F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" Chapters 1-5 307 words

Vocabulary study list for F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" (Chapters 1-5).
  1. domesticate
    make fit for cultivation, domestic life, and service to humans
    Twenty miles from the city a pair of enormous eggs, identical in contour and separated only by a courtesy bay, jut out into the most domesticated body of salt water in the Western Hemisphere, the great wet barnyard of Long Island Sound.
  2. tantalize
    harass with persistent criticism or carping
    "But I swore I wouldn't tell it and here I am tantalizing you."
  3. amputate
    remove surgically
    Half a dozen fingers pointed at the amputated wheel--he stared at it for a moment and then looked upward as though he suspected that it had dropped from the sky.
  4. exhilarate
    fill with sublime emotion
  5. responsiveness
    the quality of being responsive; reacting quickly; as a quality of people, it involves responding with emotion to people and events
    This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the "creative temperament"--it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and
  6. vacuous
    devoid of matter
    A celebrated tenor had sung in Italian and a notorious contralto had sung in jazz and between the numbers people were doing "stunts" all over the garden, while happy vacuous bursts of laughter rose toward the summer sky.
  7. oculist
    a person skilled in testing for defects of vision in order to prescribe corrective glasses
    Evidently some wild wag of an oculist set them there to fatten his practice in the borough of Queens, and then sank down himself into eternal blindness or forgot them and moved away.
  8. submerge
    put under water
    The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be--will be utterly submerged.
  9. olfactory
    of or relating to olfaction
    Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money.
  10. modish
    in the current fashion or style
    As we crossed Blackwell's Island a limousine passed us, driven by a white chauffeur, in which sat three modish Negroes, two bucks and a girl.
  11. fluctuate
    move or sway in a rising and falling or wavelike pattern
    Tthey came to gamble and when Ferret wandered into the garden it meant he was cleaned out and Associated Traction would have to fluctuate profitably next day.
  12. decompose
    separate (substances) into constituent elements or parts
    A reluctant elevator boy went for a box full of straw and some milk to which he added on his own initiative a tin of large hard dog biscuits--one of which decomposed apathetically in the saucer of milk all afternoon.
  13. accentuate
    to stress, single out as important
    She was a slender, small-breasted girl, with an erect carriage which she accentuated by throwing her body backward at the shoulders like a young cadet.
  14. rakish
    marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners
    Her eyebrows had been plucked and then drawn on again at a more rakish angle but the efforts of nature toward the restoration of the old alignment gave a blurred air to her face.
  15. permeate
    spread or diffuse through
    The bar is in full swing and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside until the air is alive with chatter and laughter and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot and enthusiastic meetings between women who never kne
  16. scrutinize
    examine carefully for accuracy with the intent of verification
    Together we scrutinized the twelve lemon cakes from the delicatessen shop.
  17. demoniac
    someone who acts as if possessed by a demon
    I had them both on their feet with the desperate suggestion that they help me make tea in the kitchen when the demoniac Finn brought it in on a tray.
  18. dangle
    hang freely
    Then, very gradually, part by part, a pale dangling individual stepped out of the wreck, pawing tentatively at the ground with a large uncertain dancing shoe.
  19. fumble
    feel about uncertainly or blindly
    At least----" He fumbled with a series of beginnings.
  20. punctilious
    marked by precise accordance with details
    This quality was continually breaking through his punctilious manner in the shape of restlessness.
  21. headlight
    a powerful light with reflector; attached to the front of an automobile or locomotive
    Fifty feet from the door a dozen headlights illuminated a bizarre and tumultuous scene.
  22. indeterminate
    not precisely determined or established; not fixed or known in advance
    In a basket, swung from his neck, cowered a dozen very recent puppies of an indeterminate breed.
  23. coherence
    the state of cohering or sticking together
    The murmur trembled on the verge of coherence, sank down, mounted excitedly, and then ceased altogether.
  24. facet
    a distinct feature or element in a problem
    Her face, above a spotted dress of dark blue crepe-de-chine, contained no facet or gleam of beauty but there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smouldering.
  25. bantering
    cleverly amusing in tone
    Sometimes she and Miss Baker talked at once, unobtrusively and with a bantering inconsequence that was never quite chatter, that was as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire.
  26. disarray
    untidiness (especially of clothing and appearance)
    He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray.
  27. crescendo
    (music) a gradual increase in loudness
    The caterwauling horns had reached a crescendo and I turned away and cut across the lawn toward home.
  28. mincing
    affectedly dainty or refined
    "My dear," she told her sister in a high mincing shout, "most of these fellas will cheat you every time.
  29. nebulous
    lacking definite form or limits
    He was now decently clothed in a "sport shirt" open at the neck, sneakers and duck trousers of a nebulous hue.
  30. succulent
    full of juice
    A succulent hash arrived, and Mr. Wolfshiem, forgetting the more sentimental atmosphere of the old Metropole, began to eat with ferocious delicacy.
  31. paralyze
    cause to be paralyzed and immobile
    "I'm p-paralyzed with happiness."
  32. corroborate
    give evidence for
    "That's right," corroborated Tom kindly.
  33. corrugated
    shaped into alternating parallel grooves and ridges
    After the house, we were to see the grounds and the swimming pool, and the hydroplane and the midsummer flowers--but outside Gatsby's window it began to rain again so we stood in a row looking at the corrugated surface of the Sound.
  34. corpulent
    excessively fat
    I had expected that Mr. Gatsby would be a florid and corpulent person in his middle years.
  35. convivial
    occupied with or fond of the pleasures of good company
    When the "Jazz History of the World" was over girls were putting their heads on men's shoulders in a puppyish, convivial way, girls were swooning backward playfully into men's arms, even into groups knowing that some one would arrest their falls--b
  36. girder
    a beam made usually of steel; a main support in a structure
    Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money.
