscious idiot that ran babbling at times, quite independent of will, habit, and conscience.
simile
People were more often-he searched for a simile, found one in his work-torches, blazing away until they whiffed out.
mausoleum
It was like coming into the cold marbled room of a mausoleum after the moon had set.
penetrate
Complete darkness, not a hint of the silver world outside, the windows tightly shut, the chamber a tomb-world where no sound from the great city could penetrate.
pulverize
He felt that the stars had been pulverized by the sound of the black jets and that in the morning the earth would be thought as he stood shivering in the dark, and let his lips go on moving and moving.
trench
The entire operation was not unlike the digging of a trench in one's yard.
stratum
The woman on the bed was no more than a hard stratum of marble they had reached.
mallet
Leave that stuff in the blood and the blood hits the brain like a mallet, bang, a couple of thousand times and the brain just gives up, just quits.”
sedative
We got a contra-sedative in her.
melancholy
And the men with the cigarettes in their straight-lined mouths, the men with the eyes of puff-adders, took up their load of machine and tube, their case of liquid melancholy and the slow dark sludge of nameless stuff, and strolled out the door.
hearty
Above all, their laughter was relaxed and hearty and not forced in any way, coming from the house that was so brightly lit this late at night while all the other houses were kept to themselves in darkness.
cataract
Montag moved back to his own house, left the window wide, checked Mildred, tucked the covers about her carefully, and then lay down with the moonlight on his cheek-bones and on the frowning ridges in his brow, with the moonlight distilled in each eye to form a silver cataract there.
conjure
He tried to conjure up a face to fit the words, but there was no face.
psychiatrist
“I've got to go to see my psychiatrist now.
aggravate
You're peculiar, you're aggravating, yet you're easy to forgive.
illuminate
The Mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in a dark corner of the firehouse.
capillary
Light flickered on bits of ruby glass and on sensitive capillary hairs in the nylon-brushed nostrils of the creature that quivered gently, gently, gently, its eight legs spidered under it on rubber-padded paws.
quiver
Light flickered on bits of ruby glass and on sensitive capillary hairs in the nylon-brushed nostrils of the creature that quivered gently, gently, gently, its eight legs spidered under it on rubber-padded paws.
nectar
It was like a great bee come home from some field where the honey is full of poison wildness, of insanity and nightmare, its body crammed with that over-rich nectar and now it was sleeping the evil out of itself.
olfactory
At night when things got dull, which was every night, the men slid down the brass poles, and set the ticking combinations of the olfactory system of the Hound and let loose rats in the firehouse area-way, and sometimes chickens, and sometimes cats that would have to be drowned anyway, and there would be betting to see which the Hound would seize first.
massive
Three seconds later the game was done, the rat, cat, or chicken caught half across the areaway, gripped in gentling paws while a four-inch hollow steel needle plunged down from the proboscis of the Hound to inject massive jolts of morphine or procaine.
scurry
But now at night he lay in his bunk, face turned to the wall, listening to whoops of laughter below and the piano-string scurry of rat feet, the violin squeaking of mice, and the great shadowing, motioned silence of the Hound leaping out like a moth in the raw light, finding, holding its victim, inserting the needle and going back to its kennel to die as if a switch had been turned.
cog
It growled again, a strange rasping combination of electrical sizzle, a frying sound, a scraping of metal, a turning of cogs that seemed rusty and ancient with suspicion.
trajectory
It has a trajectory we decide for it.
abstract
And most of the time in the cafes they have the jokeboxes on and the same jokes most of the time, or the musical wall lit and all the coloured patterns running up and down, but it's only colour and all abstract.
drone
The flutter of cards, motion of hands, of eyelids, the drone of the time-voice in the firehouse ceiling “...one thirty-five.
erect
The tick of the playing-cards on the greasy table-top, all the sounds came to Montag, behind his closed eyes, behind the barrier he had momentarily erected.
proclivity
Were all firemen picked then for their looks as well as their proclivities?
asylum
“They took him screaming off to the asylum
stoke
He opened his mouth and it was Clarisse McClellan saying, “Didn't firemen prevent fires rather than stoke them up and get them going?”
odious
Beatty, Stoneman, and Black ran up the sidewalk, suddenly odious and fat in the plump fireproof slickers.

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