"The Crucible" -- Vocabulary from Act 1 29 words

Learn these 30 words from Act 1 of Arthur Miller’s 1953 "The Crucible" -- a play that dramatized the late 17th century Salem witch trials and served as an allegory of McCarthyism. Here are the links to the word lists for all four acts of “The Crucible”: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, and Act 4.
  1. persecute
    cause to suffer
    He believed he was being persecuted wherever he went, despite his best efforts to win people and God to his side.
  2. province
    the territory occupied by one of the constituent administrative districts of a nation
    Salem had been established hardly forty years before> To the European world the whole province wasa a barbaric frontier inhabited by a sect of fanatics who, nevertheless were shipping out products of slowly increasing quantity and value.
  3. inhabit
    inhabit or live in; be an inhabitant of
    Salem had been established hardly forty years before> To the European world the whole province wasa a barbaric frontier inhabited by a sect of fanatics who, nevertheless were shipping out products of slowly increasing quantity and value.
  4. creed
    any system of principles or beliefs
    Their creed forbade anything resembling a theater or “vain enjoyment.”
  5. somber
    grave or even gloomy in character
    Which is not to say that nothing broke into this strict and somber way of life.
  6. indicate
    give evidence of
    That there were some jokers, however, is indicated by the practice of appointing a two-man patrol whose duty was to “walk forth in the time of God’s worship to take notice of such as either lye about the meeting hous, without attending to the word and ordinances, or that lye at home or in the fields without giving good account thereof, and to take the names of such persons and to present them to the magistrates, whereby they may be accordingly proceeded against.”
  7. ordinance
    an authoritative rule
    That there were some jokers, however, is indicated by the practice of appointing a two-man patrol whose duty was to “walk forth in the time of God’s worship to take notice of such as either lye about the meeting hous, without attending to the word and ordinances, or that lye at home or in the fields without giving good account thereof, and to take the names of such persons and to present them to the magistrates, whereby they may be accordingly proceeded against.”
  8. predilection
    a strong liking
    This predilection for minding other people’s business was time-honored among the people of Salem, and it undoubtedly created many of the suspicions which were to feed the coming madness.
  9. maraud
    raid and rove in search of booty
    It stood, dark and threatening, over their shoulders night and day, for out of it Indian tribes marauded from time to time and Reverend Parris had parishioners who had lost relatives to these heathen.
  10. heathen
    a person who does not acknowledge your god
    It stood, dark and threatening, over their shoulders night and day, for out of it Indian tribes marauded from time to time and Reverend Parris had parishioners who had lost relatives to these heathen.
  11. conjure
    summon into action or bring into existence, often as if by magic
    Abigail: But we never conjured spirits.
  12. faction
    a clique (often secret) that seeks power usually through intrigue
    Parris: There is a faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit?
  13. abomination
    an action that is vicious or vile; an action that arouses disgust or abhorrence
    Abominations are done in the forest –
  14. deference
    courteous regard for people's feelings
    A certain deference springs into him., although his worry remains.]
  15. conviction
    an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence
    Parris, with dwindling conviction now: A precaution only.
  16. corruption
    lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain
    They will howl me out of Salem for such corruption in my house.
  17. hysterical
    characterized by or arising from psychoneurotic hysteria
    Mary Warren, with hysterical fright: What’s got her?
  18. partisan
    a fervent and even militant proponent of something
    He need not have been a partisan of any faction in the town, but there is evidence to suggest that he had a sharp and biting way with hypocrites.
  19. calumny
    a false accusation of an offense or a malicious misrepresentation of someone's words or actions
    In Proctor’s presence a fool felt his foolishness instantly – and a Proctor is always marked for calumny therefore.
  20. pretense
    the act of giving a false appearance
    I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men!
  21. exude
    make apparent by one's mood or behavior
    Gentleness exudes from her.
  22. defer
    yield to another's wish or opinion
    He defers to her.
  23. abide
    put up with something or somebody unpleasant
    Parris: It is agreed, sir – it is agreed – we will abide by your judgement.
  24. pursuit
    a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts (usually pleasantly)
    Hale, with a tasty love of intellectual pursuit: Here is the invisible world, caught, defined, and calculated.
  25. calculated
    carefully thought out in advance
    Hale, with a tasty love of intellectual pursuit: Here is the invisible world, caught, defined, and calculated.
  26. afflict
    cause physical pain or suffering in
    Does someone afflict you, child?
  27. evade
    avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)
    Hale: You cannot evade me, Abigail.
  28. exaltation
    the elevation of a person (as to the status of a god)
    Hale, with rising exaltation: You are God’s instrument put in our hands to discover the Devil’s agents among us.
  29. enrapture
    hold spellbound
    She is enraptured, and though in a pearly light.