"To Kill a Mockingbird," Vocabulary from Ch's 26-31

As you read Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1960), learn these word lists: Ch's 1-6, Ch's 7-11, Ch's 12-15, Ch's 16-19, Ch's 20-25, and Ch's 26-31.
definitions & notes only words
  1. cease
    have an end, in a temporal, spatial, or quantitative sense
    The Radley Place had ceased to terrify me, but it was no less gloomy, no less chilly under its great oaks, and no less uninviting.
  2. privilege
    a special advantage or benefit not enjoyed by all
    "'Equal rights for all, special privileges for none'," I quoted.
  3. clarify
    make clear and comprehensible
    I went away, not sure that I could explain to Atticus what was on my mind, not sure that I could clarify what was only a feeling.
  4. escort
    accompany in order to protect
    He thought Jem might escort me if I asked him.
  5. gait
    the rate of moving, especially walking or running
    We had slowed to a cautious gait, and were feeling our way forward so as not to bump into the tree.
  6. squander
    spend thoughtlessly; throw away
    We squandered our first nickels on the House of Horrors, which scared us not at all
  7. alleged
    declared but not proved
    we entered the black seventh grade room and were led around by the temporary ghoul in residence and were made to touch several objects alleged to be the component parts of a human being.
  8. dismay
    fear resulting from the awareness of danger
    "Somebody's mashed my costume," I wailed in dismay.
  9. strain
    to exert much effort or energy
    We began crossing the black schoolyard, straining to see our feet.
  10. barely
    in a sparse or scanty way
    I turned to look at him, but his outline was barely visible.
  11. inconvenience
    an unwanted discomfort
    Jem knew as well as I that it was difficult to walk fast without stumping a toe, tripping on stones, and other inconveniences, and I was barefooted.
  12. flounder
    behave awkwardly or with difficulty
    Metal ripped on metal and I fell to the ground and rolled as far as I could, floundering to escape my wire prison.
  13. scuffle
    fight or struggle in a confused way at close quarters
    From somewhere near by came scuffling, kicking sounds, sounds of shoes and flesh scraping dirt and roots.
  14. frantically
    in an uncontrolled manner
    I went to where I thought he had been and felt frantically along the ground, reaching out with my toes.
  15. conceive
    have the idea for
    I can't conceive of anyone low down enough to do a thing like this
  16. instinctive
    For once in his life, Atticus's instinctive courtesy failed him: he sat where he was.
  17. reprimand
    censure severely or angrily
    As I said it, I half pointed to the man in the corner, but brought my arm down quickly lest Atticus reprimand me for pointing.
  18. timid
    showing fear and lack of confidence
    His lips parted into a timid smile, and our neighbor's image blurred with my sudden tears.
  19. astound
    affect with wonder
    Dr. Reynolds's voice was as breezy as his step, as though he had said it every evening of his life, an announcement that astounded me even more than being in the same room with Boo
  20. elude
    be incomprehensible to
    A curious contest, the nature of which eluded me, was developing between my father and the sheriff.
  21. competent
    legally qualified or sufficient
    I'd take somebody mighty used to the dark to make a competent witness.
  22. proper
    marked by suitability or rightness or appropriateness
    Every move he made was uncertain, as if he were not sure his hands and feet could make proper contact with the things he touched.
  23. dreadful
    causing fear or terror
    He coughed his dreadful raling cough, and was so shaken he had to sit down again.
  24. incredible
    beyond belief or understanding
    Having been so accustomed to his absence, I found it incredible
    that he had been sitting beside me all this time, present.
  25. release
    let go as from one's grip
    He gently released my hand, opened the door, went inside, and shut the door behind him.