"Hatchet," Vocabulary from Chapters 13-16 30 words

As you read Gary Paulsen’s 1987 Newbery Honor-winning survival novel “Hatchet,” learn these word lists: Chapters 1-4, Chapters 5-8, Chapters 9-12, Chapters 13-16, and Chapters 17-19&Epilogue.
  1. tension
    the physical condition of being stretched or strained
    But the fear moved then, moved away, and Brian knew the wolf for what it was—another part of the woods, another part of all of it Brian relaxed the tension on the spear in his hand, setded the bow in his other hand from where it had started to come up.
  2. shaft
    a long pointed rod used as a tool or weapon
    The shafts were willow, straight and with the bark peeled, and he fire-hardened the points and split a couple of them to make forked points, as he had done with the spear.
  3. hummock
    a small natural hill
    He put an arrow to the string, pulled it back to his cheek, pointed it at a dirt hummock, and at that precise instant the bow wood exploded in his hands sending splinters and chips of wood into his face.
  4. precise
    sharply exact or accurate or delimited
    He put an arrow to the string, pulled it back to his cheek, pointed it at a dirt hummock, and at that precise instant the bow wood exploded in his hands sending splinters and chips of wood into his face.
  5. fluid
    subject to change; variable
    He had made a new bow, with slender limbs and a more fluid, gentle pull, but could not hit the fish though he sat in the water and was, in the end, surrounded by a virtual cloud of small fish.
  6. virtual
    existing in essence or effect though not in actual fact
    He had made a new bow, with slender limbs and a more fluid, gentle pull, but could not hit the fish though he sat in the water and was, in the end, surrounded by a virtual cloud of small fish.
  7. swell
    increase in size, magnitude, number, or intensity
    He held the fish against the sky until it stopped wiggling, hdd it and looked to the sky and felt his throat tighten, swell, and fill with pride at what he had done.
  8. exult
    feel extreme happiness or elation
    The bow had given him this way and he exulted in it, in the bow, in the arrow, in the fish, in the hatchet, in the sky.
  9. bait
    something used to lure fish or other animals into danger so they can be trapped or killed
    He had taken the scraps back to the water with the thought they might work for bait, and die other fish came by die hundreds to clean them up.
  10. rectify
    make right or correct
    In the city if he made a mistake usually there was a way to rectify it, make it all right If he fell on his bike and sprained a leg he could wait for it to heal; if he forgot something at the store he could find other food in the refrigerator.
  11. vital
    urgently needed; absolutely necessary
    Early in the new time he had learned the most important thing, the truly vital knowledge that drives all creatures in the forest— food is all.
  12. confines
    a bounded scope
    In the tiny confines of the shelter the effect was devastating.
  13. devastating
    wreaking or capable of wreaking complete destruction
    In the tiny confines of the shelter the effect was devastating.
  14. corrosive
    of a substance, especially a strong acid; capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action
    The corrosive spray that hit his face seared into his lungs and eyes, blinding him.
  15. impaired
    mentally or physically unfit
    He thought that he might be permanently blind, or at least impaired—and that would have been the end.
  16. hinge
    a joint that holds two parts together so that one can swing relative to the other
    He had no hinges but by arranging some cut-off limbs at the top in the right way he had a method to hook the door in place, and when he was in and the door was hung he felt relatively safe.
  17. bearing
    a rotating support placed between moving parts to allow them to move easily
    Not bad, he had thought, not bad for somebody who used to have trouble greasing the bearings on his bicycle.
  18. bluff
    a high steep bank (usually formed by river erosion)
    Make some kind of pond...
    to his right, at the base of the rock bluff, there were piles of smaller rocks that had fallen from the main chunk, splinters and hunks, from double-fist size to some as large as his head.
  19. prospect
    the possibility of future success
    But his fish-trash pile of bones and skin and guts was in the pond area and the prospect of food brought them back.
  20. sarcasm
    witty language used to convey insults or scorn
    Fine—sarcasm came into his thoughts—I know that, thank you.
  21. stabilize
    make stable and keep from fluctuating or put into an equilibrium
    Even when a bird was seven or eight feet away the arrow would turn without feathers to stabilize it and hit brush or a twig.
  22. flutter
    flap the wings rapidly or fly with flapping movements
    The bird had sat and he had lunged and the two points took the bird back down into the ground and killed it almost instandy—it had fluttered a bit—and Brian had grabbed it and held it in both hands until he was sure it was dead.
  23. retrieve
    get or find back; recover the use of
    Then he stood and retrieved his arrows and made sure they were all right and went down to the lake to wash the blood off his hands.
  24. detach
    come to be detached
    But something caught his ear or nose and he began to turn, and had his head half around, when he saw a brown wall of fur detach itself from the forest to his rear and come down on him like a runaway truck.
  25. grateful
    feeling or showing gratitude
    When he got to the shelter he crawled inside and was grateful that the coals were still glowing and that he had thought to get wood first thing in the mornings to be ready for the day, grateful that he had thought to get enough wood for two or three days at a time, grateful that he had fish nearby if he needed to eat grateful, finally, as he dozed off, that he was alive.
  26. bough
    any of the larger branches of a tree
    He found the spear and bow where they were hanging on the pegs of the shelter wall and brought his weapons to the bed he had made of pine boughs.
  27. gust
    a strong current of air
    He brushed those off, found more in his pants, brushed those away, and the wind hit again, heavy gusts, tearing gusts.
  28. emphasize
    give extra weight to (a communication)
    As if to emphasize his thoughts the mosquitos—with die fire gone and protective smoke no longer saving him—came back in thick, nostril-clogging swarms.
  29. bellow
    make a loud noise, as of animal
    He rolled out and almost bellowed with pain from his ribs.
  30. unduly
    to an undue degree
    He slowed his movements and stood slowly, without stretching unduly, and went to the lake for a drink.