"Inherit The Wind," Vocabulary from Act 1 Scene 1 58 words

Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee collaborated on "Inherit the Wind," a fictional account of the Scopes trial where the teaching of evolution in schools was debated. The play, both for its subject matter and its depiction of the legal system, is still relevant today.

Learn these word lists for the play: Act 1 Scene 1, Act 1 Scene 2, Act 2 Scene 1, Act 2 Scene 2, Act 3
  1. foreground
    the part of a scene that is near the viewer
    The foreground is the actual courtroom, with jury box, judge’s bench and a scattering of trial-scarred chairs and counsel tables.
  2. loom
    come into view indistinctly, often threateningly
    It is important to the concept of the play that the town is visible always, looming there, as much on trial as the individual defendant.
  3. tentative
    unsettled in mind or opinion
    (Tentatively, calling)
  4. bailiff
    an officer of the court who is employed to execute writs and processes and make arrests etc.
    MEEKER, the bailiff, enters.
  5. minister
    a person authorized to conduct religious worship
    Ain’t a very proper place for a minister’s daughter.
  6. saunter
    walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
    KREBS saunters across the square.
  7. oblige
    provide a service or favor for someone
    STOREKEEPER I bet the Devil ain’t so obliging.
  8. gaunt
    very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
    The REVEREND JEREMIAH BROWN, a gaunt, thin-lipped man, strides on.
  9. scowl
    frown with displeasure
    He looks around, scowling.
  10. canvas
    a heavy, closely woven fabric (used for clothing or chairs or sails or tents)
    (They are carrying a rolled-up canvas banner.)
  11. gesture
    show, express or direct through movement
    (COOPER enters, gestures “hello" to the others.)
  12. rube
    a person who is not very intelligent or interested in culture
    They are colorful small town citizens, but not caricatured rubes.
  13. fanfare
    (music) a short lively tune played on brass instruments
    BOLLINGER toots a ragged fanfare.
  14. placard
    a sign posted in a public place as an advertisement
    He sets up shop between the hot dogs and the lemonade, with a placard reading: “WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY?”
  15. sneer
    smile contemptuously
    He is a newspaperman in his middle thirties, who sneers politely at everything, including himself.
  16. attire
    clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion
    His clothes—those of a sophisticated city-dweller—contrast sharply with the attire of the townspeople.
  17. undaunted
    unshaken in purpose
    ( Undaunted)
  18. privy
    a small outbuilding with a bench having holes through which a user can defecate
    (She sniffs) That’s all right, I suppose, for them as likes havin’ a privy practically in the bedroom!
  19. evolutionist
    a person who believes in organic evolution
    Are you an Evolutionist?
  20. infidel
    a person who does not acknowledge your god
    An infidel?
  21. defense
    the defendant and his legal advisors collectively
    Have you come to testify for the defense or for the prosecution?
  22. prosecution
    the lawyers acting for the state to put the case against the defendant
    Have you come to testify for the defense or for the prosecution?
  23. league
    an association of states or organizations or individuals for common action
    All the members of the Bible League, get ready!
  24. tread
    a step in walking or running
    Whose tread has the thunder of the legions of the Lion-Hearted!
  25. legion
    a vast multitude
    Whose tread has the thunder of the legions of the Lion-Hearted!
  26. augmented
    added to or made greater in amount or number or strength
    The crowd surges back, augmented, in a jubilant parade.
  27. jubilant
    full of high-spirited delight
    The crowd surges back, augmented, in a jubilant parade.
  28. amend
    make amendments to
    AMEND THE CONSTITUTION — PROHIBIT DARWIN
  29. ancestor
    someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent)
    MY ANCESTORS AIN’T APES!
  30. patriarch
    the male head of family or tribe
    He basks in the cheers and the excitement, like a patriarch surrounded by his children.
  31. statute
    an act passed by a legislative body
    I have come because what has happened in a schoolroom of your town has unloosed a wicked attack from the big cities of the North!—an attack upon the law which you have so wisely placed among the statutes of this state.
