Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Vocabulary from Chapters 7-9 32 words

A masterpiece of wit and wordplay, Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is also a celebration of the joys of nonsense.

While you are reading Lewis Carroll’s fantastic novel (etext found here), learn these word lists: Ch’s 1-3, Ch’s 4-6, Ch’s 7-9, and Ch’s 10-12.
  1. twinkling
    a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)
    "Ah! that accounts for it," said the Hatter. "He won't stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he'd do almost anything you liked with the clock. For instance, suppose it were nine o'clock in the morning, just time to begin lessons: you'd only have to whisper a hint to Time, and round goes the clock in a twinkling! Half-past one, time for dinner!"
  2. riddle
    a difficult problem
    "Come we shall have some fun now!" thought Alice. "I'm glad they've begun asking riddles. I believe I can guess that," she added aloud.
  3. curiosity
    a state in which you want to learn more about something
    "Your hair wants cutting," said the Hatter. He had been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech
  4. wake
    stop sleeping
    " Wake up, Dormouse!" And they pinched it on both sides at once.
  5. whisper
    speak softly; in a low voice
    "Ah! that accounts for it," said the Hatter. "He won't stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he'd do almost anything you liked with the clock. For instance, suppose it were nine o'clock in the morning, just time to begin lessons: you'd only have to whisper a hint to Time, and round goes the clock in a twinkling! Half-past one, time for dinner!"
  6. civil
    not rude; marked by satisfactory (or especially minimal) adherence to social usages and sufficient but not noteworthy consideration for others
    "Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it," said Alice angrily.
  7. personal
    concerning or affecting a particular person or his or her private life and personality
    "You should learn not to make personal remarks," Alice said with some severity; "it's very rude."
  8. severity
    excessive sternness
    "You should learn not to make personal remarks," Alice said with some severity; "it's very rude."
  9. knave
    one of four face cards in a deck bearing a picture of a young prince
    "Knave" is an old-fashioned (and particularly British) way of saying "Jack" -- it changed because both King and Knave being with K, which is confusing on a playing card -- the abbreviations could be confused.
    Then followed the Knave of Hearts, carrying the King's crown on a crimson velvet cushion; and, last of all this grand procession, came THE KING AND QUEEN OF HEARTS.
  10. crimson
    a deep and vivid red color
    Then followed the Knave of Hearts, carrying the King's crown on a crimson velvet cushion; and, last of all this grand procession, came THE KING AND QUEEN OF HEARTS.
  11. execute
    kill as a means of socially sanctioned punishment
    "Off with their heads!" and the procession moved on, three of the soldiers remaining behind to execute the unfortunate gardeners, who ran to Alice for protection.
  12. sentence
    (criminal law) a final judgment of guilty in a criminal case and the punishment that is imposed
    He looked anxiously over his shoulder as he spoke, and then raised him-self upon tiptoe, put his mouth close to her ear, and whispered, "She's under sentence of execution."
  13. pity
    an unfortunate development
    "Did you say, "What a pity! " the Rabbit asked.
    "No, I didn't," said Alice: "I don't think it's at all a pity. I said, "What for?' "
  14. settle
    become resolved, fixed, established, or quiet
    "Get to your places!" shouted the Queen in a voice of thunder, and the people began running about in all directions, tumbling up against each other; however, they got settled down in a minute or two, and the game began.
  15. arch
    a curved shape in the vertical plane that spans an opening
    Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquet-ground in all her life; it was all ridges and furrows; the croquet-balls were live hedgehogs, and the mallets live flamingoes, and the soldiers had to double themselves up and to stand upon their hands and feet, to make the arches.
  16. quarrel
    have a disagreement over something
    Note that Carroll spells it "quarrelling" -- that's British English again; in the US, you spell it "quarreling."
    The players all played at once without waiting for turns, quarrelling all the while, and fighting for the hedgehogs; and in a very short time the Queen was in a furious passion, and went stamping about, and shouting, "Off with his head!" or "Off with her head!" about once in a minute.
  17. passion
    the trait of being intensely emotional
    The players all played at once without waiting for turns, quarrelling all the while, and fighting for the hedgehogs; and in a very short time the Queen was in a furious passion, and went stamping about, and shouting, "Off with his head!" or "Off with her head!" about once in a minute.
  18. dispute
    a disagreement or argument about something important
    Alice began to feel very uneasy: to be sure, she had not as yet had any dispute with the Queen, but she knew that it might happen any minute, "and then," thought she, "what would become of me?
  19. escape
    a means or way of escaping
    She was looking about for some way of escape, and wondering whether she could get away without being seen, when she noticed a curious appearance in the air: it puzzled her very much at first, but, after watching it a minute or two, she made it out to be a grin, and she said to herself, "It's the Cheshire Cat: now I shall have somebody to talk to.
  20. argument
    a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal
    The moment Alice appeared, she was appealed to by all three to settle the question, and they repeated their arguments to her, though, as they all spoke at once, she found it very hard to make out exactly what they said.
  21. mallet
    a sports implement with a long handle and a head like a hammer; used in sports (polo or croquet) to hit a ball
    Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquet-ground in all her life; it was all ridges and furrows; the croquet-balls were live hedgehogs, and the mallets live flamingoes, and the soldiers had to double themselves up and to stand upon their hands and feet, to make the arches.
  22. temper
    a characteristic (habitual or relatively temporary) state of feeling
    Alice was very glad to find her in such a pleasant temper, and thought to herself that perhaps it was only the pepper that had made her so savage when they met in the kitchen.
  23. savage
    wild and menacing
    Alice was very glad to find her in such a pleasant temper, and thought to herself that perhaps it was only the pepper that had made her so savage when they met in the kitchen.
  24. moral
    the significance of a story or event
    She had quite forgotten the Duchess by this time and was a little startled when she heard her voice close to her ear. "you're thinking about something, my dear, and that makes you forget to talk, I can't tell you just now what the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a bit."
  25. venture
    put forward, of a guess, in spite of possible refutation
    She had quite forgotten the Duchess by this time and was a little startled when she heard her voice close to her ear. "you're thinking about something, my dear, and that makes you forget to talk, I can't tell you just now what the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a bit."

