"Glinda of Oz," Vocabulary from the Novel 50 words

As you read L. Frank Baum's "Glinda of Oz" (etext found here), learn this word list for: Glinda of Oz. Here are links to our lists for Oz books: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, The Magic of Oz, Glinda of Oz.
  1. vista
    the visual percept of a region
    Fountains tinkled musically here and there; the vast colonnade, open to the south, allowed the maidens, as they raised their heads from their embroideries, to gaze upon a vista of rose-hued fields and groves of trees bearing fruits or laden with sweet-scented flowers.
  2. enviously
    with jealousy; in an envious manner
    Some of the girls looked upon this object enviously; the Sorceress merely gave it a glance and nodded her stately head as if pleased, for it meant the coming of her friend and mistress—the only one in all the land that Glinda bowed to.
  3. obstinate
    tenaciously unwilling or marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield
    "Obstinate" also means "resistant to guidance or discipline"--since Ozma is seen as a wise ruler who would prefer to use her words to convince her subjects to be good, when they are being obstinate, they are rejecting her guidance. But because the Skeezers have already declared war on the Flatheads, the chosen definition is a stronger fit for the example sentence.
    I am sure it would be better for me to go peacefully, without an army and armed only with my authority as Ruler, and plead with them to obey me. Then, if they prove obstinate I could resort to other means to win their obedience."
  4. strife
    bitter conflict; heated often violent dissension
    "I am fully determined to go at once to the Magic Isle of the Skeezers and to the enchanted mountain of the Flatheads, and prevent war and strife between their inhabitants.
  5. refrain
    resist doing something
    She longed to tell her girl friends, tiny Trot and Betsy Bobbin, of the adventure they were undertaking, but refrained from saying a word on the subject although both these girls lived with her in Ozma's palace.
  6. ford
    cross a river where it's shallow
    At such times they crossed the fields, avoiding groups of trees and fording the streams and rivulets whenever they came to them.
  7. recoil
    spring back, as from a forceful thrust
    After reading the next example sentence, you can see the pun in the author's choice of the word "recoil" to describe the motion of the monstrous Spider King. "Recoil" also means "draw back, as with fear or pain," which both girls should've done when they first saw the big heads, sharp claws, small eyes and fuzzy hair of the spiders, but their Magic Belt and Magic Wand gave them courage to stand and fight.
    He turned swiftly and made a dash at Ozma, but she held her Magic Wand over his head and the monster recoiled as if it had been struck.
  8. clamber
    climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling
    Ozma and Dorothy ran as fast as they could and although the angry spiders threw a number of strands of web after them, hoping to lasso them or entangle them in the coils, they managed to escape and clamber to the top of the hill.
  9. reserve
    formality and propriety of manner
    At ordinary times Ozma was just like any little girl one might chance to meet—simple, merry, lovable as could be—yet with a certain reserve that lent her dignity in her most joyous moods.
  10. distinguish
    mark as different
    "Distinguish" also means "detect with the senses"--Dorothy could scarcely distinguish the Mist Maids because she could not distinguish the fairies' gray, fleecy clothes from the clouds. But as a distinguished ("standing above others in character or attainment") magical being, Ozma knows the Mist Maids would soon appear to answer her call.
    Presently out from the billows rose beautiful forms, clothed in fleecy, trailing garments of gray that could scarcely be distinguished from the mist.
  11. pallid
    abnormally deficient in color as suggesting physical or emotional distress
    "Pallid" is usually used to describe a human who is sick, but here, it is being used to emphasize the otherworldly nature of the fairies who live in the clouds.
    Their hair was mist-color, too; only their gleaming arms and sweet, pallid faces proved they were living, intelligent creatures answering the call of a sister fairy.
  12. weariness
    temporary loss of strength and energy resulting from hard physical or mental work
    The given definition is the opposite of what Ozma is warning against. She is actually encouraging weariness that results from hard physical or mental work, in order to prevent the weariness that would make one lose interest in life and others.
    "Instead of happiness your plan would bring weariness to the world. If every one could wave a wand and have his wants fulfilled there would be little to wish for. There would be no eager striving to obtain the difficult, for nothing would then be difficult, and the pleasure of earning something longed for, and only to be secured by hard work and careful thought, would be utterly lost. There would be nothing to do you see, and no interest in life and in our fellow creatures.
