Melville's "Moby Dick" Ch's 133-Epilogue 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. barbarous
    primitive in customs and culture
    That night, in the mid-watch, when the old man—as his wont at intervals—stepped forth from the scuttle in which he leaned, and went to his pivot-hole, he suddenly thrust out his face fiercely, snuffing up the sea air as a sagacious ship's dog will, in drawing nigh to some barbarous isle.
  2. acute
    of critical importance and consequence
    The acute policy dictating these movements was sufficiently vindicated at daybreak, by the sight of a long sleek on the sea directly and lengthwise ahead, smooth as oil, and resembling in the pleated watery wrinkles bordering it, the polished metallic-like marks of some swift tide-rip, at the mouth of a deep, rapid stream.
  3. vindicated
    freed from any question of guilt
    The acute policy dictating these movements was sufficiently vindicated at daybreak, by the sight of a long sleek on the sea directly and lengthwise ahead, smooth as oil, and resembling in the pleated watery wrinkles bordering it, the polished metallic-like marks of some swift tide-rip, at the mouth of a deep, rapid stream.
  4. bewitch
    cast a spell over someone or something; put a hex on someone or something
    Not the white bull Jupiter swimming away with ravished Europa clinging to his graceful horns; his lovely, leering eyes sideways intent upon the maid; with smooth bewitching fleetness, rippling straight for the nuptial bower in Crete; not Jove, not that great majesty Supreme! did surpass the glorified White Whale as he so divinely swam.
  5. enticing
    highly attractive and able to arouse hope or desire
    Yet calm, enticing calm, oh, whale! thou glidest on, to all who for the first time eye thee, no matter how many in that same way thou may'st have bejuggled and destroyed before.
  6. stratagem
    an elaborate or deceitful scheme contrived to deceive or evade
    But as if perceiving this stratagem, Moby Dick, with that malicious intelligence ascribed to him, sidelingly transplanted himself, as it were, in an instant, shooting his pleated head lengthwise beneath the boat.
  7. ascribe
    attribute or credit to
    But as if perceiving this stratagem, Moby Dick, with that malicious intelligence ascribed to him, sidelingly transplanted himself, as it were, in an instant, shooting his pleated head lengthwise beneath the boat.
  8. prelude
    something that serves as a preceding event or introduces what follows
    At that preluding moment, ere the boat was yet snapped, Ahab, the first to perceive the whale's intent, by the crafty upraising of his head, a movement that loosed his hold for the time; at that moment his hand had made one final effort to push the boat out of the bite.
  9. insolent
    marked by casual disrespect
    Meanwhile Ahab half smothered in the foam of the whale's insolent tail, and too much of a cripple to swim,—though he could still keep afloat, even in the heart of such a whirlpool as that; helpless Ahab's head was seen, like a tossed bubble which the least chance shock might burst.
  10. desolate
    crushed by grief
    Far inland, nameless wails came from him, as desolate sounds from out ravines.
  11. aggregate
    the whole amount
    And so, such hearts, though summary in each one suffering; still, if the gods decree it, in their life-time aggregate a whole age of woe, wholly made up of instantaneous intensities; for even in their pointless centres, those noble natures contain the entire circumferences of inferior souls.
  12. velocity
    distance travelled per unit time
    Rising with his utmost velocity from the furthest depths, the Sperm Whale thus booms his entire bulk into the pure element of air, and piling up a mountain of dazzling foam, shows his place to the distance of seven miles and more.
  13. fortitude
    strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity with courage
    Stubb saw him pause; and perhaps intending, not vainly, though, to evince his own unabated fortitude, and thus keep up a valiant place in his Captain's mind, he advanced, and eyeing the wreck exclaimed—"The thistle the ass refused; it pricked his mouth too keenly, sir; ha! ha!"
  14. valiant
    having or showing valor
    Stubb saw him pause; and perhaps intending, not vainly, though, to evince his own unabated fortitude, and thus keep up a valiant place in his Captain's mind, he advanced, and eyeing the wreck exclaimed—"The thistle the ass refused; it pricked his mouth too keenly, sir; ha! ha!"