    "Perhaps it hasn't one," Alice ventured to remark.
  26. experiment
    the act of conducting a controlled test or investigation
    "I daresay you're wondering why I don't put my arm round your waist," the Duchess said after a pause: "the reason is, that I'm doubtful about the temper of your flamingo. Shall I try the experiment?"
  27. exclaim
    utter aloud; often with surprise, horror, or joy
    "Oh, I know!" exclaimed Alice, who had not attended to this last remark. "It's a vegetable. It doesn"t look like one, but it is."
  28. custody
    a state of being confined (usually for a short time)
    Those whom she sentenced were taken into custody by the soldiers, who of course had to leave off being arches to do this, so that by the end of half an hour or so there were no arches left, and all the players, except the King, and Queen, and Alice, were in custody and under sentence of execution.
  29. execution
    putting a condemned person to death
    Those whom she sentenced were taken into custody by the soldiers, who of course had to leave off being arches to do this, so that by the end of half an hour or so there were no arches left, and all the players, except the King, and Queen, and Alice, were in custody and under sentence of execution.
  30. mock
    constituting a copy or imitation of something
    The Mock Turtle is jokingly called the ingredient in something called Mock Turtle Soup -- turtle soup was a popular food in the 18th century, but it was hard to find turtle meat, so they would use other meats as replacements -- hence, "mock" turtle -- an imitation of real turtle. There is no such thing as a mock turtle, of course.
    Then the Queen left off, quite out of breath, and said to Alice, "Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet?"

    "No," said Alice. "I don't even know what a Mock Turtle is."

    "It's the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from," said the Queen.
  31. sorrow
    an emotion of great sadness associated with loss or bereavement
    They had not gone far before they saw the Mock Turtle in the distance, sitting sad and lonely on a little ledge of rock, and, as they came nearer, Alice could hear him sighing as if his heart would break. She pitied him deeply. "What is his sorrow?" she asked the Gryphon, and the Gryphon answered, " very nearly in the same words as before, "It's all his fancy, that: he hasn't-got no sorrow, you know. Come on!"
  32. holiday
    leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure
    "That's the reason they're called lessons," the Gryphon remarked: "because they lessen from day to day."
    This was quite a new idea to Alice, and she thought it over a little before she made her next remark. "Then the eleventh day must have been a holiday?"