  32. scripture
    any writing that is regarded as sacred by a religious group
    I am here to defend that which is most precious in the hearts of all of us: the Living Truth of the Scriptures!
  33. dignitary
    an important or influential (and often overbearing) person
    Just you and the dignitaries.
  34. municipality
    an urban district having corporate status and powers of self-government
    Mr. Matthew Harrison Brady, this municipality is proud to have within its city limits the warrior who has always fought for us ordinary people.
  35. suffrage
    a legal right guaranteed by the 15th amendment to the US Constitution; guaranteed to women by the 19th amendment
    The lady folks of this town wouldn’t have the vote if it wasn’t for you, fightin’ to give ’em all that suffrage.
  36. colonel
    a commissioned military officer in the United States Army or Air Force or Marines who ranks above a lieutenant colonel and below a brigadier general
    In conclusion, the Governor of our state has vested in me the authority to confer upon you a commission as Honorary Colonel in the State Militia.
  37. militia
    civilians trained as soldiers but not part of the regular army
    In conclusion, the Governor of our state has vested in me the authority to confer upon you a commission as Honorary Colonel in the State Militia.
  38. buffet
    a meal set out on a buffet at which guests help themselves
    So the members of our Ladies’ Aid have prepared a buffet lunch.
  39. paraphernalia
    equipment consisting of miscellaneous articles needed for a particular operation or sport etc.
    Some of the townspeople, at BROWN’S direction, carry on a long picnic table, loaded with foodstuffs, potato salad, fried turkey, pickled fruits, cold meats and all the picnic paraphernalia.
  40. repast
    the food served and eaten at one time
    He beams, and moistens his lips) Ahhhh, what a handsome repast!
  41. blasphemy
    blasphemous language (expressing disrespect for God or for something sacred)
    To test the steel of our Truth against the blasphemies of Science!
  42. precept
    a doctrine that is taught
    I’m sure you teach according to the precepts of the Lord.
  43. heathen
    not acknowledging the God of Christianity and Judaism and Islam
    Has Mr. Cates ever tried to pollute your mind with his heathen dogma?
  44. dogma
    a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative
    Has Mr. Cates ever tried to pollute your mind with his heathen dogma?
  45. inaudible
    impossible to hear; imperceptible by the ear
    BRADY moves her upstage and their conversation continues, inaudible to us.
  46. sovereign
    greatest in status or authority or power
    When this sovereign state determined to indict the sovereign mind of a less-than- sovereign schoolteacher, my editors decided there was more than a headline here.
  47. indict
    accuse formally of a crime
    When this sovereign state determined to indict the sovereign mind of a less-than-sovereign schoolteacher, my editors decided there was more than a headline here.
  48. agnostic
    a person who claims that they cannot have true knowledge about the existence of God (but does not deny that God might exist)
    Henry Drummond, the agnostic?
  49. blithely
    in a joyous manner
    Blithely, HORNBECK reaches across the picnic table and chooses a drumstick.
  50. heretic
    a person who holds religious beliefs in conflict with the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church
    He looks at the ring of faces, which have been disturbed by BROWN’S description of the heretic DRUMMOND.
  51. fervor
    the state of being emotionally aroused and worked up
    (With growing fervor) The whole world will be watching our victory over Drummond.
  52. fray
    a noisy fight
    I’m scouting myself an observation post to watch the fray.
  53. hooligan
    a cruel and brutal fellow
    No Happy Hooligan, Barney Google, Abe Kabibble.
  54. rancid
    (used of decomposing oils or fats) having a rank smell or taste usually due to a chemical change or decomposition
    I may be rancid butter,
  55. cynical
    believing the worst of human nature and motives; having a sneering disbelief in e.g. selflessness of others
    Cynical?
  56. incredulity
    doubt about the truth of something
    HORNBECK (With a genuine incredulity)
  57. hinterland
    a remote and undeveloped area
    When Brady was the hero of the hinterland,
  58. ominous
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    A long, ominous shadow appears across the buildings, cast from a figure approaching off stage.