  37. innuendo
    an indirect (and usually malicious) implication
    The bar is in full swing and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside until the air is alive with chatter and laughter and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot and enthusiastic meetings between women who never kne
  38. fluctuating
    having unpredictable ups and downs
    I think that voice held him most with its fluctuating, feverish warmth because it couldn't be over-dreamed--that voice was a deathless song.
  39. sporadic
    recurring in scattered and irregular or unpredictable instances
    He was balancing himself on the dashboard of his car with that resourcefulness of movement that is so peculiarly American--that comes, I suppose, with the absence of lifting work or rigid sitting in youth and, even more, with the formless grace of our ner
  40. recurrent
    recurring again and again
    When he realized what I was talking about, that there were twinkle-bells of sunshine in the room, he smiled like a weather man, like an ecstatic patron of recurrent light, and repeated the news to Daisy.
  41. ashen
    anemic looking from illness or emotion
    A white ashen dust veiled his dark suit and his pale hair as it veiled everything in the vicinity--except his wife, who moved close to Tom.

    "I want to see you," said Tom intently.
  42. infinitesimal
    infinitely or immeasurably small
    I am, and you are and you are and----" After an infinitesimal hesitation he included Daisy with a slight nod and she winked at me again. "--and we've produced all the things that go to make civilization--oh, science and art and all that.
  43. fascinate
    to render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe
    It was touching to see them together--it made you laugh in a hushed, fascinated way.
  44. domesticated
    converted or adapted to domestic use
    Twenty miles from the city a pair of enormous eggs, identical in contour and separated only by a courtesy bay, jut out into the most domesticated body of salt water in the Western Hemisphere, the great wet barnyard of Long Island Sound.
  45. pessimist
    a person who expects the worst
    "I've gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things.
  46. supercilious
    having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy
    Now he was a sturdy, straw haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner.
  47. topple
    fall down, as if collapsing
    Once he nearly toppled down a flight of stairs.
  48. distraught
    deeply agitated especially from emotion
    His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock and from this position his distraught eyes stared down at Daisy who was sitting frightened but graceful on the edge of a stiff chair.
  49. turbulence
    instability in the atmosphere
    This was a permanent move, said Daisy over the telephone, but I didn't believe it--I had no sight into Daisy's heart but I felt that Tom would drift on forever seeking a little wistfully for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football ga
  50. urbane
    showing a high degree of refinement and the assurance that comes from wide social experience
    "Anyhow he gives large parties," said Jordan, changing the subject with an urbane distaste for the concrete.
  51. strident
    unpleasantly loud and harsh
    I wanted to get out and walk eastward toward the park through the soft twilight but each time I tried to go I became entangled in some wild strident argument which pulled me back, as if with ropes, into my chair.
  52. smirk
    smile affectedly or derisively
    I waited, and sure enough, in a moment she looked at me with an absolute smirk on her lovely face as if she had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged.
  53. communicative
    able or tending to communicate
    He didn't say any more but we've always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that.
  54. undefined
    not precisely limited, determined, or distinguished
    So my first impression, that he was a person of some undefined consequence, had gradually faded and he had become simply the proprietor of an elaborate roadhouse next door.
  55. elation
    a feeling of joy and pride
    No--Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
  56. probity
    complete and confirmed integrity; having strong moral principles
    In the early morning the sun threw my shadow westward as I hurried down the white chasms of lower New York to the Probity Trust.
  57. subterfuge
    something intended to misrepresent the true nature of an activity
    She wasn't able to endure being at a disadvantage, and given this unwillingness I suppose she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep that cool, insolent smile turned to the world and yet satisfy the demands of her
  58. hilarity
    great merriment
    By midnight the hilarity had increased.
  59. defunct
    no longer in force or use; inactive
    His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock and from this position his distraught eyes stared down at Daisy who was sitting frightened but graceful on the edge of a stiff chair.
  60. dominance
    the power or right to give orders or make decisions
    Two shining, arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward.
  61. jaunty
    having a cheerful, lively, and self-confident air
    She was hurrying off as she talked--her brown hand waved a jaunty salute as she melted into her party at the door.
  62. inappropriate
    not suitable for a particular occasion etc
    "Let's get out," whispered Jordan, after a somehow wasteful and inappropriate half hour.
  63. threadbare
    having the nap worn away so that the threads show through
    The very phrases were worn so threadbare that they evoked no image except that of a turbaned "character" leaking sawdust at every pore as he pursued a tiger through the Bois de Boulogne.
  64. effeminate
    having unsuitable feminine qualities
    Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body--he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved unde
  65. amaze
    affect with wonder
    As soon as I arrived I made an attempt to find my host but the two or three people of whom I asked his whereabouts stared at me in such an amazed way and denied so vehemently any knowledge of his movements that I slunk off in the direction of the c
  66. contiguous
    having a common boundary or edge; abutting; touching
    The only building in sight was a small block of yellow brick sitting on the edge of the waste land, a sort of compact Main Street ministering to it and contiguous to absolutely nothing.
  67. illuminate
    make lighter or brighter
    Fifty feet from the door a dozen headlights illuminated a bizarre and tumultuous scene.
  68. cornice
    the topmost projecting part of an entablature
    Unlike Gatsby and Tom Buchanan I had no girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs and so I drew up the girl beside me, tightening my arms.
  69. denizen
    a plant or animal naturalized in a region
    He's quite a character around New York--a denizen of Broadway."
  70. exhilarating
    making lively and joyful
    The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain.
  71. abortive
    failing to accomplish an intended result
    No--Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
  72. interpose
    introduce
    "No, you don't," interposed Tom quickly.
  73. bounce
    spring back; spring away from an impact
    He lit Daisy's cigarette from a trembling match, and sat down with her on a couch far across the room where there was no light save what the gleaming floor bounced in from the hall.
  74. ferret
    domesticated albino variety of the European polecat bred for hunting rats and rabbits
    Da Fontano the promoter came there, and Ed Legros and James B. ("Rot-Gut") Ferret and the De Jongs and Ernest Lilly--they came to gamble and when Ferret wandered into the garden it meant he was cleaned out and Associated Traction would have to fluc
  75. prehistoric
    belonging to or existing in times before recorded history
    Once more it was pouring and my irregular lawn, well-shaved by Gatsby's gardener, abounded in small muddy swamps and prehistoric marshes.
