Melville's "Moby Dick," Ch's 66-73 30 words

"Moby Dick" is about Captain Ahab and a whale, but it is also about the single-minded pursuit of one thing at the expense of everything else, and the consequences of such a pursuit.

Here are all of our word lists for the novel: Ch's 1-9, Ch's 10-21, Ch's 22-31, Ch's 32-40, Ch's 41-47, Ch's 48-54, Ch's 55-65, Ch's 66-73, Ch's 74-81, Ch's 82-92, Ch's 93-101, Ch's 102-114, Ch's 115-125, Ch's 126-132, and Ch's 133-Epilogue
  1. voracity
    excessive desire to eat
    In most other parts of the ocean, however, where these fish do not so largely abound, their wondrous voracity can be at times considerably diminished, by vigorously stirring them up with sharp whaling-spades, a procedure notwithstanding, which, in some instances, only seems to tickle them into still greater activity.
  2. turbid
    (of liquids) clouded as with sediment
    Nevertheless, upon Stubb setting the anchor-watch after his supper was concluded; and when, accordingly, Queequeg and a forecastle seaman came on deck, no small excitement was created among the sharks; for immediately suspending the cutting stages over the side, and lowering three lanterns, so that they cast long gleams of light over the turbid sea, these two mariners, darting their long whaling-spades, kept up an incessant murdering of the sharks,*
  3. prodigious
    so great in size or force or extent as to elicit awe
    For the strain constantly kept up by the windlass continually keeps the whale rolling over and over in the water, and as the blubber in one strip uniformly peels off along the line called the "scarf," simultaneously cut by the spades of Starbuck and Stubb, the mates; and just as fast as it is thus peeled off, and indeed by that very act itself, it is all the time being hoisted higher and higher aloft till its upper end grazes the main-top; the men at the windlass then cease heaving, and for a mo
  4. assuage
    provide physical relief, as from pain
    And thus the work proceeds; the two tackles hoisting and lowering simultaneously; both whale and windlass heaving, the heavers singing, the blubber-room gentlemen coiling, the mates scarfing, the ship straining, and all hands swearing occasionally, by way of assuaging the general friction.
  5. veritable
    not counterfeit or copied
    In some instances, to the quick, observant eye, those linear marks, as in a veritable engraving, but afford the ground for far other delineations.
  6. retentive
    good at remembering
    By my retentive memory of the hieroglyphics upon one Sperm Whale in particular, I was much struck with a plate representing the old Indian characters chiselled on the famous hieroglyphic palisades on the banks of the Upper Mississippi.
  7. palisade
    surround with a wall in order to fortify
    By my retentive memory of the hieroglyphics upon one Sperm Whale in particular, I was much struck with a plate representing the old Indian characters chiselled on the famous hieroglyphic palisades on the banks of the Upper Mississippi.
  8. mystic
    having an import not apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence; beyond ordinary understanding
    Like those mystic rocks, too, the mystic-marked whale remains undecipherable.
  9. allusion
    passing reference or indirect mention
    This allusion to the Indian rocks reminds me of another thing.
  10. efface
    make inconspicuous
    Besides all the other phenomena which the exterior of the Sperm Whale presents, he not seldom displays the back, and more especially his flanks, effaced in great part of the regular linear appearance, by reason of numerous rude scratches, altogether of an irregular, random aspect.
  11. rapacious
    living by preying on other animals especially by catching living prey
    Slowly it floats more and more away, the water round it torn and splashed by the insatiate sharks, and the air above vexed with rapacious flights of screaming fowls, whose beaks are like so many insulting poniards in the whale.
  12. augment
    grow or intensify
    The vast white headless phantom floats further and further from the ship, and every rod that it so floats, what seem square roods of sharks and cubic roods of fowls, augment the murderous din.
  13. doleful
    filled with or evoking sadness
    There's a most doleful and most mocking funeral!
  14. desecrate
    remove the consecration from a person or an object
    Desecrated as the body is, a vengeful ghost survives and hovers over it to scare.
  15. untoward
    not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society
    Bear in mind, too, that under these untoward circumstances he has to cut many feet deep in the flesh; and in that subterraneous manner, without so much as getting one single peep into the ever-contracting gash thus made, he must skilfully steer clear of all adjacent, interdicted parts, and exactly divide the spine at a critical point hard by its insertion into the skull.
  16. venerable
    impressive by reason of age
    "Speak, thou vast and venerable head," muttered Ahab, "which, though ungarnished with a beard, yet here and there lookest hoary with mosses; speak, mighty head, and tell us the secret thing that is in thee.
  17. hoary
    ancient
    "Speak, thou vast and venerable head," muttered Ahab, "which, though ungarnished with a beard, yet here and there lookest hoary with mosses; speak, mighty head, and tell us the secret thing that is in thee.
  18. infidel
    a person who does not acknowledge your god
    O head! thou hast seen enough to split the planets and make an infidel of Abraham, and not one syllable is thine!"
  19. cabalistic
    having a secret or hidden meaning
    A long-skirted, cabalistically-cut coat of a faded walnut tinge enveloped him; the overlapping sleeves of which were rolled up on his wrists.
  20. preternatural
    surpassing the ordinary or normal
    The unflinching earnestness with which he declared these things;—the dark, daring play of his sleepless, excited imagination, and all the preternatural terrors of real delirium, united to invest this Gabriel in the minds of the majority of the ignorant crew, with an atmosphere of sacredness.
  21. disciple
    someone who believes and helps to spread the doctrine of another
    So strongly did he work upon his disciples among the crew, that at last in a body they went to the captain and told him if Gabriel was sent from the ship, not a man of them would remain.
  22. bilious
    irritable as if suffering from indigestion
    "Think, think of the fevers, yellow and bilious!
  23. caprice
    a sudden desire
    Nothing was said for some moments, while a succession of riotous waves rolled by, which by one of those occasional caprices of the seas were tumbling, not heaving it.
  24. incarnate
    represent in bodily form
    Greedily sucking in this intelligence, Gabriel solemnly warned the captain against attacking the White Whale, in case the monster should be seen; in his gibbering insanity, pronouncing the White Whale to be no less a being than the Shaker God incarnated; the Shakers receiving the Bible.
  25. denunciation
    a public act of denouncing
    But when, some year or two afterwards, Moby Dick was fairly sighted from the mast-heads, Macey, the chief mate, burned with ardour to encounter him; and the captain himself being not unwilling to let him have the opportunity, despite all the archangel's denunciations and forewarnings, Macey succeeded in persuading five men to man his boat.
  26. sacrilegious
    grossly irreverent toward what is held to be sacred
    Meantime, Gabriel, ascending to the main-royal mast-head, was tossing one arm in frantic gestures, and hurling forth prophecies of speedy doom to the sacrilegious assailants of his divinity.
  27. mutinous
    disposed to or in a state of mutiny
    Then Gabriel shrieked out to his comrades to give way with their oars, and in that manner the mutinous boat rapidly shot away from the Pequod.
  28. interregnum
    the time between two reigns, governments, etc.
    Therefore, I saw that here was a sort of interregnum in Providence; for its even-handed equity never could have so gross an injustice.
  29. benevolent
    showing or motivated by sympathy and understanding and generosity
    This procedure of theirs, to be sure, was very disinterested and benevolent of them.
  30. ignoble
    completely lacking nobility in character or quality or purpose
    "I wonder what the old man wants with this lump of foul lard," said Stubb, not without some disgust at the thought of having to do with so ignoble a leviathan.