John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" 101 words

Vocabulary study list for John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men."
  1. douse
    wet thoroughly
    His head still dripped water from the scrubbing and dousing.
  2. appraise
    consider in a comprehensive way
    She appraised him coolly.
  3. dabble
    bob forward and under so as to feed off the bottom of a body of water
    Lennie dabbled his big paw in the water and wiggled his fingers so the water arose in little splashes; rings widened across the pool to the other side and came back again.
  4. bemused
    perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements; filled with bewilderment
    They all sat still, all bemused by the beauty of the thing, each mind was popped into the future when this lovely thing should come about.
  5. wiggle
    move to and fro
    Lennie dabbled his big paw in the water and wiggled his fingers so the water arose in little splashes; rings widened across the pool to the other side and came back again.
  6. whinny
    the characteristic sounds made by a horse
    A horse whinnied.
  7. cringe
    draw back, as with fear or pain
    She whimpered and cringed to the packing box, and jumped in among the puppies.
  8. stilted
    artificially formal
    A stilted heron labored up into the air and pounded down river.
  9. snivel
    cry or whine with snuffling
    He sniveled, and his voice shook.
  10. rectangle
    a parallelogram with four right angles
    Both men glanced up, for the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off.
  11. fawning
    attempting to win favor by flattery
    Lennie gulped and his smile grew more fawning.
  12. crestfallen
    brought low in spirit
    Candy was crestfallen.
  13. derogatory
    expressive of low opinion
    He had drawn a derogatory statement from George.
  14. pugnacious
    tough and callous by virtue of experience
    His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious.
  15. disengage
    release from something that holds fast, connects, or entangles
    Lennie tried to disengage his ear.
  16. recumbent
    lying down; in a position of comfort or rest
    On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan Mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees- willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debris of t
  17. writhe
    to move in a twisting or contorted motion, (especially when struggling)
    Her feet battered on the hay and she writhed to be free; and from under Lennie's hand came a muffled screaming.
  18. fascinate
    to render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe
    Lennie watched her, fascinated.
  19. reprehensible
    bringing or deserving severe rebuke or censure
    When Candy spoke they both jumped as though they had been caught doing something reprehensible.
  20. lightweight
    weighing relatively little compared with another item or object of similar use
    He's a lightweight, and he's handy."
  21. maul
    injure badly by beating
    And he had books, too; a tattered dictionary and a mauled copy of the California civil code for 19O5.
  22. mottled
    having spots or patches of color
    On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan Mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees- willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debris of t
  23. mollify
    cause to be more favorably inclined; gain the good will of
    "Damn right he don't," said George, slightly mollified, "not if he wants to stay workin' long."
  24. vial
    a small bottle that contains a drug (especially a sealed sterile container for injection by needle)
    And there were medicines on the shelves, and little vials, combs; and from nails on the box sides, a few neckties.
  25. receptive
    able to absorb liquid (not repellent)
    He just sat back quiet and receptive.
  26. welter
    a confused multitude of things
    I don't care if you're the best welter in the country.
  27. scuttle
    an entrance equipped with a hatch; especially a passageway between decks of a ship
    Lennie fairly scuttled out of the room.
  28. gingerly
    in a gingerly manner
    Curley stepped gingerly close to him.
  29. giggle
    laugh nervously
    Lennie giggled happily.
  30. amaze
    affect with wonder
    They looked at one another, amazed.
  31. scoff
    laugh at with contempt and derision
    George scoffed.
  32. subside
    sink to a lower level or form a depression
    He subsided, grumbling to himself, threatening the future cats which might dare to disturb the future rabbits.
  33. bounce
    spring back; spring away from an impact
    Just as they reached it, Curley bounced in.
  34. brittle
    having little elasticity; hence easily cracked or fractured or snapped
    Her voice had a nasal, brittle quality.
  35. meager
    deficient in amount or quality or extent
    In the stable buck's room a small electric globe threw a meager yellow light.
  36. slough
    a hollow filled with mud
    He'd slough me.
  37. reversal
    the act of reversing the order or place of
    Candy looked a long time at Slim to try to find some reversal.
  38. sniff
    perceive by inhaling through the nose
    He sniffed, and then lay down and put his head between his paws.