  76. retract
    formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure
    A caddy retracted his statement and the only other witness admitted that he might have been mistaken.
  77. incredulity
    doubt about the truth of something
    My incredulity was submerged in fascination now; it was like skimming hastily through a dozen magazines.
  78. transcendent
    exceeding or surpassing usual limits especially in excellence
    This is a valley of ashes--a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly an
  79. deft
    skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands
    Evidently it surprised her as much as it did me, for she yawned and with a series of rapid, deft movements stood up into the room.
  80. sufficiency
    the quality of being sufficient for the end in view
    Almost any exhibition of complete self sufficiency draws a stunned tribute from me.
  81. florid
    elaborately or excessively ornamented
    I had expected that Mr. Gatsby would be a florid and corpulent person in his middle years.
  82. elude
    escape, either physically or mentally
    "

    The nature of Mr. Tostoff's composition eluded me, because just as it began my eyes fell on Gatsby, standing alone on the marble steps and looking from one group to another with approving eyes.
  83. gruff
    brusque and surly and forbidding
    His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed.
  84. discordant
    not in agreement or harmony
    However, as they had left their cars blocking the road a harsh discordant din from those in the rear had been audible for some time and added to the already violent confusion of the scene.
  85. pungent
    strong and sharp;"the pungent taste of radishes"
    Turning me around by one arm he moved a broad flat hand along the front vista, including in its sweep a sunken Italian garden, a half acre of deep pungent roses and a snub-nosed motor boat that bumped the tide off shore.
  86. evoke
    call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
    The very phrases were worn so threadbare that they evoked no image except that of a turbaned "character" leaking sawdust at every pore as he pursued a tiger through the Bois de Boulogne.
  87. brakes
    a braking device consisting of a combination of interacting parts that work to slow a motor vehicle
    But I am slow-thinking and full of interior rules that act as brakes on my desires, and I knew that first I had to get myself definitely out of that tangle back home.
  88. pivot
    axis consisting of a short shaft that supports something that turns
    Her laughter, her gestures, her assertions became more violently affected moment by moment and as she expanded the room grew smaller around her until she seemed to be revolving on a noisy, creaking pivot through the smoky air.
  89. confuse
    mistake one thing for another
    Their interest rather touched me and made them less remotely rich--nevertheless, I was confused and a little disgusted as I drove away.
  90. intrude
    enter uninvited
    We went upstairs, through period bedrooms swathed in rose and lavender silk and vivid with new flowers, through dressing rooms and poolrooms, and bathrooms with sunken baths--intruding into one chamber where a dishevelled man in pajamas was doing l
  91. savor
    the taste experience when a savoury condiment is taken into the mouth
    Her husband, among various physical accomplishments, had been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven--a national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything after
  92. somber
    grave or even gloomy in character
    The friends looked out at us with the tragic eyes and short upper lips of south-eastern Europe, and I was glad that the sight of Gatsby's splendid car was included in their somber holiday.
  93. generality
    the quality of being general or widespread or having general applicability
    But I can still read the grey names and they will give you a better impression than my generalities of those who accepted Gatsby's hospitality and paid him the subtle tribute of knowing nothing whatever about him.
  94. responsive
    reacting to a stimulus
    He waited a moment longer, hoping I'd begin a conversation, but I was too absorbed to be responsive, so he went unwillingly home.
  95. cower
    crouch or curl up
    In a basket, swung from his neck, cowered a dozen very recent puppies of an indeterminate breed.
  96. reciprocal
    concerning each of two or more persons or things; especially given or done in return
    Her grey sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming discontented face.
  97. conservatory
    a schoolhouse with special facilities for fine arts
    Sitting down behind many layers of glass in a sort of green leather conservatory we started to town.
  98. levity
    a manner lacking seriousness
    Most of the confidences were unsought--frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon--for the intimate revelations of young men
  99. peremptory
    putting an end to all debate or action
    Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart.
  100. scamper
    to move about or proceed hurriedly
    On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city, between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains.
  101. revolve
    turn on or around an axis or a center
    Her laughter, her gestures, her assertions became more violently affected moment by moment and as she expanded the room grew smaller around her until she seemed to be revolving on a noisy, creaking pivot through the smoky air.
  102. reassure
    cause to feel sure; give reassurance to
    This seemed to reassure him and he continued more confidently.
  103. marred
    blemished by injury or rough wear
    Most of the confidences were unsought--frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon--for the intimate revelations of young men or at
  104. incredulous
    not disposed or willing to believe; unbelieving
    With an effort I managed to restrain my incredulous laughter.
  105. rivulet
    a small stream
    The tears coursed down her cheeks--not freely, however, for when they came into contact with her heavily beaded eyelashes they assumed an inky color, and pursued the rest of their way in slow black rivulets.
  106. hazy
    filled or abounding with fog or mist
    I have been drunk just twice in my life and the second time was that afternoon so everything that happened has a dim hazy cast over it although until after eight o'clock the apartment was full of cheerful sun.
  107. garnish
    decorate (food), as with parsley or other ornamental foods
    On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.
  108. elevate
    raise from a lower to a higher position
    With fenders spread like wings we scattered light through half Astoria--only half, for as we twisted among the pillars of the elevated I heard the familiar "jug--jug--SPAT!" of a motor cycle, and a frantic policeman rode alongside.
  109. banter
    light teasing repartee
    Sometimes she and Miss Baker talked at once, unobtrusively and with a bantering inconsequence that was never quite chatter, that was as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire.
  110. credulity
    tendency to believe readily
    As our credulity switched back to her she leaned forward with enthusiasm.
  111. retribution
    the act of correcting for your wrongdoing
    His right hand suddenly ordered divine retribution to stand by.
