Vocabulary TKaM Chs 8-14


Vocabulary Words - To Kill a Mockingbird chapters 8-14

innate

adj

existing in one from birth; inborn; native

innate musical talent; innateunderstanding of right and wrong.
Root: nasc/nat = born

vehement

adj

characterized by intensity of emotions or convictions, or forcefulness of expression; acting with great force or energy; strong

"The struggle was long and vehement; but his sense of duty would not be stifled or enfeebled, and finally triumphed over every impediment" (Charles Brockden Brown, Three Gothic Novels).
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umbrage

n

offense, annoyance, displeasure; shade or shadows

to feel umbrage at a social snub; to giveumbrage to someone; to take umbrageat someone's rudeness.
Think of Prof. Umbridge: dark, shadowy, and always displeased with Harry.

undulate

v

to form or move in waves

“Rather than tuna, several hundred white-sided dolphins come into focus,undulating crisply through the sea surface below” (Carl Safina, Song for the Blue Ocean: Encounters Along the World's Coasts and Beneath the Seas).
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garish

adj

gaudy, excessively ornate; glaring

"garish lights of Las Vegas" / "I thought of those cold scenes of his, with their picturesque peasants and cypresses and olive-trees. They must look queer in theirgarish frames on the walls of the peasant house" (W. Somerset Maugham, Moon & Sixpence).

formidable

adj

arousing fear, dread or alarm; difficult to defeat

"a formidable opponent"

obliquely

adv

indirectly; not in a straightforward manner

"His wife had never shown any jealousy of Mattie, but of late she had grumbled increasingly over the house-work and found oblique ways of attracting attention to the girl's inefficiency" (Edith Wharton,Ethan Frome).

pensive

adj

musingly or dreamily thoughtful; suggestive of sad thoughtfulness, melancholy

visual image: The Thinker.
“He sat pensively thinking about the devastation in Haiti.”
Root: pens/pend/ pond= to weigh; hang down

infallible

adj

incapable of making a mistake

"But human beings are fallible. We know we all make mistakes" (Robert S. McNamara, "et al.", Argument Without End).
Root: fallere, "to deceive." It is related to fail, false, fallacy, fault, andfaucet!
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Last modified: Thursday, 14 June 2012, 4:19 PM