  13. unassuming
    not arrogant or presuming
    I think that is what makes us modest and unassuming—the fact that our magic arts are divided, some being given each of us.
  14. obstruction
    any structure that makes progress difficult
    The girls went in, single file, and Ozma explained that they were now behind the barrier and could go back to the entrance. They met no further obstructions.
  15. lustrous
    brilliant
    However, Ozma drew her silver wand from her bosom and the great jewel at its end gave out a lustrous, green-tinted light which lighted the place well enough for them to see their way plainly.
  16. utilize
    put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
    Walls of rock separated the dwellings, and all the paths were paved with smooth slabs of rock. This seemed their only building material and they utilized it cleverly for every purpose.
  17. forfeit
    lose (s.th.) or lose the right to (s.th.) by some error, offense, or crime
    Then I made a law that if anyone stole another's brains, or even tried to borrow them, he would forfeit his own brains to the Su-dic.
  18. effrontery
    audacious (even arrogant) behavior that you have no right to
    Because the Supreme Dictator is used to being obeyed by the Flatheads, he audaciously disobeys Ozma and threatens to make her and Dorothy his prisoners. Dorothy may think the Su-Dic has no right to be so arrogant, but he disagrees because he believes he is more powerful than Ozma.
    Dorothy was amazed by this effrontery and defiance of the beautiful girl Ruler of Oz, whom all until now had obeyed without question.
  19. oracle
    a shrine where an oracular god is consulted
    "I know who you are, for I have consulted my Magic Oracle, which told me that one calls herself Princess Ozma, the Ruler of all the Land of Oz, and the other is Princess Dorothy of Oz, who came from a country called Kansas.
  20. quarrelsome
    given to quarreling
    Ozma did not like this attitude, for it meant that the Skeezers were eager to fight the Flatheads, and Ozma's object in coming here was to prevent fighting and induce the two quarrelsome neighbors to make peace.
  21. vile
    morally reprehensible
    You two girls may even be spies of the vile Flatheads, for all I know, and may be trying to trick me.
  22. supercilious
    having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy
    Queen Coo-ee-oh gave the girl a supercilious look.
  23. forsake
    leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch
    "I see you've a lot to do here, Ozma, in this forsaken corner of the Land of Oz.
  24. adept
    someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field
    Coo-ee-oh pretended to be very grateful for these favors, but it seems that all the time she was jealous of the three Adepts and secretly tried to discover their arts of magic.
  25. incandescent
    emitting light as a result of being heated
    When night fell all the interior of the Great Dome, streets and houses, became lighted with brilliant incandescent lamps, which rendered it bright as day.
  26. revelry
    unrestrained merrymaking
    There was revelry and feasting in the Queen's palace, and the music of the royal band could be plainly heard in Lady Aurex's house, where Ozma and Dorothy remained with their hostess and keeper.
  27. stationary
    standing still
    By this time the top of the dome was quite under water and suddenly the island stopped sinking and became stationary.
  28. cleave
    separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
    The dark object cleaving the water is a submarine. The use of the verb "cleave" emphasizes the weapon-like nature of the submarine, which the Queen of the Skeezers is planning to use to fight the Flatheads. It also emphasizes the nature of the water to Dorothy and Ozma, who are currently trapped within a submerged island and could use a sharp instrument to cut through the dome and water.
    The door instantly closed behind it and the dark object cleaved its way through the water, without rising to the surface, directly toward the place where the Flatheads were standing.
  29. rueful
    feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses
    The Su-Dic is not rueful because of any sins or offenses he'd committed against others; rather, he is sad that his own dancing knocked over the vessel and spilled out all the poison he was going to use to kill the fishes (including the three magic Adepts who could take away his power).
    The Su-dic stopped short and looked at the overturned vessel with a rueful countenance.
  30. saucy
    improperly forward or bold
    Shoot the saucy bird!"
  31. reckless
    marked by defiant disregard for danger or consequences
    "In such a dilemma," said she, musingly, "nothing is gained by haste. Careful thought may aid us, and so may the course of events. The unexpected is always likely to happen, and cheerful patience is better than reckless action."
  32. condescend
    debase oneself morally, act in an undignified, unworthy, or dishonorable way
    On the contrary, such magic as Coo-ee-oh knew and practiced is unlawful witchcraft and her arts are such as no fairy would condescend to use.