  112. unaffected
    undergoing no change when acted upon
    Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction--Gatsby who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn.
  113. ramble
    move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment
    Instead of rambling this party had preserved a dignified homogeneity, and assumed to itself the function of representing the staid nobility of the countryside--East Egg condescending to West Egg, and carefully on guard against its spectroscopic gay
  114. irrelevant
    having no bearing on or connection with the subject at issue
    (I've heard it said that Daisy's murmur was only to make people lean toward her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming.)
  115. epigram
    a witty saying
    This isn't just an epigram--life is much more successfully looked at from a single window, after all.
  116. complacency
    the feeling you have when you are satisfied with yourself
    There was something pathetic in his concentration as if his complacency, more acute than of old, was not enough to him any more.
  117. eddy
    a miniature whirlpool or whirlwind resulting when the current of a fluid doubles back on itself
    Dressed up in white flannels I went over to his lawn a little after seven and wandered around rather ill-at-ease among swirls and eddies of people I didn't know--though here and there was a face I had noticed on the commuting train.
  118. rigidly
    in a rigid manner
    Then he sat down, rigidly, his elbow on the arm of the sofa and his chin in his hand.
  119. spat
    a quarrel about petty points
    With fenders spread like wings we scattered light through half Astoria--only half, for as we twisted among the pillars of the elevated I heard the familiar "jug--jug--SPAT!" of a motor cycle, and a frantic policeman rode alongside.
  120. flick
    throw or toss with a quick motion
    It started because she passed so close to some workmen that our fender flicked a button on one man's coat.
  121. facade
    the face or front of a building
    We passed a barrier of dark trees, and then the facade of Fifty-ninth Street, a block of delicate pale light, beamed down into the park.
  122. stumble
    miss a step and fall or nearly fall
    The living room was crowded to the doors with a set of tapestried furniture entirely too large for it so that to move about was to stumble continually over scenes of ladies swinging in the gardens of Versailles.
  123. jovial
    full of or showing high-spirited merriment
    He smiled with jovial condescension and added "Some sensation!" whereupon everybody laughed.
  124. stationary
    not capable of being moved
    The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon.
  125. benediction
    a ceremonial prayer invoking divine protection
    Mr. Wolfshiem raised his hand in a sort of benediction.
  126. labyrinth
    complex system of paths or tunnels in which it is easy to get lost
    It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns.
  127. loiter
    be about
    At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others--poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner--young clerks in the dusk, wasting t
  128. rustle
    make a dry crackling sound
    Mrs. Wilson had changed her costume some time before and was now attired in an elaborate afternoon dress of cream colored chiffon, which gave out a continual rustle as she swept about the room.
  129. bizarre
    conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual
    I lived at West Egg, the--well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.
  130. regal
    belonging to or befitting a supreme ruler
    Throwing a regal homecoming glance around the neighborhood, Mrs. Wilson gathered up her dog and her other purchases and went haughtily in.
  131. tangible
    perceptible by the senses especially the sense of touch
    Tom and Miss Baker, with several feet of twilight between them strolled back into the library, as if to a vigil beside a perfectly tangible body, while trying to look pleasantly interested and a little deaf I followed Daisy around a chain of connec
  132. poignant
    keenly distressing to the mind or feelings
    At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others--poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner--young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most
  133. buffet
    a piece of furniture that stands at the side of a dining room; has shelves and drawers
    On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.
  134. elicit
    call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
    It appreciated fully the chain of national circumstances which had elicited this tribute from Montenegro's warm little heart.
  135. sumptuous
    rich and superior in quality
    It had occurred to me that this shadow of a garage must be a blind and that sumptuous and romantic apartments were concealed overhead when the proprietor himself appeared in the door of an office, wiping his hands on a piece of waste.
  136. inconceivable
    totally unlikely
    He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through to the end, waited with his teeth set, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of intensity.
  137. repute
    the state of being held in high esteem and honor
    In addition to all these I can remember that Faustina O'Brien came there at least once and the Baedeker girls and young Brewer who had his nose shot off in the war and Mr. Albrucksburger and Miss Haag, his fiancée, and
  138. generate
    bring into existence
    It was the hour of a profound human change, and excitement was generating on the air.
  139. lurch
    walk as if unable to control one's movements
    The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music and the opera of voices pitches a key higher.
  140. vestige
    an indication that something has been present
    They were sitting at either end of the couch looking at each other as if some question had been asked or was in the air, and every vestige of embarrassment was gone.
  141. aspire
    have an ambitious plan or a lofty goal
    Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night.
  142. cataract
    a large waterfall; violent rush of water over a precipice
    At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam.
  143. momentum
    the product of a body's mass and its velocity
    The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens--finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of i
  144. ravage
    cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
    And on Mondays eight servants including an extra gardener toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.
  145. enormously
    extremely
    His family were enormously wealthy--even in college his freedom with money was a matter for reproach--but now he'd left Chicago and come east in a fashion that rather took your breath away: for instance he'd brought down a string of polo ponies fro
  146. gaudy
    tastelessly showy
    The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing upstairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors and hair shorn in strange new ways an
  147. abnormal
    not normal; not typical or usual or regular or conforming to a norm
    The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown
  148. proximity
    the property of being close together
    My own house was an eye-sore, but it was a small eye-sore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbor's lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires--all for eighty dollars a month.
  149. erroneous
    containing or characterized by error
    A momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her and there is a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray's understudy from the "Follies."
  150. implore
    call upon in supplication; entreat
    Eluding Jordan's undergraduate who was now engaged in an obstetrical conversation with two chorus girls, and who implored me to join him, I went inside.
  151. promoter
    someone who is an active supporter and advocate
    Da Fontano the promoter came there, and Ed Legros and James B. ("Rot-Gut") Ferret and the De Jongs and Ernest Lilly--they came to gamble and when Ferret wandered into the garden it meant he was cleaned out and Associated Traction would have to fluc
  152. gull
    mostly white aquatic bird having long pointed wings and short legs
    They are not perfect ovals--like the egg in the Columbus story they are both crushed flat at the contact end--but their physical resemblance must be a source of perpetual confusion to the gulls that fly overhead.