  39. bristle
    a stiff hair
    He stood his broom against the wall and he rubbed his white bristled cheek with his knuckles.
  40. brakes
    a braking device consisting of a combination of interacting parts that work to slow a motor vehicle
    The sound of the approaching grain teams was louder, thud of big hooves on hard ground, drag of brakes and the jingle of trace chains.
  41. pantomime
    a performance using gestures and body movements without words
    But Lennie made an elaborate pantomime of innocence.
  42. accumulate
    get or gather together
    And scattered about the floor were a number of personal possessions; for, being alone, Crooks could leave his things about, and being a stable buck and a cripple, he was more permanent than the other men, and he had accumulated more possessions tha
  43. cower
    crouch or curl up
    He crouched cowering against the wall.
  44. reassure
    cause to feel sure; give reassurance to
    But he was reassured by the swamper's defense.
  45. rigidly
    in a rigid manner
    Candy lay rigidly on his bed staring at the ceiling.
  46. derision
    the act of deriding or treating with contempt
    Through the open door came the thuds and occasional clangs of a horseshoe game, and now and then the sound of voices raised in approval or derision.
  47. mimic
    imitate (a person or manner), especially for satirical effect
    He took on the elaborate manner of little girls when they are mimicking one another.
  48. carnival
    a traveling show; having sideshows and rides and games of skill etc.
    George said wonderingly, "S'pose they was a carnival or a circus come to town, or a ball game, or any damn thing."
  49. rustle
    make a dry crackling sound
    The sycamore limbs rustled under a little wind that died immediately.
  50. apprehensive
    in fear or dread of possible evil or harm
    She was suddenly apprehensive.
  51. laboring
    doing arduous or unpleasant work
    On his head was a soiled brown Stetson hat, and he wore high-heeled boots and spurs to prove he was not a laboring man.
  52. drone
    an unchanging intonation
    Lennie droned to himself softly, "I ain't gonna say nothin'...
  53. discourage
    try to prevent; show opposition to
    Slim neither encouraged nor discouraged him.
  54. lizard
    relatively long-bodied reptile with usually two pairs of legs and a tapering tail
    On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them.
  55. chuckle
    a soft partly suppressed laugh
    He chuckled softly at his joke.
  56. debris
    the remains of something that has been destroyed or broken up
    On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan Mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees- willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debris</
  57. juncture
    the shape or manner in which things come together and a connection is made
    On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan Mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees- willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debr
  58. subdue
    put down by force or intimidation
    Slim gazed at him for a moment and then looked down at his hands; he subdued one hand with the other, and held it down.
  59. calculate
    make a mathematical calculation or computation
    His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious.
  60. scourge
    something causing misery or death
    "Says 'positively kills lice, roaches and other scourges.'
  61. precede
    be earlier in time; go back further
    Carlson stepped back to let Slim precede him, and then the two of them went out the door.
  62. tangle
    twist together or entwine into a confusing mass
    "If he tangles with you, Lennie, we're gonna get the can.
  63. scoop
    the shovel or bucket of a dredge or backhoe
    George knelt beside the pool and drank from his hand with quick scoops.
  64. beak
    horny projecting mouth of a bird
    A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head, and the beak swallowed the little snake while its tail waved frantically.
  65. unaware
    (often followed by `of') not aware
    He pretended to be unaware of Lennie so close beside him.
  66. ripple
    a small wave on the surface of a liquid
    He rippled the edge of the deck nervously, and the little snapping noise drew the eyes of all the men in the room, so that he stopped doing it.
  67. gust
    a strong current of air
    A far rush of wind sounded and a gust drove through the tops of the trees like a wave.
  68. invade
    march aggressively into another's territory by military force for the purposes of conquest and occupation
    It came out of the night and invaded the room.
  69. automatically
    in a mechanical manner; by a mechanism
    Almost automatically George shuffled the cards and laid out his solitaire hand.
  70. spine
    the series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and protecting the spinal cord
    His body was bent over to the left by his crooked spine, and his eyes lay deep in his head, and because of their depth seemed to glitter with intensity.
