Here are just some of the words I had to look-up while reading The Road a novel by Cormac McCarthy. The story follows a father and son as they make their way through a scorched and menacing post-apocalyptic American landscape. (Click on words to link to definitions from Dictionary.com.)
I've also appended a list of words from the novel that I haven't been able to find in a dictionary.
1. "Their light playing over the wet flowstone walls." (p. 3)
2. "Like pilgrims in a fable swallowed up and lost among the inward parts of some granitic beast." (p. 3)
3. "The edge of the lake a riprap of twisted stumps, gray and weathered, the windfall trees of a hurricane years past." (p. 13)
4. "It took two days to cross that ashen scabland." (p. 16)
5. "He pulled the bolt and bored out the collet with a hand drill and resleeved it with a section of pipe he'd cut to length with a hacksaw." (p. 16-17)
6. "Her nipples pipeclayed and her rib bones painted white." (p. 18)
7. "Cheap stuffed furniture together with an old handmade cherrywood chifforobe." (p. 22)
8. "They were discalced to a man like pilgrims of some common order for all their shoes were long since stolen." (p. 24)
10. "A rich southern wood that once held mayapple and pipsissewa." (p. 39)
11. "He wiped his nose on his sleeve and shouldered up his small pack and the man folded away the map sections and rose and the boy followed him out through the gray palings of the trees to the road." (p. 43)
12. "Late in the day they came to a place where the fire had crossed the road and the macadam was still warm and further on it began to soften underfoot." (p. 48)
13. "One of his eyes was burnt shut and his hair was but a nitty wig of ash upon his blackened skull." (p. 50)
14. "The rank meconium." (p. 59)
15. "He was lean, wiry, rachitic." (p. 63)
16. "They moved through the streets like sappers." (p. 79)
17. "The teeth in their sockets like dental molds, the crude tattoos etched in some homebrewed woad." (p. 90)
18. "Behind them came wagons drawn by slaves in harness and piled with goods of war and after that the women, perhaps a dozen in number, some of them pregnant, and lastly a supplementary consort of catamites illclothed against the cold and fitted in dogcollars and yoked each to each." (p. 92)
19. "Then he stood on the tang of the shovel and raised the edge of the hatch and leaned and got hold of it." (p. 109)
20. "He found pieces of flint or chert in a ditch but in the end it was easier to rake the pliers down the side of a rock at the bottom of which he'd made a small pile of tinder soaked in gas." (p. 129)
21. "Cowled in their blankets against the cold and their breath smoking, shuffling through the black and silky drifts." (p. 177)
22. "Middens of anonymous trash." (p. 177)
23. "Watching while they opened up the rock hillside ground with pick and mattock and brought to light a great bolus of serpents perhaps a hundred in number." (p. 188)
24. "The knurled lid turned in the wood grinding the paint."
25. "At the tide line a woven mat of weeds and the ribs of fishes in their millions stretching along the shore as far as eye could see like an isocline of death." (p. 222)
See Wikipedia here for an illustration.
26. "The weak sea light fell through the clerestory portholes."
27. "He held it in his hand and then he fitted it back into the blue baize lining of the case and closed the lid and snapped the latches shut and set it back in the locker and closed the door." (p. 228)
28. "A yellow plastic EPIRB."
29. "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming." (p. 287)
Appendix: Words I Couldn't Find in the Dictionary
"Oil for their little slutlamp to light the long gray dusks, the long gray dawns." (p. 7)
"He descended into a gryke in the stone and there he crouched coughing and he coughed for a long time." (p. 11)
"In an old batboard smokehouse they found a ham gambreled up in a high corner." (p. 17)
"The new snow lay in skifts all through the woods, along the limbs and cupped in the leaves, all of it already gray with ash." (p. 76)
"The world shrinking down about a raw core of parsible entities." (p. 88)
"They were signs in gypsy language, lost patterans." (p. 180).
"They wrapped their feet in sailcloth and bound them up in blue plastic pampooties cut from a tarp and they left strange tracks in their comings and goings." (p. 243)
"The salitter drying from the earth." (p. 261)
"Ten thousand dreams ensepulchred within their crozzled hearts." (p. 273)
"A veteran of old skirmishes, bearded, scarred across his cheek and the bone stoven and the one eye wandering." (p. 282)
Source: The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Vintage International, 2006), paperback.