  153. dissension
    disagreement among those expected to cooperate
    Even Jordan's party, the quartet from East Egg, were rent asunder by dissension.
  154. impenetrable
    not admitting of penetration or passage into or through
    Occasionally a line of grey cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-grey men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud which screens their obscure operations fro
  155. subdue
    put down by force or intimidation
    A subdued impassioned murmur was audible in the room beyond and Miss Baker leaned forward, unashamed, trying to hear.
  156. precede
    be earlier in time; go back further
    Slenderly, languidly, their hands set lightly on their hips the two young women preceded us out onto a rosy-colored porch open toward the sunset where four candles flickered on the table in the diminished wind.
  157. tangle
    twist together or entwine into a confusing mass
    But I am slow-thinking and full of interior rules that act as brakes on my desires, and I knew that first I had to get myself definitely out of that tangle back home.
  158. languid
    lacking spirit or liveliness
    His wife was shrill, languid, handsome and horrible.
  159. arrogant
    having or showing feelings of unwarranted importance out of overbearing pride
    Two shining, arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward.
  160. doze
    a light fitful sleep
    Mr. McKee awoke from his doze and started in a daze toward the door.
  161. libel
    a false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person
    "It's libel.
  162. chasm
    a deep opening in the earth's surface
    In the early morning the sun threw my shadow westward as I hurried down the white chasms of lower New York to the Probity Trust.
  163. asunder
    into parts or pieces
    Even Jordan's party, the quartet from East Egg, were rent asunder by dissension.
  164. sparkle
    emit or produce sparks
    With enchanting murmurs Daisy admired this aspect or that of the feudal silhouette against the sky, admired the gardens, the sparkling odor of jonquils and the frothy odor of hawthorn and plum blossoms and the pale gold odor of kiss-me-at-the-gate.
  165. turbulent
    characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination
    I saw that turbulent emotions possessed her, so I asked what I thought would be some sedative questions about her little girl.
  166. distorted
    so badly formed or out of shape as to be ugly
    When I came back they had disappeared so I sat down discreetly in the living room and read a chapter of "Simon Called Peter"--either it was terrible stuff or the whiskey distorted things because it didn't make any sense to me.
  167. premature
    too soon or too hasty
    "You've dyed your hair since then," remarked Jordan, and I started but the girls had moved casually on and her remark was addressed to the premature moon, produced like the supper, no doubt, out of a caterer's basket.
  168. formality
    a requirement of etiquette or custom
    Precisely at that point it vanished--and I was looking at an elegant young rough-neck, a year or two over thirty, whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd.
  169. saunter
    walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
    His acquaintances resented the fact that he turned up in popular restaurants with her and, leaving her at a table, sauntered about, chatting with whomsoever he knew.
  170. ripple
    a small wave on the surface of a liquid
    A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding cake of the ceiling--and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the se
  171. vulnerable
    capable of being wounded or hurt
    In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
  172. migration
    the movement of persons from one country or locality to another
    I graduated from New Haven in 1915, just a quarter of a century after my father, and a little later I participated in that delayed Teutonic migration known as the Great War. I enjoyed the counter-raid so thoroughly that I came back restless.
  173. gust
    a strong current of air
    While the rain continued it had seemed like the murmur of their voices, rising and swelling a little, now and then, with gusts of emotion.
  174. automatically
    in a mechanical manner; by a mechanism
    "I did, old sport," he said automatically, "but I lost most of it in the big panic--the panic of the war."
  175. surviving
    still in existence
    A wafer of a moon was shining over Gatsby's house, making the night fine as before and surviving the laughter and the sound of his still glowing garden.
  176. constrained
    lacking spontaneity; not natural
    When he was gone I turned immediately to Jordan--constrained to assure her of my surprise.
  177. abstraction
    the process of formulating general concepts by abstracting common properties of instances
    Gatsby took an arm of each of us and moved forward into the restaurant whereupon Mr. Wolfshiem swallowed a new sentence he was starting and lapsed into a somnambulatory abstraction.
  178. visibly
    in a visible manner
    "I can't--when I try to----"

    He had passed visibly through two states and was entering upon a third.
  179. totter
    move without being stable, as if threatening to fall
    At any rate Miss Baker's lips fluttered, she nodded at me almost imperceptibly and then quickly tipped her head back again--the object she was balancing had obviously tottered a little and given her something of a fright.
  180. disconcert
    cause to lose one's composure
    And then came that disconcerting ride.
  181. indefinite
    vague or not clearly defined or stated
    I began to walk about the room, examining various indefinite objects in the half darkness.
  182. colossal
    so great in size or force or extent as to elicit awe
    The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard--it was a factual imitation of some Hôtel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimmin
  183. dissolve
    pass into a solution
    The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath--already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the center of
  184. spade
    a sturdy hand shovel that can be pushed into the earth with the foot
    Occasionally a line of grey cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-grey men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud which screens their obscure operations fro
  185. glaring
    shining intensely
    Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes.
  186. expanse
    a wide and open space or area as of surface or land or sky
    We both looked at the grass--there was a sharp line where my ragged lawn ended and the darker, well-kept expanse of his began.
  187. stimulate
    cause to do; cause to act in a specified manner
    Something in her tone reminded me of the other girl's "I think he killed a man," and had the effect of stimulating my curiosity.
  188. fervent
    characterized by intense emotion
    "We've got to beat them down," whispered Daisy, winking ferociously toward the fervent sun.
  189. discreet
    marked by prudence or modesty and wise self-restraint
    "It'd be more discreet to go to Europe."
  190. consume
    serve oneself to, or consume regularly
    After his embarrassment and his unreasoning joy he was consumed with wonder at her presence.
  191. devoid
    completely wanting or lacking
    Miss Baker and I exchanged a short glance consciously devoid of meaning.
