Sometimes the author defines the word for the reader soon after it is used in a sentence.
EXAMPLE: A cacophony of noises surrounded the group of people. Cacophony is a mixture of harsh sounds.
Sometimes the author uses a synonym, or restates the word in a simpler way.
EXAMPLE: As the cacophony came through the phone line, he pulled it away from his ear to lessen some of the harsh sounds.
Sometimes the author presents the opposite meaning somewhere nearby so that two words can be contrasted.
EXAMPLE: After spending the day at the peaceful spa, the woman was shocked by the cacophony that hit her when she opened the door to the daycare center.
Sometimes the word is not clarified in the same sentence. The reader must look for clues and make connections to their own experiences or what they already know about a topic.
EXAMPLE: The cacophony of war was challenging for the soldiers to handle. There were many nights when it was difficult for them to sleep. I know that sometimes if there is a lot of noise at night, I can’t sleep. I bet there is a lot of noise from guns during war. I think cacophony must be a horrible type of noise.
Sometimes the author includes examples to explain the meaning of a word.
EXAMPLE: A cacophony of owl hoots, chirping crickets, and howling wolves surrounded us. I couldn’t wait to return home to my own bed.