  15. pertinacious
    stubbornly unyielding
    Here be it said, that this pertinacious pursuit of one particular whale, continued through day into night, and through night into day, is a thing by no means unprecedented in the South sea fishery.
  16. prescience
    the power to foresee the future
    For such is the wonderful skill, prescience of experience, and invincible confidence acquired by some great natural geniuses among the Nantucket commanders; that from the simple observation of a whale when last descried, they will, under certain given circumstances, pretty accurately foretell both the direction in which he will continue to swim for a time, while out of sight, as well as his probable rate of progression during that period.
  17. proverbial
    widely known and spoken of
    So that to this hunter's wondrous skill, the proverbial evanescence of a thing writ in water, a wake, is to all desired purposes well nigh as reliable as the steadfast land.
  18. writ
    (law) a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer
    So that to this hunter's wondrous skill, the proverbial evanescence of a thing writ in water, a wake, is to all desired purposes well nigh as reliable as the steadfast land.
  19. agency
    the state of being in action or exerting power
    The wind that made great bellies of their sails, and rushed the vessel on by arms invisible as irresistible; this seemed the symbol of that unseen agency which so enslaved them to the race.
  20. tedious
    so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness
    Unmindful of the tedious rope-ladders of the shrouds, the men, like shooting stars, slid to the deck, by the isolated backstays and halyards; while Ahab, less dartingly, but still rapidly was dropped from his perch.
  21. elude
    escape, either physically or mentally
    But skilfully manoeuvred, incessantly wheeling like trained chargers in the field; the boats for a while eluded him; though, at times, but by a plank's breadth; while all the time, Ahab's unearthly slogan tore every other cry but his to shreds.
  22. livid
    discolored by coagulation of blood beneath the skin
    Some sprained shoulders, wrists, and ankles; livid contusions; wrenched harpoons and lances; inextricable intricacies of rope; shattered oars and planks; all these were there; but no fatal or even serious ill seemed to have befallen any one.
  23. inextricable
    not permitting extrication; incapable of being disentangled or untied
    Some sprained shoulders, wrists, and ankles; livid contusions; wrenched harpoons and lances; inextricable intricacies of rope; shattered oars and planks; all these were there; but no fatal or even serious ill seemed to have befallen any one.
  24. impiety
    unrighteousness by virtue of lacking respect for a god
    Oh, oh,— Impiety and blasphemy to hunt him more!"
  25. blasphemy
    blasphemous language (expressing disrespect for God or for something sacred)
    Oh, oh,—Impiety and blasphemy to hunt him more!"
  26. judicious
    marked by the exercise of good judgment or common sense in practical matters
    And at last when Ahab was sliding by the vessel, so near as plainly to distinguish Starbuck's face as he leaned over the rail, he hailed him to turn the vessel about, and follow him, not too swiftly, at a judicious interval.
  27. latent
    potentially existing but not presently evident or realized
    Whether fagged by the three days' running chase, and the resistance to his swimming in the knotted hamper he bore; or whether it was some latent deceitfulness and malice in him: whichever was true, the White Whale's way now began to abate, as it seemed, from the boat so rapidly nearing him once more; though indeed the whale's last start had not been so long a one as before.
  28. treacherous
    dangerously unstable and unpredictable
    But when Ahab cried out to the steersman to take new turns with the line, and hold it so; and commanded the crew to turn round on their seats, and tow the boat up to the mark; the moment the treacherous line felt that double strain and tug, it snapped in the empty air!
  29. retribution
    the act of correcting for your wrongdoing
    Retribution, swift vengeance, eternal malice were in his whole aspect, and spite of all that mortal man could do, the solid white buttress of his forehead smote the ship's starboard bow, till men and timbers reeled.
  30. concentric
    having a common center
    And now, concentric circles seized the lone boat itself, and all its crew, and each floating oar, and every lance-pole, and spinning, animate and inanimate, all round and round in one vortex, carried the smallest chip of the Pequod out of sight.