  192. pore
    any tiny hole admitting passage of a liquid (fluid or gas)
    The very phrases were worn so threadbare that they evoked no image except that of a turbaned "character" leaking sawdust at every pore as he pursued a tiger through the Bois de Boulogne.
  193. audible
    heard or perceptible by the ear
    A subdued impassioned murmur was audible in the room beyond and Miss Baker leaned forward, unashamed, trying to hear.
  194. participate
    become a participant; be involved in
    I graduated from New Haven in 1915, just a quarter of a century after my father, and a little later I participated in that delayed Teutonic migration known as the Great War. I enjoyed the counter-raid so thoroughly that I came back restless.
  195. staid
    characterized by dignity and propriety
    Instead of rambling this party had preserved a dignified homogeneity, and assumed to itself the function of representing the staid nobility of the countryside--East Egg condescending to West Egg, and carefully on guard against its spectroscopic gay
  196. cynical
    believing the worst of human nature and motives; having a sneering disbelief in e.g. selflessness of others
    "Well, I've had a very bad time, Nick, and I'm pretty cynical about everything."
  197. incline
    lower or bend (the head or upper body), as in a nod or bow
    In consequence I'm inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores.
  198. engross
    devote (oneself) fully to
    They were so engrossed in each other that she didn't see me until I was five feet away.
  199. bleak
    unpleasantly cold and damp
    But above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg.
  200. privy
    hidden from general view or use
    The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown
  201. intricate
    having many complexly arranged elements; elaborate
    If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten th
  202. ferocious
    marked by extreme and violent energy
    A succulent hash arrived, and Mr. Wolfshiem, forgetting the more sentimental atmosphere of the old Metropole, began to eat with ferocious delicacy.
  203. conscientious
    characterized by extreme care and great effort
    The other girl, Daisy, made an attempt to rise--she leaned slightly forward with a conscientious expression--then she laughed, an absurd, charming little laugh, and I laughed too and came forward into the room.
  204. console
    give moral or emotional strength to
    My own house was an eye-sore, but it was a small eye-sore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbor's lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires--all for eighty dollars a month.
  205. enjoin
    give instructions to or direct somebody to do something with authority
    "Don't mention it," he enjoined me eagerly.
  206. sophisticated
    having or appealing to those having worldly knowledge and refinement and savoir-faire
    "Sophisticated--God, I'm sophisticated!"
  207. attire
    clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion
    Mrs. Wilson had changed her costume some time before and was now attired in an elaborate afternoon dress of cream colored chiffon, which gave out a continual rustle as she swept about the room.
  208. apparition
    a ghostly appearing figure
    Blinded by the glare of the headlights and confused by the incessant groaning of the horns the apparition stood swaying for a moment before he perceived the man in the duster.
  209. feign
    make believe with the intent to deceive
    Most of the confidences were unsought--frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon--for the intimate revelations of young men
  210. accidentally
    without intention; in an unintentional manner
    You know--lock you up accidentally in linen closets and push you out to sea in a boat, and all that sort of thing----"

    "Good night," called Miss Baker from the stairs.
  211. debut
    the act of beginning something new
    She had a debut after the Armistice, and in February she was presumably engaged to a man from New Orleans.
  212. isolation
    the act of isolating something; setting something apart from others
    A sudden emptiness seemed to flow now from the windows and the great doors, endowing with complete isolation the figure of the host who stood on the porch, his hand up in a formal gesture of farewell.
  213. lull
    make calm or still
    At a lull in the entertainment the man looked at me and smiled.
  214. constrain
    hold back
    When he was gone I turned immediately to Jordan--constrained to assure her of my surprise.
  215. soothing
    affording physical relief
    Tom and Miss Baker sat at either end of the long couch and she read aloud to him from the "Saturday Evening Post"--the words, murmurous and uninflected, running together in a soothing tune.
  216. tournament
    a sporting competition in which contestants play a series of games to decide the winner
    "Jordan's going to play in the tournament tomorrow," explained Daisy, "over at Westchester."
  217. adjusted
    altered to accommodate to certain requirements or bring into a proper relation
    As I watched him he adjusted himself a little, visibly.
  218. compose
    form the substance of
    They were composed of oddly familiar pieces of ivory.
  219. exempt
    (of persons) freed from or not subject to an obligation or liability (as e.g. taxes) to which others or other things are subject
    Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction--Gatsby who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn.
  220. distort
    twist and press out of shape
    When I came back they had disappeared so I sat down discreetly in the living room and read a chapter of "Simon Called Peter"--either it was terrible stuff or the whiskey distorted things because it didn't make any sense to me.
  221. concentrate
    make denser, stronger, or purer
    It faced--or seemed to face--the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on YOU with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.
  222. superficial
    of, affecting, or being on or near the surface
    I lived at West Egg, the--well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.
  223. wan
    become pale and sickly
    Her grey sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming discontented face.
  224. incessant
    uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing
    When she moved about there was an incessant clicking as innumerable pottery bracelets jingled up and down upon her arms.
  225. graduated
    marked with or divided into degrees
    I graduated from New Haven in 1915, just a quarter of a century after my father, and a little later I participated in that delayed Teutonic migration known as the Great War. I enjoyed the counter-raid so thoroughly that I came back restless.
  226. coincidence
    the temporal property of two things happening at the same time
    At night when you're are asleep, Into your tent I'll creep----"

    "It was a strange coincidence," I said.
  227. din
    a loud harsh or strident noise
    However, as they had left their cars blocking the road a harsh discordant din from those in the rear had been audible for some time and added to the already violent confusion of the scene.
  228. overseas
    beyond or across the sea
    On a chance we tried an important-looking door, and walked into a high Gothic library, panelled with carved English oak, and probably transported complete from some ruin overseas.
  229. brake
    a restraint used to slow or stop a vehicle
  230. sinister
    stemming from evil characteristics or forces; wicked or dishonorable
    I lived at West Egg, the--well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.