  71. jeer
    laugh at with contempt and derision
    From outside came the clang of horseshoes on the playing peg and the shouts of men, playing, encouraging, jeering.
  72. twinkling
    shining intermittently with a sparkling light
    The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool.
  73. cone
    a shape whose base is a circle and whose sides taper up to a point
    Instantly the table was brilliant with light, and the cone of the shade threw its brightness straight downward, leaving the corners of the bunkhouse still in dusk.
  74. labored
    requiring or showing effort
    A stilted heron labored up into the air and pounded down river.
  75. aloof
    remote in manner
    This room was swept and fairly neat, for Crooks was a proud, aloof man.
  76. console
    give moral or emotional strength to
    She consoled him.
  77. arouse
    call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
    There was no personality, no ego- nothing to arouse either like or dislike.
  78. squat
    sit on one's heels
    And when they were gone, Candy squatted down in the hay and watched the face of Curley's wife.
  79. adjusted
    altered to accommodate to certain requirements or bring into a proper relation
    Crooks stared at Lennie, and he reached behind him and took down the spectacles and adjusted them over his pink ears and stared again.
  80. concentrate
    make denser, stronger, or purer
    His face was concentrated.
  81. starve
    die of food deprivation
    Why, the poor bastard'd starve."
  82. monotonous
    sounded or spoken in a tone unvarying in pitch
    His voice was monotonous, had no emphasis.
  83. accumulated
    periodically accumulated over time
    And scattered about the floor were a number of personal possessions; for, being alone, Crooks could leave his things about, and being a stable buck and a cripple, he was more permanent than the other men, and he had accumulated more possessions tha
  84. contemplate
    think intently and at length, as for spiritual purposes
    Lennie hesitated, backed away, looked wildly at the brush line as though he contemplated running for his freedom.
  85. moisture
    wetness caused by water
    He took off his hat and wiped the sweat-band with his forefinger and snapped the moisture off.
  86. glimmer
    a flash of light (especially reflected light)
    They made their beds on the sand, and as the blaze dropped from the fire the sphere of light grew smaller; the curling branches disappeared and only a faint glimmer showed where the tree trunks were.
  87. imitate
    reproduce someone's behavior or looks
    Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly.
  88. trigger
    lever that activates the firing mechanism of a gun
    She's a jail bait all set on the trigger.
  89. bait
    something used to lure fish or other animals into danger so they can be trapped or killed
    Lennie avoided the bait.
  90. stump
    the base part of a tree that remains standing after the tree has been felled
    He scratched the stump of his wrist nervously.
  91. hoof
    the foot of an ungulate mammal
    The sound of the approaching grain teams was louder, thud of big hooves on hard ground, drag of brakes and the jingle of trace chains.
  92. don
    teacher at a university or college (especially at Cambridge or Oxford)
    "I been mean, ain't I?" "If you don' want me I can go off in the hills an' find a cave.
  93. dusk
    the time of day immediately following sunset
    The flame of the sunset lifted from the mountaintops and dusk came into the valley, and a half darkness came in among the willows and the sycamores.
  94. inspect
    look over carefully
    He leaned over and inspected the sacking closely.
  95. deliberate
    carefully thought out in advance
    George laid out his deliberate solitaire hand- seven cards, and six on top, and five on top of those.
  96. cage
    an enclosure made or wire or metal bars in which birds or animals can be kept
    I wisht I could put you in a cage with about a million mice an' let you have fun."
  97. adjust
    alter or regulate so as to achieve accuracy or conform to a standard
    Crooks stared at Lennie, and he reached behind him and took down the spectacles and adjusted them over his pink ears and stared again.
  98. whistle
    the sound made by something moving rapidly or by steam coming out of a small aperture
    George lay where he was and whistled softly to himself.
  99. shallow
    lacking physical depth; having little spatial extension downward or inward from an outer surface or backward or outward from a center
    A water snake glided smoothly up the pool, twisting its periscope head from side to side; and it swam the length of the pool and came to the legs of a motionless heron that stood in the shallows.
  100. scratch
    cut the surface of; wear away the surface of
    He scratched the white stubble whiskers on his cheek nervously.
  101. elaborate
    marked by complexity and richness of detail
    But Lennie made an elaborate pantomime of innocence.