  33. bevy
    a large gathering of people of a particular type
    Glinda, the Good, in her palace in the Quadling Country, had many things to occupy her mind, for not only did she look after the weaving and embroidery of her bevy of maids, and assist all those who came to her to implore her help—beasts and birds as well as people—but she was a close student of the arts of sorcery and spent much time in her Magical Laboratory, where she strove to find a remedy for every evil and to perfect her skill in magic.
  34. crude
    not carefully or expertly made
    Jack's body was very crude and awkward, being formed of limbs of trees of different sizes, jointed with wooden pegs.
  35. attire
    clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion
    His long-tailed coat was of velvet, his vest of satin and his trousers of finest silk. There were diamond buckles on his shoes and he carried a gold-headed cane and a high silk hat. All of the bright colors were represented in his rich attire, so it tired one's eyes to look at him for long, until one became used to his splendor.
  36. varnish
    a coating that provides a hard, lustrous, transparent finish to a surface
    The Wizard wasn't exactly handsome but he was pleasant to look at. His bald head was as shiny as if it had been varnished; there was always a merry twinkle in his eyes and he was as spry as a schoolboy.
  37. expedition
    an organized group of people undertaking a journey for a particular purpose
    Magic must meet magic in order to conquer it, so these two skillful magic-workers were necessary to insure the success of the expedition.
  38. denizen
    a plant or animal naturalized in a region
    There are dangers in the forest, of course, but as the huge Lion headed the party he kept the wild denizens of the wilderness from bothering the travelers.
  39. beckon
    summon with a wave, nod, or some other gesture
    So Glinda beckoned the Diamond Swan, which swam gracefully to a position near them.
  40. glean
    gather, as of natural products
    When they had gleaned all the information they could from these Skeezers, the Wizard said to Glinda: "If you find you can make this boat obey your sorcery, you could have it return to the island, submerge itself, and enter the door in the basement from which it came.
  41. forlorn
    marked by or showing hopelessness
    "This" refers to Glinda the Good's belief that "the best plan will be to summon the three fishes and learn from them how to raise the island." Despite knowing the fishes are magical, the Wizard thinks this is a forlorn plan because he doesn't believe that fishes can be summoned because they can't hear.
    The little Wizard seemed to think that this was rather a forlorn hope.
  42. festoon
    decorate with strings of flowers
    Horned toads hopped about; each of the four upper corners of the room was festooned with a thick cobweb, in the center of which sat a spider as big around as a washbasin, and armed with pincher-like claws;
  43. stolid
    having or revealing little emotion or sensibility; not easily aroused or excited
    All the creatures, after this first attack, remained motionless, as if awaiting orders. The old gray ape knitted on, not looking toward Ervic now, and the young Skeezer stolidly kept his seat.
  44. crabbed
    annoyed and irritable
    "People accuse me of being cross and crabbed and unsociable, and they are quite right. If you had come here pleading and begging for favors, and half afraid of my Yookoohoo magic, I'd have abused you until you ran away; but you're quite different from that. You're the unsociable and crabbed and disagreeable one, and so I like you, and bear with your grumpiness.
  45. balk
    something immaterial that interferes with or delays action or progress
    A better definition for how "balk" is used here is "to stop short and refuse to go on"--but even that does not perfectly fit the example sentence, since the Wizard is saying that they have been balked, which means the door (which is made of the strong material of marble) is the one stopping them and refusing to allow them to go on.
    "It seems a shame, after we have made the boat obey us, to be balked by just a marble door," grumbled the Wizard.
  46. recede
    pull back or move away or backward
    This chant they repeated again and again, swaying their arms gently from side to side, and in a few minutes the watchers behind them noticed that the lake had begun to recede from the shore.
  47. contrivance
    a device or control that is very useful for a particular job
    "It is a clever contrivance, but won't work unless one knows the magic words."
  48. embedded
    enclosed firmly in a surrounding mass
    If the lower end of the steel pillar is firmly embedded in the bottom of the lake, Coo-ee-oh could utter a magic word that would make the pillar expand, and so lift the entire island to the level of the water."
  49. impel
    cause to move forward with force
    It was half filled with a grayish powder, the tiny grains of which constantly moved as if impelled by some living force.
  50. render
    cause to become
    Taking them one at a time, she had the can of brains that belonged to each one opened and the contents spread on the flat head, after which, by means of her arts of sorcery, she caused the head to grow over the brains—in the manner most people wear them—and they were thus rendered as intelligent and good looking as any of the other inhabitants of the Land of Oz.