  231. glisten
    be shiny, as if wet
    Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body--he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved unde
  232. shifting
    changing position or direction
    Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body--he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved unde
  233. confirmation
    information that confirms or verifies
    She turned to Miss Baker for confirmation.
  234. persistent
    stubbornly unyielding
    All the cars have the left rear wheel painted black as a mourning wreath and there's a persistent wail all night along the North Shore."
  235. emerge
    come out into view, as from concealment
    The silhouette of a moving cat wavered across the moonlight and turning my head to watch it I saw that I was not alone--fifty feet away a figure had emerged from the shadow of my neighbor's mansion and was standing with his hands in his pockets reg
  236. concentration
    the spatial property of being crowded together
    There was something pathetic in his concentration as if his complacency, more acute than of old, was not enough to him any more.
  237. marsh
    low-lying wet land with grassy vegetation; usually is a transition zone between land and water
    Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marshes but after a certain point I don't care what it's founded on.
  238. gleaming
    bright with a steady but subdued shining
    The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house.
  239. gorgeous
    dazzlingly beautiful
    If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten th
  240. celebrate
    have a celebration
    Tom rang for the janitor and sent him for some celebrated sandwiches, which were a complete supper in themselves.
  241. casual
    without or seeming to be without plan or method; offhand
    Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I was him too, looking up and wondering.
  242. cordial
    politely warm and friendly
    In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another.
  243. diminished
    made to seem smaller or less (especially in worth)
    Slenderly, languidly, their hands set lightly on their hips the two young women preceded us out onto a rosy-colored porch open toward the sunset where four candles flickered on the table in the diminished wind.
  244. tense
    taut or rigid; stretched tight
    Before I could reply that he was my neighbor dinner was announced; wedging his tense arm imperatively under mine Tom Buchanan compelled me from the room as though he were moving a checker to another square.
  245. haven
    a sheltered port where ships can take on or discharge cargo
    I graduated from New Haven in 1915, just a quarter of a century after my father, and a little later I participated in that delayed Teutonic migration known as the Great War. I enjoyed the counter-raid so thoroughly that I came back restless.
  246. sentimental
    given to or marked by sentiment or sentimentality
    A succulent hash arrived, and Mr. Wolfshiem, forgetting the more sentimental atmosphere of the old Metropole, began to eat with ferocious delicacy.
  247. haughty
    having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy
    The bored haughty face that she turned to the world concealed something--most affectations conceal something eventually, even though they don't in the beginning--and one day I found what it was.
  248. identical
    being the exact same one; not any other:
    Twenty miles from the city a pair of enormous eggs, identical in contour and separated only by a courtesy bay, jut out into the most domesticated body of salt water in the Western Hemisphere, the great wet barnyard of Long Island Sound.
  249. creative
    having the ability or power to create
    This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the "creative temperament"--it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and
  250. dusk
    the time of day immediately following sunset
    For a moment the last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face; her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as I listened--then the glow faded, each light deserting her with lingering regret like children leaving a pleasant street at
  251. inspect
    look over carefully
    His eyes, meanwhile, roved very slowly all around the room--he completed the arc by turning to inspect the people directly behind.
  252. plunge
    dash violently or with great speed or impetuosity
    The man peered doubtfully into the basket, plunged in his hand and drew one up, wriggling, by the back of the neck.
  253. desolate
    providing no shelter or sustenance
    "The whole town is desolate.
  254. infinitely
    continuing forever without end
    The fact was infinitely astonishing to him--and I recognized first the unusual quality of wonder and then the man--it was the late patron of Gatsby's library.
  255. fantastic
    extravagantly fanciful in design, construction, appearance
    This is a valley of ashes--a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly an
  256. hover
    hang in the air; fly or be suspended above
    Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth--but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered "Listen," a promise that
  257. acute
    ending in a sharp point
    Her husband, among various physical accomplishments, had been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven--a national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everythin
  258. vicinity
    a surrounding or nearby region
    A white ashen dust veiled his dark suit and his pale hair as it veiled everything in the vicinity--except his wife, who moved close to Tom.

    "I want to see you," said Tom intently.
  259. intensity
    high level or degree; the property of being intense
    One of the men was talking with curious intensity to a young actress, and his wife after attempting to laugh at the situation in a dignified and indifferent way broke down entirely and resorted to flank attacks--at intervals she appeared suddenly a
  260. intrigue
    a crafty and involved plot to achieve your (usually sinister) ends
    To a certain temperament the situation might have seemed intriguing--my own instinct was to telephone immediately for the police.
  261. wail
    a cry of sorrow and grief
    All the cars have the left rear wheel painted black as a mourning wreath and there's a persistent wail all night along the North Shore."
  262. announce
    make known; make an announcement
    Before I could reply that he was my neighbor dinner was announced; wedging his tense arm imperatively under mine Tom Buchanan compelled me from the room as though he were moving a checker to another square.
  263. alert
    warn or arouse to a sense of danger or call to a state of preparedness
    "Oh, I'll stay in the East, don't you worry," he said, glancing at Daisy and then back at me, as if he were alert for something more.
  264. temperament
    your usual mood
    This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the "creative temperament"--it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and
  265. swamp
    low land that is seasonally flooded; has more woody plants than a marsh and better drainage than a bog
    I would have accepted without question the information that Gatsby sprang from the swamps of Louisiana or from the lower East Side of New York.
  266. convince
    make (someone) agree, understand, or realize the truth or validity of something
    "You see I think everything's terrible anyhow," she went on in a convinced way.
  267. approve
    judge to be right or commendable; think well of
    We were in the same Senior Society, and while we were never intimate I always had the impression that he approved of me and wanted me to like him with some harsh, defiant wistfulness of his own.
  268. arrange
    put into a proper or systematic order
    "In fact I think I'll arrange a marriage.
  269. awe
    an overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration
    Before I could answer her eyes fastened with an awed expression on her little finger.
  270. tragic
    very sad; especially involving grief or death or destruction
    The friends looked out at us with the tragic eyes and short upper lips of south-eastern Europe, and I was glad that the sight of Gatsby's splendid car was included in their somber holiday.
  271. proprietor
    (law) someone who owns (is legal possessor of) a business
    It had occurred to me that this shadow of a garage must be a blind and that sumptuous and romantic apartments were concealed overhead when the proprietor himself appeared in the door of an office, wiping his hands on a piece of waste.
  272. switch
    control consisting of a mechanical or electrical or electronic device for making or breaking or changing the connections in a circuit
    As our credulity switched back to her she leaned forward with enthusiasm.
  273. polite
    showing regard for others in manners, speech, behavior, etc.
    Her grey sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming discontented face.
  274. uneasy
    causing or fraught with or showing anxiety
    It made me uneasy, as though the whole evening had been a trick of some sort to exact a contributory emotion from me.
  275. engage
    consume all of one's attention or time
    We heard you were engaged to a girl out West."
  276. stroll
    a leisurely walk (usually in some public place)
    Tom and Miss Baker, with several feet of twilight between them strolled back into the library, as if to a vigil beside a perfectly tangible body, while trying to look pleasantly interested and a little deaf I followed Daisy around a chain of connec
  277. resolve
    find the solution
    Looked at from a distance however the hen resolved itself into a bonnet and the countenance of a stout old lady beamed down into the room.
  278. flutter
    flap the wings rapidly or fly with flapping movements
    They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.
  279. urge
    force or impel in an indicated direction
    "Come on," she urged.
  280. convey
    transmit or serve as the medium for transmission
    His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed.
  281. patent
    a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention
    He had on a dress suit and patent leather shoes and I couldn't keep my eyes off him but every time he looked at me I had to pretend to be looking at the advertisement over his head.
  282. elaborate
    marked by complexity and richness of detail
    Their house was even more elaborate than I expected, a cheerful red and white Georgian Colonial mansion overlooking the bay.
  283. banner
    long strip of cloth or paper used for decoration or advertising
    I had on a new plaid skirt also that blew a little in the wind and whenever this happened the red, white and blue banners in front of all the houses stretched out stiff and said TUT-TUT-TUT-TUT in a disapproving way.
  284. foul
    highly offensive; arousing aversion or disgust
    No--Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
  285. elegant
    refined and tasteful in appearance or behavior or style
    Precisely at that point it vanished--and I was looking at an elegant young rough-neck, a year or two over thirty, whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd.
  286. artificial
    contrived by art rather than nature
    "

    She turned to Mrs. McKee and the room rang full of her artificial laughter.
  287. phase
    any distinct time period in a sequence of events
    It was sharply different from the West where an evening was hurried from phase to phase toward its close in a continually disappointed anticipation or else in sheer nervous dread of the moment itself.
  288. invisible
    impossible or nearly impossible to see; imperceptible by the eye
    Occasionally a line of grey cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-grey men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud which screens their obscure operations fro
  289. harsh
    disagreeable to the senses
    We were in the same Senior Society, and while we were never intimate I always had the impression that he approved of me and wanted me to like him with some harsh, defiant wistfulness of his own.
  290. introduce
    bring something new to an environment
    Once there they were introduced by somebody who knew Gatsby and after that they conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks.
  291. admire
    feel admiration for
    I was flattered that she wanted to speak to me, because of all the older girls I admired her most.
  292. significance
    the quality of being significant
    He smiled--and suddenly there seemed to be a pleasant significance in having been among the last to go, as if he had desired it all the time.
  293. tribute
    something given or done as an expression of esteem
    Almost any exhibition of complete self sufficiency draws a stunned tribute from me.
  294. confident
    having or marked by confidence or assurance
    The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath--already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the center of
  295. costume
    the attire characteristic of a country or a time or a social class
    Mrs. Wilson had changed her costume some time before and was now attired in an elaborate afternoon dress of cream colored chiffon, which gave out a continual rustle as she swept about the room.
  296. revelation
    the speech act of making something evident
    Most of the confidences were unsought--frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon--for the intimate revelations of young men
  297. lap
    the upper side of the thighs of a seated person
    The airedale--undoubtedly there was an airedale concerned in it somewhere though its feet were startlingly white--changed hands and settled down into Mrs. Wilson's lap, where she fondled the weather-proof coat with rapture.
  298. pursue
    follow in or as if in pursuit
    "But it looks wonderful on you, if you know what I mean," pursued Mrs. McKee.
  299. solitary
    of plants and animals; not growing or living in groups or colonies
    At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others--poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner--young clerks in the dusk, wasting t
  300. seize
    take hold of; grab
    When, almost immediately, the telephone rang inside and the butler left the porch Daisy seized upon the momentary interruption and leaned toward me.
  301. glare
    be sharply reflected
    Blinded by the glare of the headlights and confused by the incessant groaning of the horns the apparition stood swaying for a moment before he perceived the man in the duster.
  302. diminish
    decrease in size, extent, or range
    Slenderly, languidly, their hands set lightly on their hips the two young women preceded us out onto a rosy-colored porch open toward the sunset where four candles flickered on the table in the diminished wind.
  303. frown
    a facial expression of dislike or displeasure
    "Why CANDLES?" objected Daisy, frowning.
  304. straw
    plant fiber used e.g. for making baskets and hats or as fodder
    Now he was a sturdy, straw haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner.
  305. wealthy
    having an abundant supply of money or possessions of value
    His family were enormously wealthy--even in college his freedom with money was a matter for reproach--but now he'd left Chicago and come east in a fashion that rather took your breath away: for instance he'd brought down a string of polo ponies fro
  306. reaction
    an idea evoked by some experience
    Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction--Gatsby who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn.
  307. absurd
    inconsistent with reason or logic or common sense
    The other girl, Daisy, made an attempt to rise--she leaned slightly forward with a conscientious expression--then she laughed, an absurd, charming little laugh, and I laughed too and came forward into the room.